Seven artists create awards for 34th annual Governor Arts Awards

Seven artists have created awards for each of the Governor’s Arts Awards six categories and the Shelley Award to be presented at the 34th annual event on Tuesday, March 24 at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel, 340 N. 3rd St.

Artists are:

Alexandra Bowers, a Phoenix based artist who received her BFA in 2012 from the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

"Tablet 4," by Alexandra Bowers.

“Tablet 4,” by Alexandra Bowers.

Inspired by the natural surrounding environment, Bowers utilizes data collected while exploring to produce wood-burned studies of plants and animals she finds along the way.

Bowers has had the privilege of showcasing her work at the Tempe Center for Arts in their TCA Juried Biennial: Wood, as well as at Eye Lounge, a contemporary art space, where she debuted her solo exhibition Crossed Paths.

Randy Kemp grew up in Oklahoma, and is a member of the Euchee, Muscogee-Creek and Choctaw tribes. He is a noted artist in the contemporary American Indian art world.

Kemp is a multi-disciplinary artist whose body of work includes, painting, printmaking, installation, music, and performance. Kemp is able to achieve and express a seamless balance of his beliefs and experiences as a contemporary urban artist and Indigenous person.

"My Southwest Jumping Buffalo Dream," by Randy Kemp.

“My Southwest Jumping Buffalo Dream,” by Randy Kemp.

Randy is an alumnus of the Katherine K. Herberger College of Arts at Arizona State University.

Jacob Meders is a member of the Mechoopda Indian Tribe of Chico Rancheria, California. He graduated in 2007 with his BFA in painting and a minor in printmaking at Savannah College of Art and Design, and in 2011 received his MFA in printmaking at Arizona State University.

In 2011 Jacob established WarBird Press, a fine art printmaking studio that he operates as the Master Printmaker in Phoenix.

Currently he also teaches studio art classes at Estrella Mountain Community College and Arizona State University West Campus. His work is collected by major universities and other institutions in the United States and internationally.

Gabriela Muñoz holds a B.A in English literature and a MFA with an emphasis in printmaking from Arizona State University. She is an accomplished interdisciplinary artist, arts educator and arts administrator.

As an active member of the local arts community for the past 10 years, she has completed several artist residencies, served as a juror, led artist workshops and presented lectures at the local and national level. Her installations and printed works function as an ever-growing archive that documents what might be perceived as marginal stories and histories.

"Something Ahead," by Rossitza Todorova.

“Something Ahead,” by Rossitza Todorova.

Rossitza Todorova’s work is exhibited internationally. Her drawings and prints are in the permanent collections of the Arizona State University Art Museum in Tempe, University of Arizona Art Museum in Tucson, the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, Nevada, and the Painting and Sculpture Museum in Istanbul, Turkey, as well as numerous private collections.

Rossitza Todorova was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, and was raised in Reno, Nev. She received her Master of Fine Arts degree in painting and drawing from the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, School of Art at Arizona State University, Tempe in 2013.

When she’s not working at ASU Art Museum, Rossitza is teaches as an adjunct professor at ASU’s School of Art, or is creating new art work from her home in Tempe.

Kathleen Velo is a photographic artist who uses non-traditional media, such as pinhole and plastic cameras, as well as camera-less processes in her photographic work.

Her current series, Water Flow: Under the Colorado River, examines water quality in the Colorado River through the creation of color photograms under the surface of the river at night. Kathleen exhibits her work nationally and internationally, and her work is in numerous public and private collections.

She holds an MFA from Vermont College, and an MA in Arts Education from the University of Arizona.  Kathleen is an adjunct instructor of photography at Pima Community College in Tucson, where she teaches traditional and digital photography classes; she also teaches pinhole workshops locally and nationally.

Claire A. Warden (b. Montreal, Quebec) is an artist working in Phoenix. She received her BFA in photography and BA in art history from Arizona State University and completed one year of coursework towards an MFA at Texas Woman’s University.

Claire’s work explores intersecting ideas and issues of illusion, manipulation, identity and performance.

Her work has been featured in Real Simple magazine, The HAND Magazine, Common Ground Journal and Prism Magazine. Claire is currently the Artist-in-Residence at Art Intersection in Arizona.

Sixty-five nominations from 22 Arizona communities were submitted in six categories for the Governor’s Arts Awards for individuals and businesses who have made substantial and outstanding contributions to arts and culture statewide.

The Governor’s Arts Awards are presented by Arizona Citizens for the Arts in partnership with the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Office of the Governor.

Since 1981, 164 artists, individuals, arts and cultural organizations, educators and businesses have received Governor’s Arts Awards.

The ninth annual Shelley Award also will be presented to the Papp Family, who have advanced the arts through strategic and innovative work in creating or supporting public policy beneficial to the arts in Arizona.  The award is named for Shelley Cohn, who spent more than 25 years as executive director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

Ticket prices are $150 for members of Arizona Citizens for the Arts and $200 for nonmembers.  Sponsorships are available. For information and to make reservations visit

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