The Spotlight Artists Program provides collectors a focused look at several cutting-edge artists who will each be creating a site-specific solo exhibition.

Spotlight Program

Spotlight Artists Archive

Explore the Art San Diego Spotlight archive. View amazing exhibitors with outstanding talent from past ASD shows!

2015 Spotlight Artists


Reflejo Mederos_ArteCuba
Darian Rodriguez Mederos | “Auto Reflejo” | Oil and Acrylic on Canvas | 72″ x 60″

ARTE Cuba is a stand-alone event hosted by Redwood Media Group in San Diego and Miami as part of the Art San Diego and SPECTRUM Miami Contemporary Art Shows. ARTE Cuba will present a carefully curated collection of Cuban modern, contemporary, and cutting-edge art represented by galleries, art dealers, and the artists themselves.

Director Stacy Conde, an established gallerist specializing in Cuban art, joins with Redwood Media Group to curate ARTE Cuba. An author, designer, and Miami native, Stacy’s exposure to and love of art spans decades, with her focus on Cuban art beginning nearly 20 years ago. She is excited to bring Cuban art and artists into the spotlight during this exciting time of change in the relationship between the U.S. and Cuba.

Marta Wiley

Represented by, Booth 404

Marta Wiley
Marta Wiley | "Red Dancers" | Oil and Gold Leaf | 70" x 80"

Renaissance woman Marta Gottfried Wiley stands at the top of her field. One of the most prolific artists of the 21st century, Wiley, who is of Mexican-Jewish descent, is considered by many to be one of the great classical contemporary artists of our time. Marta’s unique approach as a figurative painter, innovator of styles and techniques, and master of various media makes her a multi-media artist who has composed thousands of paintings, hundreds of songs, and several compelling novels. Her newest music releases, “Beggar” and “Signal,” have topped radio charts across the country. Her most iconic artwork has been on top seller lists for 15+ years, grossing millions in revenues for her publishers, galleries, and licensees worldwide. Her artwork is currently produced by the prestigious companies of Cap/Winn Devon and Larson-Juhl’s Artaissance.

Growing up in Cayocan, Mexico, Wiley was surrounded by artistic and creative influences. Not only was her grandmother an accomplished artist, but she was also referred to as a “national treasure” by the Mexican government and painted in the same circles as Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Wiley expertly channeled what she saw and felt into her art, during those childhood years and into her young adulthood in the US. She went on to travel the world extensively, soaking up the artistic influences of each country she visited. The work of the Old Masters especially resonated with Wiley, and she meticulously combined their techniques with her own contemporary sensibility to create unique works.

Wiley has shown her work at over 300 galleries worldwide, as well as museums and trade shows, and her paintings can be seen globally in hit movies such as “Mission Impossible” and “Along Came Polly.” She holds one-woman shows yearly in Mexico, Canada, Japan, and New York, and she’s been commissioned by private, public, and corporate collectors around the world. Currently, Wiley owns her own publishing company, Marta G. Wiley Studios, through which she produces and distributes original artwork, music, books, installation pieces, apparel, and other products.

Valerie Ostenak

Booth 411

Valerie Ostenak has been working in metal for most of her life. She has worked with interior designers, architects, and other blacksmiths to create lighting for restaurants as well as gates and railings for residences. Sculpture and art jewelry are her passion, however. An award-winning art jeweler, Ostenak has seen her sculptural art jewelry on the fashion runways and in numerous books, fashion magazines, and gallery shows.

Ostenak creates her sculptural art jewelry in sterling silver and mild steel. Though metal, particularly steel, seems to be a hard and inert material, Ostenak finds the flow within it. The mild steel she works must be yellow-hot to be shaped and formed. In that moment of perfect yellow, the steel becomes soft and sensuous, as though it wants to be worn on the gentle curves of a woman’s body.

“I feel I have gone beyond creating a beautiful piece of jewelry for a woman to wear. I’ve helped her to be the woman she dreams she can become,” shares Ostenak. Each piece she creates reflects the joy she feels for the beauty around her. The movement of vines and their tender tendrils as they curl, the richness of golden sunlight and cool shadows, the grace in flowers, and the flow of water all become part of her sculptural art jewelry.

Valerie Ostenak | "Making of a Tidepool"

Brett Lethbridge

Represented by Lethbridge Gallery, Booth 413

Brett Lethbridge |"Moment of White" | Acrylic on Canvas | 55" x 55"

Australia-born Brett Lethbridge is a multi-award-winning artist with a reputation for boundless creative energy. His work ranges from drawings with sublime and beautiful linework to large paintings boasting vivid richness and exquisite detail.

After earning a law degree, Lethbridge took hold of his vocation and began drawing and painting in 1998. After winning numerous awards, at the encouragement of his friends Brett decided to extend his artistic pursuits in
Europe. A year in Siena, Italy, was followed by numerous international exhibitions in Singapore, Germany, and New York, and at Romero Britto’s gallery in Miami, Florida.

Upon returning to Australia, Lethbridge continued to develop his vision and artistic creations with passion, energy and commitment, resulting in the opening of the Lethbridge Gallery in May 2004. He exhibits in Sydney, Melbourne, and internationally, and has regular showings of new creations at his own gallery in Brisbane. The gallery has not only proved very popular as a home for Lethbridge’s newest paintings, but it also provides a creative space for other artists and art lovers.

2014 Spotlight Artists

Mark Vassallo – Tokyo, JP

For photographer Mark Vassallo, flowers embody perfection. He says: “They bloom seemingly without effort and every stage of their evolution is an expression of complete and perfect beauty.” His approach to flower photography is one of great patience and respect. He views his subjects much like a portrait photographer might see a person. Each flower has her own distinctive character and temperament and is in constant dynamic motion. I observe and continuously shoot the flowers from bud to blossom over the course of several days. They open to the warmth and close to shy away from cold, turning and stretching always toward the light until they eventually give up their petals.

Born London 1971, Mark moved to Japan after leaving St. Martins in 1992. He has claimed many awards for his work—most recently the 2011 Taylor Wessing London Elle Commendation and the 2008 Art Directors Club 87th Annual Awards in New York. His photographs are widely collected and held in numerous private homes, along with Hyatt Hotels, Cohn and Wolfe London and the Kiyosato Museum of Photography.

Mark Vassallo | “#601” | Photography

Carl Karni Bain – New York, NY

Carl Karni Bain | “Candita” | Acrylic & Oil Pastel on Paper | 14" x 11"

Carl Karni Bain (BAI) is represented by Spence Gallery, Toronto, CA. Established in 2005, the Spence Gallery primarily features Canadian artists with cultural heritage from Latin American, the Caribbean or Africa. The gallery celebrates the cultural influences and accomplishments of a group of over 20 core artists, presenting this diversity in Canadian visual arts to the world.

Carl Karni Bain’s art is an ever-evolving exploration of his early fixation with the African mask. The Mask as a symbol that speaks deeply to him has been the vehicle of his artistic expression and, he is certain he will be an on-going inspiration. By using the mask in states of semi-abstraction, BAI’s portraits and figures may appear stoic, but they powerfully communicate a sense of mystery and passion, while awakening a curious impulse in the viewer.

Early exploration of the masters and encouragement and support from art instructors culminated in a Fine Art degree from the California College of Arts and Craft. Since then a combination of persistence, passion and talent has fueled his career as an artist. He has exhibited extensively in the United States and in Canada and Mexico. BAI’s work forms part of the permanent collection of the University of North Carolina, Charlotte and the Harrison Museum of African American Culture.

Jennifer Hannaford – New York City, NY

Jennifer Hannaford is a forensic scientist and an emerging contemporary artist based in New York City. Her underwater series demonstrates a fantastically refreshing new talent – marrying superb technical drawing and painting skills, with her profound understanding of the human form.

In an effort to get in touch with her innate artistic side, Jennifer began her art career with a series of mug shots created entirely with her own finger prints. She recently expanded her subject matter and style to include the underwater series.

As a forensic scientist, Hannaford experienced some of the harsher realities of human nature. Her art allows her to explore beautiful moments of the living experience frozen in time on canvas; life, ascension, and balance. Using sensibilities that were born out of her professional training in forensic science, she understands how the body feels and reacts underwater. When we look at her representational work – we can easily relate it to our own life experiences.

Born in Placerville, California in 1968, Jennifer Hannaford received a Bachelor of Forensic Science from California State University of Sacramento in 1994, and a Masters in Biomedical Forensic Science from Boston University in 2013. As a result of her studies, Jennifer understood that recovered latent fingerprints could potentially be used for the purpose of art authentication. Fascinated by this combination of art and science, her thesis focused on the recovery of fingerprints from the imprimatur (foundational) layer in paintings. Hannaford continues to explore this unique science while she pursues a full time painting career.

Jennifer Hannaford | “Calm” | Oil on Canvas | 20 x 20"

Adelman Fine Art is pleased to represent Jennifer Hannaford and share her talent with collectors worldwide.

Kevin Box – Santa Fe, NM – Exclusive Sculpture Artist

Kevin Box | “Hero’s Horse Monument” | 2014 | Fabricated, powder coated steel

“My work celebrates the delicate nature of paper in museum-quality metal. I began my career as a papermaker, printmaker and graphic designer. The passion I have for paper, the ideas, philosophy and history it has captured for centuries, continued with me when I transitioned into sculpture.” Kevin Box Kevin Box was conceived in New Mexico, born in Pennsylvania, grew up in Oklahoma and received his higher education in Georgia, New York City and Texas. He now resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his wife Jennifer. As a boy he lived in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, beneath “the tree that escaped the crowded forest,” Frank Lloyd Wright’s only built skyscraper. Throughout high school Box studied graphic arts and apprenticed summers at an Uncles design firm in Atlanta Georgia. It was in there that Box’s passion for creativity was developed, where he formed his relationship with design and with paper.

Kevin begins every piece with a blank sheet of paper and manages it through a 35-step, 12-week process of casting with the help of fine art foundry teams. By experimenting directly with paper and wax and working in a lost wax foundry for several years, Kevin developed an “organic burnout” process—specifically for paper—that captures all of its intimate details. The technique took him two years of tireless experimentation to develop and seven years to perfect.

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Art San Diego features a wide platform of cutting-edge programs highlighting established and emerging artists.
Learn more about these specially curated programs and explore all Art San Diego has to offer!

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