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CONTACT: Bruce Smith
Public Information Officer
(310) 434-4209
DATE: June 22, 2004

Art Professor Gets Grant for Digital Fine Art Research


Marian Winsryg, Santa Monica College art professor and gallery director best known for her work with fine art and digital technology, has been named the recipient of the first Sam Francis/Martin Sosin Chair of Excellence.

Winsryg receives $5,000 a year for each of the next three years to be used for projects of her choice that will enhance her teaching. She plans to use the funds to get the latest training and do research in the use and impact of digital technologies in fine art.

“I cannot think of a more worthy recipient of this Chair of Excellence,” said SMC President Dr. Piedad F. Robertson. “Not only is she a gifted artist and distinguished teacher, she has been on the cutting-edge of the use of technology in fine art, developing and teaching new digital courses at SMC. She has become keenly aware that digital technologies are rapidly changing, and she plans to keep current through research and training at leading digital imaging workshops and programs.”

This is the fifth chair of excellence established at SMC. The others are in physical science, biology, music and earth science. Such awards – believed to be rare for a community college – are administered by the SMC Foundation and are funded from the interest earned on the endowments.

The chair of excellence in art was established through the contributions of Sosin, a retired Santa Monica attorney, as a tribute to the prominent abstract painter who spent

much of his career and life in Santa Monica. Sosin, Francis’ business manager and close friend from 1962 until Francis’ death in 1994, has many Francis paintings in his private collection, which were exhibited at SMC last October.

Winsryg has taught at SMC since 1987 and has served as the college’s Pete & Susan Barrett Art Gallery director since 1999. Her work has been exhibited throughout the U.S., including the Cincinnati Art Museum, San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, San Jose Art Museum and Roswell Museum of Art in New Mexico. Her work was included in the acclaimed "Game of Chance" exhibit that traveled throughout the nation.

She has won several awards and grants, including the Artist-in-Residence Grant in painting from the Roswell Museum of Art and a travel grant from SMC to draw and photograph animals on Galapagos Islands. She is represented in collections throughout the country, including Valley National Bank in Phoenix, Ariz. and Roswell Museum of Art. Her work has appeared in several publications on animal art, she has extensive experience as a curator, and she has taught and lectured throughout the country.

Winsryg, of West Los Angeles, earned her bachelor’s degree in art education from Arizona State University and a master’s of fine arts from the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles.

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