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Best Local Artist--Visual

Way Station

READERS' PICK: Oh, dear readers. Are you really so culturally bereft that you have to pick a cover band as Best Visual Artist? You've left us very confused. We suspected ballot-stuffers, the lowest form of life on the planet. But you might have been too sneaky for us; our judges couldn't disqualify you in good conscience. So, what's visual here, except some hard-rock guys with big hair and '80s T-shirts? Way Station members don't writhe on their backs, bust up their guitars, emerge from smoke bombs or otherwise engage in stage pyrotechnics. Perhaps we have entered a post-modern era, in which the parameters of categories are becoming more fluid. If so, we hope to see a spate of interesting results in the future. Maybe the frijoles at El Minuto could win as Best Architecture.

READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP:Arizona Daily Star cartoonist David "Fitz" Fitzsimmons.

STAFF PICK: Painter Bailey Doogan, who shows regularly at Etherton Gallery, has made a specialty of painting women's real-life bodies, the seams and folds of their middle-aged flesh lovingly rendered. If there's dissonance in her painting style--her figures are rendered with Old Masters' precision, while her backgrounds are ambiguous modernist spaces, eerily lighted--it's all part of Doogan's intention to chart woman's uneasy place in the culture. A longtime painting professor at the University of Arizona, Doogan often usurps the sacred images of her Catholic girlhood and the profane slogans of Madison Avenue, where she worked as a young commercial artist. These disparate elements add up to works of astonishing honesty, which horrifies some viewers and strikes a chord with others. Her meticulous renderings of older female flesh have not exactly made Doogan a fortune, though they've won her a devoted following and she shows in such respected venues as the Alternative Museum in New York City. And, we hear from students, she's one of the best and most supportive profs in the art department.

Case History

1998 Winner: David Tineo
1997 Winner: Jim Waid
1996 Winner: Gail Marcus-Orlen

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