Beyond its beaches and spectacular sunsets, Puerto Peñasco is a community full of artists and active cultural event promoters. For a third year in a row, this past Saturday evening the annual Eddie Awards recognized many of these diverse accomplishments from 2014 during a night of music, good spirits, and good friends. The stage for this year’s Eddie awards was once again the rustic yet well-dressed building just across the street from the eclectic furniture and design center, Eddie Wharez Diseños y Casas Jardín , where the first Eddie’s had been held in 2013.
What began three years ago as a way to celebrate the shop’s 10th anniversary (and originally christened the “fiesta awards”) has become a welcome January tradition, encouraging both local and visiting artists to launch into a new year of activities!
The gala evening at this year’s Eddie’s included emcees Isabel Saborith and Martin Martínez, along with musical offerings by the Academia de Música de Puerto Peñasco, local aspiring singer Rabél Durán, ballads by Veronica Franko, along with saxophonist Richard Scott.
The Eddies themselves have grown from two categories in 2013, to 7 in 2014, and now 8 for 2015 – with much discussion amongst the judges as to the value of adding further categories in the future – but that’s all up to Eddie. Eddie has also made a habit of awarding honorary Eddie’s, and honorable mentions, given the wealth of artistic talent and contributions to Puerto Peñasco by so many!
And the Eddie goes to…….
Lifetime Achievement Award: Amaranto Celaya Celaya – Celaya, originally from Altar, Sonora where he was born November 4th, 1944, has served in various capacities in Puerto Peñasco including as administrator with the CFE (Federal Electricity Commission), Mason, baseball player – coach and aficionado, journalist, poet, writer, and visionary.
Artist of the Year: Manuel Martínez “The Sand Man” – was chosen amongst a very selective group. In 2014 Martínez displayed some of his work in Paris, as well as in Alamos, Valle de Guadalupe and Arizona. He is recognized for having broken barriers and taken the name of Puerto Peñasco to other parts of the world.
Artisan of the Year: Alma Yanez – In 2014 Alma completed her project of huge sculptures made with recycled materials and was also chosen because of her dedication to raising awareness and teaching about recycling through art.
Youth Artist of the Year: Rabél Durán – This young singer from a musical family was chosen as in 2014 in addition to promoting a city-wide singing competition he also organized his own December concert and contributed to other activities in town, including the annual Pastorela.
Group Artist of the Year: Destiny Dance Academy – In 2014 this local dance company once again performed at Disneyland, being the only group from Mexico to do so two years in a row. In addition, various of their dancers won awards at the annual Hollywood Dance competition held in Arizona and the company performed The Nutcracker ballet for a second successful year in town with some of the proceeds going to the local DIF.
Visiting Artist in 2014: Canadian filmmaker Lisa Ovies provided an intense week in Puerto Peñasco of sharing her craft through workshops for adults, as well as visits to area schools, press conferences, and the presentation of both a short and documentary that she has produced.
Cultural Promotor of 2014: Luis Lugo – During 2014 Lugo brought singers from other parts of the country to Puerto Peñasco, including trovadores David Aguilar, Yahir Duran and Leonel Soto. He also supported other cultural events through both his time and talent.
Honorary Eddies: The honorary Eddies are not given by the judges, as they are decided upon solely by Eddie Wharez.
An honorary Eddie this year was awarded to photographer, painter, film connoisseur, and cultural promoter Socorro Gonzalez Barajas for his amazing work on behalf of the arts and culture of Rocky Point.
A second honorary Eddie was presented to The Rocky Point Times Newspaper for their excellent work over the past 22 years in promoting the best of Rocky Point. This Eddie was received by Mrs. Sandra O’Hare of the Rocky Point Times.
Artisan group – Artesanos en Movimiento (Wendy Fregozo, Alma Yanez, and Ricardo Monjaraz) for their drive in 2014 to envision a group for artisans to support each other while making it possible to participate in different events locally and outside of Puerto Peñasco. Each of these three artists were nominated separately in the Artisans category.
Cultural Promotors – Russ & Naomi Black were recognized for their tireless efforts of promoting local artisans in Puerto Peñasco through creation of the Mermaids Arts Market, as well as the numerous ways they have both provided support for the arts in town. Naomi’s own “upcycled” garments and seaside art were also prominent throughout 2014, including presentation of her flamenco dresses at the Annual Tucson Flamenco Festival. Both Russ and Naomi had been nominated separately for an Eddie as Artisan (Naomi) and Cultural Promotor (Russ.)
Congratulations to this year’s nominees and Eddie winners in all categories!
Lifetime Achievement Recognition
Rosalina Mendoza Pérez – painter
Amaranto Celaya Celaya – writer, journalist, chronicler (Eddie 2015)
Jesus Mata Bustamante – painter
Valdemar Arrieta Romero (RIP – In 2013 the Eddie Awards were dedicated to this beloved musician)
Ma. Elisa Sanchez – artistry in tiles, art instructor
Alma Yanez – art through use of recycled materials (Eddie 2015)
Ricardo Monjaraz – iron work artist
Mariana Clemente – shell art
Susana Navarrete – clothing designer
Diana Jiménez – jeweler
Carmen Valdez – embroidered artistry
Wendy Fregozo – candle artistry
Sarimar Martinez – (also in youth category, art with recycled materials and rock art)
Gina Flores – jeweler
Francisco Orihuela – iron wood carver artisan
Naomi Black – upcycling art and garments
Javier Cardenas – artisan with recycled materials
Manuel Martinez – sand art (Eddie 2015)
Angelica Sotomayor – dance instructor (Fan Favorite 2015)
Rey David Montes – painter
Julieta Olalde – painter
Fernando Colores – musician, writer, painter, photographer
Romina Vega – writer
Izrael Rios García – air spray artist, painter
Ariel González – photographer
Jordan Pino – painter
Omar Zamudio – painter
Estephany Cota – filmmaker and documentarian
Ricardo Victor Sanchez – painter, paint instructor
Getzemanih Lozano – photographer
Daniel Lopez – photographer
Ernest Leyva – dance, exercise instructor
Luis Eduardo Barón “El Pistolero del Amor” – singer/songwriter, filmmaker, actor
Myreya Moreno Corona – journalist and photographer
Randy Vega – singer, actor, poet
Socorro González Barajas – photographer
Manny Sanchez – photographer
Hiram Peña – photographer and writer
Lourdes Rivera – make-up artist
Youth Artist nominees
Rabél Durán – singer (Eddie 2015)
Cindy Duran Fregozo – photographer
Crisbel Castro Salazar – photographer
Fausto Soto – aspiring filmmaker
Group Artist nominees
Destiny Dance Academy (Eddie 2015)
Tres en Punto
Visiting Artist nominees
Lisa Ovies – filmmaker (Eddie 2015)
Imanol Caneyada – journalist and writer
Rosa Vila Font – actress
Leonel Soto – trovador, singer
Yahir Duran – trovador, singer
David Aguilar – trovador, singer
Stacey Joy (& Matheu DeSilva) – singer
Mark Mulligan – singer
Roberto Ledesma – sculptor
Cultural Promoter nominees
Maria Conchita Peralta
Luis Lugo (Eddie 2015)