Foundation Announces Recipients of Leff-Davis Award

Two local artists receive the prestigious award to support their work

Artists Ianna Frisby and Mark Abildgaard were recently awarded the Foundation’s highly competitive Leff-Davis Fund for Visual Artists award, given to professional visual artists in the Sacramento region who demonstrate exceptional talent.

Ianna Frisby

“This award recognizes the rich artistic talent in our region, which Ianna’s and Mark’s portfolios demonstrate beautifully,” said Priscilla Enriquez, the Foundation’s Chief Giving Officer. She noted that a panel of local arts professionals selected the awardees from over 50 applications submitted by area artists.

Frisby will use her $7,000 award to develop large-scale ceramic sculpture, furthering her commitment to “transform banal, reproduced objects into something more visually and conceptually unique,” she says. Her artwork is inspired by the humor she finds in everyday discarded objects—from supermarket styrofoam meat trays to fashion models on sewing pattern covers.

Mark Abildgaard

Abildgaard will use his $5,000 award to expand the scale of his glass sculptures, which combine ancient forms with his personal experiences, maintaining a connection to the past while expressing “a sense of the immediacy of the moment when glass, light, and color interact,” he says.

The Leff-Davis Fund was created by avid art collector Dr. Emily Leff to support professional visual artists who devote themselves to producing art in the Sacramento region. It complements the Foundation’s commitment to ensuring the Sacramento region’s creative community thrives, the essential objective of one of the Foundation’s Strategic Initiatives aiming to create long-term region-wide prosperity, Transforming the Creative Economy.