Dr. Art Tobias is presented “Artist of the Year” by the Art Alliance of Idyllwild President Donna Elliot.
Photo by Neil Jenkins

Idyllwild artist Dr. Art Tobias was recognized for his talents and participation with the Art Alliance of Idyllwild (AAI) last Thursday night at Mountain Pottery during their Meet and Mingle event.

Tobias was chosen as “2019 Artist of the Year.” Nancy Jones and Bruce Watts were also presented with “Volunteer of the Year” awards, recognizing their hard work throughout 2019. All of the awards were designed and created by glass artist Scott Finnell.

“My time volunteering in the arts is an incredible way to allow students’ original thought and expression, giving them time to use their voice,” Jones stated. “That is so important to me and that is why I give back to smARTS and the Art Alliance of Idyllwild. This was a joy to receive in knowing my time and effort is appreciated and acknowledged.”

Watts also commented about his award saying, “I won my award by volunteering at the Courtyard Gallery on Saturdays. Having an AAI gallery is important to the local art community and I am proud to be a part of the effort.”

Dr. Art Tobias’ bust of George Appel, one of the pieces that won several ribbons at the AAI judged art shows. Photo by Donna Elliot

To be chosen as “Artist of the Year,” artists must participate in AAI judged shows, be in good standing with AAI and submit their original art creations to the AAI judged shows. Each ribbon has a point value and whoever wins ribbons with the highest point value is awarded as Artist of the Year.

“It’s a wonderful feeling to think my peers thought about the value of me and my work up here,” Tobias said. “I was surprised and gratified.”

Tobias won the “People’s Choice” award at two judged shows in 2019, as well as multiple other ribbons for his work.

AAI President Donna Elliot said, “Art Tobias has been a member of the AAI since February 2018. Since then, he has taken part in the AAI’s judged art shows and other exhibitions. The quality of his artwork ranges from the quirky to that demonstrating the highest of technical skills. His bust of George Appel captures George’s essence and character. It was one of the pieces that won several ribbons at one of the AAI judged art shows.”

Some of Tobias’ work is now on display at the Courtyard Gallery, which is now closed indefinitely due to COVID-19. 

“We are honored to have some of Art’s pieces in the gallery,” said Cynthia Grady, Courtyard Gallery manager. “Visitors are in awe of his craftsmanship. Art [Tobias] also volunteers at the gallery, sharing his time and knowledge with visitors.”

Tobias continues to share his talents and artistic vision with the community and the community recognizes it. Congratulations to Dr. Tobias for his recognition.