Before local artist Joseph "Sentrock" Perez packs his bags and heads for Chicago for art school, he says it's time for some payback.
"I've been given a lot by the communty," says Sentrock, who won New Times' Big Brain Award in 2011 and was nominated for a Governor's Arts Award for his involvement with The Rise Project in 2012. "That means a huge deal to me. So I wanted to find a similar way to recognize and support local artists."
He says a few months ago, he thought of organizing an award for emerging artists. "Whenever my friends asked what I was up to, I was always making work -- I'd just say I was 'steady grindin' ... I guess the name just stuck."
He chose six local artists based on current work, and from those six, he's encouraging the public to vote for one artist who will win the Steady Grindin' Award -- a $250 gift card to Arizona Art Supply -- based on four qualifications: progressiveness, originality, work ethic, and community involvement.
Sentrock says he didn't want to create an online voting system, and instead wants community members to visit one of the six local businesses that sponsored the award, including Bunky Boutique, Fair Trade Cafe, The Sweetness, Imagine That!, The Lab, and Arizona Artist Supply. d
Starting this Friday, each location will have a box with the Steady Grindin' fliers (pictured left). Check your favorite artist by June 30, when he'll collect the boxes and tally the votes. The winner will be announced "sometime during the evening" he says at the Lost Leaf on July 31.