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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                    
June 8, 2009          

For More Information, Contact:
Keith Weissglass 650-688-6384


– State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) today announced his selection of Campbell-based painter Sonya Paz as the Eleventh Senate District Artist of the Year.

Sonya Paz is a successful contemporary painter whose work hangs in galleries across the country. Born and raised in the South Bay, Paz designs and sells artwork from her newly-expanded studio and gallery in downtown Campbell.

Paz’s artistic style is inspired by cubist style elements and the Pop Art movement. Her vividly colored acrylic paintings evoke her California roots and optimistic perspective.

“Sonya’s passion for life is contagious,” said Simitian in announcing the award. “Each of her paintings is brimming with enthusiasm. It’s hard to walk out of Sonya’s gallery without a smile on your face.”

“I am honored to receive this wonderful award from Senator Simitian,” said Paz. “The expansion and the growth of my studio and gallery in Downtown Campbell has been truly exceptional, and it means a lot to me to have such genuine positive feedback.”

Simitian will honor Paz at a free community reception on Friday, June 19 at 5:30 p.m. The event will take place in Paz’s gallery at 195 East Campbell Avenue in Campbell, and coincides with the monthly Downtown Campbell ArtWalk.

“I’m pleased to recognize Sonya with this award not just because she paints great pictures, but because of the example she sets,” said Simitian, who acknowledged the difficulty of selecting just one of his district’s many talented artists. “Especially during challenging times such as these, being both selfless and successful is an inspiration to folks from all walks of life.”

In addition to her artistic pursuits, Paz frequently volunteers her talent to support the local community. In February, Paz and a fellow artist held a three day “painting marathon” to paint nine original murals in the new Humane Society of Silicon Valley’s (HSSV) animal habitats.

“I’m a true animal lover, so when asked to donate my time for this opportunity, I didn’t hesitate to accept,” said Paz, who also donated artwork to the City of Campbell for the downtown street banners that now decorate the business district. “I’m a firm believer that giving back to your community is essential.”

Neil Collins, President of the Downtown Campbell Business Association and owner of Trailsloggers, also praised Paz’s involvement and ability to get things done. “Sonya works her tail off,” said Collins. “She’s one of those rare people who is both a savvy businesswoman and a creative thinker. We’re very glad to have her.”

The Senate established the Artist of the Year award in 1997 to recognize contemporary California artists.  Each Senator selects an artist from his/her district to exhibit their artwork in the State Capitol for a year. 

In addition to showcasing Paz’s work in the State Capitol, the Senate has included her biography and an image of her work in its contemporary art collection catalogue. 

WHAT:        Community reception honoring Sonya Paz, 11th Senate District Artist of the Year, hosted by State Senator Joe Simitian

WHEN:        Friday, June 19, 2009
                5:30 – 7:00 p.m. (during the Downtown Campbell ArtWalk)

WHERE:      Sonya Paz Fine Art Gallery
                195 East Campbell Avenue
                Campbell, CA

Light refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to the public.

For questions about the award or the community reception, please call (650) 688-6384 or (408) 277-9460. To view Sonya Paz’s art, visit


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