UCSC faculty and alumni win Rydell Visual Arts Fellowships from Santa Cruz Community Foundation

UCSC Theater Arts dance lecturer Cid Pearlman

UCSC Theater Arts dance lecturer Cid Pearlman is the recipient of a 2021 Rydell Visual Arts Fellowship from Community Foundation Santa Cruz County.


A dance lecturer and two alumni from the UC Santa Cruz Arts Division have been awarded Rydell Visual Arts Fellowships for 2020 and 2021 from Community Foundation Santa Cruz County.

The awardees for 2020 are alumni Ann Altstatt (Digital Arts and New Media MFA, 2018) and Edward Ramirez (Fine Arts, 2015). 

For 2021, the winners are Theater Arts lecturer Cid Pearlman and Marc D’Estout (who served for a decade as director of art and design at UCSC Extension). 

The four Santa Cruz County artists were selected from a pool of 59 visual artists. Each fellowship recipient receives a $20,000 award to further their artistic career. 

The Rydell fellowships were established by long-time Santa Cruz cultural icons Roy and Frances Rydell in 1985 to promote Santa Cruz County artists and arts organizations and are administered by the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County. Following their passing, their estate was bequeathed to the Foundation, with the proceeds of the sale helping to grow the fund to its current level of over $2 million. 

The fellowships help individual visual artists pursue their creative work and are made solely on the merits of their artistry and not tied to the completion of any specific projects. 

“With each round of fellows, we feel Frances and Roy looking over our shoulders as we have the privilege to be the custodians of their creative legacy,” said Susan True, the Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer. “We repeatedly see how this program enriches our community and allows local artists to have meaningful support to undertake their work.” 

Theater arts lecturer Cid Pearlman creates work that subtly disrupts traditional notions of desire, gender and friendship. Inspired by the resilience, fragility, and resourcefulness of the human body, her dance installations consider how we negotiate being together in a complex world. Pearlman’s work has been shown at numerous venues including ODC Theater, Joyce SoHo, Kanuti Gildi SAAL (Estonia), Getty Center, Santa Cruz MAH, Stockholm City Hall, and the Museum of Contemporary Art/San Diego. Her evening-length performance installation High Fall received a Lester Horton Award for Visual Design in 2002. small variations, with an original score by Joan Jeanrenaud, was nominated for two Horton Awards in 2006 and an Isadora Duncan Award in 2019.

Alumnus Edward M. Ramirez is a photographer and printmaker whose work addresses societal issues that challenge us in the world today. Born and raised in South Los Angeles to a working-class Salvadoran family, his early experiences and his family’s work ethic shaped and influenced his work and his commitment to social justice and equality. His work has been exhibited at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, and the Sesnon Gallery, and at the Watsonville Public Library, where he displayed his large-scale, site-specific work on its exterior walls. A double major at UC Santa Cruz, Ramirez earned a bachelor’s degree in both Fine Arts and Sociology. Since 2016, he has served as a board member of the Santa Cruz Art League.

Alumna Ann Altstatt is an interdisciplinary artist whose work explores geologic and non-linear time, the intersections of scientific inquiry and mysticism, and the hidden stories of everyday objects. Altstatt graduated from the Digital Arts and New Media MFA program at UCSC in 2018 and additionally, has undergraduate degrees in art and geology, plus a graduate certificate in science illustration. Altstatt has participated in numerous regional shows, including Earth/Science/Art in 2012, the 2015 Ebb and Flow River Arts Festival, and Indexical’s Melt Me into the Ocean in 2018, and has been a founding collective member at The Fábrica since 2010.

Over several decades of his art career, multi-disciplinary artist Marc D’Estout  has transitioned from a conceptual-based installation artist to a maker of odd objects steeped in metaphor. He has maintained both curatorial and design practices and worked in arts education. Most recently, D’Estout was curator at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco. Additionally, he has served as Director for Art and Design for UCSC Extension, and as curator and exhibit designer for the Monterey Museum of Art and Triton Museum of Art. His work has shown at museums and galleries nationwide.