Calling it the biggest honor of her lifetime, Allan Hancock College fine arts instructor Marti Fast has been selected as the 2014 Santa Maria Arts Council Grants Showcase honoree in recognition of her significant contributions to the local arts community. The Santa Maria Arts Council will award more than $13,000 in grants in Fast’s name to local artists in music, dance, drama and visual arts in mid-May.
“I am blown away by this honor,” said Fast, who has been the college’s art gallery director since 1997 and teaches watercolor, drawing and design classes. “There are so many other deserving people in this community who all support emerging artists, being selected is overwhelming.”
The honor also allows Fast to continue the legacy of her father, Nat Fast, who passed away in late October 2013. Nat Fast was instrumental in the early formation of the fine arts department at Hancock. He was also a co-founder of the Santa Maria Arts Council who believed in creating opportunities for local artists, students and residents.
“I cannot explain in words how much it means to me to know I am able to carry on my father’s mission to encourage, embrace and support emerging artists,” said an emotional Fast. “The only reason we have grants is because people, like my father, had the foresight to lay down the ground work.”
Since 1972, the Santa Maria Arts Council has awarded more than $234,000 to 335 locally trained artists through its grants competition. This year, first and second place grants of $1,500 and $1,000, respectively, will be awarded to individuals in each of the four categories. Three new grants, the Nat. D. Fast Memorial Grant, the Ian M. Hassett Grant, and the LPGA Grant, will be issued this season. Hassett was a 19-year-old emerging artist and fine arts student at Hancock who passed away from lymphoma in 2012.
“Ian’s spirit and passion for life and art came to light in his work,” said Fast, who was one of Hassett’s instructors at Hancock. “Both Ian and my father never lost sight of the connection that art makes with human beings. Art is so powerful and speaks a universal language that does not need any words. I am honored to ensure their love for the arts will live on.”
The grant application deadline is March 21. Applicants must be 12 years or older, attend a grants workshop, and have studied art in northern Santa Barbara County for at least two years. Winners will be honored during the Santa Maria Arts Council Grants Showcase on Monday, May 19, at the Maldonado Community Youth Center.
For more information on the grants or the Santa Maria Arts Council, call Kate Burridge at 805.459.1503 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.