Best Artist 

John Casey

It takes a lot to be a successful artist. It's not just about making great visionary art; it takes persistent, even relentless, community involvement. John Casey, whose uniquely beautiful and often grotesque illustrated figures have been ubiquitous in the Oakland art scene for the past decade, is one such community leader. Having helped form the original group of galleries that became Art Murmur, Casey has consistently displayed a selfless attitude while promoting art in Oakland, including documenting others' shows on his website, leading tours through galleries on Saturday Strolls, and serving on Art Murmur's board of directors. He organized the Flourish event earlier this year at Mua, at which twenty artists produced their work live and sold it on the spot, raising thousands of dollars. Casey's personal art career is on a seemingly unstoppable upward trend: He had his first solo show in Paris last fall and will be having another at LeQuiVive Gallery in Oakland this October.

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