Sudha Hajela: Twenty TwentyX

The Thalassa Award in honor of Professor Panos Koulermos

An artist at heart, Sudha's love for geometry and color led her into a career as an architect and planner...her love for words and imagery leads her to occasionally pen a poem.


The summer of twenty twenty is now past
Days weeks and months in limbo
I wonder has it gone by too fast
As summers tend to do
Or has it been interminably long
“I can’t wait for this year to be gone”

No friends to hug no laughing out loud
No singing no dancing no skipping
Masked, sanitized, shielded, gloved
Carefully breathing in and out
We softly spoke of summers past
Bound within our six foot circles in the park

The sun still curved across the sky
The earth spun in its orbit
The moon still did its stealthy dance
And comet Neowise streaked
Across the sequined sky
The cycle of seasons stayed unchanged

The flowers still bloomed and trees still fruited
The birds still built their nests in nooks
No boundaries stopped the wild things
No quarantines in their migrations
Free to roam through the city
Oblivious to our six foot circles in the park


Lightning struck twelve thousand times
There’s smoke and toxins in the air
How quick the summer’s golden light
Has turned to ash raining from above
Now we step out on streets empty and still
While Mars is low on the horizon
Leaves pirouette and softly glide
It’s quiet now there’s no hustle
Come gently, softly, winter rain
Slowly wash out the fog
Creep out old year like a nightmare fade
Uncurl unfurl the new year
Break out breathe in

Summer Past (Oil on Canvas 10' x 10')

Levi Lustman: City and the SensesX

Sketching San Zeno at Midnight Award in honor of Libero Cecchini

Kevan Shaw: "This is simultaneously whimsical and psychologically introspective. A piece that can raise such substantial questions is really of this moment in time and to be savoured and explored at length."

Sadia Mounata: Empathy PlaygroundX

Romano del Nord Award for Multisensorial Environments

What is a city without senses? A city without senses is a city with lack of empathy. Senses are the means to understand what others are feeling.

The proposal is a playground for children to practice empathy to bring back the senses to perceive other beings.

William T. Ayton and Diana Ayton-Shenker: New World CityX

2020 Visionary Award

New World City, a digital cityscape contained within an augmented reality orb, revolving continuously, reassuringly meditative, relentlessly defiant, insistent in its rotation.

Viewers approach and encircle New World City from afar, with caution, curiosity, nostalgia. Coming too close runs risk of contagion; entering NWC risks distorting how we see the AR piece.

New World City, devoid of human life, is both a specter of constraint and yet also hope.

Deb Durant and Sadie Winkelstein: 2020 HindsightX

The Mara Award in honor of Mara Barash-Corabianu

2020 Hindsight was shot entirely in San Francisco and edited by Deb.

The musical score, ‘Bespoken’, is by Flip Baber and made entirely of sounds from a bicycle. Permission by artist.

Daniel Orrantia: City without SensesX

City in My Mind Award

Daniel pushes the boundaries between improvisation and physical theatre, bringing elements of clowning, mime, comics and painting as tools for expression and storytelling.

He has been designing workshops and directing shows for different groups and festivals around the world.

Danielle Siembieda and John Randolph: Resonate GateX

City in My Mind Award

A gate placed along a journey to ignite a sound bath that cleanses the senses. It is a guided meditation or sound ritual along your journey migrating between the real and the simulacra.

The gate opening ignites both analog and digital sounds whose melodies and rhythms can be curated and changed.

The intention is to invite indigenous sound artists and musicians to compose the audio path to share a story, evoke “trans-memory,” and honor the land. The Resonate Gate pathway serves as a power source and a generative platform that enables artists of all media and visitors to partake in a journey infused with mindfulness and imagination, fostering radical self-expression.

The boardwalk’s plinths enable artists, ecologists, spiritualists, and visitors alike to enact their own performances; along the way, each can skip a chapter, slow down or fast forward.

Mark Singer: Haiku SeriesX

The Mara Award in honor of Mara Barash-Corabianu

I tried with a few words to visualize the loss of familiar, recognition, solitude, and the ensuing sadness of our times. Much is different, we hold on to our memories, and face a new time in our lives while patiently waiting for change.


Masked faces pass
On empty city streets Light is shuttered

Social Distance

Plastic walls hide them
Safe distances marked on floors
A mirrored face


Diners under lamps Alone on silent walks Waiting birds gather


Beds pushed along Faces masked and shielded
Slow rhythms of breath

Eletta Naldi, Francesco Cecchi Aglietti & Giovanni StengelX

Beyond the Nutshell: Competition Winners!

How do we perceive a mutilated reality? To what extent can memory lead us?

The senses awaken the past, the memories activate the present. Interior and exterior, closure and architecture, twins and complementary: a journey beyond the shell of a personal prison, through the inner roots of a city autobiography.

Grant Singer: FogX

The Thalassa Award in honor of Professor Panos Koulermos

The city: reduced, compressed, transcoded, a digital impression of our old life.

I used entirely electronic instrumentation to reflect the way our lives have turned towards digital, as memories of the old city (as the sounds of a 1960s tourism video) reverberate through the scene.

There is one element of San Francisco, my city of origin, that will resist the tide of digitization forever: the comforting foghorn, which serves as a pedal tone for the entirety of this piece. Let it guide us, as it guides so many, through this time and into the next, a safe harbor.

Matthew Longoria and Prestin Yonder: Honey WorshipX

Romano del Nord Award for Multisensorial Environments

I wanted to mirror the uncertainty of the time, the empty restaurants and silent streets, the experience of the world halted. I replicated this as song, and I chose a relatable rhythm to begin with. I transposed everyday sounds into elements both familiar and foreign. The result is something both danceable and troubling.

The title “Honey Worship” is inspired by our lust for human experience, and the cavities that remain when we take it for granted. It is my prayer that humanity will learn from this silent shift in our daily lives. The painting is an original 12”x5” acrylic by Prestin Yonder, also titled “Honey Worship”.

Natasha Lipkina: City without SensesX

Sketching San Zeno at Midnight Award in honor of Libero Cecchini