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The Focus-Abengoa Foundation inaugurates the 2006 Focus-Abengoa Painting Prize exhibition

December 27, 2006

Seville, December 27, 2006. - Today, the Focus-Abengoa Foundation inaugurates in its Hospital de los Venerables headquarters, at 20:00 hours, the exhibition of the paintings chosen to compete for the 2006 Focus-Abengoa Painting Prize.

The inauguration ceremony will be presided over by Felipe and Javier Benjumea, co-chairmen of the Foundation and Abengoa. The event will be attended by Garikoitz Cuevas Abeledo, winner of the first prize, and Aurora Perea Macias and Kim Squaglia, winners of the two runner-up prizes. Also attending will be Anabel Morillo Leon, director general of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation and chair of this edition’s jury, who will be accompanied by other members of the jury that was formed by Juan Carrete Parrondo, Juan Fernandez Lacomba, Alfonso E. Perez Sanchez, Guillermo Perez Villalta, and Manuel Sanchez Arcenegui.

The exhibition, which will be open to the public from December 28 to March 4, 2007, will include the twenty-six paintings chosen as finalists for this edition from among the three hundred and seventy four that were initially entered. Of note are the three prizewinning works: "Apóstoles involuntarios" (Unintentional apostles), by Garikoitz Cuevas Abeledo (Cadiz 1968), "Secreto Privado" (Private Secret), by Aurora Perea Macias (Seville, 1978), and "Scend", by Kim Squaglia, (California. USA. 1970).

The highly prestigious Focus-Abengoa Painting Prize has been running for more than twenty years now and is recognized as one of the leading art prizes in Europe and America. This international prize allows the Foundation to renew its commitment to contemporary art and the concerns and desires of its creators by contributing to generating an exchange of artistic experiences beyond our frontiers, while at the same time signifying public recognition for the artists and serving as an incentive in the professional challenge they face.

Created by Abengoa in 1982, the objective of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation is to put Abengoa’s social activity policy into practice. This it does in a non-profit making manner through activities of general interest focused on assistance, educational, cultural, scientific, and technological research and development activities. The Foundation has become a valuable tool in Abengoa’s culture. Not only is it capable of attending to the occupational and human development needs of its workforce, but is also capable of connecting with the new sensitivities of society as a whole by managing, in short, intangible assets the impact of which revert to and are disseminated in the business values and objectives themselves.

Information on the prizewinners

Garikoitz Cuevas Abeledo, Sanlucar de Barrameda (Cadiz), 1968, is a graduate in Fine Arts by the University of Seville, specialized in Painting. In 1992, he received a grant from the Ministry of Culture to study in the Spanish College in Paris and another Artistic Creation Grant from Madrid City Council for the Students’ Residence. Of note among his individual exhibitions are those of 2000 and 2002 in the Pilar Parra Gallery and 2004 in the Trama Gallery, both of which are located in Madrid and that of 2005 in the Isla Habitada Gallery of Cadiz. He has also participated in numerous collective exhibitions in museums such as that of Contemporary Art of Seville, the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Saint Ferdinand in Madrid, of the Espai D’ar Contemporani of Castellon, and in international Contemporary Art fairs such as that of Milan or Arco, where he is a habitual exhibitor since 1996. His work is on exhibition in the National Museum Queen Sophia Arts Center, the Municipal Museum of Madrid, the Museum of Navarra, the Posts and Telegraph Museum, in collections such as those of Unicaja, the Students’ Residence, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Spanish College in Paris, Royal Premier Hotels, Iberdrola-University of Extremadura, or in Foundations such as the Provincial of Culture of Cadiz or the Sorigue Foundation, in Lerida. Of note among the most recent prizes awarded to this artist are the Cape of Gata-Nijar Natural Park International Contemporary Art Biennial Prize (2006), the 9th National Doñana and its surroundings Painting Prize (2005), and the FLC National Painting Prize (2005).

Aurora Pera Macias is a graduate in Fine Arts by the University of Seville where she did her doctorate thesis under the title El concepto de epifanía en el arte (The Epiphany concept in art). She is currently studying to graduate in Art History. She has participated in numerous collective exhibitions and has been awarded second prize in the Department of Public Works and Transport’s 2nd Young Art Competition (2006), Special Mention in the Nerva open air Competition, in Huelva (2005), and the Prize at the first international open air painting competition of Zalamea, in Huelva (2002). She was first finalist in the 10th University of Seville Plastic Arts competition, and selected finalist for the Ateneo of Seville, Arte Forum and the 50th spring exhibition of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Saint Isabel of Hungary (2001).

Kim Squaglia is a graduate (BFA) in Painting and Drawing by the State University of Carolina, and a master (MFA) in Painting by the University of San Antonio, Texas. She has had individual exhibitions in Houston’s Finesilver Gallery (Texas), Aqueous JayJay, in Sacramento, California, the Scend Limn Gallery of San Francisco (California), the Scend Frumkin Gallery of Santa Monica (California) and the Veloce, Finesilver Gallery of San Antonio (Texas). In addition, her works have been included in many collective exhibitions in the United States, noteworthy among which are the Five Painters Platform Gallery of Seattle, Nimbus, Conduit Gallery of Dallas or Populance Blaffer Gallery of Houston. Her prizes include the ArtPace Travel Grant, the Skowhegan Art School Fellowship prize, the exhibition grant from the College of Liberal and Fine Arts, UTSA, or the Travel and Exhibition grant “Intl. Study abroad to Berlin”, UTSA. Her most noteworthy collections include the following: Crocker Art Museum (Sacramento), Nieman Marcus Collection, Microsoft Collection, the Progressive Art Collection, the United States Government – State Department Multiple Embassies or the Texas Research Foundation Park.

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