Buffalo Exchange Announces Emerging Artist Winner of Visual Arts Award

Tucson, Ariz., (December 21, 2016) — Buffalo Exchange, a privately owned, family-operated fashion resale retailer based in Tucson, today announced Racheal Rios, a painter,  as the recipient of the 2016 Buffalo Exchange Emerging Artist in Visual Arts Award. As this year’s winner, Racheal will receive a $10,000 cash award during a ceremony on January 11, 2017, at the University of Arizona Poetry Center.

The Buffalo Exchange Arts Award was established by Buffalo Exchange owners Kerstin Block and her late husband Spencer Block to encourage creativity, innovation, and excellence in the arts. Held at the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, this Fund for the Arts has awarded more than $200,000 to individuals in the Southern Arizona art community since 1994.

“We established this award because art plays such an important role in the development of individuals and communities,” says Buffalo Exchange Founder Kerstin Block. “We’re proud to support Racheal, who is an emerging artist in the Tucson community.”

As a native Tucsonan, her first interactions with art were public murals on the south and west sides of town, and reader art submissions in the back of Lowrider magazine. Racheal describes her drawings as a reflection of her relationship with the desert and the things that inhabit it. She primarily works on paper and considers herself a drawer, although she paints as well. As an emerging artist, Racheal makes work because she believes art should be accessible to all people, and should fairly represent all aspects of the community.

Nominators of potential recipients can remain anonymous. This year, the person who nominated Racheal cited her very intriguing and developed vision and mentioned that her artwork speaks on many levels and is full of artistic passion. The nominator wrote that this award would greatly advance her growth and development into the public and outer art-world. “She is truly in the beginnings of the about-to-emerge phase of her career.”

Each year, candidates for Buffalo Exchange’s Arts Award are nominated and selected by two separate panels of experts who are familiar with the Southern Arizona Arts scene.  The focus of the award changes from one year to the next, highlighting emerging artists in the performing arts and visual arts, and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the arts through education, organization, and advocacy.

To learn more about the Buffalo Exchange Fund for the Arts and see a complete list of past recipients, please visit the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona at cfsaz.org.


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About the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona

The Community Foundation for Southern Arizona provides expertise and skilled guidance to help donors give back in ways that are aligned with their charitable and financial goals.  Donors establish charitable funds that join hundreds of other funds under one organizational roof and every year, portions of each fund are used to make grants, scholarships and awards in accordance with each donor’s intentions.  The Board of Trustees oversees the Foundation’s growing community endowment and ensures that donors’ intentions are honored now and forever.  For more information, visit www.cfsaz.org.

About Buffalo Exchange

A pioneer in resale fashion, Buffalo Exchange is a sustainable business that works to protect the environment by reusing and recycling clothing. Customers buy, sell and trade clothing, giving it a second life and reducing clothing pollution and waste. Since its beginning in 1974, this family-operated company has grown to 49 stores in 20 states. More information about the company can be found on its website, BuffaloExchange.com.