Blairsville, Pennsylvania Award of Excellence: $2,000 Age: 25 "Art lets me express things I cannot communicate any other way. Art saved my life, and I do not want to imagine where I would be without it." Sonya Seitz is a mixed media artist that uses anything and everything in the way of materials and found objects to create her art installations. Seitz, who was diagnosed with lupus at the age of 11, credits her disability as the spark behind most of her work, and the act of creating is her vent for living and coping. Seitz's piece is an installation documenting a performance from 2009. In it, the artist dressed in a long, tubular gown representing a bodily organ with which Seitz interacted, twisting and winding about, ultimately accepting the form as a part of herself. The installation photographs provide a record of the actual performance, while the shell of the fabric "organ" r ains for our view. Seitz holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Art from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.