Annie Morhauser, whose Watsonville-based studio, Annieglass, has become a cornerstone of the Santa Cruz County arts community, has been named the 2022 Artist of the Year by the Santa Cruz County Arts Commission.
She has been making her glassware in Santa Cruz County since 1983. The Annieglass studio, originally 400 square feet in the Old Sash Mill in Santa Cruz, is now a manufacturing facility of more than 16,000 square feet in Watsonville.
Morhauser said she was honored to receive the award.
“At first I assumed they got it wrong and were calling for my son Taylor Reinhold because of his great mural work in Santa Cruz,” she said. “This community has always been the biggest fan of Annieglass. The loyalty has permitted me to live, work and raise a family here. For that I am eternally grateful.”
The studio, which celebrates four decades next year, ships its glass tableware and sculptures to stores worldwide, with her first large-scale customer being luxury retail giant Neiman-Marcus. Her products are also found in Bloomingdales, Barneys and Bergdorf Goodman.
Morhauser studied glassblowing at the College of San Mateo and San Francisco State University before receiving a scholarship to the glass program as a student of Marvin Lipofsky at the California College of Arts and Crafts, now called the California College of the Arts.
She now serves as an advisor and board trustee at that institution.
She has won numerous accolades for her art and has been featured in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Gallery of Modern Art in Scotland and the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York.
Her downtown Santa Cruz store was one of the first to reopen after the 1989 earthquake, despite the destruction of more than four tons of glass in her studio, DeWild said.
Morhauser launched The Craftbar with her daughter, Ava Reinhold. There, they host workshops in arts and crafts.
The studio also donates to several local nonprofits such as Jacob’s Heart Children’s Cancer Support Services, Girls Inc., Digital Nest, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, Salud Para La Gente, Watsonville Film Festival, Second Harvest Food Bank and the Museum of Art and History. More than 40 scholarships have been awarded to students in need.
The Artist of the Year award—now in its 36th year—is presented to local artists for outstanding achievement in the discipline of performing, visual or literary arts who have also made a substantial contribution to the cultural enrichment of Santa Cruz County.
Nominees must be a resident of Santa Cruz County, must have a national or international reputation, must have contributed to the cultural enrichment of the local community and must have created or presented work in Santa Cruz County.
For information, including how to nominate an artist for the award, visit scparks.com.