Alta Journal and its contributors had a big night in Los Angeles on Sunday, receiving 16 awards at the Los Angeles Press Club’s National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards, including first-place wins for Alta books editor David L. Ulin’s criticism and for creative director John Goecke’s page layout for Issue 21’s Made in California section. Also among the winners were Alta regular contributors Gustavo Arellano, Carla Blank, Robert Ito, Jim Lewis, James Ransome, and Stacey Grenrock Woods.
In awarding Goecke first-place honors for Page Layout, the judges praised the Made in California section’s “perfect combination of photos, headlines and typography,” adding that “the clean, colorful layout allows each story to shine individually, yet they tie together in a cohesive unit.” That issue was a celebration of Golden State makers of all sorts. First-place winner Ulin was cited for going “well beyond the mere book review.” An archive of Ulin’s work can be found here.
In the category of Illustration, a first-place citation went to Ransome for his Issue 23 portrait of Alene Lee, better known as Mardou Fox to readers of Jack Kerouac’s The Subterraneans. Thomas Ehretsmann was nominated in the same category for his Issue 21 portrait of M.F.K. Fisher, which took home the third-place honor.
The story accompanying Ehretsmann’s image of Fisher, Lewis’s “She Was Not a Food Writer,” took the top honor in the Obituary/In Appreciation category, with the judges declaring that “Lewis paints an incredibly rich portrait of a fascinating writer, MFK Fisher, who is less known and celebrated than her peers.”
Receiving a first-place win in the category of Visual Arts/Architecture Feature was Jason Asenap for his piece about land art from Issue 22, “Hubris in Art Form.” The judges described the article as “an absorbing feature by Asenap on how a larger art-architecture movement can overpower another culture.” (The same piece won second place in the category of Commentary Analysis/Trend.)
Other top winners included Kathleen Ok-soo Richards for her profile of Creem magazine’s Jaan Uhelszki, Sean Wilsey for his (auto)biographical look at former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, Ito for his Q&A with Heath Ceramics studio director Tung Chiang, and Arellano for his piece about guitar-string maker Gabriel Tenorio.
Also taking home citations were Woods for “A City of Dreams,” Sam Wasson for “Hollywood’s Ultimate Concern,” Tod Seelie for photos accompanying “The Joy of a Great Desert Biker Bar,” Hunter Drohojowska-Philp for “The Real Worlds of Alexis Smith,” and Blank for “Public Purpose, Public Art.”
“We’re thrilled by this recognition from the L.A. Press Club of the outstanding words, photos, illustrations, and design from our extremely talented contributors,” says Blaise Zerega, editorial director at Alta. “It’s an honor to be included in this celebration of arts and entertainment journalism. Congrats to all the winners!”
See the full list of winners here.•