Artist of the Year

Over the last 36 years, the Santa Cruz County Arts Commission has selected outstanding artists nominated by the public and has honored them through the Artist of the Year Award. The Artist of the Year award is presented for outstanding achievement in the discipline of performing, visual, and literary arts. Nominees must be a resident of Santa Cruz County and must have: a national or international reputation, contributed to the cultural enrichment of the local community, and created or presented work in Santa Cruz County.
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Annie Morhauser
Santa Cruz County 2022 Artist of the Year

Learn about Annie Morhauser's history and work below.

Annie Morhauser has been named 2022 Artist of the Year by the Santa Cruz County Arts Commission. The Artist of the Year award 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. A free Profile Performance will be held in the Art Forum at Cabrillo College on October 22, 2022 from 7:00-9:00 p.m.  Please check here again in late-summer 2022 for more information.


Annie Morhauser is the founder of Annieglass, a highly successful line of glass tableware sold worldwide. Handcrafting her glassware in Santa Cruz County since 1983, Annie developed her company throughout the years to become one of the largest and most successful American glass studios. By combining skills as a designer, artisan, and businesswoman, she has been able to build a highly regarded brand as well as a successful company. Annie’s work is in the collections of such noted museums as the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow, Scotland, and the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York. Annieglass can be purchased in the finest stores, hotels and resorts in the country, and is collected by chefs, celebrities, bridal couples and many loyal local customers.

Annie has accomplished something rare: crossing over into the commercial world while tenaciously retaining her fine art approach. Her downtown Santa Cruz store was one of the first to reopen after the 1989 earthquake. Next year, in 2023, she will celebrate 40 years of creating sculptural glassware with her skilled team of artisans. The Annieglass studio, originally 400 square feet in the Old Sash Mill, is now a manufacturing facility of more than 16,000 square feet in Watsonville. Twice each year a new collection is introduced. Annieglass has invigorated the ancient craft of glassmaking with new technology and original design. In 2017, Annie launched The Craftbar, hosting a variety of workshops in arts and crafts, which functions as a community beacon. The Annieglass retail store is connected to the factory and is run by her daughter, Ava Reinhold; it offers all of the Annieglass collections as well the work by other well-known and local craft artists. Annie serves as an advisor and trustee on the board of her alma mater, the California College of the Arts, where she was a scholarship student.

Over 400 non-profits annually receive cash and in-kind donations, including Jacob's Heart, Girls Inc., Digital Nest, Planned Parenthood of Mar Monte, Salud Para La Gente, Watsonville Film Festival, Second Harvest Food Bank, and the Museum of Art and History. Over 40 scholarships have been awarded to students in need. The Santa Cruz community has been very supportive and generous to Annieglass, Annie and her family. Her son, Taylor Reinhold, recently directed the Sea Walls Santa Cruz murals and follows in the family footsteps of art and community service.

Artist of the Year Nominations

Learn about the nomination process for Artist of the Year!

Nominee Criteria
Nominees must meet the criteria established by the Commission:
  • Must be nominated by a resident of Santa Cruz County
  • Artist must reside in Santa Cruz County
  • Artist must have a national or international reputation/standing
  • Artist must have contributed to the cultural enrichment of the local community
  • Artist must have created or presented work in Santa Cruz County
Nomination Process


The Artist of the Year program is sponsored by the Santa Cruz County Arts Commission
and the County of Santa Cruz Department of Parks, Open Space and Cultural Services.

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