The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery (LAMAG), and the LAMAG Associates are pleased to announce the City of Los Angeles (C.O.L.A.) Individual Artist Fellowships Visual Arts Exhibition on view at LAMAG from May 19 to July 7, 2013. Awarded each year by DCA, the C.O.L.A. Fellowships honor a spectrum of the City’s most exemplary mid-career artists and support the symbiotic relationship between LA, its artists, its history, and its identity as an international art capital. The C.O.L.A. Performances will be held on June 28, 2013 at 8:00 p.m. at Grand Performances. For more information about the C.O.L.A. Exhibition and Performances, please visit culturela.org.
The 2013 C.O.L.A. award recipients in the visual arts are: Lisa Anne Auerbach, Krysten Cunningham, Ramiro Diaz-Granados, Samantha Fields, Judithe Hernández, Carole Kim, Nery Gabriel Lemus, Rebeca Méndez, and Rebecca Morris. The 2013 C.O.L.A. award recipients in the performing arts are: Malathi Iyengar and Michael White. Admission is free. The C.O.L.A. Exhibition showcases new work by each artist created with the aid of the $10,000 award from DCA.
“The C.O.L.A. Individual Artist Fellowships honor master artists whose accomplishments and work contribute to making Los Angeles a vibrant and unique world art capital,” said Olga Garay-English, Executive Director of DCA. “The awards give DCA an opportunity to invest in these artists and allow them the freedom to produce new and engaging work.”
The 2012-13 C.O.L.A. fellows are well-known and regarded for their past accomplishments. They were selected by two teams of experts for their excellence and diverse contributions to the Los Angeles arts scene:
Lisa Anne Auerbach is multi-faceted visual artist whose wry works include writing, knitting, photography, and political action. They nearly always evoke a quizzical smile from viewers. Her new series of photographs presents frontal (almost vexing) views of super-church facades.
Krysten Cunningham’s artworks demonstrate different conceptual intelligences about geometry, from handicraft to computer science. Her sculptures foster playful, academic, and sometimes spiritual consideration of pattern; and they arouse our delight though strategic tensions like hard-soft, armature-façade, and support-object.
Ramiro Dias-Granados is a creative architect whose rendered ideas demonstrate that profound trans-formation between line and space. He thinks and practices from a deep place where the intersection of vision, perception, content, and atmosphere can generate marvelous beliefs.
Samantha Fields is a master painter whose “metacognitive” process involves placing herself (and us) at a transition between a state of being and a state of experiencing nature. With her C.O.L.A. fellowship, she has continued to deepen an oeuvre of paintings based upon “failed photographs,” which is her term for photographic-studies, as opposed to photographic-artworks. In the past she has gathered these photo-studies by rushing into, rather than away from, fires and storms as a way to docu-experience the power of weather.
Judithe Hernández has had a profound influence on Chicano art as a member of the celebrated East Los Angeles artist collective, Los Four, and on contemporary Los Angeles visual aesthetics through public art by creating a new visual library for the city. Her artworks sometimes look and often feel like religious icons. They appeal to viewer through color and sensuality, emphasizing the human form as the essential construct for symbolically coded and culturally invested storytelling.
Carole Kim is well-known and respected as a performance media artist. She describes her own work as the creation of an “amplified hybrid phenomenological space.” With the same philosophy and a C.O.L.A. fellowship award, she has created an engaging installation to which one must bring imagination and sensory-openness.
Nery Gabriel Lemus constructs poignant objects that act as creative contemporary metaphors linking culture with environment. His personal identity and artistic lexicon give extra emphasis to, or meaning for, Latino-Americans. His C.O.L.A. project is a four-channel video installation with text, inspired by an interview with the great American writer James Baldwin.
Rebeca Méndes is a world traveler and media artist whose meditations on nature capture and keep our attention through lyrical color and composition. Her C.O.L.A. fellowship project is a photo-video installation about pathways and connections linking: the journeys of the Artic Tern (a genus of bird with an amazing global-migration pattern); scientists from ten or more countries; and the artist herself in a remote Norwegian village in the Artic Circle.
Rebecca Morris’ body of work argues for painting to be rigorous, deeply felt, and not without a needed touch of humor by joining independent, stand-alone, and improperly connected forms. She works where form meets drift, ignoring notions of good and bad taste, and exploiting awkward moments as spaces for productive tension. “Altogether, Ms. Morris has got game,” says art critic Roberta Smith in the New York Times. “Her work could be said to combine Mary Heilmann’s rigorous approach to process with Laura Owens’s free sense of historical reference; Frank Stella and Richard Tuttle might also be invoked.”
Malathi Iyengar is the artistic director, choreographer, visual artist, and dancer of Rangoli Dance Company. As one of the LA dance community’s historic leaders, Iyengar seamlessly carries the Indian classical dance form of Bharatanatyam as a vibrant living tradition whose beauty, physicality, and emotional depth offer vast potential to convey timeless stories and new ideas.
Michael White is among the first violinists to play avant-garde jazz as well as jazz-rock fusion. He has been a music innovator for over six decades as composer and performer. His C.O.L.A. fellowship culmination will be the premiere of a multi-violin composition called “Orbit” to be performed by the Michael White Quintet.
In 2013, the artists’ applications were peer-reviewed through a selection process that takes into account the heterogeneous artistic practices reflected in the multi-cultural, interdisciplinary, and sophisticated artistic atmosphere of Southern California. Though stylistically different, the exhibition showcases the excellence, relevance, core ideas, and influence of the visual artists.
C.O.L.A. Visual/Design Arts Fellowships Panelists: Anne Bray, Kathy Gallegos, Tony de los Reyes, John Spiak
C.O.L.A. Performing Arts Fellowships Panelists: Adilah Barnes, Mitch Glickman, Romalyn Tilghman
The C.O.L.A. 2013 website is being designed as a virtual catalogue containing essays and documentation of each artist’s work by groundbreaking graphic designer and previous C.O.L.A. Fellow, Michael Worthington of the collaborative graphic design studio Counterspace.
The 2013 C.O.L.A. Individual Artist Fellowships Exhibition is organized by Scott Canty, Curator and Director of Exhibitions at DCA’s Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery (LAMAG) at Barnsdall Park.
DCA’s Grants Administration Division was formed in 1981 to award grants to LA’s creative community as a response to the overwhelming need to support Los Angeles organizations and artists as key catalysts in the synergy of our society. DCA’s granting process is community driven. Local art experts, educators, and community agents serve as peer panelists for the review of applications. The makeup of these panels changes annually to ensure a fair and broad-minded selection of proposals.