2012 CCF Fellows in Visual Art Announced
The 2012 California Community Foundation Fellowships for Visual Artists were announced on Tuesday night at a reception and ceremony hosted by Creative Artists Agency in Century City. Twelve mid-career and eight emerging artists were awarded cash grants of $20,000 and $15,000, respectively, plus opportunities for networking and professional development. The complete roster of fellows can be seen on the CCF website.
I did a write-up for this event which was originally going to appear in the LA Weekly. Unfortunately, the exhibition of the fellows’ work that was supposed to accompany the announcement got cancelled at the last minute due to unforeseen complications, and that also killed the LA Weekly’s interest in the story. CCF doesn’t know if it will mount an exhibition next year; they are weighing various options, including funding a catalog instead of a show.
This year’s list of fellows is a strong one, as it usually is, and features five artists working in performance, some of whom I’ve written about before: Adam Overton, Emily Mast, Heather Cassils, Micol Hebron, and Yoshie Sakai. Since the list is kept secret in advance of the ceremony, it was a lovely surprise to walk in and see so many friends in attendance. Past fellows like Elana Mann and Nancy Popp were also there to lend support, along with donors and panelists like Leila Hamidi, Aandrea Stang, and Sandra de la Loza.
The event felt incredibly warm, convivial, and supportive; people spent the night networking, catching up, and talking about all the events that CCF has planned for the grantees, like the weekend-long professional development retreat in the fall. I couldn’t help but think about how different this was from corporate-sponsored award events like the one for the Hugo Boss Prize, which one recent attendee told me was crass and strictly a promotional vehicle for the company.
2011 fellow Alexandra Grant gave an impassioned and funny “testimonial” speech addressed to the new grantees. Here are a few highlights: “Like most artists, my cash flow is more cash ebb than cash flow, and the idea of being given a sum with no strings attached was literally hallucinatory. Receiving the CCF grant created a new imaginary space for me. The confidence that was given to me was invaluable… Money is energy, and you are about to be given a lump sum of freedom, a gift of unfettered imagination and a mega-watted community of co-travelers. Arts philanthropy does work!”