Lauren Bon and The Metabolic Studio: Bending the River, 2022.  Co-curated by Fulcrum Arts and Pitzer College Art Galleries.
Lauren Bon and The Metabolic Studio: Bending the River, 2022. Co-curated by Fulcrum Arts and Pitzer College Art Galleries.

Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts Continues Organizational Support Grants for the Third Year

LOS ANGELES, CA., April 6, 2023 –The Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts announced today the recipients of its third year of Organizational Support Grants, an unrestricted grant that was established to address the immediate and pressing needs of Los Angeles County arts organizations in the face of the pandemic. This year, the grantees—five of which are receiving a grant from the Foundation for the first time—were selected based on an upcoming project and need, reflecting an increasing return to in-person events and performances. The Organizational Support Grants honor the late artist Mike Kelley’s philanthropic legacy by supporting organizations whose ambitions are as innovative and multifaceted as Kelley’s own practice. This year’s grantees are the Armory Center for the Arts, Avenue 50 Studio, Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center, Feminist Center for Creative Work, Fulcrum Arts, Human Resources, The Industry, LA River Public Art Project, Los Angeles Filmforum, Los Angeles Nomadic Division, JOAN, LA Artcore, Los Angeles Poverty Department, Pieter Performance Space, Vincent Price Art Museum Foundation, and Velaslavasay Panorama.

“The impressive list of 2023 grantees all share the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts’ core values of risk-taking and provocation. Each grantee has accomplished critical work in the face of tremendous challenges over the past few years, and we are encouraged by their movement and commitment toward furthering safe in-person programming throughout Los Angeles County. We are heartened that these organizations also foster resources and spaces for communities, and it is our honor to award unrestricted funds to these sixteen vital organizations,” said Mary Clare Stevens, Executive Director of the Foundation.

This year's grant awards range from $10,500 to $30,000 and target small and mid-size institutions. The recipients span a wide range of disciplines including dance, performance, poetry, multimedia art and music. “We are so grateful for the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts’ continued support for experimental and interdisciplinary arts organizations,” remarked Robert Crouch, Executive and Artistic Director of Fulcrum Arts. “Los Angeles has long established itself as a proving ground for the radical and the new, and the Mike Kelly Foundation for the Arts is one of a handful of funders that have made a long term investment in speculative and transgressive art practices.” For their project Procession, Fulcrum Arts will collaborate with Indigenous artists on a performance that traces the geographic and cultural memory of Los Angeles through the legacy of the Los Angeles River (Paayme Paxaayt), focusing on water and resources in Southern California, while supporting the visions of artists and cultures that have been here for thousands of years.

Other projects include artist Kang Seung Lee's current solo exhibition The Heart of A Hand at the Vincent Price Art Museum, which pays homage to Goh Choo San (1948–1987), a Singaporean-born choreographer who died in 1987 at the age of thirty-nine from an AIDS-related illness. Central to the exhibition is the multi-channel video installation created in collaboration with contemporary dancer and choreographer Joshua Serafin, which will elicit Goh's absent body while also evoking the presence manifested in his work. Avenue 50 will present The Politics of Portrayal: Three Generations of Chicana Portraiture in Los Angeles, featuring six well-known painters from in and around Los Angeles, including Barbara Carrasco.

The 2023 grantees were selected by a jury that included an independent panel review by Taylor Renee Aldridge, Visual Arts Curator at California African American Museum; Michael Ned Holte, Faculty at CalArts, independent curator, and writer; Clara Kim, Chief Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs at MOCA; Alexandro Segade, Faculty at UC San Diego and Los Angeles-based artist; and Rosten Woo, Los Angeles-based artist.

"We are thrilled and honored to receive the seed funding from the Mike Kelley Foundation for Arts, which will enable us to kick-start the House of Yùn exhibition at LA Artcore,” stated Pranay Reddy, Executive Director, LA Artcore. "This grant represents an important step in our efforts to secure funding for the project, and it provides critical support to us as we begin the research and development process. With the Foundation's support, we can shed light on the little-known history of the Chinese diaspora community and foster meaningful dialogue about the challenges and triumphs of the diaspora experience. We are deeply grateful for this investment in our vision and look forward to continuing our fundraising efforts to fully realize this project's scope and impact.”

Information about the 2024 grant cycle will be available later this spring on the Foundation’s website (guidelines for the 2023 grantees remain there for reference only).

About the Foundation

The Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts advances the artist’s spirit of critical thinking, risk taking, and provocation in the arts. Established by Kelley in 2007, the Foundation seeks to further Kelley’s philanthropic work through grants to arts organizations and artists for innovative projects that reflect his multifaceted artistic practice.

The Foundation also preserves the artist’s legacy more broadly and fosters the understanding of his life and creative achievements through educational initiatives including exhibitions, educational events, publications and the preservation and care of the Foundation’s art collections and archives.

About the Artist

The work of artist Mike Kelley (1954–2012) embraced performance, installation, drawing, painting, video, sound works, and sculpture. Kelley began his career in the late 1970s with solo performances, image/text works, and gallery and site-specific installations. He came to prominence in the 1980s with a series of sculptures composed of common craft materials. The artist’s later work addressed architecture and filmic narratives using the theory of repressed memory syndrome coupled with sustained biographic and pseudo-biographic inquiry into his own aesthetic and social history. Regarded as one of the most influential artists of our time, Kelley produced a body of deeply innovative work in dialogue with American popular culture as well as both modernist and alternative traditions.