Performance still, Rachel Elizabeth Jones: Movie House / Tree / Star, Coaxial Arts Foundation, November 2023.
Performance still, Rachel Elizabeth Jones: Movie House / Tree / Star, Coaxial Arts Foundation, November 2023.

Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts Announces Fourth Year of Organizational Support Grants

LOS ANGELES, CA. April 11, 2024 — The Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts (MKFA) announced today the recipients of its fourth year of Organizational Support Grants, an unrestricted grant program the Foundation established during the pandemic to address the immediate needs of Los Angeles County arts organizations. While the grants continue to support organizations’ operating costs, 2024 grantees also provided an upcoming project for consideration, and a required minimum of the awarded amount must go to artists involved. The Organizational Support Grants, like the Foundation, support arts organizations that reflect Mike Kelley’s passion for critical thinking and provocation in the arts. This year’s grantees are the Armory Center for the Arts, Automata Arts, CalArts REDCAT, Clockshop, Coaxial Arts Foundation, Echo Park Film Center, Fulcrum Arts, Future Roots/Lookout FM, Human Resources, JOAN, LAXART, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), Los Angeles Poverty Department, Museum of Jurassic Technology, and Self-Help Graphics & Art.

“This year’s cohort of grantees—an exciting mix of established and emerging Los Angeles arts organizations—underscores the importance of supporting a broad range of what it means to take risks in art making. From LAXART’s groundbreaking retrospective on Nancy Buchanan to Lookout FM’s aim, sponsored by Future Roots, to make an unprecedented radio home for the broadcast of ‘transmission art,’ these projects exemplify Mike Kelley’s spirit of experimentation. As always, it is an honor to support these 15 organizations and the critical work they do in our community,” said Mary Clare Stevens, Executive Director of the Foundation.

This year's grant awards range from $20,000 to $30,000 and target small and mid-size institutions. This year, university and college art museums, galleries, and government-owned art institutions were invited to apply if they met the criteria. Many of this year’s projects explore sustainability, climate, and environment, including Christopher Suarez’s installation using found objects sourced from the L.A. River for Clockshop, and Echo Park Film Center’s funded program inviting their Youth Program Alumni to re-engage with analog techniques and technologies, referring both to the idea of trying something new and to eco-processing with local plants, water, and other native ingredients. Some of the exhibitions are part of the Getty’s region-wide initiative, PST ART: Art & Science Collide (formerly Pacific Standard Time), such as Fulcrum Arts’ recreation of late artist Steve Roden’s major installation ear(th), and the Armory Center for the Arts’ group exhibition of contemporary artists From the Ground Up: Nurturing Diversity in Hostile Environments.

Other projects explore sound, sculpture, performance, and examinations of practices of individual artists, such as Automata Arts’ residency with artist Hsuan-Kuang Hsieh. The organization’s Managing Director and Artist Liaison DanRae Wilson said: “We are deeply honored to receive funding from the Mike Kelley Foundation and to be among the esteemed community of recipients. With this grant, Automata will be able to continue our work with the multidisciplinary emerging artist Hsuan-Kuang Hsieh, allowing a deeper exploration of the work that she began during her 2022 residency. This incredible opportunity enables us to facilitate time and space for further development, along with aesthetic, technical, and practical support for the public exhibition. With the Foundation’s support we can further highlight Hsieh’s work contemplating the multicultural identity of the Asian diaspora, and how that identity is deeply intertwined with reminiscence objects, physical memory, and land.”

Other solo exhibitions and performances include JOAN’s presentation of interdisciplinary artist Sofía Córdova, CalArts REDCAT’s presentation of Kameelah Janan Rasheed’s video installation, and Human Resources’ presentation of Palestinian-Jordanian artist Izdihar Afyouni’s ongoing project THICKER THAN BlOOD, expressed through performance and other time-based art. LACE will mount Abundance, a performance art series helping to create work based on artists’ lived experiences as non-traditional bodies challenging intersectional forms of oppression. Organizations such as Self-Help Graphics and Coaxial Art Foundation will provide artist residencies.

Cameron Stallones, Founder/Program Director of Lookout FM, commented: "This project has been almost 15 years in the making, with tireless efforts from our non-profit partners at Dublab to procure and secure licenses to one of our nation's most closely guarded assets: its public airwaves. Most of that time has been devoted to the immense amount of legal wrangling and hoop-jumping necessary to secure FCC approval. These funds will allow us to finally do what has been the dream from the start: build an audio-exhibition space in the electromagnetic spectrum around Los Angeles! With this support, we will be able to commission three original works for radio from our artists-in-residence, the results of which will be woven into the ether and broadcast in perpetuity: an act of invisible public electromagnetic sculpture. This would not be possible without the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts' dedication to financially supporting artists, and we're incredibly happy to be on the receiving end of that generosity and finally launch the art-making aspects of this project."

The 2024 grantees were selected by a jury that included an independent panel review by David Evans Frantz, Independent Curator; Ken Gonzales-Day, Faculty at Scripps College and Los Angeles-based artist; Dhyandra Lawson, Andy Song Assistant Curator at LACMA; Amanda Ross Ho, Faculty at UC Irvine and Los Angeles-based artist; and Irene Georgia Tstatsos, Los Angeles-based artist and Independent Curator.

Information about the 2025 grant cycle will be available later this spring on the Foundation’s website (guidelines for the 2024 grantees remain there for reference only).

Learn more about the 2024 OSG awardees

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.