In 2006 FOCA implemented a new program, the FOCAFellowships. Commensurate with our mission to support California artists, every other year we award direct unrestricted grants to mid-career artists in recognition of their significant contributions to the California art scene. Selection of Fellowship recipients begins with three curators nominating ten artists each. From this pool of thirty, a jury of three arts professionals selects the grantees. FOCAFellowships are designed to encourage and support California artists with an exhibition history of 10-25 years.

2017 FOCAFellowship Recipients:
Sean Griffin
A native Los Angeles composer and director, Griffin’s performance and musical works are animated by dense rhythmic structuring and improvisation. They range from instrumental works to immersive operas, extended choral techniques, installation, rhythmic games and devised movement patterns. Griffin’s productions, recordings, performances, and designs have been featured at MoMA, the Brooklyn Museum, RedCat, and LACMA. Photo: Sean Griffin, The Naming Scene from Act 2 of Sean Griffin’s production of George Lewis’s Afterword at the Jiří Myron Theatre, Ostrava Days, The Czech Republic, 2015. Photo by the artist
Simon Leung
Leung was born in Hong Kong and raised both there and in California. Internationally, his work has been presented at the Whitney Biennial, the Venice Biennale (2003) and the Guangzhou Triennial (2008). A Guggenheim Fellow, Leung’s projects in various media include an opera, a live/video performance, and a theater works project. He has been Professor of Art at UC Irvine since 2001. Photo: Simon Leung, Time Museum Time, 2010
Susan Silton
Silton’s work has been exhibited/presented nationally and internationally at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; SFMOMA, San Francisco; the Australian Center for Contemporary Art, Melbourne and the Hammer Museum. A Los Angeles artist, Silton’s work takes form in performative and participatory-based projects, photography, video, installation, text/audio works, and print-based projects. Photo: Susan Silton, A Sublime Madness in the Soul, 2015. Documentation still from opera sited on 6th Street Bridge, downtown Los Angeles. Composed by Juliana Snapper. Photo: Alex Brown
2017 FOCAFellowship Events:

For 2017 three nominators: Jose Luis Blondet, LACMA; Kristina Newhouse, CSULB; and Sara Cannon, LA Municipal Art Gallery each  chose ten mid-career artists for the award. Subsequently jurors Elizabeth Gerber, LACMA; Alma L. Ruiz; and Irene Tsatsos, Armory Center for the Arts made the final selections.

A month-long exhibition started with a reception from 6:30pm – 9:30 pm on Saturday, March 25, 2017 including an  artists’ conversation with moderator Jim Daichendt, Professor and Dean at Point Loma Nazarene University.

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The exhibit  is open for viewing Mondays through Fridays from 10:00am -5:00pm until April 24, 2017.

Foreground Susan Silton, background FOCA Vice Chair Judith Tuch
Foreground Sean Griffin, background Donna Gottlieb, Chair Fellows of Contemporary Art
Foreground Simon Leung demonstrating the "squatting position" background G. James Daichendt, moderator for the artists' presentation.

The 2017 FOCA Fellowship recipients Sean Griffin, Simon Leung, and Susan Silton were introduced to the Fellows attending annual meeting on January 9, 2017at the Four Seasons Hotel.

2017 FOCA Fellowship recipients at the Fellows annual meeting. Left to right Simon Leung, Susan Silton, Sean Griffin
2017 FOCA Fellowship recipients at the Fellows annual meeting. Left to right Simon Leung, Susan Silton, Sean Griffin
2015 FOCAFellowship Recipients:
Lesley Vance
Lesley Vance(b 1977) lives and works in Los Angeles. She earned a BFA from The University of Wisconsin, Madison, and her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, Valencia. Solo exhibitions of her paintings have been held at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine; the FLAG Art Foundation, New York; and, with Ricky Swallow, at the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California. Recent group exhibitions featuring her work include Variations: Conversations in and Around Abstract Paintings, Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Painter Painter, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; A House of Leaves. Second Movement, David Roberts Art Foundation, London; Difference, Dallas Museum of Art; Three Evidentiary Claims, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY; Tableaux, MAGASIN – Centre National d’Art Contemporain, Grenoble, France; and 2010, Whitney Biennial Exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
Jennifer West
Jennifer West employs various unique processes to produce alchemical transformations in her film based practice. The artist subjects 16, 35 and 70 mm film negative and leader to an eclectic range of idiosyncratic substances including nailpolish, liquid eyeliner, “Teen Spirit” deodorant, wine, spices, Jell-O shots, body glitter, paintballs, Jack Daniels, hot springs water as well as such physical interventions as skateboarding, smearing, crushing, drawing and throwing. West was born in Topanga, California and lives and works in Los Angeles. Significant commissions and projects include PICA TBA Fest (2014); High Line Art, New York (2012), 5th Biennial of the Moving Image, Mechelen, Belgium (2011); The Aspen Art Museum (2010); the Turbine Hall at TATE Modern (2009) and she was Artist in Residence at the MIT List Visual Arts Center in 2011. Solo exhibitions include Focal Point Gallery, Essex, England and (2014); High Line Art, NY and S1 Artspace, Sheffield, England (2012); Contemporary Art Museum, Houston; Western Bridge, Seattle and Kunstverein Nuremberg, Nuremberg, Germany (2010); Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, Scotland (2008); White Columns, NY (2007). West has been included in numerous exhibitions internationally including Nottingham Contemporary, England; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; MOCA Cleveland, OH; Tel Aviv Museum of Art; Kunstlerhaus Graz, Austria; Henry Moore Foundation, Leeds, UK; Saatchi Gallery, London; UMOCA, Salt Lake City, UT; White Columns, New York; Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt; Drawing Center, New York; White Flag Projects, St Louis, MI; Leubsdorf Gallery, Hunter College, New York; Tel Aviv Museum of Art ; CAPC Musee d’Art Contemporain, Bordeaux, France; Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; ZKM Museum for New Media, Karlsruhe, Germany and Tate St. Ives, England, among others West has published eight Zines that she gives away at her exhibitions. West was shortlisted for the 2012 3rd Annual Nam June Paik Center Award in Korea. She is an Asst. Professor of Fine Arts Practice at USC’s Roski School of Art and Design, Los Angeles.
Vincent Ramos
Vincent Ramos is an artist from Los Angeles. He received his MFA from the California Institute of the Arts and his BFA from Otis College of Art and Design. Recent exhibitions include, Plum Pudding Peanut Island (Gilligan’s Squaw Fire Island II), Elephant, Los Angeles (2013), In the Good Name of the Company, See Me Gallery, New York(2013), Made in L.A. 2012, Hammer Museum and LAXART, Los Angeles (2012), Pachuco Cadaver or There Are No Heavies in America, Las Cienegas Projects, Los Angeles (2011), and Outsider Art: Others from Elsewhere Doing Something Altogether Different…Sort Of, 18th Street Art Center, Santa Monica (2011). He lives and works in Venice.
2015 FOCAFellowship Events:

At FOCA's Annual meeting Board Member Donna Gottleib, Chair of FOCAFellowships announced the winners of the $10,000 unrestricted awards for 2014: Lesley Vance, Jennifer West, and Vincent Ramos.

A show of the artists work will be held at the FOCA office (970 N. Broadway, Suite 208, Los Angeles, CA  90012 from March 28 to April 24.  A reception for the artists will be held at the same location on March 28 from 6-9 PM including a discussion at 7 PM with  the three artists moderated by Grace Kook Anderson, most recently the chief curator of the Laguna Art Museum.

2013 FOCAFellowship Recipients:
Hilja Keading
Hilja Keading received her BFA and MFA from UCLA. Her work investigates connections between literal, symbolic, and mythical realities, while considering parallels between comedy and tragedy. Her videos and video installations have been exhibited in definitive exhibitions including the Getty Museum’s California Video and the Museum of Modern Art’s Avant Guard Video, The First 25 Years. She has shown work at MOCA, the Hammer Museum, LACMA and the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles; the Henry Museum in Seattle; the Bass Museum in Florida; The Biennale of Art in Lyon, the Pomona College Museum of Art, the Long Beach Museum of Art, and multiple national/international galleries.
T. Kelly Mason
T. Kelly Mason is a sculptor, sound artist and image maker from Los Angeles, California. His work examines the representational and constructed aspects of social space. Mr. Mason’s work is included in several collections including MOCA and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the New York Public Library and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, Sammlung Schurmann in Berlin and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. He is currently an adjunct assistant professor at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and is represented by Cherry and Martin in Los Angeles and Galerie Catherine Bastide in Brussels.
Kori Newkirk
Kori Newkirk lives and works in Los Angeles. His works explores culture as an alchemist might, using culture as a raw material to manipulate and shape, forging something new; he transforms everyday materials into loaded signifiers. He received his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1993 and his MFA from the University of California, Irvine in 1997. Recent group shows include Blues for Smoke at MOCA, Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity at the MCA in Chicago, Uncertain States of America at the Astrup-Fearnley Museum of Modern art in Oslo, and the Whitney Biennial 2006 Day For Night. His work was the subject of a ten-year survey at the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Pasadena Museum of California Art. He has had solo shows at the MCA, San Diego, and the MCA, Cleveland, as well as The Project NY and the Jessica Silverman Gallery in San Francisco.
2013 FOCAFellowship Events:

Fellows of Contemporary Art is pleased to announce the 2013 FOCAFellowships. This year artists Hilja Keading, T. Kelly Mason and Kori Newkirk were selected to receive an unrestricted grant of $10,000 each.

A biennial artist grant program begun in 2006, the FOCAFellowships have already supported eight mid-career artists holding an important place in the California community. For this round, a pool of 28 artists were nominated by three California Curators; final selection of the grant winners for 2013 was made by Rebecca Morse, Associate Curator Department of Photography, LACMA, Rebecca McGrew, Senior Curator, Pomona College Museum of Art, Scott Grieger, Professor and Director of Painting, Otis School of Art & Design and Leah Ollman, Art Writer, Los Angeles Times and Art in America.

Fellows of Contemporary Art will host an exhibition celebrating Hilja Keading, T. Kelly Mason and Kori Newkirk at the FOCA Exhibition Space located at 970 N. Broadway in Mandarin Plaza in Los Angeles’ historic Chinatown from July 27 to August 30. A public opening reception will be held Saturday, July 27, 6:00 PM - 9:00PM.

FOCA will organize an “Artists’ Conversation” between FOCAFellowship award winners and Arts Writer Scarlet Cheng at Museum of Contemporary Art on Sunday, November 17th at 3pm.

2010 FOCAFellowship Recipients:
Andrea Bowers
Andrea Bowers has an MFA from CalArts and is represented by Suzanne Vielmetter Gallery where she will have a solo show this year. Andrea Bowers says her work "focuses primarily on direct action and non-violent civil disobedience enacted through the lives of women. I present the stories of activists to express my belief that dissent is essential to maintaining a democratic process, as well as to illustrate the importance of a political strategy that stands in opposition to violence and war. My work explores the intersections between art and archival processes, and between aesthetics and political protest." Her work takes the forms of video installation, drawing and bookmaking, yet also encompasses a wide variety of other materials and interventions.
Daniel Joseph Martinez
Daniel Joseph Martinez has an MFA from CalArts and has exhibited in the United States and internationally since 1978. Since 1996, his work has been the subject of three solo museum exhibitions and catalogues: The Things You See When You Don’t Have a Grenade! (Smart Art Press, Santa Monica, CA 1996); Coyote, I Like Mexico and Mexico Likes Me, Or Simply Another Mexican Dead (Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico, 2001); and The Fully Enlightened Earth Radiates Disaster Triumphant: Daniel Joseph Martinez: United States Pavilion, 10th International Cairo Biennale 2006 (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston 2006) in addition to the 1993 and 2008 Whitney Museum of American Art biennial exhibitions. Daniel Joseph Martinez investigates in his practice social, political and cultural mores through his artworks, which have been characterized as "nonlinear multidimensional propositions." He uses a complex artistic vocabulary which includes text, sculpture, installation, painting, video and photography in ways that can be disturbing, poetic, humorous or revelatory.
2010 FOCAFellowship Events:

’Everything is Political’, an exhibition conceived by Andrea Bowers and Daniel Joseph Martinez opens this Sunday, October 17th at the FOCA Space in Chinatown. At the exhibition a catalogue was distributed that was designed by Jessica Fleischmann’s The ingenious and radical catalogue contains an essay by Lucia Sanromán, Associate Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, entitled ’Between a Rock and a Hard Place: From Radical Art to Radical Optimism.’ About Bowers and Martinez, Ms. Sanromán explains: "Their practices are fundamentally different, yet they share an insistent belief in art as a detonator of forms of agency, social engagement and political action." For her portion of the exhibition, Bowers, continues her investigation on homage and the archival impulse by transforming 15 utilitarian folding chairs into memorials to artists Bowers particularly admires. Martinez adds two elements: the first a ceiling hung sculpture involving a hare strapped within an IED and second, a large photograph printed on an elegant silk background of an anonymous massacre site. This is a show that must be seen, not explained.

November 6th, 3:30PM
Andrea Bowers and Daniel Joseph Martinez, the FOCAFellowship recipients, plus Lucia Sanromán, featured essayist in Everything is Political catalogue and Bennett Simpson, Associate Curator MOCA.

Museum of Contemporary Art
Ahmanson Auditorium
250 S. Grand Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90012

2008 FOCAFellowship Recipients:
Julio Cesar Morales
JULIO CESAR MORALES is an artist, educator and curator currently working both individually and collaboratively. Morales utilizes a range of media including photography, video, and printed and digital media to make conceptual projects that address the productive friction that occurs in trans-cultural territories such as urban Tijuana and San Francisco—and in inherently impure media such as popular music and graphic design. Morales teaches and creates art in a variety of settings, from juvenile halls and probation offices to museums, art colleges, alternative non-profit institutions. Morales’ work consistently explores issues of labor, memory, surveillance technologies and identity strategies.
Martin Kersels
An innovative Los Angeles-based artist, MARTIN KERSELS draws on the worlds of performance, film, video, popular and experimental music, and mechanical science for his inspiration and materials. He employs humor, pathos, and kinetic energy to create works that explore the expressive potential of--as well as the inextricable connection between--the machine and the individual. Whether a baby grand piano that winches itself across the gallery floor or a rubber band-powered prosthetic leg that frantically kicks the gallery wall, his constructions share an innate sense of theatricality. They follow their own choreography, play their own soundtracks, and occasionally take pratfalls. Frequently funny at first glance, Kersels’ works—exploring issues of proportion, social fit, and comfort—often reveal the awkwardness and embarrassment of quite literally not fitting in.
Dorit Cypis
DORIT CYPIS explores questions of identity and representation through performance, multimedia installation, and photography. She often focuses on issues of authorship, the threshold between subject and object, and modes of seeing. Much of her work is performative, involving strategies to literally penetrate the image in order to uncover layers of meaning - this performance exists as residue in the form of photographs. Cypis is concerned with the body as the medium through which knowledge is gained. She explores notions of a collective memory as well as personal memories, heritage, and history. Her work of late has been influenced by her study of conflict resolution and strategies of mediation, negotiation, and conciliation.
2008 FOCAFellowship Events:

An exhibition of the works of these fellowship recipients was on display from September 28 through November 30 at the FOCA space in Los Angeles’ Chinatown.

A conversation with the Martin Kersels, Julio Cesar Morales and MOCA Associate Curator Bennett Simpson took place at MOCA’s Ahmanson Auditorium on Saturday, November 15 from 3–5 p.m.

2006 FOCAFellowship Recipients:
Vincent Fecteau
VINCENT FECTEAU received his B.A.from Wesleyan University in 1992. Since then he has lived and worked in San Francisco. Most recently he has had shows in London at greengrassi, in New York at Feature, Inc. and with Tomma Abts at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven. He is the recipient of a 2005 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and will present new work in the fall of 2006 at Galerie Daniel Buchholz in Cologne.
Evan Holloway
EVAN HOLLOWAY has been publicly exhibiting his sculpture since 1992. He recieved an MFA in 1997 from the University of California, Los Angeles. Group exhibitions include "Mise-en-scene: new LA sculpture" at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, "New Work" at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the 2002 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art. He has presented one person exhibitions in Los Angeles, London, Brussels and Naples.
Monica Majoli
MONICA MAJOLI is based in Los Angeles. For over fifteen years, through her artistic practice, she has examined the relationship between physicality as expressed through sexuality and the intangible aspects of consciousness and identity. She received both her B.A. (1989) and her MFA (1992) in painting from the University of California, Los Angeles. She has participated in numerous group exhibitions nationally and internationally and has had solo shows at Feature, Inc. in New York and Air de Paris, France. She is represented by Gagosian Gallery in Los Angeles and is scheduled to exhibit her work at Gagosian Gallery in New York in the spring of 2006. In addition to receiving the 2006 FOCA fellowship, Ms. Majoli was the recipient of a Getty Grant from the California Community Foundation in 2002, and was the Diebenkorn Teaching Fellow at the San Francisco Art Institute in 2001. She is currently teaching in the Graduate Studies program at Yale, at UC Berkeley and the San Francisco Art Institute. Her work is in numerous private collections and is represented in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
2006 FOCAFellowship Events:

An exhibition of the works of these fellowship recipients took place in September 2006, at the Pasadena Armory Center for the Arts.