CalArts alumni, faculty honored with Francis Greenburger Award, Guggenheim Fellowships

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Twelve California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) alumni, faculty and visiting faculty were honored with prestigious awards and fellowships from the Omni International Arts Center and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation this month.

2017 Francis J. Greenburger Awards

Painter and CalArts alumnus Gary Lang, who received his bachelors of fine art from CalArts in 1972, is one of five recipients of this year’s Francis J. Greenburger Awards.

Established in 1986, the award is an unrestricted $12,500 prize that “honors artist who the art world knows to be of extraordinary merit, but who have not been fully recognized by the public,” according to the award website.

Lang has held more than 70 solo exhibitions throughout the United States, Austria, France, Japan, The Netherlands and Spain.  He is known for his use of repetition and color to create paintings that are “brilliant, nuanced and jarring.”

In the past, Lang has said that he ensures that he has a “free mind” when painting and that he explores color in his work.

Of his work, Lang said: “The process is ultimately a pleasure-driven meditation on accumulating and organizing energy, while investigating the potential of color.”

Lang will be presented his award at a ceremony at the New Museum in New York on April 25.

Guggenheim Fellows for 2017

Eleven CalArts alumni, faculty and former visiting faculty were part of this year’s list of 173 Guggenheim Fellows, which were announced to the public Friday.

Established in 1925, the Guggenheim Fellowships recognize a diverse group of scholars, artists and scientists who have “already demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.”  This year’s group was chosen from a pool of nearly 3,000 applicants.

“It’s exciting to name 173 new Guggenheim Fellows. These artists and writers, scholars and scientists, represent the best of the best,” said Foundation President Edward Hirsch in a press release.  “It’s an honor to be able to support these individuals to do the work they were meant to do.”

All 10 CalArts winners received fellowships in the Creative Arts category.

Alumnus Cassils, earned a master’s in fine arts from CalArts in 2002, and was named a fine art fellow for work that engages “the body as a form of social sculpture.”

Interdisciplinary artist and writer Kathe Burkhart, who earned her bachelor’s and master’s from CalArts, received her fine art fellowship for her work that “consistently and frankly engaged gender roles, sexuality, celebrity, and language in an interdisciplinary practice.”

Experimental animator Steven Subotnick, who earned his bachelor’s and master’s from CalArts, received a film-video fellowship for his creation of 16 films that have screened internationally at more than 50 film festivals.

Alumna Jen Liu, who earned her master’s from CalArts in 2001, also was named a film-video fellow.  She works in “video, performance and painting on topics of national identity, economy and the re-motivating of archival artifacts.”

CalArts School of Arts faculty member Harry Dodge was also named a fine art fellow for his work as a sculptor, performer, video artist and writer.  He has exhibited his work nationally and internationally and is one of the founders of the San Francisco performance space “The Bearded Lady.”

CalArts School of Critical Studies Faculty member Brian Evenson was named a fiction fellow.  He has published more than a dozen books of fiction, including his award-winning novel “Last Days.”  Evenson is also the recipient of three O. Henry Prizes and an NEA Fellowship.

Billy Woodberry, CalArts School of Film/Video and Art faculty member, received a film-video fellowship for his films that have been screened at the Cannes and Berlin Film Festivals, Viennale, Rotterdam, Harvard Film Archive, Tate Modern and more.  He is also one of the founders of the L.A. Rebellion film movement.

Former visiting faculty and artists Derek Boshier was named a fine arts fellow, Leigh Ledare was named a photography fellow, Zoe Strauss was named a photography fellow and Annie Gosfield was named a music composition fellow.

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