Five Santa Monica Artists Awarded City Artist Fellowships

September 6, 2022 1:15 PM

The City of Santa Monica awarded five Santa Monica artists with Artist Fellowships in the thirteenth year of the City’s individual artist support program. The $16,000 Artist Fellowship will be presented to painter and sculptor Meg Cranston and multi-disciplinary, mixed media, and performance artist Yrneh Gabon. The $4,200 Project Fellowships will be presented to digital media artist Kio Griffith, receiving the second annual Kate Johnson Digital Arts Fellowship, and projects by designer/architect/conceptual artist Kaitlin Drisko and playwright Tanya Maria White. This is Tanya Maria White’s second Fellowship award.

Santa Monica boasts one of the largest, city-based, individual artist programs in the U.S. “I plan to use the fellowship to seek out collaborative partners in science and bring the arts and sciences together,” said Yrneh Gabon. “This award will also help me complete unfinished artwork and create community programs and projects in Santa Monica. It is an honor to serve.”

The Kate Johnson Digital Arts Fellowship was created by the Santa Monica Arts Commission to recognize the contributions of the local filmmaker and digital media artist who passed in 2020. The $4,200 award supports artists in the electronic and/or digital disciplines, including video, internet- and gaming-based work, digital film, and interactive fine art.

The Santa Monica Artist Fellowship launched in 2009 as part of the City’s Creative Capital cultural plan, which identified individual artist support as a critical component of a thriving arts ecosystem. An extraordinarily diverse group of vital and talented artists, both emerging and established, have been funded by the program, which serves to powerfully reinforce City residents’ long-standing regard for creativity and innovation.

“The fellowship is a great honor,” said Cranston. “I will use it to create a new exhibition. Thanks, Santa Monica, for all the love you show your artists!”

The selection panelists for this year’s awards were L.A. Metro Director of Public Arts & Design Letitia Fernandez-Ivins, Leslie Tamaribuchi, former Producing Director of the CalArts Center for New Performance and Director of the Japan House Gallery, and City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Manager Rochelle Branch.

For more information visit: An archive of past recipients may be found by visiting

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