The purpose of the Santa Monica Artist Fellowship program is to stimulate and nourish the creation of new work by Santa Monica artists, recognize excellence, and reinforce our community’s high regard for creativity and innovation. Five Fellowships are awarded annually: three $4,200 Project Fellowships by application and two fellowships of $16,000 by means of a nomination process.
Santa Monica Artist Fellows for 2022-23
Meg Cranston is a sculptor, painter, and writer, and is currently the Chair of Fine Arts at Otis College of Art and Design. She has exhibited internationally since 1988. Cranston work was exhibited in the Museum of Contemporary Art’s groundbreaking Helter Skelter exhibition in Los Angeles, and in the 1993 Biennale di Venezia. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including a New School of Social Research Faculty Development Grant, an artist grant from the Penny McCall Foundation, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a faculty research grant from UCLA’s Center for Asian American Studies, an Artadia Award, an ab Art in Public Places Award, and a C.O.L.A. Individual Artist's Grant from Los Angeles Cultural Affairs.
Yrneh Gabon is a Jamaican born, multi-disciplinary, mixed media, and performance artist who brings together art and social activism, with a focus on issues pertinent to Africa and the African Diaspora. In 2014, Gabon was given his first solo exhibition at the California African American Museum. Entitled Visibly Invisible, the show focused on the hunting, mistreatment, and murder of people born with albinism. The exhibition brought attention to the plight of people living with albinism, particularly in East Africa, and Gabon was invited to speak at the United Nations. He has an operetta on ecological climate change entitled Memba Mi Tell Yu/Listen Up Take Note, and his project Ditched the Salt focuses on salt consumption, sensitivity, and its relationship and history with people of color.
Kio Griffith Born in Kanagawa, Japan, Griffith is an interdisciplinary artist, independent curator, and arts writer. He works across themes of geopolitics and migrating cultures using both craft-based and digital media, including sound, video, performance, digital programming, design, writing, installation, and publishing. He was exhibited in the 2016 Aichi Triennale in Japan, was a 2017 Emerging Curator at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions and has exhibited in the U.K., Japan, Germany, Croatia, China, Hong Kong, Korea, Turkey, Belgium, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, and the U.S. Griffith is co-founder of both the OOTE 41221 project space and Transit Republic, an art and anthropology publication. He contributes to Genzou, a photographic journal, and serves as contributing editor to Fabrik and Artscape. Griffith’s work is in private and museum collections, including the L.A. County Museum of Art.
Kaitlin Drisko is a designer and artist whose work focuses on expanding the understanding of our cities, engaging viewers in the built-environment, and encouraging long-term thinking about how we live together. Drisko has worked on architectural and historic preservation projects, and she approaches artmaking from an architect’s perspective of inquisitiveness, history, functional use, and building construction. She invites users to participate, visit the areas of study, and develop empathy and understanding of the historic, cultural, and social contexts in our community.
Tanya Maria White is a playwright and Artistic Director of Santa Monica Repertory Theater. A company member since 2015, Santa Monica Rep premiered her play Big Blue Ride. She is also an actor and director in their Summer Reading Series and develops educational programming. White works with the Corporation for Supportive Housing’s Speak Up! Program, which trains adults with lived experience of homelessness in how to use their personal narratives on behalf of advocacy. She is a frequent contributor to Los Angeles storytelling events, including Write Club Los Angeles and Library Girl. She was a 2018 City of Santa Monica Artist Fellow and used the award to develop her performance project 7 Conversations About Slavery.
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