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City of Los Angeles (COLA) Individual Artist Fellowship Exhibition


May – 7, 2014


Awarded annually by DCA, the COLA Fellowships support the creation of new works by a selection of the City’s most exemplary mid-career artists. The COLA exhibition honors these creative visionaries and nurtures the symbiotic relationship between Los Angeles, its artists, its history, and its identity as an international arts capital.


Featured artists included: Stephen Berens, Kristin Calabrese, Jennifer Celio, Jen Hofer (literary artist), Elena Manferdini, Jessica Rath, Ross Rudel, Hector Silva, Gabriel Spera (literary artist), Corey Stein, Linda Vallejo, Kent and Kevin Young.


Please click here to download a PDF of the 2014 COLA exhibition catalogue.


Director’s Statement


In 2014 the Department of Cultural Affairs finds itself fully involved with a new civic system of metrics-based budgeting. The complex challenge is to comprehensively measure the impact of the arts.


Some counting is easy. There are hundreds of applications for C.O.L.A Fellowships; two panels of respected experts (including past fellowship winners) acting as judges; thirteen new fellows; nine months of artwork production; one curator coordinating multiple studio visits to preview and select more than thirty recent works; one catalog team, including a designer, editor, and photographer; multiple essay writers; one instal- lation crew; two free premiere events; one free e-catalog; one set of free educational lectures to serve approximately 2,000 visitors; and 20,000 online viewers. Statistically speaking, the City of Los Angeles invests $6.50 per audience member in the program. By the numbers, this calculates as a low-cost and high value program.


The C.O.L.A. Fellowship program is also impressive in ways which cannot be forecast, quantified, or understood in the present. It is of important philosophical value for Los Angeles to honor exemplary members of its second largest business sector, our creative industries. This online catalog is in itself a serious promotional engine, boosting Los Angeles’ reputation as a great place for inspired innovators to live and work. Doubtless, many, or all, of the artworks premiered in this year’s C.O.L.A. exhibi- tion will foster new feelings, family discussions, community dialogues, and industry debates concerning shared belief in the arts. A “ripple-effect” investment, the arts create multiple and regenerative outcomes. On intrinsic and symbolic levels, the arts remind us that democracy is somewhat quantifiable but equally enigmatic to assess.


Individually and collectively, the works of the thirteen honorees remind me that human ingenuity, creative communication, cultural connectivity, social complexity, and historical continuity are always outcomes to be embraced.


I salute 2014’s Fellows for their remarkable careers and contributions. The multiple, durable effects of their careers will validate this amazing city’s present and future commitment to honor, support, and celebrate creative power.


Joe Smoke
Grants Administration Division Director

Image slider artwork captions

Jessica Rath, Ripe, 2014

Kristin Calabrese, Red Ink Drawings, 2013-14

Jennifer Celio, NIMBY (National Park), 2012

Ross Rudel, Sage, 2014