Mature creativity is a marvelous state of mind that arises from contemplation, practice, and the ability to flow, through which an expressive person can communicate experiences and insights with a distinctive mix of intention, talent, and openness. The work of the twelve City of Los Angeles (C.O.L.A.) fellows presented in this catalog exemplifies this phenomenon. Each artist has already dedicated more than fifteen years to outstanding production.

And now these artists have earned municipal sponsorship, an opportunity to present their latest works, and the right to be regarded as civic treasures. In an annual competition that attracts hundreds of accomplished peers, they have been chosen for their ability to re-form contemporary ideas and reflect some of the many discourses that capture the cultural zeitgeist of Los Angeles. Whether rebelling against past strictures, envisioning progressive potentials, or combining elements of both, these creative activists demonstrate the power of words and images to affect our sensations and sentiments. Through their works they challenge our values and our beliefs. They show us new perspectives, whether well-realized field views or refreshed cultural outlooks.

The formidable luminaries whose work is featured in this publication have won the respect of their colleagues for their artistic contributions and are now being honored by the Department of Cultural Affairs for extending the reputation of Los Angeles as a wellspring of innovative creative talent. It is often noted that Los Angeles is a city with big challenges, but it is actually a city of visionaries who are deeply committed to exploring the questions, the possibilities, and the boundaries that inform logical conceptions of change. We count these artists among our city’s most dynamic and impressive thinkers and creators, and we congratulate them for their vision.

Danielle Brazell
General Manager

Joe Smoke
Grants Administration Division Director

Department of Cultural Affairs
City of Los Angeles


At a time when Los Angeles is internationally recognized as a place for artistic experimentation and exploration, the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery (LAMAG) is pleased to welcome the 2016 recipients of the Department of Cultural Affairs’ City of Los Angeles (C.O.L.A.) Individual Artist Fellowships. For nineteen years the city has recognized the achievements of its diverse artistic community through this annual award. This year’s cohort of artists and writers was selected by a panel of their peers: curators and arts professionals based in the Los Angeles area.

As the city continues to grow as a creative hub, this award takes on particular meaning by recognizing the achievements of artists, performers, writers, and poets now in the middle of their careers. Their endeavors have helped to bring Los Angeles to this point. And this is reason to celebrate!

As the new director of the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery and Barnsdall Park, I am taking part in the C.O.L.A. exhibition process for the first time. Thinking about the importance of this show, I recalled my arrival in Los Angeles for graduate school. It was 1999, and LAMAG was one of the places to visit. I remember learning about the exhibitions and programs at the gallery with excitement and wonder. My hope is that young artists who are new to the city will see the C.O.L.A. exhibition and have a similar experience of excitement and wonder as they encounter the work of some of those who paved the way.

Undertaking the task of organizing and installing a nonthematic group exhibition that brings together disparate works can be a daunting proposition, as is developing programming that involves both visual artists and writers. Therefore it is important to acknowledge and thank the gallery staff, attendants, and preparators who make this possible: Michael Bell, Scott Canty, Gabriel Cifarelli, Diana Delmonte, Jacqueline Dreager, Marta Feinstein, Tashina Garcia-Garza, Omar Ibarra, Randy Keifer, Daniel Lavitt, Claire Little, Carrie Lockwood, Mark Lucero, Eduardo Malaga, Michelle Murphy, Albino Najar, Mary Oliver, Lawrence Rubin, Michael Sage, Marc Salazar, Jamaal Tolbert, and Nan Wollman.

Isabelle Lutterodt

Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery


Eric Garcetti

Mike Feuer
Los Angeles City Attorney

Ron Galperin
Los Angeles City Controller

Los Angeles City Council
Gilbert Cedillo, District 1
Paul Krekorian, District 2
Bob Blumenfield, District 3
David Ryu, District 4
Paul Koretz, District 5
Nury Martinez, District 6
Felipe Fuentes, District 7
Marqueece Harris-Dawson, District 8
Curren D. Price Jr., District 9
Herb J. Wesson Jr., District 10
Mike Bonin, District 11
Mitchell Englander, District 12
Mitch O’Farrell, District 13
Jose Huizar, District 14
Joe Buscaino, District 15

Cultural Affairs Commission
Eric Paquette, President
Charmaine Jefferson, Vice President
Jill Cohen
Mari Edelman
Josefina Lopez
Sonia Molina


Danielle Brazell
General Manager

Daniel Tarica
Assistant General Manager

Will Caperton y Montoya
Director of Marketing and Development

Felicia Filer
Public Art Division Director

Joe Smoke
Grants Administration Division Director

Leslie Thomas
Community Arts Division Director