Pasadena Art Alliance Holds its 'Favorite Day'

The Alliance awards $305,000 in grants to local arts groups and artists

Published : Thursday, March 28, 2019 | 9:27 AM

“This is our absolute favorite day of the year,” said Pasadena Art Alliance President Bea Trujillo Tuesday, as the Alliance hosted its annual grants awards. This year the group awarded a total of $305,000 to 28 local arts organizations from Pasadena to East LA to Pomona.

The Pasadena Art Alliance has awarded over $6 million in support of local nonprofit organizations since 1976.
The event was held at the home of George and Judy Penner, high on a hillside overlooking the Arroyo Seco, with grand views across the Arroyo to the Colorado Street Bridge and the U.S. Federal Courthouse.

Carol Econn and Judy Plunkett served as grant co-chairs for this year’s awards.

More than just receive funding, the invited arts organizations also “cross-pollinate” during the festivities.

“A perfect example of what happens at this event,” said Trujillo, following the awards presentation. “The groups are able to meet and have dialogue with each other, sometimes for the first time. We get feedback all the time from some of the organizations, saying, ‘I’ve had a chance to talk to so-and-so, and now we’re collaborating.’”

“Thank God for the Art Alliance,” said Joseph Futtner, dean of Visual Arts and Media Studies at Pasadena City College. “If we did not have their support, we would not be running a program that was anything approaching what we feel we need, and would like to provide for our students.”

The Pasadena Art Alliance originally began its work in 1955, forming to support the Pasadena Art Museum. It filed its own non-profit status in 1975, following the purchase of the museum by industrialist Norton Simon. As the group notes on its website, it “remains an ever inventive and dynamic organization of over 175 women who share a deep belief in the increasingly diverse and important art of our time.”

Among the grants awarded Tuesday were a grant to The American Museum of Ceramic Art (AMOCA) located in Pomona, one of the few museums in the country dedicated solely to ceramic art and the only one of its kind on the West Coast. Grants funding will be used to support the exhibition Silver Splendor: The Works of Anna Silver, examining over fifty years of studio work and tracking the creative evolution of Silver from her origins to her current role as a beacon of painterly aesthetics in the field of modern and contemporary art. AMOCA’s exhibition is slated to run from April 9 through August 25, 2019.

Funds were also awarded to The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden to support in part, Digital Nature 2019, a night installation created by fifteen contemporary artists who will exhibit new and existing video, and interactive digital work in the Arboretum landscape. The installations will be open for five nights, February 27 through March 3, 2019.

The Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena also received a grant to help support newly commissioned and existing sculpture for the solo exhibition, Tanya Aguiñiga: New Work. Tanya Aguiñiga is a textile artist, weaver, and designer who recently has added weaving traditions, ceramics and hand blown glass to her art expression. The exhibition will be on view in the Caldwell Gallery from February 9 through May 24, 2020.

Pasadena’s ArtCenter College of Design received a two-part grant for scholarship funding to highly qualified undergraduate Fine Art Students who would otherwise be unable to pursue education and career goals in the arts, and to partially support two exhibitions in the Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery: Garb, exploring the different approaches in which clothing, attire and costumes intersect with visual arts from March through June 2019; and Tomes, artist’s books that will be featured from August through December 2019.

A full list of awardees is available here.

Next up, the Pasadena Art Alliance will hold its annual “Treasure Sale,” from April 12-14, with an opening night party April 11.

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