Artistic Visions Blossom: Pasadena Art Alliance Grants Reception Celebrates Creative Innovation

Photography by Paul Takizawa
Published on Mar 22, 2023

On Thursday, March 16, the Pasadena Art Alliance gathered for their annual Grants Award Reception, held this year at a private residence close to the Huntington Library. The arts organization granted a total of $315,000 to 30 nonprofits, many in and around the Pasadena area.

One of the exhibitions receiving PAA funding is Exposure: Native Art and Political Ecology, which documents contemporary indigenous artists’ responses to the impacts of nuclear testing, nuclear accidents, and uranium mining on Native peoples and the environment. This exhibition will be on view at the Armory Center for the Arts from January through June of 2023, showcasing the powerful work of indigenous artists and highlighting important environmental issues.

Another exhibition supported by PAA funding is Advance of the Rear Guard: Out of the Mainstream in 1960’s California, which will be on display at the ArtCenter from Fall 2023 to Spring 2024. This exhibition will present approximately 100 works from 33 artists associated with the Ceeje Gallery, a groundbreaking but underrecognized contemporary art venue in mid-1960’s Los Angeles.

The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens will receive funding for the exhibition Njideka Akunyili Crosby on view from February to June of 2023 as part of a series highlighting contemporary female artists of color. Akunyili Crosby’s portraits will be installed in conversation with the 18th-century British portraits for which The Huntington is best known, fostering a dialogue about the rendering of status and personality, formality versus intimacy, and cultural legacy.

PAA funding will also support two Artist-in-Residence exhibitions in the Boone Family Art Gallery on the PCC Campus. The Shizu Salamando exhibition, Memento, is of recent works by the artist centering on 6 new paintings that expand on an ongoing series of portraiture within the Asian and Chicanx communities and will be on view spring 2023. My Wellbeing is a Collective Art, is an exhibition of complex sculptural installations exploring the individual and collective understanding of wellbeing by artist Shirley Tse and will be on view late 2023.

In addition to these local institutions the PAA also awarded organizations throughout the greater Los Angeles area including Long Beach/South Bay and Pomona/Claremont areas.

The Pasadena Art Alliance is an independent and unique volunteer group that has been promoting visionary ideas and concepts in contemporary art for over sixty years. Unlike other art organizations, the Pasadena Art Alliance is not affiliated with any institution, organization or museum. Instead, the group has its own 501(c)(3) non-profit status and enjoys an unusual degree of freedom in terms of scope and impact that its grants program provides.

The group’s dedication to the arts began in 1955 when it was initially formed to support the Pasadena Art Museum. After the museum was purchased by Norton Simon, the Pasadena Art Alliance obtained its own non-profit status in 1975 and became independent in terms of support and affiliations. Since then, the group has remained an inventive and dynamic organization of over 175 women who share a deep belief in the increasingly diverse and important art of our time.

One of the most unique aspects of the Pasadena Art Alliance is its grants program, which supports visionary ideas and concepts in contemporary art. Over the years, the group has awarded grants to numerous artists and institutions, helping to fund exhibitions, performances, publications, and other innovative projects.

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