Rodrigo Valenzuela Wins Artist Trust's (Second) Biggest Award After Having Lost Its Smallest Award Many Times

Comments

1
While I agree with a lot of what he says here, particularly about museums and curators, I would point out that you dont "lose" at Artists Trust.
I have been on the Gap grant jury twice, over the last 12 or so years, and I can tell you there is no interference from Artist Trust staff, in terms of selection of the artists who get the grants. The jurying is almost exclusively by the strength of the images, videos, or written material.
But- and, its big but, and, as PeeWee says, we all have one- the artists selected are a compromise between the members of the jury.
The juries I have been on have been pretty inclusive of different geographical areas, genders, and ethnic and racial backgrounds- and those ranges of jurors still had huge differences esthetically.
I argued hard for artists, and still lost, sometimes, because, say, one juror might have been a fan of traditional painting, or of B&W photography, or a dancer, or a poet- and, thus, had completely different ideas about what "art" was, and what "good" was.
This is inevitable on any jury, but the very fact that Artist Trust tries so hard to empanel varied jurors makes it even harder.
Several times, the current "hip" artist in Seattle was completely unintelligible to someone whose experience was in community based arts education in Eastern Washington, say.

So, in short- its the luck of the draw, not some mysterious prejudices against Valenzuela.
2
Thanks for spreading the news about Artist Trust's 2014 Arts Innovator Award recipients! Just a couple of clarifications: it's not AT's biggest award -- that's the $50,000 James W. Ray Distinguished Artist Award. Also, it's for artists of all disciplines, not just visual artists. Thanks!
3
Hundreds of terrific artists in Seattle have been passed over for countless awards. There are people who have applied for the GAP grant unsuccessfully 5 times more than Rodrigo. He sounds bitter even as he wins! And he doesn't even live here currently and the money could be supporting an artist who is actually now working in Seattle. Yikes. AND according to



http://artisttrust.org/index.php/news/pr…



his long-time girlfriend's father Gary Hill was on the selection panel, so I guess it is always friends-picking-friends - why is he complaining? But congratulations anyway and to Clyde as well!
4
Hundreds of terrific artists in Seattle have been passed over for countless awards. There are people who have applied for the GAP grant unsuccessfully 5 times more than Rodrigo. He sounds bitter even as he wins! And he doesn't even live here currently and the money could be supporting an artist who is actually now working in Seattle. Yikes. AND according to
http://artisttrust.org/index.php/news/pr…
his long-time girlfriend's father Gary Hill was on the selection panel, so I guess it is always friends-picking-friends - why is he complaining? But congratulations anyway and to Clyde as well!
5
@2: Lila, so glad you wrote. I completely forgot about that new award! Here's more info on it for those who are curious, and I'll change the headline. Thanks for bringing that up.

http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archive…

To your point about the fact the award is open to artists of all disciplines, I hope I didn't mislead anyone: Valenzuela is the winner in the Visual Arts category, but there are other categories as well (as evidenced by past winners).

That also speaks to your point, @3 and @4: I would also have taken note if Gary Hill was Valenzuela's juror, but it is my understanding that Gary Hill was a juror in a separate category, and did not take part in jurying Valenzuela. @2: lila, is that correct?

Thanks for the dialogue, y'all.
6
Artist Trust has rotating panels which provides a more "egalitarian" system of judging. The same can not be said for the Betty Bowen Award, which is fronted by the Seattle Art Museum yet is privately funded and is completely "independent" from SAM. The Betty Bowen committee is comprised of art collectors, curators and awardees. One person, Gary Glant (Chair) appoints the entire committee. The Betty Bowen committee has no Latino/a or African-American panelists. It still has one original committee member which has been on the panel for 34 years, who no doubt, belonged to the original group of friends who started the award in her honor.
7
Hello this Rodrigo Valenzuela. @3 and @4 @5


This was my second time nominated to the award. the first time I has just out of grad school that was two years ago and the well deserved winners were Mandy green and Dayna Hanson.


The structure of the award is that you can apply for visual arts, literary arts, performance, or film and media. I applied for visual arts so Lisa Harris, Jean Mandeberg and


Roger Shimomura selected me as finalist and Gary Hill was in the selecting panel for film and media. So each panel pick two artist then you have 8 finalist that get and interview. I am pretty sure if you are a working artist in seattle longer than a year you will be drinking buddies, have slept with with or collaborated with some one on a panel. My personal life is not a factor on any of the awards I have received and I am confident that my CV and work is what gets me shows in NYC, LA or prestigious fellowships. Having said that I haven't had a relationship with Gary's daughter even before I knew about my nomination. I am not complaining I was just give a critique to the institutional frame that artist in seattle have to work with... we have a lot of money and very generous people but we dont have any alternative spaces to see new media or any residency programs to bring quality artist to Seattle. I do live in seattle as much I can but it is un sustainable for a contemporary artist "stay" in town. I will be back for the Frye show but them I will be a month in berkley in residency at Kala art institute them 3 months in Omaha at Bemis center for the arts. SO Tamara @3 I hope this help you to understand how this works
8
Hello this Rodrigo Valenzuela. @3 and @4 @5
This was my second time nominated to the award. the first time I has just out of grad school that was two years ago and the well deserved winners were Mandy green and Dayna Hanson.
The structure of the award is that you can apply for visual arts, literary arts, performance, or film and media. I applied for visual arts so Lisa Harris, Jean Mandeberg and
Roger Shimomura selected me as finalist and Gary Hill was in the selecting panel for film and media. So each panel pick two artist then you have 8 finalist that get and interview. I am pretty sure if you are a working artist in seattle longer than a year you will be drinking buddies, have slept with with or collaborated with some one on a panel. My personal life is not a factor on any of the awards I have received and I am confident that my CV and work is what gets me shows in NYC, LA or prestigious fellowships. Having said that I haven't had a relationship with Gary's daughter even before I knew about my nomination. I am not complaining I was just give a critique to the institutional frame that artist in seattle have to work with... we have a lot of money and very generous people but we dont have any alternative spaces to see new media or any residency programs to bring quality artist to Seattle. I do live in seattle as much I can but it is un sustainable for a contemporary artist "stay" in town. I will be back for the Frye show but them I will be a month in berkley in residency at Kala art institute them 3 months in Omaha at Bemis center for the arts. SO Tamara @3 I hope this help you to understand how this works
9
Barbara Mizoguchi, Artist Trust Grants Manager, said panelists from one medium do not judge in other mediums. Gary Hill did not jury Rodrigo's work. Just FYI.
10
Artist Trust’s Arts Innovator Award requires a letter of recommendation.
11
Hello Rodrigo valenzuela here @10
and this is the last post correct AT ask for a recommendation letter
My letter is written by Matthew Brannon
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Bra…

Thank you
Best,
R
12
Everybody is missin' the point...there were 8 applicants in media art and 114 in total for a $25,000 award. Now that is newsworthy. Stop whining and apply.



Onward,



Gary Hill
13
Everybody is missin' the point...there were 8 applicants in media art and 114 in total for a $25,000 award. Now that is newsworthy. Stop whining and apply.



Onward...


14
Why then are Seattle artists suffering from award application fatigue?
15
For several days I've been waiting for a response from Barbara Mizoguchi after another artist pinged me to say he was pretty sure Gary Hill was indeed on the jurying panel that gave Rodrigo the award. I knew, again, that he was on the preliminary panel, but Barbara wrote me in email that Gary was absolutely not part of Rodrigo's selection in any way.

Yesterday I got an apology from Barbara, and an admission that in fact the finalist panel that included Gary did oversee choosing Rodrigo.

Obviously, I was part of awarding Rodrigo the Genius Award from the Stranger, and I've written critically about his work in a way that makes it clear I think it's strong, important, and growing. So I have no doubt that Rodrigo deserved the Innovators Award as much as anyone deserves anything.

That said, I'm all about disclosure. So now you have full disclosure, which I was trying to get you from the start. Frustrating. But, I hope, case closed with all the info out there.