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New grants in honor of the late painter Davyd Whaley will go to midcareer artists

New grants in honor of the late painter Davyd Whaley will go to midcareer artists
Artist Davyd Whaley, who died in 2014, has inspired a pair of new L.A. artist grants. (John Skalicky / Davyd Whaley Foundation)

A new foundation established in honor of Los Angeles painter Davyd Whaley, who died two years ago at age 47, will launch a special grant program to support midcareer artists in the greater Los Angeles area.

Starting in early 2017, the Davyd Whaley Foundation will award a pair of $10,000 artist grants once a year: One for under-recognized midcareer artists; the other, for artists who are also teachers.

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Norman Buckley, Whaley's husband, who established the foundation and now serves as its executive director, says the grant program is a way of supporting artists directly — providing them with the means to carry on their work.

"Davyd cared deeply about the arts and other artists," says Buckley. "He really believed in supporting other artists by buying their work … the best way to keep him alive for me is to do something that would have been important to him."

Artist Davyd Whaley at work in his studio.
Artist Davyd Whaley at work in his studio. (Norman Buckley / Davyd Whaley Foundation)

Whaley turned to painting after 15 years of working as an electrical engineer. A largely self-taught artist (he did some coursework at the Art Students League in New York and UCLA, but did not receive a degree in art), he often volunteered his time with cultural organizations geared at children and underserved communities.

It was Whaley's role as a volunteer art teacher — and the inspiration he drew from his own teachers — that moved Buckley to gear one of the grants to teachers.

"They're not just working on their own work, but working on giving back to their own community," he says.

Applications for the first grant, for under-recognized midcareer artists, will be accepted beginning Oct. 15, and the winner will be announced early in 2017. Applications for the artist/teacher grant will be accepted beginning Jan. 15.

Artists from Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties are eligible to apply.

For more information, go to davydwhaleyfoundation.org.

Find me on Twitter @cmonstah.

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