Guggenheim Fellowship recipients include 7 Southern California artists


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The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation announced Wednesday the recipients of its annual fellowship in the fields of arts, science and general scholarship. The organization awarded 180 fellowships from a pool of nearly 3,000 applicants.

Seven of the artists receiving a grant this year are from the Southern California area.

Thomas Lawson, dean of the School of Art at the California Institute of the Arts, said he will use his fellowship to complete a series of life-size oil paintings that he began last summer. The paintings, which he works on at his Echo Park studio, stand 6 feet tall and depict young individuals with their backs to the viewers.


Billy Childs, a composer who lives in South Pasadena, said his fellowship will be dedicated to completing a series of seven to nine pieces that bring together classical music and jazz. The compositions will be performed by the Ying String Quartet and the composer’s own jazz chamber group. Childs’ piece ‘Voices of Angels’ was performed by the L.A. Master Chorale at Walt Disney Concert Hall in 2005.

The foundation didn’t disclose the dollar amount of each fellowship. Applicants submit a budget proposal to the foundation, which then approves the final amount.

Keep reading for the full list of local artists receiving a fellowship this year.

-- David Ng

Billy Childs, composer, South Pasadena: Music composition.

Thomas Lawson, artist, Los Angeles; dean, School of Art, California Institute of the Arts: Painting.

Lei Liang, composer, San Diego; assistant professor of music, UC San Diego: Music composition.

Julia Meltzer, filmmaker, Los Angeles; director, ‘Clockshop’: Film.

Wadada Leo Smith, Composer, Ventura; faculty member and director of African American Improvisational Music Program, California Institute of the Arts: Music composition.

David Thorne, filmmaker and artist, Los Angeles: Film.

Shirley Tse, artist, Los Angeles; faculty member, School of Art, California Institute of the Arts: Installation art.


(See the complete list of this year’s fellowship recipients.)

UPDATED: Wadada Leo Smith’s name was misspelled in an earlier version of this story.