Ron Athey, Carmen Argote and Diedrick Brackens win Artadia awards

Artist Carmen Argote is photographed in her Los Angeles studio.
Artist Carmen Argote is photographed in her Los Angeles studio.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

An artist exploring the concept of home and the immigrant experience, a performance artist who made his name exploring the AIDS epidemic and a textile artist who tackles the complexities of being black and queer in the U.S. — these three have been selected for Artadia’s 2019 Los Angeles Awards.

Artists Carmen Argote and Ron Athey each will receive $10,000 in unrestricted funds, the national nonprofit announced Thursday. And as the inaugural Marciano Artadia Award winner, Diedrick Brackens will receive $25,000 in unrestricted funding.

The annual prize is open to visual artists at any stage of their career who have lived in Los Angeles County for more than two years. A panel of jurors including Erin Christovale, assistant curator at the Hammer Museum, and Anna Katz, associate curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, selected this year’s awardees. The other finalists for the prizes were artists Eddie Aparicio, Gelare Khoshgozaran and Jennifer Moon.

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Ron Athey stands for a portrait in his apartment in Silver Lake.
(Claire Hannah Collins / Los Angeles Times)

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Christovale noted in a statement that the three awardees exemplified creativity in Los Angeles. “I appreciate how thoughtful and incredibly dedicated they are to their crafts,” she said, “and how labor-intensive their respective practices are.”

Philanthropists and art collectors founded Artadia in 1997 as a response to the National Endowment for the Arts’ elimination of grants to individual artists. Since 1999, the nonprofit has awarded over $5 million to more than 325 artists in Atlanta, Chicago, New York and other cities.


Past L.A. winners include performance artist EJ Hill (2018), video artist Kahlil Joseph (2017) and mixed-media artist Kerry Tribe (2013).

Diedrick Brackens, “In the Decadence of silence,” 2018, hand woven cotton and acrylic yarn, 75 inches by 74 inches