Mike Kelley Foundation to Grant $250,000 to LA Arts Organizations

Mike Kelley, Ahh… Youth! (1991)
Photo: Centre Pompidou. ©Estate of Mike Kelley.
Mike Kelley.

Mike Kelley.
Photo: Art in America.

The Mike Kelley Foundation has announced that it will give $250,000 annually to Los Angeles-based arts organizations with “compelling, inventive and challenging projects by visual artists or artists’ collectives working in any medium.”

Kelley, an internationally recognized artist and integral part of the LA art scene, died in 2012; he established his eponymous foundation in 2007, and, a year later, began giving discretionary grants to artists and organizations. There was no application process—he simply decided to donate funds at will.

Three years after Kelley’s death, the foundation is now looking to formalize the process.

“He was very explicit in the paperwork that he wanted to fund arts organizations, especially smaller ones and ones that he believed were doing good work—work that other folks weren’t paying attention to,” foundation director Mary Clare Stevens told the Los Angeles Times.

Mike Kelley, Ahh… Youth!  (1991) Photo: Centre Pompidou. ©Estate of Mike Kelley.

Mike Kelley, Ahh… Youth! (1991)
Photo: Centre Pompidou. ©Estate of Mike Kelley.

Grants will range between $500–$50,000, and the foundation is primarily interested in organizations that support artists and art projects. Applicants have until August 5 to submit a letter of inquiry, and those who qualify will be invited to submit a full proposal. The application process will be completed in October, and recipients will be announced in March.

“We’re following what Mike laid out in terms of not being too restrictive and really trying to fund a variety of organizations,” Stevens told the LA Times. “It’s through organizations, but we’re making an effort to focus on the artists.”

Earlier this year, the foundation announced that Hauser and Wirth would represent Kelley’s estate, despite the fact that he was represented by Gagosian gallery prior to his death (see Hauser and Wirth to Represent Mike Kelley Foundation).

Mike Kelley, 'Mike Kelley as the Banana Man,' (1981). (c) Estate of Mike Kelley. All rights reserved. Courtesy Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts. Photo: Jim McHugh.

Mike Kelley as the Banana Man (1981).
(c) Estate of Mike Kelley. All rights reserved. Courtesy Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts. Photo: Jim McHugh.


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