Ronald Rael receives Fleishhacker Foundations Eureka Fellowship
December 16, 2019. San Francisco, CA - The Fleishhacker Foundation announced today that it has awarded twelve Bay Area visual artists with Eureka Fellowships. The largest cash prize for individual artists in the Bay Area, the Foundation’s Eureka Fellowships are designed to help artists continue making work by supporting more uninterrupted creative time. These prestigious awards, based solely on artistic merit evidenced by previous work, are not restricted to specific projects. The Foundation also announced that the Fellowships have been increased from $25,000 to $35,000 per artist, beginning with this round of awards.
This year’s Fellowship recipients include Berkeley artists Juana Alicia Araiza, Guillermo Galindo, and Vivian Kleiman; Oakland artists Indira Allegra, Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik, Nico Opper, and Ronald Rael; and San Francisco artists Craig Calderwood, Koak, Viviana Paredes, Genevieve Quick, and Allison Smith. Individual artist biographies are listed below. This award cycle spans three years, with awards given to four of the twelve artists per year in 2020, 2021, and 2022. The prize stipulates that the artists remain in the Bay Area during the year of their award.
Over one hundred artists applied for the Fellowships from a candidate pool created by nearly fifty local nonprofit visual arts organizations. The nominated artists represent a wide range of the region’s artistic talent, with work reflecting a broad cultural and stylistic variety. Nominees were limited to working artists, 25 years of age or older, who reside in one of nine Bay Area counties (San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Marin, Napa, and Sonoma).
A panel of three nationally known arts professionals judged the artists’ works, including Robert Blackson, Director of Temple Contemporary at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, PA; Carmen Hermo, Associate Curator of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, NY; and Nancy Zastudil, Gallery Director at Tamarind Institute in Albuquerque, NM. The panel reviewed the sample work without information as to the artists' identities or professional history. The panel met in November 2019 in San Francisco.
The Fleishhacker Foundation’s Eureka Fellowships have recognized artistic excellence since 1986. In addition to providing cash support, the artists’ works have been exhibited in shows at the San Jose Museum of Art, Berkeley Art Museum, and the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art. The Foundation recently created a 30-year retrospective book of the Eureka Fellowships, which featured the last 48 recipients of the award. A full listing of past recipients is attached, and the anniversary book, Eureka at Thirty Years, is available for order at Fine Arts Press.
“Our out-of-town panelists and Bay Area nominating organizations recognize the Eureka Fellowship Program as vital to our community and such grant programs are increasingly rare,” said Program Director Amy Charles. “Direct support to artists’ creative work is imperative to keeping the Bay Area’s artistic and cultural dialogue alive,” she added. “We rely on the entire community to make this program a success, particularly our nominating arts professionals and organizations. We also thank The Griffon Hotel for their hospitality and support of our program, and all of the artists who apply for the fellowship and contribute to our community by making their art.”
About the Fleishhacker Foundation
The Fleishhacker Foundation is a family foundation located in San Francisco, California. It was established to improve the quality of life in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Foundation makes grants to local, community-based organizations through two main programs: Arts & Culture and Precollegiate Education. Arts grants are made to support artistic efforts across an array of disciplines, including dance, music, theater, and film as well as visual, media, and interdisciplinary arts. Education grants are awarded to Bay Area organizations to support K-5 literacy programs serving disadvantaged public school students. The Foundation also offers unrestricted support to visual artists in the Bay Area through its Eureka Fellowship Program. For more information visit www.fleishhackerfoundation.org.
Ronald Rael (2020) is a design activist, undocumented architect, and educator. As the San Francisco Chronicle writes, "Ronald Rael's imagination is audacious. He speculates on the implications of a border wall, building with mud and using 3D printers to create buildings, as seen in his books Borderwall as Architecture, Earth Architecture and Printing Architecture, with his partner, architect and educator Virginia San Fratello. Rael is a professor of architecture at the University of California, Berkeley and is a founding partner of the Oakland-based Make-Tank, Emerging Objects. You can see his drawings, models, and objects in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, NY; the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in New York and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.