“As a Bay Area local, it gives me great pleasure to know that two of our community’s most inspiring artistic voices, Marcel Pardo Ariva and Lava Thomas, are receiving not only an important and well-deserved recognition on a national scale, but an award that might help them overcome some of the countless obstacles they are surely facing in this extraordinarily challenging moment.” – Juror Anthony Huberman, Director & Chief Curator, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts
“I was impressed by Marcel Pardo Ariza’s public art projects that are bringing attention to the history of the LGBTQIA+ community in San Francisco and situate the city’s gay bar scene as a critical space for kinship and solidarity.” – Juror Lucy Mensah, Clinical Visiting Assistant Professor, MUSE Program, School of Art & Art History at University of Illinois at Chicago
Marcel Pardo Ariza (b. Bogotá, Colombia) (they/them) is a trans visual artist, educator and curator who explores the relationship between queer and trans kinship through constructed photographs, site-specific installations and public programming. Their work is rooted in close dialogue and collaboration with trans, non-binary and queer friends and peers, most of whom are performers, artists, educators, policymakers, and community organizers. Their practice celebrates collective care and intergenerational connection.
Their work is invested in creating long term interdisciplinary collaborations and opportunities that are non-hierarchical and equitable. Their work has recently been exhibited at the McEvoy Foundation for the Arts; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art; Palo Alto Art Center; San Francisco Arts Commission Galleries; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; Palm Springs Art Museum; and the Institute of Contemporary Art San José. Ariza is the recipient of the 2022 SFMOMA SECA Award, the 2021 CAC Established Artists Award; the 2020 San Francisco Artadia Award; 2018-19 Alternative Exposure Grant; 2017 Tosa Studio Award; and a 2015 Murphy & Cadogan Contemporary Art Award. Ariza is a studio member at Minnesota Street Project, and the co-founder of Art Handlxrs*, an organization supporting queer, BIPOC, women, trans and non-binary folks in professional arts industry support roles. They are currently a lecturer at California College of the Arts and San Francisco State University, and based in Oakland, CA.