Artadia is pleased to announce the Awardees for the 2016 Atlanta Artadia Awards: Jiha Moon and Cosmo Whyte. The 2016 Atlanta Artadia Awardees will receive $10,000 in unrestricted funds as well as access to the ongoing benefits of the Artadia Awards program. This is Artadia’s fourth year providing unrestricted Awards to artists in Atlanta. Applications for the Awards were open to any visual artist living in the Greater Atlanta area, including the counties of Barrow, Bartow, Butts, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, Morgan, Newton, Paulding, Pickens, Rockdale, Spalding, and Walton, for over two years, working in all media and at any stage of their career.

In the first round of evaluations, Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy, Curator of Contemporary Art, Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, Jamillah James, Curator, Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and Katherine Jentleson, Merrie and Dan Boone Curator of Folk and Self-Taught Art, High Museum of Art, selected five Finalists from 188 submissions. The Finalists included Kelly Kristin Jones, T. Lang, Jiha Moon, Zipporah Thompson, and Cosmo Whyte. Daniel Fuller, Curator, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, joined Jentleson for the second round of evaluations. The jurors conducted studio visits with each of the five Finalists to determine the Awardees.

The 2016 Awardees represent the diverse arts community that is flourishing in Atlanta. Jentleson and Fuller cited the mix of international and domestic influences on Moon’s ceramics and paintings. Jentleson noted: “Jiha Moon does maximalism in the best way, saturating her painting and ceramics with signs and symbols that go in many exciting directions. The source she draws on, from Southern face jugs to Korean norigae are so diverse, allowing for work that is both humorously and seriously engaged in confrontations with the absurdity of our globalized, hyper-technologized society and the many cultural misunderstandings it nurtures.” Fuller explained how Moon uses these influences playfully and to provoke: “Jiha Moon is in a perpetual state of “other” as she mines numerous histories and cultures, distilling them into rascally works of art. There is no filter, just a quirky mix matching flurry of references. Mischievousness, rebelliousness, Jiha is the Bart Simpson of our scene and she perfectly exemplifies the new Atlanta.”

Fuller spoke to the ways in which immigration informs the themes and imagery in Whyte’s work: “Cosmo Whyte carries memories of home with him wherever he goes. In our studio visit we spoke of how a place is depicted so faraway in proximity, however so near to your heart. His work unpacks the complexities of growing up within colonialism and maintaining identity. It is both highly personal and specific to each of us.” Jentleson addressed the artist’s multifaceted approach to his practice: “Cosmo Whyte’s work is powerfully resonant with the legacy of colonialism and the present urgency of forced migration. His work engages these issues through both the direct confrontation of his interdisciplinary practice and the subtle parsing of his drawings.”

The 2016 Atlanta Artadia Awards are made possible thanks to The LUBO Fund, MailChimp, Tim & Lauren Schrager Family Foundation, Artadia’s Board of Directors, Council members, and many generous individual donors in Atlanta and throughout the United States.

Image, left to right: Jiha Moon, Anang, 2015, earthenware, underglaze, glaze, wire, synthetic hair, plastic barrette, 14.5 x 12 x 4.5 inches; Cosmo Whyte, Stranger than the Village, 2015, 35 x 26 inches.