New York, NY – Artadia is pleased to announce the five Finalists for the 2016 San Francisco Artadia Awards: Simone Bailey, Josh Faught, Ruth Laskey, Mitzi Pederson, and Will Rogan. The Finalists were selected by jurors Jenny Gheith, Assistant Curator of Sculpture and Painting, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Lauren Haynes, Associate Curator, Permanent Collection, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and Brian Sholis, Curator of Photography, Cincinnati Art Museum, following a review of 490 applicants in early August.

The applicant pool represented the impressive breadth and diversity of San Francisco’s artist community. Jenny Gheith observed: “There was an overwhelming number of applications which speaks to the intense need for support for visual artists in the Bay Area. The perspectives that my fellow jurors offered helped me reflect on the artistic community here and the diverse range of voices. I look forward to our conversations with the Finalists next month.” Lauren Haynes reflected on Artadia’s process and the selected Finalists, stating: “I really enjoyed getting to know the work of some of the fantastic artists living and working in San Francisco. I think the Finalists represent an amazing cross-section of contemporary artistic practice.”

Brian Sholis highlighted the unique opportunity that Artadia’s open-application provides curators and applicants. He remarked: “In my day-to-day work as a curator, it can be easy to forget how many talented artists working in so many media exist in a given community. I knew that many talented artists live and work in the Bay Area — the Artadia applications showed just me how much exciting activity takes place in San Francisco.”

This is Artadia’s ninth time presenting curator-driven, unrestricted Awards to Bay Area artists since the organization’s founding in San Francisco. Applications for the 2016 San Francisco Artadia Awards were open to all visual artists living in the Bay Area (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo counties) for over two years, working in any media and at any stage of their career. Finalists and Artadia Award recipients are selected through Artadia’s rigorous, curator-driven jury review process. In the first round of review, jurors evaluated the merit of all submissions and collaboratively determined the five Finalists.

Jenny Gheith will be joined by Ceci Moss, Independent Curator, to conduct studio visits with the Finalists and select two 2016 San Francisco Artadia Awardees in September. Each artist will receive $10,000 in unrestricted funds and access to the lifetime benefits of the Artadia Awards program.

Artadia’s announcement of the 2016 San Francisco Awardees will coincide with the organization’s exhibition, Above Accents Across, at Minnesota Street Project. Organized by Juana Berrío, Independent Curator, and Kelly Huang, Art Advisor at Zlot Buell + Associates, Above Accents Across will feature work by ten artists from Artadia’s network of 73 Awardees living and working in the Bay Area. The exhibition will be on view from September 10 – 24, 2016, and provides a timely opportunity to consider the importance of visual artists to San Francisco.

Artadia’s programs in San Francisco are made possible by The Fleishhacker Foundation, The San Francisco Foundation, Artadia’s dedicated Board of Directors, Council members, and many generous individuals throughout the country.

Image details, clockwise from top left: Simone Bailey, Will Rogan, Ruth Laskey, Mitzi Pederson, Josh Faught.