The City of West Hollywood has announced three $5,000 grant awards, totaling $15,000, for three resident artists for its 2021 WeHo Artist Grant program: Tristan Kilmer, Samantha Lavin, and Antonio Rael.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reshape the reality of life in the City of West Hollywood and communities around the world, artists and arts organizations are among those severely impacted. The WeHo Artist Grant program, initiated in 2018, is extraordinary in that it provides direct support for individual artists living in the City of West Hollywood, which is especially significant at this uncertain time.
The WeHo Artist Grant aims to nurture and support the long-term development of an artist’s ideas by providing funds that increase the capacity for artists to realize work, advance the conditions of creation, and navigate the complexities of both making art and making a career. In providing WeHo Artist Grant awards to individual artists, the City of West Hollywood aims to keep artists in the City of West Hollywood, to attract new artists to the City, and to contribute to the quality of daily life in the City. WeHo Artist Grant funding is approved by the City Council of the City of West Hollywood and the City’s Performing Arts and Cultural Affairs Subcommittee reviews eligible applications and makes recommendations to the City’s Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission to approve funding for WeHo Artist Grant awards.
Tristan Kilmer — is a senior industry artist who received a BFA degree from the California Institute of the Arts in Experimental Animation. His professional work includes being a Previsualization Artist at Digital Domain (on Star Trek Picard and Freeguy), Animator at Halon (for Disintegration and Borderlands 3 cinematics), Key Layout Artist at MPC (for Detective Pikachu, Aquaman, Dumbo, The Predator, and many more), and an Animation Director at One Roof Entertainment (for 2001: An Edm Odyssey).
Samantha Lavin — is an award winning DGA director, assistant director and writer who has worked on film and television projects including: “Lucifer,” “The Mayor,” and “Criminal Minds.” She has served on the Lesbian and Gay Advisory board of West Hollywood as well as Women for Sobriety Center; an organization serving formerly incarcerated women.
Antonio Rael — is a visual artist who has been a resident of West Hollywood for the past 30 years. He has created artwork and donated artwork for causes in the LGBTQ community. He hopes that this grant will support the creation of new paintings, which bring positive imagery to the community. For example, his acrylic on canvas work created in 1999 entitled “Las Memorias” / “Memories” is an homage to friends and family who passed from AIDS.
On Dec. 10th, 2020, the City of West Hollywood held a virtual event highlighting the accomplishments of the 2020 WeHo Artist Grant recipients. Members of the City Council of the City of West Hollywood joined the WeHo Artist Grant recipients to celebrate their achievements during their grant period. Each of the artists shared stories of the challenges they faced as the year took shape as well as how they were able to find unexpected opportunities, grow as artists, and learn entirely new paradigms — fueling their creative spirit.
The City of West Hollywood is committed to providing accessible arts programming for residents and visitors. The City delivers a broad array of arts programs through its Arts Division including: Art on the Outside (temporary public art), Urban Art Program (permanent public art), Summer Sounds, Winter Sounds, WeHo Reads, Free Theatre in the Parks, Arts Grants for Artists and Nonprofit Arts Organizations, Library Exhibits and Programming, the City Poet Laureate Program, Human Rights Speakers Series, and the One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival.