Kala Art Institute's mission is to help artists sustain their creative work over time through its Artist-in-Residence and Fellowship Programs, and to engage the community through exhibitions, public programs, and education.
Artists at Kala are encouraged to produce innovative artwork of the highest quality, and are given total freedom to realize their artistic vision using media that span the Gutenberg to digital eras. Artists are also provided with a number of professional development opportunities, and a spirit of exchange and education is nurtured through artist involvement in exhibitions, special events, lectures, teaching, and classroom experience. Additionally, Kala is committed to offering quality art education to the general public and public school children through its on-site program of classes and workshops and its Artists-in-Schools program, established in 1991, providing multiple-week artist-led instruction to students in East Bay public schools and summer programs.
Founded in 1974 by Archana Horsting and Yuzo Nakano as an international workshop and forum for ideas, Kala Art Institute provides exceptional facilities to professional artists working in all forms of printmaking, digital media, photography, and book arts. Located in the former Heinz ketchup factory in West Berkeley since 1979, Kala’s 15,200 square foot facility houses an extensive array of artmaking equipment, as well as a public exhibition gallery, an art library and an extensive print archive. Established artists associated with Kala over the years include Squeak Carnwath, Roy de Forest, Jessica Dunne, Bella Feldman, Barbara Foster, Sonya Rapoport, Peter Voulkos, and William Wiley. In addition to the artists in residence program, the organization’s annual activities include over 100 classes and workshops open to the general public; 8-12 visual art exhibitions in Kala’s gallery as well as off-site locations; on-going lectures, artists talks, and special events open to the general public; and an Artists- in-Schools program that provides curriculum-based visual arts education to children in schools in Berkeley, Emeryville and Oakland. Kala currently serves approximately 25,000 individuals annually, many of whom reside in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area.
There are a total of thirteen staff members addressing the areas of program development, exhibition management, fund development, studio maintenance, technology, education, registration, art sales, and office administration, along with a number of interns and dedicated volunteers. Current staff are listed as follows:
Archana Horsting, Executive Director, Co-Founder
Yuzo Nakano, Artistic Director, Co-Founder
Paper Buck, Print Studio Manager
Jamila Dunn, Youth Art Programs Manager, Development Associate
Mayumi Hamanaka, Gallery & Communications Manager, Art Registrar
Carrie Hott, Program Manager, Fellowships, Artist Residencies and Classes
Ellen Lake, Grants Manager
Wendy Neu, Business Manager
Unai San Martin, Custom Printing Manager
Andrea Voinot, Art Sales Manager
Jon Zax, Digital Media & Facilities Manager
Gary Nakamoto, Exhibitions Installer
Janine Brown, Susanna Davy, Myles Dunigan, Brandon Gehres, Z Groshong, Zoe Huey, Jason Hull, Audra Knutsen, Kate Klingbiel, Grace Lannon, Oscar Maynard, Pirouz Mehmandoost, Alexis Morgan, Melina Rutter, Nik Sonfield and Julie Whitcomb
Kala Art Institute is governed by an sixteen-person Board of Directors that meets on a bi-monthly basis with participation from the Executive and Artistic Directors. A number of the Board members are active arts professionals and have strong ties to the art community.
Frederick Fassett, President
Davis Riemer, Vice-President
Mark Hulbert, Treasurer
Joanne Kamiya, Secretary
Sylvia Solochek Walters, Liaison to the Kala Advisory Council
Kala gratefully acknowledges support from the following foundations, agencies and corporations: Alameda County Arts Commission, Alliance of Artists Communities, Archer Patterson Family Foundation, Bayer USA Foundation, Berkeley Association of REALTORS®, Berkeley Civic Arts Commission, Berkeley Public Ed Fund, Berkeley Rotary Club, California Arts Council, Cal Humanities: Community Stories Grant, CEC Artslink, Chevron Humankind Employee Fund, City National Bank, City of Emeryville, Clif Bar Family Foundation, Crescent Porter Hale Foundation, Olivia and Thacher Hurd Fund, Bill Graham Supporting Foundation of the Jewish Community Endowment Fund, In Dulci Jubilo, Inc., The James Irvine Foundation, The Japan Foundation, The Thomas J. Long Foundation, Mechanics Bank, Meyer Sound, National Endowment of the Arts, The Nichols Foundation, Open Circle Foundation, The Bernard Osher Family Foundation, Packard Foundation, Sharon and Barclay Simpson/The PSB Fund, Mercy and Roger Smullen Fund/Silicon Valley Community Foundation, The Sato Foundation, May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust, Sustainable Arts Foundation, , Nancy and Rich Robbins/Wareham Development, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Bernard E. and Alba Witkin Charitable Foundation, Zellerbach Family Foundation/ Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation, and thanks to our many generous individual members and donors.
In particular, we would like to extend special thanks to The James Irvine Foundation for their significant support over the last several years, enabling the organization to dramatically advance its efforts to support artists and create a vibrant, creative community.