Fellowship Program


The 2024-2025 Fellowship application is open!

Artists interested in the Fellowship Program can apply online at kala.slideroom.com  – 2024-2025 Fellowship deadline is March 15th (9:00 pm PT) – apply here! 

For over 30 years, Kala Art Institute has awarded artists time, space, and financial support for their work through the Kala Fellowship. The Kala Art Institute Fellowship is an artist residency award for local, national, and international artists. Artists producing innovative work in and across mediums including printmaking, photography, digital media, social practice, film and video, sound, animation, performance cinema, media art installation, and book arts are encouraged to apply. Each year Kala provides fellowships to six artists from a variety of disciplines based on conceptual creativity, originality, and artistic excellence.

The 2024-2025 Fellowship competition is chaired by Kala’s Artist Residency Manager Leyla Rzayeva. This year the submissions will be juried by Kala’s Co-Director Mayumi Hamanaka, Fellowship alum Weston Teruya, and Anthony Graham, Senior Curator at Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA).

In 2024, Kala will award six artists a $3,000 stipend, unlimited access to Kala’s facilities for one to nine months, one Kala class, and a culminating show in the Kala Gallery. The Fellowship is geared towards supporting artists in completing specific projects or bodies of work that would benefit from Kala’s specialized equipment in printmaking and digital media. In partnership with the Sustainable Arts Foundation, we support parent artists through one of our six fellowships designated for a parent artist (with a child under 18 at home).

Special Programs: We will also offer two Parent AIR Program residencies (please see more info about the Parent AIR Program on our website). If you check the box under Question 13 in the fellowship application, you will be considered first for the Fellowship; if you do not receive the Fellowship, you will also be considered for the Parent AIR program residency. Parent AIR Program offers Bay Area artists an individual residency plan with up to $1000 worth of services that cover a Kala residency, classes, Camp Kala, or other onsite youth art programs for their children, or consulting with Kala staff about professional development opportunities.

Kala Print Studio is located at the top of three flights of stairs. Please reach out to Leyla Rzayeva at leyla@kala.org so we can share more about accessibility for you (and your service animal) safely and efficiently.

The deadline to apply is March 15th, 2024 at 9:00 PM, PDT.

Feel free to contact Artist Residency Manager Leyla Rzayeva at leyla@kala.org with related questions to the Fellowship Program.

2023-2024 Fellowship Artists:

Philip Crawford (Berlin, Germany/Philadelphia, PA) @_philipac_
Alison Chen (Los Angeles, CA) @_alisonchen A special thanks to the Sustainable Arts Foundation for supporting this Parent Artist.
John Yoyogi Fortes (Sacramento, CA) @jy4tes
Helia Pouyanfar (Berkeley, CA) @heliapouyanfar
Georgina Reskala (Santa Monica CA) @reskala
rhiannon skye tafoya (Cherokee, NC) @r.skye.t

The 2023/24 Fellowship cohort was selected by Kala’s Artistic Director Mayumi Hamanaka, and two guest jurors: MoAD Interim Director of Exhibitions & Curatorial Affairs Selam Bekele, and Fellowship alum Alisa Ochoa.

2022-2023 Fellowship Artists:
Khadijah Morley (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Sungjae Lee (Chicago, IL) – Instagram: @thony0806
Jessica Doe (née Mehta, Tyner) (Hillsboro, OR) A special thanks to Sustainable Arts Foundation for supporting this Parent Artist. 
Rayelle Gardner (East Elmhurst, NY)
Paola de la Calle (San Francisco, CA ) – Instagram: @paoladelacalle
Lani Asunción (Boston, MA ) – Instagram: @lani.asuncion

Honorary AIRs:
Jenny Lin & Eloisa Aquino (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)

The 2022-2023 Fellowship competition was selected by Kala’s Artistic Director Mayumi Hamanaka and two guest jurors: Fellowship alumni artist Natani Notah and invited Bay Area arts professional, Kim Acebo Arteche, Co-Director at Berkeley Art Center.

2021-2022 Fellowship Artists:
Ting Ying Han (Los Angeles, CA)
Sahand Heshmati Afshar (Chicago, IL)
Alisa Ochoa (Costa Mesa, CA) A special thanks to Sustainable Arts Foundation for supporting this Parent Artist. 
Mariana Ramos Ortiz (Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico) – Instagram: @la.habicuela
Ron Moultrie Saunders (San Francisco, CA )
Lena Wolff (Berkeley, CA ) – Instagram: @lenawolffstudio

Honorary AIR Awardees:
Ann Johnson (Houston, TX) – Instagram: @solesisterart
Pamela Ybanez (Oakland, CA)

The 2021-2022 Fellowship competition was selected by Kala’s Artistic Director Mayumi Hamanaka and two guest jurors: Print Public alumni artist Imin Yeh and Bamidele Agbasegbi Demerson, Chief Curator at the African American Museum and Library in Oakland.

2020-2021 Fellowship Artists:
Anthea Black (Oakland, CA)
Tavarus Blackmon (Sacramento, CA)
Elnaz Javani (Chicago, IL)
Natani Notah (Alameda, CA)
Jessica Sabogal (Oakland, CA ) and Shanna Strauss (Montreal, QC)
tamara suarez porras (Berkeley, CA )

Honorary AIR Awardees:
Sydney Cain (San Francisco, CA)
Adia Millett (Oakland, CA)
Nasim Moghadam (Palo Alto, CA)
Stuart Robertson (Stanford, CA )
courtney m sennish (Emeryville, CA )

2020-2021 Media AIR Awardees:
Alexa Burrell (Bay Area, CA)
Pegah Pasalar (Chicago, IL)
Naomi van Niekerk (South Africa)

The 2020-2021 Fellowship competition was juried by Kala’s Executive Director, Gallery Director and Artist Residency Manager, and a panel that included Media Award alumni artist Veronica Graham, and one invited Bay Area arts professional, Jovanna Venegas, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art SFMOMA.

2019-2020 Fellowship Artists:
Pavel Acevedo (San Francisco, CA)
Jonathan Herrera Soto (Minneapolis, MN)
Pascaline Knight (Montréal, QC)
Sara Press (Sebastopol, CA )
Aay Preston-Myint (Oakland, CA )

Honorary AIR Awardees:

Michael Koehle ( Oakland, CA)
Jessica Sabogal (Berkeley, CA)
Gabriela Yoque (Oakland, CA)

The 2019 Fellowship competition was juried by Kala’s Artistic Director  and Gallery Director, and a panel that included Fellowship alumni artist Golbanou Moghaddas, and one invited Bay Area arts professional, Rhonda Pagnozzi, Curatorial Assistant, Oakland Museum of California.   

2018-2019 Fellowship Artists:
Dahn Gim (Los Angeles, CA)
Malisa Humphrey (Los Angeles, CA)
Yen-Hua Lee (Taichung City, Taiwan R.O.C.)
Mary V Marsh (Oakland , CA)
Keith Secola (Berkeley, CA)

Honorary AIR Awardees:

Cynthia Brannvall (Berkeley, CA)
Phillip Hua (San Francisco, CA)
Jennifer Justice (Alameda, CA)

The 2018 Fellowship competition was  juried by Kala’s Artistic Director and a panel that included one Fellowship alumni artist, Leah Rosenberg and one invited Bay Area arts professional, Cecile Puretz, Access & Community Engagement Manager of The Contemporary Jewish Museum.  

2017-2018 Honorary AIR Awardees:

Myles Dunigan (Lawrence, KS)
Casey Gardner (Berkeley, CA)
Joyce Ertel Hulbert (Berkeley, CA)
Anais Lera (Brussels, Belgium)
Cathy Lu (San Francisco, CA)

Our jurors in 2017 were Jamil Hellu, Alumni Fellowship Artist and Sage Perrott, arts professional and Adjunct Professor at Utah State University.

2016-2017 Honorary AIR Awardees:

Julia Goodman, Oakland, CA
Tom GreyEyes, Oakland, CA
Galen Jackson, Berkeley, CA

Our jurors in 2016 were Terry Berlier, Alumni Fellowship Artist and Cathy Kimball, Executive Director and Chief Curator, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art.