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Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts appoints artist Gary Simmons to its Board of Directors
Simmons uses icons and stereotypes of American popular culture to create works that address personal and collective experiences of race and class. Photo: Tito Molina.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- The Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts announced today the appointment of artist Gary Simmons to its Board of Directors. He joins Chair John C. Welchman and members Stephanie Barron, Catherine Opie, Claire Peeps, Edward Rada, and Joan Weinstein.

“We are very excited to welcome Gary to the board of the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts,” said Welchman. “His creatively critical work and thinking and engagement with art communities on both coasts will greatly benefit the mission of the Foundation to support bold, adventurous and risk-taking work and to bring these values into innovative programs and other outcomes as we build on Kelley’s remarkable legacy.”

Simmons uses icons and stereotypes of American popular culture to create works that address personal and collective experiences of race and class. He has exhibited extensively throughout the United States and his work is in the permanent collections of numerous museums including the Miami Art Museum; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Simmons’s work is currently featured in exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. His monumental installation Fade to Black, featuring his signature erasure technique, recently closed at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles.

Simmons received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts in 1988, and his MFA from CalArts in 1990. Shortly thereafter he was awarded both the National Endowment for the Arts Interarts Grant and the Penny McCall Foundation Grant. His work was included in the 2015 Venice Biennale and the most recent iteration of Desert X.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the board of the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, as I am deeply committed to its mission of supporting experimental and challenging work,” said Simmons. “I admire Mike Kelley as an artist and am looking forward to working with the Foundation’s board and staff to honor his legacy.”

“I have been impressed for many years with the power, complexity, and breadth of Gary’s body of work,” said Mary Clare Stevens, Executive Director of the Foundation. “As an artist-centered foundation, Gary’s knowledge and perspective is invaluable. We look forward to his insight and counsel.”

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