Look alive: we’re delighted to announce that applications for the 2024 NOT REAL ART grant cycle are open until midnight on January 1, 2024. Apply now!
Thank you for applying for the Grant!
Empowering Artists Careers
Apply To Win Our 2021 Artist Grant
The NOT REAL ART Grant is a $12,000 annual award designed to empower
the careers of 6 contemporary artists, each of whom receive $2,000.
In Partnership with:
Click the button below to apply for the 2021 Grant. We’ll post important additional details and updates about the grant in January 2021.
NOT REAL ART Announces Its 2020 Grant Recipients:
It’s the kind of news everyone wants to receive at least once in their life – getting the news “you won!”. Today, six visual artists are about to get such positive news as they read this piece to learn they are the recipients of the 2020 NOT REAL ART Grant.
NOT REAL ART aspires to honor artists invaluable contributions to human culture by empowering their careers in meaningful, thoughtful and relevant ways. As an organization, NOT REAL ART exists to celebrate and elevate creative culture by empowering artists, helping artists tell their stories and promote their art.
About The Grant
NOT REAL ART: The Grant is a $12,000 annual award designed to empower the practice of emerging contemporary artists. Launched in 2019, grant recipients are announced in Los Angeles at the NOT REAL ART: The Conference. If you're an emerging contemporary artist, be sure to apply to win our grant in 2020!
More Than Money
We don't just give our grant winners money and say goodbye. NOT REAL ART Grant winners get a platform and community to tell their stories and promote their work. We feature our winners on our podcast, we interview them and create feature articles about them on our blog. And, we curate an art exhibition featuring their art work!
Meet The 2019 Winners
Meet our 2019 Grant Recipients
2019 Grant Recipients
- Tayla Coviello
- Marguerite Kalhor
- Beth Abaravich
- Edmund Arevalo
- Juliana Bustillo
- Karen Fiorito
- Jessie Noguchi
- Rachel O’Donnell
- Maria Belseiro
- Eben Eldridge
- Monica Leal Cueva
- Anthony Louis-Just
After months of planning, we’re proud to present our first virtual exhibition, which celebrates the 2022 winners of the NOT REAL ART grant for artists.
Introducing the winners of our 2022 NOT REAL ART Grant for Artists
The pros at design and fabrication studio Pretty in Plastic worked with NOT REAL ART to conceive and develop one-of-a-kind awards for our 2021 grant winners.
Apply for the annual NOT REAL ART grant by May 1, 2022. Founded in 2019, the grant empowers artists with financial backing, promotion, and recognition.
Grant Winner, Albert Cleophus Willis, who prefers to go by ‘Cleophus’ in the fine art world, was a little surprised when he won the 2021 Not Real Art Grant because he wasn’t sure his art would be categorized as not real enough. “I feel like I’ve been discriminated against because my art is so traditional. I think people view it as something that’s been done, rather than what it is that’s being done. I’m one of those artists who shies away from interviews. I think people should focus on the art rather than the artist, even though I know this is naive because people really are buying a piece of the artist. But I hope that one day, they will look at the art and let the art stand on its own.”
2021 Not Real Art grant winner, Carmen Mardonez grew up in Chile. The oldest of nine siblings, Mardonez shares that growing up in a big religious family meant that the expectations are, “to be a good woman who takes care of your husband, your house, and your kids. To be a woman who doesn’t speak too much or is too loud, who knows her place. I didn’t really like that. I was fighting with that idea for a long time. I was refusing to be that kind of woman, but when I realized I was pregnant, I was like ‘Oh my God, now I’m gonna be that woman.’”
Grant winner, Daniela Garcia, grew up in Lake Los Angeles, a small town on the outskirts of the Antelope Valley, and Guanajuato, Mexico, respectively. Splitting her time between the two communities, Garcia shares that “going back and forth between Lake LA and my dad’s small town felt very similar. The culture was the same. I was constantly surrounded by immigrants or my dad’s close-knit family.”
In high school, 2021 Not Real Art Grant winner, Nadyia Duff, chose Cooking as her elective. But, as fate – or the art gods would have it, cooking class was full, and Duff was placed in an art class. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Duff moved to Miami, FL in the mid-‘90s where she still resides today. Her artist bio reads, “Nadyia Duff is a Jamaican/American multiethnic Artist, Art Educator, and Museum Educator living and working in Miami Florida. Nadyia combines the painterly and realistic to tell elaborate narratives using her method of drawing and painting.”
Not Real Art Grant Winner, John Chang was born and raised in Shanghai, which he describes as a “big city – the same as a New York.” While some might think that’s exotic, Chang says that as a child, he sometimes found it boring. But boredom would not dominate Chang’s childhood. Instead, his mother gave him an ultimatum – either make art or play the piano. For a time, John did both until his love of pencil drawing became his driving artistic force.
International artist and 2021 grant winner, Natalia Villanueva Linares was born in the south of France to Peruvian parents. A graduate of École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts de Paris, Linares’ work has been featured in galleries, art fairs, and exhibitions in Paris, Peru, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Ecuador, and the United States. She is also the founder of the magazine Ukayzine, created to promote international cultural exchanges through the visual arts.
Today’s guest on the Not Real Art Podcast is John Chang, one of our six 2021 Not Real Art Grant winners. John is a Chinese-American multidisciplinary artist from Shanghai who considers himself a spiritual escapist. His work is rich and deep, layering language and image to construct and reconstruct meaning, memory, and intention. In this episode, John shares his process of searching for new meanings in a new world, one where it has become increasingly important for artists to embrace digital mediums and utilize the power of art to facilitate empathy.
We Celebrate and Elevate our Grant Winners...
On October 16, 2019, the winners of NOT REAL ART: The Grant showcased new work at Art Share LA in DTLA. Over 200 people attended the event and many art works were sold. It was a great night for our winners, many of whom it was their first professional art show.