2014 South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship winners announced

Broward County’s Jillian Mayer, Ben Morey and Richard LaBarbera are among 13 artists who’ve won a 2014 South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship, the Broward Cultural Division announced Thursday.

All told, the 13 winners received $165,000 in fellowship money, an endowment handed out annually to visual and media artists living in Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. They were selected from a record-breaking field of 310 applicants, and received prizes of either $7,500 or $15,000 each.

Mayer, of Plantation, is perhaps the best known among this crafty contingent of art folks, having released the 2011 outre art video “I Am Your Grandma,” which went YouTube-viral and currently stands at 2.8 million views. The minute-long performance-art video contains grotesque baby faces, costumes and Mayer’s firm resolve to freak out her unborn grandchildren. More recent is her video “#Postmodem,” (see below) an equally weird, 15-minute meditation on online culture and technology, which debuted in 2013 at the Borscht Film Festival in Miami. 

Morey, of Plantation, and a member of Young at Art Museum’s in-house art collective Bedlam Lorenz Assembly, is known for his mixed-media, interactive installations of “vintage game shows and harshly lit hospitals,” according to his biography on the Cultural Division’s website.

LaBarbera, meanwhile, takes Dorothea Lange-inspired portraits of hardscrabble residents living in low-income towns around Lake Okeechobee. To capture his “Lake Okeechobee” series, LaBarbera trains a 4-by-5 view camera on subjects affected by the recession, and “waits for a moment of truth, sincerity and strength that many … exhibit during tough times,” he writes in his artist statement.

Other winners include Bhakti Baxter, Edouard Duval-Carrie, Christy Gast, Alma Leiva, Lucas Leyva, Odalis Valdiveso, all from Miami-Dade; Vanessa Diaz and Mumbi O’Brien, both from Jupiter; and John McIntosh and Anja M. Kucharski, both from Key West. The 13 artists will also present a group exhibit of their works next spring at the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach.

For more information, call 954-357-7457 or go to the South Florida Cultural Consortium website.

954-356-4364, pvalys@sun-sentinel.com or Twitter @philvalys

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