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Santa Monica Announces New Resident Artists

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By Lookout Staff

December 22, 2021 -- Childhood nostalgia, fake ghosts and the stories behind everyday objects are among the subjects explored by Camera Obscura Art Lab's (COAL) new resident artists.

Selected by a panel of "artistic peers," the six Los Angeles County-based artists will spend 14 weeks in two studio spaces overlooking the Pacific Ocean, City officials said.

The resident artists -- who receive a stipend and can share their work in an online form -- work in film, animation, installation, mixed-media, performance, photography, puppetry and sculpture.

Relict by Melissa Ferrari
"Relict" by Melissa Ferrari (Courtesy of the artist)

The annual program -- which was suspended last year due to the COVID shutdown -- "has evolved to respond to the needs of artists during this critical time," officials said.

"Changes include an increase in outreach efforts and promotion to a broader artistic community, an increase in artist stipends, and a pivot to exhibit final work online," officials said.

The 2022 artists-in-residence are:

  • Filmmaker and performing artist Zach Dorn, who "creates miniature melodramas that explore the underbelly of childhood nostalgia through the disappointed eyeballs of adulthood."

  • Melissa Ferrari -- a nonfiction filmmaker, experimental animator and magic lanternist -- who explores "the mythification of pseudoscience, phantasmagoria, and fraudulent histories of the supernatural."

  • Andre Keichian, who uses photography, video and sculptural installation to show how a "personal history as a queer, transgender, Argentine-American operates as an indexical relationship that expands to interconnected subjects."

  • Lua Kobayashi, who creates miniature scenes/sets to focus on the stories "behind everyday objects, places and people we believe we are familiar with.

  • Installation and performance artist Dakota Noot, who explores the "complexities of our diet and animal-human relationships through installations (made with drawings mounted on free-standing foam core) or wearable art taped to the body."

  • Diane Williams, a Pilipina interdisciplinary artist and researcher who creates woven objects and structures that combine "cultural detritus as collected materials pulled from diverse sources" that include friends, family and her immigrant communities in Los Angeles."

The Camera Obscura Art Lab's (COAL) residency program is part of a network of artist opportunities offered by the City of Santa Monica’s Cultural Affairs Division that has served more than 200 artists across various disciplines.

For more information about the arts in Santa Monica, visit

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