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$100k Mohn Award raises ante for Hammer's 'Made In LA' 2012 exhibit

by John Rabe | Off-Ramp®

Organizers captured a little essence of LA by using Colby to print the exhibit posters, which presumably will be taped to telephone poles all around town. John Rabe

With the non-profit LAX ART, Saturday the Hammer Museum opens a delicious new exhibit highlighting dozens of new and emerging artists from LA. It's the Hammer's biennial event, called "Made in LA 2012," but this year they're sweetening the pot and upping the exhibit's prestige with a huge cash prize for best work of art. The Mohn Family Foundation (a major supporter of KPCC) is giving $100,000 to establish the Mohn Award, jumping Hammer's biennial into the ranks of the Tate and the Whitney. An outside jury will pick five finalists, but then the public will vote for the winner and the result will be announced in August.

60 artists are participating in "Made in LA," after curators -- like the Hammer's Anne Ellegood and Ali Subotnick -- visited hundreds of artists' studios across LA. Subotnick says, "Getting into the studio and seeing what's happening and talking with the artists about their work is the most exciting part of this process." The say they didn't have any set criteria. No check-boxes for demographic, medium, or subject. Instead, it was a gut feeling. "It's gotta rock your world," as Subotnick says.

Made in LA is happening at three venues: the Hammer, Barnsdall Art Park, and LAX ART, and runs through September 2d. Check the website link for the cool app you play in your car, featuring art talks at specific geographic points, and Dublab music the rest of the time.

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