Artist, writer, educator and CalArts alum Audrey Chan (Art MFA 07) has been named the first-ever resident artist by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California (ACLU SoCal).
“Art has long played a vital role in advocacy for change and justice,” said ACLU SoCal Executive Director Hector Villagra. “We are so excited to have Audrey Chan—whose research-based projects are rooted not only in history but also a deep sense of empathy—as the first artist in this new program.”
The year-long residency was established in partnership with LeBasse Projects, an LA-based arts consultancy, to conceptualize ACLU SoCal’s work “from an empowered position of change through creation.” Chan will have the opportunity to work with ACLU SoCal staff and coalition partners. During the residency, her work will be informed by research in the affiliate’s institutional archives to create a large-scale work in preparation for its centennial anniversary.
“The residency has been an empowering opportunity to mobilize visual storytelling to amplify ACLU SoCal’s targeted and urgent work during this time of persistent assaults on civil liberties and basic human rights,” said Chan.
Chan previously lent her talents to ICE IS NOT WELCOME HERE, a “Know Your Rights” campaign developed in response to deceptive tactics employed by federal immigration authorities. She has also been creating striking portraits of ACLU SoCal clients affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly those in vulnerable communities.
Chan currently serves as a visiting faculty in the School of Art. She is the recipient of numerous grants and residencies, including a 2020 Sam Francis Gallery residency and a 2015 Rema Hort Mann Foundation Artist Grant. In 2018, Chan’s work was included in Time and Space | 122 Hours of Ink, a collection of works by LA-based artists.