The Los Angeles Artist Census project by artist Tatiana Vahan will be in residence within ICA LA’s new Field Workshop space from February 22 - April 30, 2020. The first day coincides with the museum’s 11-day Voting Center period where LA County’s registered voters can cast their ballot for the Presidential Primary Elections from February 22 to March 3.
Take the census here
Data plays an essential role in understanding the needs of a community. Currently there is little to no data on the financial situations of LA-based artists. The Los Angeles Artist Census is a socially engaged, data research project, organized by local artist Tatiana Vahan. This Census will identify and map the needs of local visual artists, which will help public and private funders learn where and how to allocate funding for artists and provide public officials with the data needed to support policies that can address artists’ needs.
The goal is to also provide artists, art institutions, researchers, and the public with a clearer picture of what the current Los Angeles artist community looks like. The Census survey was authored by a diverse group of local artists and contains questions that pertain to employment, healthcare, housing, and debt. Issues that are unique to LA-based artists, related to adjunct teaching, “no fault” evictions, student loan debt, and studio affordability, are also included. With local artists participating in all phases of the research process, we can provide data that is often overlooked or misinterpreted by the institutions that ordinarily conduct this type of research.
This project pragmatically responds to the expanding art scene in Los Angeles and the subsequent need for more support for artists in the county. It aspires to foster community and self-empowerment amongst artists whilst creating a public dialog about these issues. This work will directly impact the art communities in Los Angeles by creating a framework to address artists needs.
A report, comprehensive data table, and data visualization tool will be published online in the fall 2020, and available as a public resource for years to come.
Tatiana Vahan is an artist from Miami, FL now living in Los Angeles. Vahan received an MA in Aesthetics and Politics from CalArts in 2014 and a BFA in Visual Art from New World School of the Arts in 2009. Her work has been exhibited at 356 Mission Road, MDC Museum of Art + Design, the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami, the Bass Museum of Art, Perez Art Museum Miami, and Monte Vista Projects.
Vahan is the founder of bar-fund, an artist-run initiative whose mission was to provide more financial opportunities for LA-based artists outside of the commercial gallery and private grant systems. Currently she is organizing the Los Angeles Artist Census, a socially engaged art research project that is collecting financial data on LA-based artists to gain a better understanding of need versus resources available to artists in L.A. County.