The James D. Phelan Art Awards were established by the trust of James D. Phelan (1861-1930), former San Francisco Mayor, United States Senator, and arts supporter, to recognize the achievements of California-born artists in a variety of disciplines. The San Francisco Foundation sponsors the annual competitions to recognize the achievements of California-born artists in four different disciplines: film, photography, printmaking, and video. Awards are made in film and video in even-numbered years and in photography and printmaking in odd-numbered years.
Eligibility: Winning applicants will be asked to provide copies of their birth certificates. There are no age restrictions for these awards. Up to six awards ($2,500 to $7,500) are made each year. The competitions are administered in partnership with four community-based arts organizations and are only open to California-born artists.
James D. Phelan Art Award in Photography
The Phelan Award in Photography is administered by SF Camerawork. Two artists will recieve $3,750 each and be invited to participate in a group exhibition at SF Camerawork.
NEXT APPLICATION DEADLINE: The Phelan Award in Photography is awarded in odd-numbered years.
James D. Phelan Art Award in Printmaking
The Phelan Award in Printmaking is administered by The Kala Art Institute. Two artists will receive $5,000 each and be invited to participate in a group exhibition in the Kala Art Institute’s gallery.
James D. Phelan Award in Film, Video, and Digital Media
In partnership with the Bay Area Video Coalition and the Film Arts Foundation, SFF awards one $10,000 prize and two $5,000 prizes. The Phelan Awards are given to California-born media artists whose body of work merits recognition for its creativity, innovation, and contribution to the fields of film, video, and digital media. Eligible platforms include film, analog and digital time-based video, installation work, web, interactive and mobile media, and hybrid projects.