Tallett earns national grant award


Keith Tallett, a member of the Hawaii-based art collective AGGROculture, is one of 25 artists nationwide to receive a 2012 Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant valued at $25,000.

“It’s an immense honor to receive the Mitchell Award and to be included with the outstanding artists that have been awarded this grant since 1993. … (T)his grant reaffirms my decision to live where I do, and how I do … relatively isolated from any big contemporary art scene and engaging the land, culture and community that I was raised in,” Tallett said. “This grant will help me continue to create work that addresses and challenges our cultural identity and popular perceptions of Hawaii.”

The grant program was established by the Joan Mitchell Foundation in 1993 to assist and acknowledge painters and sculptors creating work of exceptional quality.

Mitchell was one of the American Abstract Expressionist movement era’s few female painters to gain critical and public acclaim. Her work today is exhibited in major museums and collections across America and Europe. The foundation celebrates her legacy and expands her vision to support the aspirations and development of diverse contemporary artists.

Tallett was born and raised in Hilo. The process of making art is a way of creating dialogue between his cultural knowledge and practices, and his investigations as a contemporary artist, he said. The resulting work takes form in paintings, drawings, photography and sculpture.

Tallett has exhibited at such venues as the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Track 16 Gallery in Los Angeles and Franklin Parrasch Gallery in New York. He was included in the 2011 Artists of Hawaii exhibition at the Honolulu Museum of Art where he received the Jean Charlot Foundation Award for Excellence. He lives with his wife and daughter in Paauilo Mauka, and is co-owner of Mahiai Creative, providing photography, graphic design and video production to nonprofit and public agencies.

For more information on the Joan Mitchell Foundation, visit joanmitchellfoundation.org. For more about Tallett, visit keithtallett.com. The AGGROculture Collective website is aggroculture.org.