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Njideka Akunyili Crosby and Rafa Esparza. Photos: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and Fabian Guerrero.

Njideka Akunyili Crosby and Rafa Esparza Join Hammer Museum’s Artist Council

The Hammer Museum announced today that Njideka Akunyili Crosby and Rafa Esparza are the newest members of its Artist Council, a rotating advisory group of ten to fifteen Los Angeles–based artists that meets regularly with Hammer Museum curators and leadership to discuss the institution’s program.

“The Artist Council is a crucial guiding voice within the Hammer Museum, and I’m delighted to see Njideka and Rafa join their ranks,” museum director Ann Philbin said. “We rely on the Artist Council to challenge and enhance the Hammer’s standing as an intellectual and cultural laboratory of ideas. Njideka and Rafa are valuable additions to this esteemed group.”

Born in Enugu, Nigeria, in 1983, Akunyili Crosby currently lives and works in Los Angeles. She is the recipient of a 2017 MacArthur Fellowship and was named one of the Financial Times’ Women of the Year in 2016. She was also short-listed for the 2017 Future Generation Art Prize. Her recent solo exhibitions include “Front Room: Njideka Akunyili Crosby” (2018) at the Baltimore Museum of Art and “Njideka Akunyili Crosby: Predecessors” (2017) at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati.

Esparza is a Los Angeles native who was born in 1981. He studied at East Los Angeles College before transferring to the University of California, Los Angeles, where he received his BFA. He currently works in installation, sculpture, drawing, painting, performance, and other media, and has exhibited at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (2015); the Bowtie Project, Los Angeles, with Clockshop (2015); the Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA (2015); and the Vincent Price Art Museum, East Los Angeles (2014). Esparza also recently participated in the Hammer Museum’s 2016 biennial exhibition, Made in L.A., and the Whitney Museum of American Art’s 2017 biennial.

Other members of the Artist Council include cochairs Liz Glynn and Monica Majoli, Kathryn Andrews, Juan Capistran, Fritz Haeg, Meg Cranston, Tala Madani, Rafa Esparza, taisha paggett, Andrea Fraser, Yuval Sharon, Charles Gaines, and Kulapat Yantrasast.

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