A 2009 C.O.L.A. Visual Art Award (and Individual Artists Exhibit) for Maureen Selwood FAAR’03

The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs has awarded its peer-reviewed 2009 City of Los Angeles (C.O.L.A.) Individual Artist Fellowships to fifteen exemplary mid-career artists.

Among them—one of nine in the visual arts—is Maureen Selwood FAAR’03.

Selwood_COLAMaureen Selwood. Credit: Monica Nouwens

Los Angeles is one of a handful of municipalities honoring local artists with grant contracts (in this case, worth $10,000) to create and present new works for the public.

The C.O.L.A. Visual Arts Exhibition runs from Thursday 14 May to Sunday 12 July at LA’s Municipal Art Gallery. The reception is Sunday 17 May from 2 to 5 pm.  Conversation with the artist is Saturday 27 June.


Maureen Selwood’s project? As You Desire Me (Come Yu Mi Voi), an installation in four parts inspired by her residence at the American Academy in Rome as a Visual Arts Fellow in 02/03. The music and sound design is by Anna Oxygen.

Selwood tells the SOF Weblog, “The footage was filmed inside and outside Rome.  I studied the city the same way I had constructed an earlier work, Mistaken Identity [2001, film, 28 min.] (about Los Angeles), but this time decided to work with ideas of dislocation, grief and loss as time based poems.”

I-Am-MeasureingFrom I  Am Measuring You. 60” by 45”. Digital projection on hanging scrim

A_SHOE_FALLS-From A Shoe Falls. 60” by 45”. Digital projection on hanging scrim

Selwood continues, “Empire of Dreams is based upon Charles Simic’s poem of the same title.”

Empire-of-Dreams_03From Empire of Dreams. 60” by 45”. Digital projection on hanging scrim

There’s more.

“The puppets in Rules of the Universe were taken from [Allardyce Nicoll’s] Masks, Mimes and Miracles, a very, very old book in the AAR Library, which has images of 3rd century Roman puppets.”

Rules-of-the-Universe_02From Rules of the Universe. Boxed HD Flat Screen Monitor. 46” by 31

Parting thoughts? “This project was shot in Rome and is the culmination of my work there”, says Selwood. “At last this important work for me is done.  I hope you get to see it.”

Maureen Selwood was born in Dublin. She started making films after graduating from the Tisch School of the Arts in New York City. Described as “poetic odysseys”, her work utilizes hand-drawn animation, live footage, words and images, and most recently installation.

She has been a recipient of numerous awards including the Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, American Film Institute Filmmaker Grant, and a MacDowell Colony fellowship.

Maureen Selwood’s book, Green Is for Privacy (2007), was written while studying the origins of the “Ave Maria” (”Hail Mary”) prayer as a Joseph H. Hazen Rome Prize Fellowship recipient at the AAR. Selwood lives in Los Angeles where she is on the faculty of California Institute of the Arts in Santa Monica and is a freelance director with DUCK Studios.

Maureen Selwood, Hail Mary (1998)


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