Congratulations to the winners of The 2017 Davyd Whaley Foundation Grants
Margaret Griffith & Laura Krifka


Dedicated to supporting Los Angeles artists

Established in 2016, The Davyd Whaley Foundation is dedicated to supporting Los Angeles area artists. In the spirit of its namesake Davyd Whaley (1967-2014), the Foundation offers a variety of grants to assist these artists in the fulfillment of their vision.

Davyd Whaley devoted the happiest and most productive years of his life to his work as a painter. Unfortunately, his life ended just as he was beginning to achieve the recognition and success for which he worked so hard. The quality of the paintings he left behind is testimony to his creative accomplishment.. Davyd was fascinated by every aspect of art, but he was also a philanthropist. He taught art to the underprivileged, counseled grieving families in hospitals, and taught terminally-ill and war-scarred children to paint. He was honored as Volunteer of the Year by Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in 2012. Davyd's goals were always evident: Make art. Buy the art of others. Help people whenever possible. Grow in consciousness. The mission of the Foundation was designed around these tenets.

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The 2018 Davyd Whaley Mid-Career Artist Grant

Awarded to a committed studio artist in the Los Angeles area who has been working for 10 years or longer and may have achieved an initial level of local recognition, but who has yet to receive broader exposure and acclaim.
Applicant should be able to show evidence of a substantial body of studio work. Applicant may have an existing exhibition record, but still awaits conventional art world recognition in terms of critical response in the media, consistent gallery or museum exhibition, or financial return on sales of work. Applicant must be a practicing studio artist. Commercial artists are not eligible. Applicant must be based in the greater Los Angeles area, which includes the following five counties: Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Ventura.

October 16, 2017

January 16, 2018

Spring of 2018

Application Closed

We Are pleased to announce Margaret Griffith

as the recipient of our 2017 Mid-Career Artist Grant

Honorable Mention has been awarded to Amir Fallah, Stas Orlovski, Tia Pulitzer, John David O’Brien, Coleen Sterritt

Margaret's BIO


" My work takes on a variety of forms, as installation, sculpture and drawing. Some of the pieces I make are created to exist in site-specific locations, which reveal a critical relationship between object and place. These nuanced relationships appear in the architectural forms where I live which find their way into my work, from the abandoned buildings in Detroit to the residential wrought iron gates of Los Angeles. Recently, I have begun to work on drawings of gate patterns found in San Diego County and beyond. I think of myself as an urban scavenger, searching for interesting patterns and architectural clues that can influence my surroundings and find deeper connections with where I live.

I am also interested in discovering an additional layer of meaning through metaphorical and antithetical implications in architectural structures. For example, the gate acts as a boundary or barrier while also representing security, peace, fear and isolation. I have been photographing residential front gates found in my Los Angeles neighborhood and transforming the images into life-size, hand cut paper and water-jet cut metal replicas. The forms are then piled on top of each other on the floor and walls, which then create a three-dimensional abstraction of pattern, line, shape and mass, constructing a new perspective on the residential landscape.

My process is direct to begin with and very physical and personal. I research subject matter through photography, and then draw, replicate, cut, bend, attach and rearrange what I have found using water jet cut metal, hand-cut paper and hand cut foil on paper. The fragility of paper used to represent a chain link or steel gate is important, as well as the rigidity of metal that is then folded, curled and bent into organic and billowy forms. Similarly, paper is thin, delicate, and versatile and has an inherent intimacy. We all have established relationships with paper, whether through drawing, printing, cutting, pasting or writing. Metal, on the other hand, has a distinct association with heaviness, reliability and structural integrity that is challenged through cutting and manipulation.

My trajectory continues to focus is on permanence as fiction. The paper and metal forms serve as monuments to fragility and impermanence, while change, instability, prospect and emptiness flourish in our urban landscape". - Margaret Griffith

We Are pleased to announce Laura Krifka

as the recipient of our 2017 Artist-Teacher Grant

Honorable Mention has been awarded to David McDonald

Laura's BIO


Laura Krifka is an Adjunct Faculty member at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and lives in Ventura CA.

Laura Krifka makes paintings that dissect the way power and identity are constructed in visual culture. She is interested in how the language of art history has blended with film and photography, dissolving distinctions between high and low and making visual factuality tenuous. Compositions are collapsed down to flat spaces, and single figures assert their gaze out of environments constructed with patterned wallpaper and fabrics. There is a sense of privacy and intimacy in their surroundings, but these spaces are anonymous in nature, like a found photo in a gutter that reveals too much and also not enough to be truly informative. By limiting the amount of information in each painting Krifka hopes to create a precarious point of departure for the viewer. Our own gaze becomes a major component in reading each piece, drawing attention to our own personal systems of coding. Laura Krifka received her MFA from UC Santa Barbara in 2010 and her BFA from California Polytechnic University San Luis Obisbo in 2008, following earlier studies at Newbold College in England and Avondale College in Australia. She has shown at L.A. Louver’s Rogue Wave Program, Torrance Museum of Art, Westmont Museum of Art as well as Seven and Untitled in Miami, and Vast Space Projects in Las Vegas NV. She has had solo shows in Los Angeles and New York City and is represented by BravinLee Programs in New York.

ABout Davyd Whaley


Davyd Whaley was born on December 6, 1967 and died on October 15, 2014. He was a resident artist at the Santa Fe Art Colony in downtown Los Angeles and was a member of the Los Angeles Art Association. He had previously served in the Navy for four years from 1986-1990, and worked for 15 years as an electrical engineer before becoming a professional artist. He was admired and deeply loved by his colleagues, his friends, and his spouse, television director Norman Buckley.

His time was split between being a full-time studio artist and teaching art classes. At the time of his death he was teaching art to terminally ill children with The Art of Elysium, as well as working with war-scarred children through The Children of War Foundation.

As an artist, Davyd Whaley was primarily self-taught. But he took occasional classes at UCLA and with Ronnie Landfield and Larry Poons at the Art Students League of New York. The genesis of his art came from both nature and his surroundings but also from his dreams and subconscious. He was inspired by Jungian psychology and his own desire to understand the unconscious mind through the study of dreams, symbols, art, and philosophy. Davyd believed, "Painting manifests an alternate universe in which our subconscious world becomes a reality.”

In technical terms, Davyd was drawn to asymmetrical forms and the energy and power created by a 3-dimensional contrast of tactile depth, light and color. Davyd’s paintings are defined by circuitous strokes, thick with color and texture. He painted in episodes, each work expressing a moment; each canvas a spiritual sequence, like dreams linked in our subconscious by ethereal themes or meanings.

He wrote, "We do not get all the information on how to live our everyday lives in just one dream. They come in short, little bursts, like thunderstorms. Just like storms, dreams have patterns if we piece them together. I paint as a way of expressing my feelings.”

In the long history of art, there is an abundance of artists whose work was barely known until long after their passing, and indeed Davyd Whaley’s art had not achieved wide recognition at the time of his death. As a body of work, however, it proclaims its own quality and celebrates the dedication and passion with which it was created. He remains alive in the hundreds of paintings and drawings he completed. Much of his work has been collected in the volume DAVYD WHALEY, with an essay “A HERO’S JOURNEY” by Peter Clothier, available soon on Amazon with all proceeds going to the Foundation.

To preserve his legacy,The Davyd Whaley Foundation has been established to support living artists on their path to success. It honors Davyd’s desire to be of service to his fellow artists, through the awarding of grants that will enable others to follow their creative path with the sense of liberation and joy that he himself was able to discover in his studio practice.


Media & Articles

Margaret Griffith 2017 Mid - Career Grant Winner
Molly Glentzer
Installation view: "Lines Drawn" at DiverseWorks, Houston (September 23-November 18, 2017).
Art Daybook: The sagging gates of the White House
Read More
Direct Support: Why This New Grant is a Surprising Outlier in Arts Philanthropy
Mike Scutari
After coming across the Foundation for Contemporary Arts' (FCA) new annual Roy Lichtenstein Award, I couldn't help but read into a comment by Jack Cowart, the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation's executive director.
Read More
Davyd Whaley Foundation launches
Pauline Adamek | July 12, 2016
The Davyd Whaley Foundation, announced its launch on Saturday with a mission dedicated to supporting under-recognized Los Angeles area artists. In the spirit of its namesake Davyd Whaley (1967-2014), the Foundation offers a variety of grants to assist these artists in the fulfillment of their vision.
Read More
Meet the New Foundation Filling a Persistent Void in Local Arts Philanthropy
Mike Scutari
Los Angeles has a new arts grantmaker, the Davyd Whaley Foundation, which recently launched to fill an "over-looked gap in L.A.'s art philanthropy.
Read More
Whaley Foundation grants to support Los Angeles visual artists
debra levine | 10 Jul 2016
In a community celebration on Saturday, the Davyd Whaley Foundation launched a program of grants targeted to directly support individual Los Angeles-area visual artists.
Read More
New grants in honor of the late painter Davyd Whaley will go to midcareer artists
Carolina A. Miranda | July 26, 2016
A new foundation established in honor of Los Angeles painter Davyd Whaley, who died two years ago at age 47, will launch a special grant program to support midcareer artists in the greater Los Angeles area.
Read More
New Foundation in Los Angeles Launches Grant Program for Midcareer Artists
AUGUST 1, 2016
Established in honor of the late Los Angeles painter Davyd Whaley, a new foundation will launch a special grant program in early 2017 to support midcareer artists in the greater Los Angeles area, according to Carolina A.
Read More


Ellie Blankfort

Ellie Blankfort is an independent art advisor, consultant, and curator. She has been an active presence in the Los Angeles art community since the early 1970s, and is widely respected here and throughout the country for her long-standing support of artists and their work. Starting out as administrator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Art Rental Gallery, she opened the Ellie Blankfort Gallery in 1972, dedicated to promoting the career of under-represented Southern California artists. In 1976, she chose to extend her professional reach as a free-lance consultant to personal and corporate collectors in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and elsewhere, and worked with Koplin Gallery on a nationwide search for artists and to curate exhibitions. At the same time, she developed a special interest in public art and oversaw the installation of important site specific works at California Institute of Technology and at the Frank Gehry-designed Loyola Law School, where she also served as curator for several exhibitions on the campus. In recent years she has chosen to return to close, person-to-person contact with artists and their studio work, and has devoted much of her professional time to one-on-one coaching, mentorship, and career advisement.

Norman Buckley
Founder, Executive Director

Television and film director Norman Buckley lived with Davyd Whaley for ten years and was married to him for six. It’s Norman's wish that, through the Foundation, Davyd’s goals and ideals continue to be promoted in the lives of others.

Anitra Kyees

Anitra Kyees studied Art History at University College London in 2004, gaining a master’s degrees in Fine and Decorative Arts at Christies Education of London in 2007 and Art Business at Sotheby’s Institute of Art London in 2009. After a fruitful nine years in London working with prestigious auction houses advising on global business development for both auction and private sales, Anitra moved to California in 2012 where she currently manages a successful luxury goods appraisal and advisory company. She also worked with Davyd Whaley for the last year and a half of his life, assisting him in the management of his career. She oversees events and manages the day to day operations of The Davyd Whaley Foundation.



The Davyd Whaley Foundation welcomes support from friends of the Los Angeles art community. Making a tax-deductible donation to a grant fund can make a life-changing contribution to an artist's creative life. Join us in celebrating the legacy of Davyd Whaley by participating in this worthy endeavor.

All donations are tax-deductible.
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