Discipline: Visual Art – drawing

Sydney Acosta

Discipline: Visual Art – drawing
Region: Los Angeles, CA
MacDowell Fellowships: 2022

Sydney Acosta (b. 1987, Yanaguana aka San Antonio, Texas) received her M.F.A. in painting and drawing from UCLA in 2021 and her B.A. from Sacramento State University in 2015. She has exhibited her work at Dreamsong (2023), White Columns (2023), Michael Benevento (2023), the CASTLE gallery (2022), Onsen Confidential with Kristina Kite gallery hosted by Aoyama Meguro in Tokyo (2022), Root Division in San Francisco (2021), and Axis gallery in Sacramento (2019). She has been supported by the MacDowell Fellowship and residency, the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, the LA Lakers emerging artist grant and the American Austrian Foundation. She has upcoming exhibitions at Human Resources Los Angeles and Kristina Kite gallery in Los Angeles.

Using charcoal, pastel, and oil on paper or canvas, I make drawings and paintings in series that together build a narrative. I’m very interested in that which defies depiction and making work with a very unfixed subjectivity. I draw as a journal and as a space of healing. I work very quickly and intuitively, in short sessions. The drawings then set the stage for painting. My imagery comes from my memories near and far, dream events, my experience being in nature, privacy from observation, photos, or xeroxes of photos of collected artworks and landscapes. I’m influenced by contemporary feminist poetry and fiction which shares an interest in describing the un-nameable emotions of the postcolonial condition, its problems of dislocation and representation. The works made at MacDowell, a series of 96 drawings and a single painting of a rainbow, are collectively titled "Filled with Song.”

Portrait by Sam Richardson



Sydney Acosta worked in the Adams studio.

Given to the MacDowell Association by Margaret Adams of Chicago, the half-timbered, stuccoed Adams Studio was designed by MacDowell Fellow and architect F. Tolles Chamberlin ca. 1914. Chamberlin was primarily a painter, but also provided designs for the Lodge and an early renovation of the main hall. The studio’s structural integrity was restored during a thorough renovation in…

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