|Njideka Akunyili Crosby and Rafa Esparza. Photos: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and Fabian Guerrero.|
The museum, on its website states that the Artist Council was established in 2006, as a rotating advisory group of 10-15 internationally renowned, Los Angeles-based artists. The group meets regularly with Hammer curators and leadership to engage in extended conversations about specific programmatic issues at the Hammer as well
as broad conceptual questions facing contemporary museums today.
“The Artist Council is a crucial guiding voice within the Hammer Museum, and I’m delighted to see Njideka and Rafa join their ranks. 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,” said Hammer Museum Director Ann Philbin.
Through a wide-ranging, international exhibition program and the biennial, Made in L.A., the Hammer highlights contemporary art since the 1960s, especially the work of emerging and under recognized artists. The exhibitions, permanent collections, and nearly 300 public programs annually—including film screenings, lectures, symposia, readings, music performances, and workshops for families—are all free to the public. The Hammer is a public arts institution of the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture. The Hammer is a public arts institution of the School of the Arts and Architecture at UCLA.
Other man members: Artist Council
Co-Chairs Liz Glynn Monica Majoli
Members Kathryn Andrews Juan Capistran Fritz Haeg Meg Cranston Tala Madan
taisha paggett Andrea Fraser Yuval Sharon Charles Gaines Kulapat Yantrasast.
Akunyili Crosby was born in Enugu, Nigeria in 1983 and currently lives and works in Los Angeles. She is the recipient of a 2017 MacArthur Fellowship and was awarded Financial Times' Women of the Year, 2016, alongside the Future Generation Art Prize 2017 Shortlist. She is the recipient of the Prix Canson Prize, 2016, Foreign Policy's Leading 100 Global Thinkers of 2015, the Next Generation Prize, New Museum of Contemporary Art, 2015, the Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize, 2015, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum's James Dicke Contemporary Art Prize, 2014. Recent solo exhibitions include Front Room: Akunyili Crosby, The Baltimore Museum of Art  alongside Prospect.4, curated by Trevor Schoonmaker, New Orleans, Louisiana ; Akunyili Crosby: Predecessors, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH, which toured to Tang Museum at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY (2017); Portals, Victoria Miro, London (2016), I Refuse to be Invisible, Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach (2016) and The Beautyful Ones, Art + Practice, Los Angeles (2015), staged concurrently with a solo presentation at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2015).
Esparza was born in 1981 in Los Angeles. Esparza 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 mediums and has presented his work at a variety of sites, including traditional fine art contexts and community-based platforms as well as outdoor public locations that he has independently sought out and organized. His work has been shown at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (2015); Bowtie Project, Los Angeles, with Clockshop (2015); Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA (2015); and Vincent Price Art Museum, East Los Angeles (2014). He has performed outside the Twin Towers Correctional Facility, Los Angeles (2015); in Elysian Park, Los Angeles
(2014); and underneath the viaduct on Fourth and Lorena Streets, in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles (2014). His work was included in the MexiCali Biennial (2013) at the Vincent Price Art Museum and in Native Strategies 3 at Human Resources, Los Angeles (2013). He participated in the symposium “LA/LA Practice and Place” at the Getty Center, Los Angeles (2015). Esparza was awarded a Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Grant (2015), a California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists
(2014), and an Art Matters Grant (2014). Esparza also participated in the Hammer Museum’s biennial exhibition Made in L.A. (2016) and the Whitney Museum of American Art’s biennial (2017).