Past Awardees

April 2021: Palija Shrestha

April’s mini-grant recipient is Palija Shrestha, a painter from Kathmandu, Nepal currently based in San Francisco, CA. Palija has a MFA from California College of the Arts. Her work investigates and navigates politics in response to her, her mother’s and her grandmothers’ experiences that related to a cosmic longing for survival. She will use the mini-grant fund to buy supplies for her Tikijhya, traditional newari window, series. The series aims to convey that we can dream beyond and imagine a higher place, a more hopeful survival. 

Shrestha’s work has been exhibited at the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum, Minnesota Street Project, Doug Adams Gallery, Richard and Rhonda Goldman Fund Gallery, ODC Theatre, Frank Ratchye Project Space, CTRL+SHFT to name a few. Shrestha has received the South Asian Arts Resiliency Award, Claudia W. Belk Studio Award, among others.

Check out her work at

Artist Palija Shrestha

March 2021: Kacy Jung

Kacy Jung is the March recipeint of ARTogether’s mini-grant for artists. Kacy Jung is a Taiwanese visual artist, based in San Francisco, working with photography, photo-sculpture, and site-specific installation. Much of her work is concerned with the way identity is constructed and reassembled during socialization. 

ARTogether’s mini-grant will help Kacy create an online platform and expand the physical presence for her ongoing photography and interview project, 21 Grams – The Weight of Souls. The project aims to create an extensive catalog of faces and their untold stories of battling the mainstream capitalist system that pressures individuals to move away from the arts. 

Kacy’s works have been exhibition at The Untitled Space, NY, Hastings College, NE, Berkeley Art Museum, CA and in various public and private collections in the US and Taiwan. 

Artist Kacy Jung

February 2021: Sunroop Kaur

Sunroop Kaur (@loquacious_lines) is a visual artist originally from Calgary, Alberta, with a B.F.A from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, 2019. She uses her practice as a vessel to transport critical conversations about identity, race, gender, culture, and inherited art histories. 

As a first-generation Indo-Canadian who has never visited India, Kaur struggles with the layered complexity of her own identity and feelings of displacement. Kaur’s work borrows from Eastern and Western iconography to create a space where dichotomy regarding her identity may find reconciliation.

ARTogether’s mini-grant will help Sunroop complete a series of works for a solo-exhibition. Along with references to Eastern and Western Conventions, the series alludes to the gendered art politics surrounding textile art and the rich textile history of Punjab and Phulkari work.

Artist Sunroop Kaur

January 2021: Sen Mendez 

In partnership with CiNEOLA and Frameline, ARTogether has awarded its January mini-grant to Oakland artist Sen Mendez’s (@sencreatesart) workshop series Y(our) Legacy, a visual workshop series for the Bay Area Latinx immigrant community.

The grant will support a visual workshop series created by Mendez, which will be offered free of charge to the Bay Area’s immigrant Latinx community. Titled the Y(our) Legacy series, Mendez describes the workshop as “a block printing movement between mental illness and block printing to end cycles of harmful behaviors imprinted unto us by creating our own imprints.” The workshop will be a 10 week series aimed to assist participants in their journey of self growth and recovery.


Artist Sen Mendez, A.K.A. Queen Sen Sen

November 2020: Victor Castro

November’s mini-grant winner is Victor Castro, the talent behind Shamanic Labs, an exciting art studio from West Oakland. 

“We are mega excited to win this grant, and have a great concept to create a brand new type of ‘board game’ meets artistic centerpiece,” Victor tells us. “This art experience is replete with hints, symbols and elements to remind us of how special and important the human journey is. We need this reminder more than ever, in 2020! You are worth it! Play this game! It will remind you why we are here! To make friends and play with your toys and make cool stuff!”

Check out Victor’s amazing work on

October 2020: Somaieh Amini

Born and raised in Iran, Somaieh Amini (@somaieh_amini) got her start at as an artist at animation studios. She moved to Italy in 2009 to do her Master’s in Painting at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma, and discovered her love of illustration. In 2012, Somaieh moved again, this time to the United States. 

These relocations have had an emotional impact on Somaieh’s artistic life. After moving to the United States, it took her 3 years to start her artistic career. However, it was also then that she came realized anew that painting and illustration and what she wants to do for the rest of her life. Relocation has also impacted the themes of her work, which often cover subjects of immigration, home, the refugee experience and war.  

ARTogether’s mini-grant was awarded to Somaieh for her watercolor series “Wrapped in Plastic,” which explores children in war zones, and the brutal effect of war on the most defenseless and vulnerable.

Artist Somaieh Amini

September 2020:  Edward Gunawan & Elbert Lim

ARTogether’s very first mini-grant is awarded to multimedia storyteller Edward Gunawan and his collaborator and brother, Elbert Lim, creators of the webcomic Project: Press Play

A personal journey about struggling with mental health, Project: Press Play is a poignant and beautifully told story, and has already been translated into three languages. ARTogether’s mini-grant will allow the creators to translate the comic into Thai, Bahasa Indonesia and Spanish, and to reimagine the webcomic as a video. 

Read the full comic at

From Webcomic Project: Press Play

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