The Working Artist Project is an awards program created by MOCA GA to support visual artists of merit living in the Atlanta metro area. Winners are supported with an exhibition, promotion, a studio assistant, and a major stipend to create work over the course of the year.

Online PR News – 19-July-2012 – Atlanta, GA – The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA GA) today announces the winners of the 2012/2013 MOCA GA Working Artist Project: Shara Hughes, Jiha Moon, and Katherine Taylor.

The Working Artist Project (WAP) is an awards program created by MOCA GA to support visual artists of merit who reside in the Atlanta metropolitan area. This initiative provides an unparalleled level of support for individual artists, expands the museum’s mission, and promotes metropolitan Atlanta as a city where artists live, work and thrive. As in the past three years, jurors selected three visual artists to receive the award. Representing our city’s best and brightest; these artists will be supported with an exhibition, promotion, a studio assistant, and a major stipend to create work over the course of the year. This program is supported by a major grant from The Charles Loridans Foundation.

This year, Julie Rodrigues Widholm, Pamela Alper Associate Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (MCA), came to Atlanta to serve as juror for this year’s round of artists’ submissions. Rodrigues Widholm recently curated Rashid Johnson: Message to Our Folks and is currently organizing Colombian artist Doris Salcedo’s first survey exhibition for Fall 2014 at the MCA and is also co-organizing Amalia Pica’s first American solo museum exhibition with MIT List Visual Art Center, Boston. Since joining the MCA in 1999, she has curated group exhibitions such as Escultura Social: A New Generation of Art from Mexico City, which was accompanied by a bi-lingual catalogue, as well as in-depth presentations of the MCA Collection in Constellations: Paintings from the MCA Collection and MCA Exposed: Defining Moments in Photography, 1967-2007. In addition, she has organized solo exhibitions of dozens of Chicago-based artists including most recently Scott Reeder, Laura Letinsky, Molly Zuckerman-Hartung and Cauleen Smith. Rodrigues Widholm holds an M.A. in Modern Art History, Theory and Criticism from The School of the Art Institute in Chicago and a B.A. in Art History and Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


“There is clearly great depth and diversity in Atlanta’s artistic pool. My selections include three dynamic female artists, all of whom explore the complex merging of abstraction and representation within painting, each in their own singular voice. I look forward to seeing how their exhibitions play a role in the ongoing vitality and plurality of painting today.”
- Julie Rodrigues Widholm.

Shara Hughes was born in Atlanta. She graduated with a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2004 and she attended the residency program at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2011. She’s attended also residencies at the Andersen Ranch in Colorado, Vermont Studio Center in Vermont, and two summers on the coast of Denmark through the Mikael Andersen Gallery. Hughes had her first solo show at Rivington Arms in New York City in 2007 and solo shows through Museum 52 in London, Mikael Andersen in Copenhagen as well as Berlin, and with the Metroquadro gallery in Turin, Italy. Hughes also was featured in the group show One Giant Leap: Work from the Saatchi Gallery in London in early 2012 and is scheduled for a solo exhibition this coming September at the American Contemporary gallery in New York, NY. Hughes says of her work, “I always tell people there is really no separation between the canvas, the paint, the brush, and myself. This aligns with my ideas about where the lines are between
abstraction and reality that I address in the work. Although not one painting is the same as the next, I really see no difference between the spaces I paint, the space I live in and the same space it all comes from.” She works and resides in Atlanta, GA.

Jiha Moon is from DaeGu, Korea and lives and works in Atlanta, GA. She received her BFA from Korea University in Seoul and her MFA from the University of Iowa, Iowa City. Her works have been acquired by the Asia Society and Museum in New York, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, and the Smithsonian Institute’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC. Moon’s solo exhibition sites include the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte, The Cheekwood Museum of Art in Nashville, and Rhodes College’s Clough-Hanson Gallery in Memphis. She has been part of several two-person and group exhibitions and has worked with printmaking presses and institutes throughout the country and abroad. She also regularly contributes to The Studio Visit (TSV), a non-profit web journal dedicated to focusing on the importance of studio practice and process for contemporary visual artists. A statement by Brian Holcombe from her spring 2012 solo exhibition at Saltworks, Detourist, describes her recent work: “Moon's floating landscapes are shifting cultural narratives, playfully blending symbols, materials and techniques to slow down the viewer's impulse to assume meaning and sometimes mislead by highlighting popular misconceptions or ‘shortcuts’. Her dynamic paintings skillfully integrate color, mark making, material and iconic imagery to examine the impermanence of cultural identity.”

Katherine Taylor born and raised in Biloxi, Mississippi. She received her BFA from Atlanta College of Art, and her MFA at Georgia State University. Taylor’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally including the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art, the Quebec City Biennale, The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Diverseworks in Houston, The Dalton Gallery at Agnes Scott College, The Tubman Museum, Florida State University Museum of Fine Art and art fairs in Chicago, New York, Miami, Portland and London. Her characteristically autobiographical paintings have been the topic for review. She has taught at several universities and is currently an Assistant Professor of Art at Kennesaw State University. A statement from her recent solo at Marcia Wood Gallery, Firmament, describes her recent work: “Taylor distills the notion of landscape and horizon, arriving at an atmospheric, elemental place that is vivid and hushed with meditative weightlessness and expansive with light…referring to a nostalgic contemplation of the heavens as a consciousness of ones human relationship with the natural world.”

These three 2012/2013 winners bring the total to fifteen artists supported by the Working Artist Project. In the first year (2007/2008), Andrea Barnwell Bromlee, Director of the Spelman Museum of Art and Jeffrey Grove, who at the time was Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the High Museum joined Annette Cone-Skelton, Director of MOCA GA in selecting artists Larry Walker, Don Cooper, and Danielle Roney. In the second year (2008/2009), Ms. Cone-Skelton was joined by Carter Foster, Curator of Drawing at the Whitney Museum of Art in selecting artists Matt Haffner, Marcia R. Cohen, and Maria Artemis. In the third year (2010/2011), Allison Unruh, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the Indianapolis Museum of Art selected Xie Caomin, Micah Stansell and Katherine Mitchell. In the fourth year (2011/2012), Michael Rooks, Wieland Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the High Museum of Art selected Gregor Turk, Martha Whittington, and Brian Dettmer.

“Now in its fifth year of funding, the Working Artists Project was developed in response to the great loss of some of Atlanta’s most talented artists to cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. As a museum that is dedicated first and foremost to supporting Georgia’s contemporary artists, it is our goal to encourage these artists to remain in our city, establishing Atlanta as one of the best cities for launching a viable career in the arts,” states Annette Cone-Skelton, Director of MOCA GA.


The Working Artist Project is an open call to all established visual artists in the metro Atlanta area. It is a year long program that supports metropolitan Atlanta visual artists, expands the Museum’s mission, and strengthens the arts and cultural component of Atlanta. Each funded year, MOCA GA holds a metro-wide competition to select three working artists based on their talent, professionalism, and their proven ability to complete the project. Representing our city’s best and brightest; these artists are supported with a solo exhibition, promotion, a studio assistant, catalogue, and a major stipend to create work over the course of the year. The Project encourages artists from Atlanta and other cities to see our city as a viable destination in which their careers can thrive. At the same time, the Project will help raise the recognition of metropolitan Atlanta as a major center for contemporary art.


The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA GA) collects and archives significant, contemporary works by the artists of the state of Georgia. To place its artists in a broader context, the museum's exhibitions include Georgia artists and artists from around the world. MOCA GA’s programs promote the visual arts by creating a forum for active interchange between artists and the community. MOCA GA is located at 75 Bennett Street in the TULA Art Center. Admission is free to members, $5 for non-members and $1 for students. On the First Thursday of each month,MOCA GA stays open until 9 p.m. and admission is free all day. For more information, call 404-367-8700, visit or email MOCA GA is open to the public Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and is closed Sunday and Monday.