White Columns and Shoot The Lobster are proud to announce the 2017 recipient of the White Columns/ Shoot The Lobster award:

Wendy Yao

White Columns and Shoot The Lobster are proud to announce that Wendy Yao - the founder of Ooga Booga, Los Angeles - is the 2017 recipient of the ‘White Columns / Shoot The Lobster Award’.

The  ‘White Columns / Shoot The Lobster Award’ is presented annually to individuals who selflessly create a context for other artists’ ideas and seek to build communities around them. Writing about Yao and Ooga Booga, artist and publisher Asher Penn said: "Ooga Booga has become a non-institutional hub within the Los Angeles area; a go-to place for its selection of books, multiples, fashion items, and accessories. Outside Los Angeles, Ooga Booga is an icon of independent entrepreneurship, participating in art and book fairs, opening temporary satellite stores, creating online resources for independent publishers, and organizing events in various venues. While Yao insists that the store's success could not be possible without the support of the store's participants and local community, as well as the help of interns and staff, Ooga Booga is nevertheless an incredibly small and personal operation.”
There are a number of awards for artists – both emerging and established – but few for the people who help artists to realize their ambitions. The ‘White Columns / Shoot The Lobster Award’ is given each year to an individual who works, often for little personal gain, to create opportunities for both artists and audiences alike. The recipient receives an unrestricted $5,000 cash award and a specially commissioned artwork - that will be presented to Yao at an event during the 2017 Printed Matter LA Art Book Fair (February, 24-26, 2017).

The ‘White Columns / Shoot The Lobster Award’ is generously supported by Shoot The Lobster and administered by White Columns. The recipient of the inaugural 'White Columns / Shoot The Lobster Award' in 2016 was Lia Gangitano, the founder of Participant Inc., New York.

About Wendy Yao: Wendy Yao was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA.  Her background is rooted in underground culture; in the 90’s she performed and recorded in a band, Emily’s Sassy Lime, which released records on the Kill Rock Stars label while she was in high school. In 2004 she founded Ooga Booga, a shop in Los Angeles specializing in artist publications, music, design, and independent culture. Over the past thirteen years the Chinatown store has organized and hosted free performances, film screenings, readings, radio shows, and book events, music events, exhibitions and artist projects out of its small second-floor space; and has published fanzines, art books and music recordings under the Ooga Booga imprint. Yao also set up projects at off-site locations such as a reading room at the Swiss Institute NY in 2009 and at Kadist Foundation SF in 2012, a mini-fair for independent publishers in 2010, and in 2012 the Excursus III exhibition and programming series at the ICA Philadelphia. In addition, from 2004 to 2012, she and her sister Amy co-organized an annual Art Swap Meet in Joshua Tree at High Desert Test Sites, in which dozens of artists were invited to sell and exchange wares in a free-form market.  In 2008 she started an online database of art book printers as a free resource to artists, designers, and customers who frequently ask for advice on art book publishing and printing. In 2013 she opened a second store location at 356 South Mission Road, in the same space as the art gallery that she runs in collaboration with Laura Owens and Gavin Brown. This larger space has allowed for her to work on a more expansive range of free public programming that includes workshops, talks, screenings, performances, exhibitions, food, and more. She also recently served as an advisor for the forthcoming 2017 Whitney Biennial.

For more about Ooga Booga visit: www.oogaboogastore.com
For more about White Columns visit: www.whitecolumns.org

Selected Press: