The Los Angeles Lakers launched the “In The Paint” program, which selected 15 LA-based artists of color to show their work to a panel of judges at the Lakers headquarters. Out of the 15 artists chosen, 10 artists will receive a $10,000 grant to support their future endeavors. 

Contestants created original pieces of visual art shown at the In the Paint Art Exhibition with the theme being An Evening of Art & A Catalyst For Change, presented at the Los Angeles Lakers UCLA Health Training Center on March 24.  

Judges at the exhibition included award-winning actress CCH Ponder; actor, artist and gallery owner Terrell Tilford; and art professional Halima Taha. They were joined by Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and  Lakers President of Business OperationsTim Harris.

This program stems from the Lakers 6-point Racial Equity Action Plan, developed by the company’s Director of Racial Equity & Action, Dr. Karida Brown. 

“The idea for In the Paint originated from a conversation with Dr. Karida Brown about how important it’s always been to make our training center feel like home for the players.” said Harris. “And this conversation about home turned into a program that betters our collective home — Los Angeles. We are creating an ecosystem of supporting young artists of color and uplifting established artists of color.” Brown agreed.

“What the worlds of sports and the arts have in common is that they both create culture. Like sports, art has the power to transcend all forms of difference and change hearts and minds,” she said.  “Even when you are not conscious of it, art is working on you. We are using our global platform to amplify the amazing work that the In the Paint artists are doing. At the same time we will continue to be enriched by the soul-stirring pieces that the artists have created for this show.” 

The Lakers also brought in artist and illustrator Charly Palmer to serve as the creative director of the In The Paint program this year. 

“I applaud the Los Angeles Lakers for leveraging its global platform to amplify and support the diversity of artists in Los Angeles,” Palmer said. “This program stands to be a game-changer for a generation of some of the most talented up-and-coming artists in Los Angeles. 

“The urgency Lakers employees have acted on to bring this program to life has not once faltered, from ideation to execution. My desire as a creative person is to pay it forward. It’s about giving back hope, inspiration, strength, and support. That’s what I know In the Paint has given to this community of artists. That’s what I know In the Paint will continue to give.”

The artists received their awards during the halftime presentation of the Lakers game against the 76ers on March 23. Exhibitions for local artists will happen from March 31 to April 15, at Band of Vices, 5376 W. Adams Blvd. 

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