John Leanos

Performing Arts, 2002

John Jota Leaños is an animator and new media artist focusing on critical convergences of history, memory and decolonization. Leaños’ animation, installation and performance fuse traditional art practices and aesthetics with new technologies and contemporary interpretations. Leaños has received the 2012 Guggenheim Fellowship in Creative Arts, the United States Artist Fellowship (2011), San Francisco Art Commission Individual Artist Grant (2011) and the National Association for Latino Arts and Culture Artist Award (2012). His animations have screened internationally at dozens of festivals and museums including the Sundance Film Festival (2010, 2006), Cannes Film Festival, France (2007), Morelia International Film Festival, México (2008), WILDsound Film Festival, Toronto (2008), BAM/PFA (2011), Artivist Film Festival (2006), the KOS Convention (2007), the de Young Museum, San Francisco (2010) and the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (2008, 2006). He has also shown at the 2002 Whitney Biennial, Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Galería de la Raza. He is currently an Associate Professor of Social Documentation at the University of California, Santa Cruz, in the Department of Film and Digital Media.

Awards and Accomplishments


Leanos wins Guggenheim Fellowship


Leanos is a 2011 USA Fellow


Leanos wins United States Artist Fellowship

2007: Leaños receives Alliance for Artist California New Vision Residency at the Headlands Center for the Arts

2006: Leaños receives Creative Work Fund Award

2005: Leaños is the Center for Chicano Studies Artist-in-Residence at UC Santa Barbara