Lorena Ochoa Receives Institute of Contemporary Art, San Diego NextGen 2023 Award
UC San Diego Graduate Among Seven Artists Currently Featured at ICA San Diego/Central

SAN DIEGO, CA — (September 18, 2023) Recent UC San Diego graduate Lorena Ochoa is the newest recipient of the Institute of Contemporary Art, San Diego’s annual NextGen Award. The winner was announced during ICA San Diego’s public C You Saturday! exhibition celebration on September 16, 2023.

This award recognizes the artist who received the highest total ranking across the jury panel. Many thanks to this year's jury: Dinah Poellnitz, Co-founder, Curator, and Director of Development of The Hill Street Country Club, Oceanside, CA; julia elizabeth neal, Assistant Professor of Art History, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Marie Sarré, Curator, Modern Art, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; and Ryan Campbell Garrett, Founder, RCG Art Advisory, San Diego.

Lorena Ochoa’s practice is an act of defiance–defiance of binary thinking, of art-historical hierarchies, of political borders that separate cultures and families. Ochoa considers how the migrant body transports much more than the physical self as it traverses hostile terrain, carrying memory, traditions, and intergenerational trauma. Water, in Ochoa’s work, is a rebellious force that subverts human-made boundaries: the ocean rejects the border, while flowing water erodes paved riverbeds (such as the one in their home town of Santa Ana, California). Hoses, pipes, faucet handles, and other hardware responsible for the movement of water recur throughout Ochoa’s artwork, reiterating the significance of water as both a life-force and a domestic resource.

In laundromatica cromatica (2023) Ochoa fuses the historically feminized domestic sphere with the stereotypically masculine realm of car culture. Combining a commercial laundry cart with simulated hydraulics powered by windshield wiper motors, Ochoa again harnesses the energy of water to give life to this hybrid machine. Ochoa’s creation celebrates the power of domestic labor and the flamboyance of lowrider culture in one fluid gesture.

NextGen 2023 is an annual juried exhibition of graduating artists from across San Diego County and Northern Baja California, that celebrates emerging artistic voices and highlights the innovative work being produced across the San Diego region. Through NextGen, ICA San Diego provides local artists with both exhibition opportunities and professional development, while highlighting the strength of our creative community. It opened at ICA San Diego/Central in Balboa park on September 9 and runs through January 28, 2023. This year’s seven selected artists are: Leila Khalilzadeh Aghdami, MFA, San Diego State University; Matthew John Bacher, MFA, San Diego State University; Cat Gunn, MFA, University of California San Diego;Hazel Katz, MFA, University of California San Diego; Heige Kim, MFA, University of California San Diego; Arlene Mejorado, MFA, University of California San Diego and Winner Lorena Ochoa, MFA, University of California San Diego.

About the Institute of Contemporary Art, San Diego

ICA San Diego is a platform for experimental art and learning with a mission to question everything. Founded in 2021, yet built on over 100 years of combined experience, our programming is cutting edge yet accessible; daring and thoughtful; challenging and inviting. Our exhibitions, installations, commissions, classes, and workshops reflect ICA San Diego’s commitment to engage the issues of the moment and provide a space for the community to come together and consider the world in which we live. ICA San Diego welcomes everyone to gather, learn, question, and experience the new. ICA San Diego is always free and open to the public. ICA San Diego / Central is located at 1439 El Prado in Balboa Park, and ICA San Diego / North is located at 1550 S. El Camino Real in Encinitas.


Christine Martinez, 858-663-7887
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