Fellows Friday News: Bruce Graham’s Newest Play, Guitarist Chris Forsyth on NPR, Remembering Painter Frank Bramblett

1/7: Merián Soto, Branch Dances at the Barnes Foundation, 2013, dancer Olive Prince. Photo by LBrowningPhotography.
2/7: Geoff Sobelle’s The Object Lesson. Photo by Jeremy Abrahams, courtesy of The Guardian.
3/7: Scott Greer as Frank Rizzo. Photo courtesy of Robert Hakalski.
4/7: Mary Lattimore, 2014 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.
5/7: Chris Forsyth, 2011 Pew Fellow. Photo by Colin Lenton.
6/7: Thaddeus Phillips in 17 Border Crossings. Photo by Mark Simpson.
7/7: CAConrad, 2011 Pew Fellow. Photo by Colin Lenton.

In this month’s Pew Fellows news highlights, Bruce Graham’s Rizzo opens at Theatre Exile, and Merián Soto performs during Fleisher Art Memorial’s Día de los Altar Muertos Celebration. NPR features Chris Forsyth’s new track “Cosmic Richard”, while Geoff Sobelle’s one-man show The Object Lesson receives a Bessie Award, and we remember the late painter Frank Bramblett.

Performances, Appearances, and Premieres

Playwright Bruce Graham’s (1993) Rizzo premiered as part of Theatre Exile’s season, and is running through November 8 at Christ Church Neighborhood House. Rizzo, supported in its development phase by a Center Discovery grant, follows the complex life of the boisterous Frank Rizzo, former Police Commissioner and Mayor of Philadelphia, as he prepares for his 1991 mayoral campaign. Read More>

Choreographer Merián Soto (2015) will present “Para Mis Muertos,” on November 1 as part of Fleisher Art Memorial’s Día de los Muertos Altar Celebration. Read More> Soto will also open Documenting Place And Self, an exhibition of videos at Germantown’s iMPeRFeCT Gallery on November 7.

Poet CA Conrad (2011) presented Magenta Capstone of Apex Poetry Interviews with Mica Sigourney at the Transformation Marathon, a 24-hour presentation of art, science, philosophy, and politics, at London’s Serpentine Sackler Gallery on October 18. Read More>

Harpist Mary Lattimore (2014) joined author Jim Sheppard for Word and Sound, an evening of stories and sound that evoke themes in Lattimore’s work, at the Institute of Contemporary Art on October 28. Read More>

In Review

NPR featured guitarist Chris Forsyth’s (2011) “Cosmic Richard” in their “Songs We Love” segment, praising the track for capturing “just the right blend of bittersweet bemusement and low-key luminescence.” “Cosmic Richard” is off of the upcoming album The Island, a collaboration between Forysth and electronic composer Koen Holtcamp. Read More>

The New York Times reviewed Thaddeus Phillips’ (2002) play 17 Border Crossings at BAM Fisher, noting the work’s “inventive approach to staging.” The one-man show showcases Phillips’ intricate storytelling within the social context of the current migrant context. Read More>

Geoff Sobelle’s (2006) The Object Lesson continues to tour and garner national media coverage, including a recent review from the San Francisco Chronicle and an NPR interview. The intimate, solo physical theater performance recently received a New York Dance & Performance Bessie Award for “Outstanding Visual Design.” Read More>

Visual artist Alex Kanevsky (1997) is interviewed in The Huffington Post about his exhibition, Unstable Equilibrium, on view through October 31 at Dolby Chadwick Gallery in San Francisco. The article describes Kanevsky as a “virtuoso paint-pusher whose images seem to shift and morph across time and space.” Read More>

In Memoriam

Willis “Frank” Bramblett, Jr. (2000) passed away on September 29. As an artist, Bramblett received prestigious awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His work was exhibited at Mary Boone Gallery, Moore College of Art & Design, and Tiger Strikes Asteroid, in addition to a 2014 career retrospective exhibition at Woodmere Art Museum. He served as a faculty member at Tyler School of Art for three decades. “Mr. Bramblett was the professor everyone loved. Modest to the core and always ready for an interesting…conversation, he offered a sympathetic ear, sage advice, and remained supportive of his ex-students,” writes Edith Newhall for The Philadelphia Inquirer. In 2001, on the occasion of an exhibition of Bramblett’s paintings at Moore College of Art & Design, City Paper wrote, “[Bramblett’s paintings] each, in their own way, invite the viewer into their worlds with little promises voiced purely and eloquently in material terms.” Read more about Bramblett’s life in The Inquirer obituary.>

Grants & Grantees

Shanti Thakur is a media artist and a 2001 Pew Fellow.

Grants & Grantees

Daniel Heyman’s (Pew Fellow, 2009) works on paper capture the images and words of Iraqi torture victims from facilities like Abu Ghraib.

Grants & Grantees

Headlong Dance Theater brought dance directly into the private homes of Philadelphia citizens, where the members of those households became the dancers.

Grants & Grantees

Travis Macdonald (Pew Fellow, 2014) questions authorship with poems that are lively and whimsical without being frivolous, and which offer critique and reflection of the contemporary moment.

Grants & Grantees

In 2010, with Center support, Philagrafika—an organization dedicated to contemporary printmaking—organized a massive multi-venue festival.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Steve Cosson is the founding artistic director of The Civilians, a New York City-based company that supports the development and production of new theater from creative inquiries.

In this month’s Pew Fellows news highlights, visual artist Candy Coated designs colorful bikes with the Mural Arts Program and Indego, and composer Jennifer Higdon prepares for the premiere of her opera, Cold Mountain in Santa Fe. The Chicago Tribune profiles fiction writer Max Apple, and Poet Afaa Michael Weaver receives the 2015 Phillis Wheatley Book Award.

Visual artist and Pew Fellow Benjamin Volta on his belief that art can be a catalyst for social change, the importance of fostering sustaining creative experiences, and more.

Pew Fellow and Philadelphia Poet Laureate Yolanda Wisher leads a poetry workshop and story circle in Historic Germantown.

We asked the 2013 Pew Fellow poets to share samples of their work. Watch Sueyeun Juliette Lee read from her chapbook, A Primary Mother.

Grants & Grantees

Kate Watson-Wallace produced Everywhere, a new online interactive dance piece.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Producer, writer, director, and founder of Blueberry Hill Productions, Laurie Kahn has a number of writing credits to her name for award-winning films and television series.