Fellows Friday News: CAConrad’s Believer Poetry Award, Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain East Coast Premiere, and Geoff Sobelle’s Australian Debut

1/7: Frank Sherlock, 2013 Pew Fellow. Photo by Colin Lenton.
2/7: Jenny Sabin, 2010 Pew Fellow. Photo by Colin Lenton.
3/7: Thaddeus Phillips in 17 Border Crossings. Photo by Mark Simpson.
4/7: New Paradise Laboratories’ (NPL) Chance Workshops, exploring contingency with Bhob Rainey, Whit MacLaughlin, NPL ensemble, Tassos Stevens, guest artist Elie Ayache, and John Collins. Photo by Plate 3 Photography.
5/7: Sonia Sanchez. Photo by Erika Vonie.
6/7: Alex Da Corte, 2012 Pew Fellow. Photo by Colin Lenton.
7/7: CAConrad, 2011 Pew Fellow. Photo by Colin Lenton.

In this month’s Pew Fellows news highlights, CAConrad receives the Believer Magazine Poetry Award, Geoff Sobelle’s play The Object Lesson embarks on an international tour to Australia, and Opera Philadelphia presents Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon’s first opera, Cold Mountain.

In the News

Poet Major Jackson’s (1995) recent book Roll Deep was reviewed in The New York Times. “As is characteristic of Jackson, his heavy-hitting puns remind us that history and contemporary society have a dark continuity,” writes The Times. Additionally, Jackson’s poem “Aubade” was featured in The New Yorker’s year-end list, “2015: Our Year in Poems.”

American Theatre Magazine profiled theater artist Thaddeus Phillips (2002) in its latest issue, stating that “his presence on the stage [is] protean, often funny, and somehow the audience’s ally.” Phillips’ play 17 Border Crossings recently completed a tour that included performances in New York, Denver, and Edinburgh, Scotland. Read more>>

Artblog interviewed visual artist Kukuli Velarde (2003) regarding her upcoming exhibition Corpus, featuring 15 large, Peruvian terracotta sculptures, for which she received a Guggenheim Fellowship. Read more>>

Musician Bhob Rainey’s (2013) Axon Ladder, an experimental composition that transmits squid neurons into sounds, was featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer’s 2015 music roundup, “The Best, The Worst, and The Squid Brains”. “Music doesn’t get brainier than Bhob Rainey’s electronic piece,” wrote the Inquirer. Read more>>

Visual artist Alex Da Corte’s (2012) immersive solo exhibition at Luxemborg & Dylan, Die Hexe, was listed in artnet News’ “20 Most Memorable New York Gallery Shows of the Year,” where it was described as “a technical tour de force.” Read more>>

Awards and Honors

BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez, a documentary about poet and activist Sonia Sanchez (1993) co-directed by Janet Goldwater (2005) and Barbara Attie (2005), received the African Diaspora International Film Festival (AIFF) award for “Best Film Directed by a Woman of Color.” Read more>>

Poet CAConrad (2013) received the Believer Magazine Poetry Award for his book ECODEVIANCE: (Soma)tics for the Future Wilderness. In its announcement, Believer declared that “CAConrad has become, through his writing and his presence, a hero to many in the poetry world.” Read more>>

Architect Jenny Sabin (2010) won the IVY Innovator Award for Design for her computational design, data visualization, and digital fabrication work with the Sabin Design Lab at Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art, and Planning. Read more>>

Poet Frank Sherlock (2013) completed his tenure as Philadelphia’s Poet Laureate this month. While holding the prestigious position, Sherlock implemented the “Write Your Block” project that encourages Philadelphians to use poetry as a tool for self-expression. Read more>>

In Performance

Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon’s (1999) first opera, Cold Mountain, inspired by Charles Frazier’s Civil War-era book, makes its East Coast premiere with performances presented by Opera Philadelphia at the Academy of Music, February 5-14. Read more>>

Geoff Sobelle’s (2006) The Object Lesson, the critically-acclaimed one-man play about people’s obsession with “things,” embarked on an international tour to Australia, with performances at the Sydney Festival and Perth International Arts Festival. Read more>>

Saxophonist Bobby Zankel (1996) and pianist Dave Burrell (1996) participated in a special performance at the Philadelphia Art Alliance on December 19 in celebration of Burrell’s 75th birthday, presented by Ars Nova Workshop. Read more>>


We recap our recent gathering of Fellows, Rebecca Rutstein is selected for an “Artist-at-Sea” residency with the Schmidt Ocean Institute aboard the Falkor research vessel, and musicians Mary Lattimore and Chris Forsyth release new albums.

Art and reality, illness and normality: two Ingmar Bergman screenplays are reimagined for the stage by Ivo van Hove and Toneelgroep Amsterdam, part of the 2015 Fringe Festival.

Grants & Grantees

Arcadia University Art Gallery presented the first United States museum survey of the internationally acclaimed artist’s ceramics outside of New York City.

Questions of Practice

Rick Baker, the manager of Jason Rhoades’ studio, discusses the challenges of reconstructing the artist’s work after Rhoades’ death in 2006.

Collaborators & Colleagues

New York City-based conceptual artist Fred Wilson is known for repurposing objects and artifacts to lead people to see them in a different way.

This month in Fellows Friday news: King Britt is named a 2014 SPACES resident at the Village of Arts & Humanities, Marshall Allen celebrates Sun Ra’s 100th Birthday, and much more.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Eungie Joo is the director of art and cultural programs at Instituto Inhotim in Brumadinho, Brazil, a contemporary art complex.

Grants & Grantees

Contemporary Renaissance man, 2011 Pew Fellow, and “idea factory” Jorge Cousineau counts set design, lighting design, videography, and music composition among his talents.

Grants & Grantees

Dance artist and writer Lisa Kraus developed ThinkingDance.net, an online project that covers the landscape of dance in the Southeastern Pennsylvania region.

Grants & Grantees

Tyrone Brown is a musician and a 2003 Pew Fellow.

In 2001, saxophonist and Pew Fellow Bobby Zankel founded the Warriors of the Wonderful Sound, a big band to perform his compositions and arrangements.

Toni Shapiro-Phim’s portrait of the Brownings, co-founders of the World Music Institute, highlights their pioneering work in the curation of world music and their organization’s impact on the field.