Fellows Friday News: Raphael Xavier and Eileen Neff Receive Guggenheim Fellowships, New Dance Works by Tania Isaac and Meg Foley, and More

1/6: Jane Irish, “Banyan Overdoor,” 2014. Courtesy of the artist and Locks Gallery.
2/6: Raphael Xavier. Photo by Brian Mengini.
3/6: Meg Foley. Photo by LBrowning Photography.
4/6: Alex Da Corte, Garlic Pussy, 2011. Mixed media, 120 x 96 x 24”. Photo courtesy of the artist.
5/6: Tania Isaac, 2011 Pew Fellow. Photo by Colin Lenton.
6/6: Kinan Abou-Afach, 2013 Pew Fellow. Photo by Colin Lenton.

In this month’s Pew Fellows news highlights, Raphael Xavier and Eileen Neff receive 2016 Guggenheim Fellowships, exhibitions by visual artists Alex Da Corte and Ryan Trecartin make a splash in national venues, and Tania Isaac and Meg Foley each present new dance works in Philadelphia.

Awards and Accolades

The John Simon Guggenheim Foundation awarded 2016 Guggenheim Fellowships to dancer and choreographer Raphael Xavier (2013) and photographer Eileen Neff (1994). In its 92nd competition for the US and Canada, the foundation recognized scholars, artists, and scientists “appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise,” according to the Guggenheim Foundation. Read more>>

Composer Jennifer Higdon’s (1999) opera Cold Mountain, which premiered with Opera Philadelphia in February 2016, was nominated for an International Opera Award for “Best World Premiere,” awarded by Opera Magazine. Read more>>

In the News

Visual artist Alex Da Corte’s (2012) survey exhibition Free Roses currently on view at MASS MoCa has received acclaim from several national media outlets, including The New York Times, Artforum, and The Boston Globe. Philadelphia Magazine also profiled the artist, writing, “at a time when Philly is regaining its footing as an ‘international city,’ Da Corte is its unofficial ambassador for contemporary art.” Read more>>

Visual artist Ryan Trecartin’s (2009) joint exhibition with Lizzie Fitch, currently on view at Andrea Rosen Gallery, has received positive reviews in Art in America Magazine and Artsy, which wrote, “as time elapses within the exhibition, a sense of suspense prevails, leaving the viewer yearning for answers and consumed by the chase.” Read more>>

On View and On Stage

Choreographer Meg Foley (2012) presented action is primary, an exhibition and performance series documenting her improvisational practice, in which she performs a dance each day at 3:15 p.m. The Philadelphia Inquirer featured the project, stating that “the dances are graceful, energetic, comical, and strange.” Read more>>

Visual artist Jane Irish (2011) debuted A Rapid Whirling on the Heel, an exhibition of new paintings at Locks Gallery, on view through May 31. Two ink on paper works by Irish were recently installed in the Center’s lobby, Thay Overdoor (2014) and Banyan Overdoor (2014). Read more>>

Composer and musician Kinan Abou-afach (2013) premiered One Breath, One Soul, a new composition for Al-Bustan Takht Ensemble and Palestinian vocalist Dalal Abu Amneh. WHYY invited the artists to perform an excerpt of the piece on-air. Listen here>>

Choreographer Tania Isaac (2011) debuted (In)Visible, a new dance piece created in collaboration with dancer Meredith Rainey, at Annenberg Center Live. In a review, The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote that the choreography contained “seamless, complementary movements that suggested these people had been working together for years—although this was their first collaboration.” Read more>>

Visual artist Micah Danges’ (2015) work is included in Mine Moonlight: Artists Working in Philadelphia’s River Wards, a group exhibition at Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center, on view through December 31. Read more>>

Poetry Spotlight

Poets Sonia Sanchez (1993), Afaa Michael Weaver (1998), Yolanda Wisher (2015), and Lamont B. Steptoe (2006) participated in the First Annual Philly Love Poetry Festival, which included four days of poetry readings and workshops. Read more>>

Poet CAConrad (2011) participated in “Readings in Contemporary Poetry,” a group poetry reading at Dia Art Foundation. On April 30, he will speak on the panel “Master/Mistress/Mystery: The Poetry of Gender Nonconformity” at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival. In an article for The New York Times Style Magazine, acclaimed author Eileen Myles included CAConrad’s The Book of Frank among her 10 favorite books, calling the work “a total masterpiece.” Read more>>

Poet Afaa Michael Weaver’s (1998) “Passing Through Indian Territory” was featured on The New Yorker’s Poetry Podcast. Listen here>>

Poet Yolanda Wisher (2015) presented “City of Poetry,” an evening of poetry, music, and interactive workshops at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philadelphia Magazine recently interviewed Wisher about her appointment as Philadelphia’s third Poet Laureate. Read more>>

Poet Major Jackson’s (1995) “as Reflected Over Lake Champlain from Waterfront Park” was selected as Poets.org’s “Poem of the Day.” Read more>>



Grants & Grantees

In 2003 the Center awarded Pew Fellowships to 12 Philadelphia-based artists, and grants to 63 dance, music, theater, and visual arts organizations and practitioners in the greater Philadelphia region.

Pew Fellow and former Philadelphia Poet Laureate Sonia Sanchez leads a poetry workshop exploring the history of Johnson House, Philadelphia’s only intact stop on the Underground Railroad.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Patricia West is co-director of the Center for Applied Historical Research and a curator for the National Park Service at Martin Van Buren National Historic Site.

Lee is the publisher at Corollary Press and author of the poetry collections Underground National, That Gorgeous Feeling, and Solar Maximum, forthcoming from Futurepoem Press.

Meg Foley presents an exhibition of improvisational research and performance documenting up to 750 dances, which Foley performs on a daily basis at 3:15pm.

A number of projects from grantees and Pew Fellows have garnered extensive national and regional press coverage in recent weeks.

Grants & Grantees

In 1997 the Center awarded Pew Fellowships to 12 Philadelphia-based artists, and grants to 46 dance, music, and theater organizations in the greater Philadelphia region.

Grants & Grantees

Founded in Philadelphia in 1980, Piffaro performs 15th- through 17th-century music.

Grants & Grantees

Self-proclaimed “mud man” and 2010 Pew Fellow William Daley has been a leading figure in the field of ceramics for close to 60 years.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Eric Johnson is a librarian by training, currently serving as head of innovative media at the VCU Libraries of Virginia Commonwealth University.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Christopher Mekal specializes in strategic planning and implementation, nonprofit organizational development, and financial management.