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>>



Questions of Practice

Osby is an award-winning contemporary jazz musician, a 2012 Pew Fellow, and the recipient of such honors as a Doris Duke Composition Fellowship and the Chamber Music America Composers Award.

Grants & Grantees

Marshall Belford Allen, a 2012 Pew Fellow, has been an active member of the Sun Ra Arkestra for over 50 years, and has helmed the historic jazz group since 1995, following the death of jazz pioneer Sun Ra.

In 2015, Fellows performed and exhibited their work at theaters, festivals, and in museums around the globe, received prestigious awards, and garnered international media attention.

In this collaboration, Meredith Rainey researched and developed a new work that explored perception through the vehicle of the famous Rorschach test.

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

Grants & Grantees

Founded in 1982, Choral Arts Philadelphia has performed nearly 300 works by more than 100 composers.

Grants & Grantees

In 1995 the Center awarded Pew Fellowships to 16 Philadelphia-based artists, and grants to 23 dance and music organizations in the greater Philadelphia region.

Bruce Graham’s Rizzo opens at Theatre Exile, NPR features Chris Forsyth, and Geoff Sobelle’s The Object Lesson receives a Bessie Award.

Grants & Grantees

Rudolf Staffel (1911–2002) was a ceramist and a 1996 Pew Fellow.

Grants & Grantees

In 2002 the Center awarded Pew Fellowships to 12 Philadelphia-based artists, and grants to 57 dance, music, theater, and visual arts organizations and practitioners in the greater Philadelphia region.

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

Poet and Pew Fellow Ryan Eckes on his desire to “write toward another way of living,” why he chooses to work and live in Philadelphia, the books on his bedside table, and more.