Over the past 12 months, our Pew Fellows brought an abundance of new projects to fruition, as they performed and exhibited their works across the nation and around the globe—from Australia, Morocco, and Spain, to Germany, the Netherlands, and Turkey. They also received prestigious awards and fellowships, and released numerous recordings and publications. Here, we round up our Fellow’s 2016 milestones, and look to 2017, when the Center will mark the 25th anniversary of the Pew Fellowships program. Stay tuned for news about the forthcoming anniversary, and keep up with Fellows’ activities on Twitter by following @PewCenterArts.
Honors and Awards
Poet Yolanda Wisher (2015) was appointed the third Philadelphia Poet Laureate by Mayor Jim Kenney, succeeding Pew Fellows Frank Sherlock (2013) and Sonia Sanchez (1993). During her two-year term, Wisher serves in both a creative and civic capacity, “publicly represent[ing] the city in the medium of poetry, and serv[ing] the art form within the city,” according to the City of Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy.
Photographer Eileen Neff (1994) and choreographer Raphael Xavier (2013) were awarded 2016 Guggenheim Fellowships by The John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. Xavier was also awarded a 2016 United States Artists Fellowship, along with visual artist Annabeth Rosen (1992).
Visual artist Pepón Osorio (2006) was nominated by President Barack Obama to the National Council on the Arts, architect and designer Jenny Sabin (2010) was named one of five winners of the third annual Women in Architecture Awards presented by Architectural Record, and theater artist Thaddeus Phillips (2002) received a 2016 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award.
Composer Jennifer Higdon’s (1999) opera Cold Mountain won an International Opera Award for “Best World Premiere,” and poet J.C. Todd (2014) received the Rita Dove Poetry Prize in the International Literary Awards Competition.
Four new artist residencies were awarded to Pew Fellows, supported by the Center’s ongoing partnership with the Alliance of Artists Communities. Poet Brian Teare (2015) participated in a residency at MacDowell Colony; harpist Mary Lattimore (2014) will spend time at Headlands Center for the Arts; musician Bhob Rainey (2013) will be artist-in-residence at The Banff Centre; and choreographer Merián Soto (2015) will travel to Ucross Foundation.
Mixed-media artist Rebecca Rutstein (2004), whose work is often inspired by underwater mappings and geology, was selected to participate in an “Artist-at-Sea” residency with the Schmidt Ocean Institute in Tahiti.
Author Justin Cronin’s (2001) book The City of Mirrors debuted at the top of The New York Times Best Sellers list for hardcover fiction. In its review, The Times called the novel “surprisingly powerful” and “compulsively readable.”
Author Judith E. Stein (1994) released Eye of the Sixties: Richard Bellamy and the Transformation of Modern Art, a biography of the fashion designer Richard Bellamy.
On View in Museums and Galleries
Columbus State University announced plans to open the Bo Bartlett Center, named after visual artist Bo Bartlett (1993), in late 2017. The mission of the Center is “to explore creativity and learning within the context of the work and studio practice of the painter and Columbus, Georgia native Bo Bartlett,” according to the university.
Visual artist Alex Da Corte (2012) debuted two new exhibitions in 2016. Free Roses at Mass MOCA featured a survey of Da Corte’s videos and sculptures, and a new site-specific installation. A Season in He’ll was a solo exhibition organized by the Hammer Museum.
Visual artist Ryan Trecartin (2009) presented a joint exhibition with Lizzie Fitch at Andrea Rosen Gallery, and W Magazine commissioned Trecartin to create the cover art and feature spread for its 10th anniversary art issue.
The Clay Studio presented Lavender Fields & Pig’s Fat: Work from China, an exhibition of porcelain cylinders by ceramist Lauren Mabry (2015), created during her residency at the Jingdezhen International Studio at Taoxichuan Art Museum in China.
Performances and Premieres
After completing a tour of his play 17 Border Crossings, theater artist Thaddeus Phillips’ (2002) was profiled in American Theatre Magazine, which stated that Phillips’ “presence on the stage [is] protean, often funny, and somehow the audience’s ally.”
Theater artist Jennifer Kidwell (2016) presented the New York premiere of her play Underground Railroad Game. The performance was reviewed by several national media outlets including The New York Times and The Washington Post, which wrote: “This riveting, whip-smart performance piece…is as daringly unexpurgated as anything you’ll encounter onstage today.”
Saxophonist Marshall Allen (2012) led and performed with the celebrated jazz group Sun Ra Arkestra during the 2016 Vision Festival in New York. The New York Times reviewed the concert, calling Allen “a vital presence,” and writing, “there was something deep and noble happening” during the performance.
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.
Vocalist, composer, and recording artist Tokay Tomah on starting her artistic career in Liberia, using music as a vehicle for building peace, and more.
Pew Fellow Matthew Suib’s work comes from a deep engagement with moving-image culture and how moving images shape our understanding of culture, history, and politics.
Michael Olszewski is a visual artist and a 2003 Pew Fellow.
Poet and Pew Fellow Yolanda Wisher on creating “poetics of use,” the inspiration she draws from her ancestry, and more.
Bristol Riverside Theatre is a vibrant, engaged community theater in the northeast reaches of the Philadelphia area.
The Center’s 2014 Year in Review celebrates a spectacular year of innovative cultural presentations and stimulating discussions.
A Los Angeles-based dancer and choreographer, Dally is the artistic director of the Jazz Tap Ensemble, which she co-founded in 1979.
Steven Lubar is a professor in the department of American Studies at Brown University, and teaches in Brown’s Public Humanities program. He was a Center heritage panelist in 2013, and an LOI panelist in Exhibitions & Public Interpretation in 2015.
In 2004 the Center awarded Pew Fellowships to 12 Philadelphia-based artists, and grants to 76 dance, music, theater, and visual arts organizations and practitioners in the greater Philadelphia region.
Philadelphia Theatre Company produced the world premiere of Terrence McNally’s backstage period work about opera composer Vincenzo Bellini and the opening of his final opera.
In 2007, the Center awarded Pew Fellowships to 12 Philadelphia-based artists, and grants to 83 dance, music, theater, and visual arts organizations and practitioners in the greater Philadelphia region.