John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Honors Pew Fellows Eileen Neff and Raphael Xavier with 2016 Fellowships

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Raphael Xavier, 2013 Pew Fellow. Photo by Colin Lenton.

The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage congratulates the two Pew Fellows who are among this year's list of distinguished recipients of 2016 Guggenheim Fellowships: Photographer Eileen Neff (1994) and dancer and choreographer Raphael Xavier (2013).

In its 92nd competition for the US and Canada, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation recognized scholars, artists, and scientists, "appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise," according to the Guggenheim Foundation.

Equally accomplished as a photographer, installation artist, and writer, Eileen Neff has been working with photo-based images and installations since 1981. "Drawing on both historic and contemporary concepts of picturing the natural and constructed world, her work...includes an investigation of studio practice itself as a generative source. From the start, Neff's projects have developed in relation to the sites where she exhibits, embracing presentation considerations as another critical layer of inquiry," states the Guggenheim Foundation's website.

Raphael Xavier has practiced breaking, an acrobatic street dance style commonly known as breakdancing, since 1983. An alumnus of the groundbreaking hip-hop dance company Rennie Harris Puremovement, Xavier's "vision is to give the audience a new perspective on the way they see this highly physical dance and its association only with youth," according to the Guggenheim Foundation website. In 2015, Xavier received Center support to present Raphstravaganza: An Urban Kinetic Experience in the courtyard of Philadelphia's City Hall on September 10, 2016.

Watch Xavier discuss street versus stage performance for our Questions of Practice series.>>