Kara Crombie

2010 Pew Fellow

1/2: Kara Crombie, 2010 Pew Fellow. Photo by Colin Lenton.
2/2: Kara Crombie, Aloof Hills, Episode 1: Family Meeting. Video courtesy of the artist.

“I see my work as representation of the first generation to grow up entirely under the umbrella of a ‘read-write’ culture.”

A video artist and photographer working with animation, Kara Crombie (b. 1975) refers to the current digital age, in which we interpret, reformulate, and share information as opposed to merely consuming it. She is interested in exploring the ways in which our environments inform our identities and vice versa. Her animated series, Aloof Hills, addresses contemporary American “taboos” such as interracial relationships and drug and alcohol use, and does so in a historic setting; Crombie’s characters are Civil War-era paper dolls, and her landscapes include paintings and YouTube video clips. These seemingly absurd juxtapositions draw parallels between so-called outdated racial and gender politics and contemporary attitudes, and leave the interpretation open to the viewer’s personal experiences, as well as his or her anxieties and opinions. Crombie has had solo exhibitions at Vox Populi Gallery and Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia, and has participated in group exhibitions at the Philadelphia Art Alliance, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, and elsewhere.


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.

Questions of Practice

In 2017, the Center celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Pew Fellowships in the Arts, with a lively website and short film highlighting a quarter-century of steadfast belief in the value and impact of artists.

Collaborators & Colleagues

William Parker is a leading figure in the New York creative jazz scene. Renowned as a composer, bassist, and multi-instrumentalist, he is also an educator and author.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Tania León is the founding and artistic director of Composers Now. In 2013 she was the recipient of the prestigious 2013 ASCAP Victor Herbert Award.

Vera Nakonechny, 2008 Pew Fellow, has been named a 2014 NEA National Heritage Fellow.

One of Philadelphia’s smartest and scrappiest small, no-profit art spaces, Marginal Utility is known for forging long-term commitments with artists.

Grants & Grantees

Jennifer Levonian (Pew Fellow, 2009) creates cut-paper animations that explore the ambivalence of everyday life.

Grants & Grantees

With support from the Center, the Arden has integrated visually dazzling video design into live productions and enhanced its work for young audiences.

When asked about his sense of ethical responsibility in creating work, Whit MacLaughlin of New Paradise Laboratories responded with a reflection on his place in the performance world.

Grants & Grantees

The Kimmel Center presented the regional premiere of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning play, starring Oscar Award-winning actress Estelle Parsons.

“What is an appropriate monument for the current city of Philadelphia?” Five temporary public artworks, created by artists Ai Weiwei, Zoe Strauss, Kara Crombie, Kaitlin Pomerantz, and Alexander Rosenberg, and on-site “laboratories” for public feedback will consider this question and notions of monumentality within the civic sphere.

This project will pose the question: What does a 21st-century urban monument look like? The centerpiece of this exploration will be a temporary monument designed by the late, award-winning artist Terry Adkins.