Keith VanDerSys

2013 Pew Fellow

1/9: Karen M’Closkey and Keith VanDerSys, 2013 Pew Fellows. Photo by Colin Lenton.
2/9: Karen M’Closkey and Keith VanDerSys, Not Garden, 2009. Geotextile, grass seed, gravel, 400 square feet. Part of the “Incremental Infrastructure” series. Photo courtesy of the artists.
3/9: Karen M’Closkey and Keith VanDerSys, Not Garden, 2009. Geotextile, grass seed, gravel, 400 square feet. Part of the “Incremental Infrastructure” series. Photo courtesy of the artists.
4/9: Karen M’Closkey and Keith VanDerSys, Dew Point, 2010. CNC custom-cut cardboard templates, concrete waterproof sealer, 1,500 square feet. Photo courtesy of the artists.
5/9: Karen M’Closkey and Keith VanDerSys, Dew Point, 2010. Computer visualization. Photo courtesy of the artists.
6/9: Karen M’Closkey and Keith VanDerSys, Dew Point, 2010. CNC custom-cut cardboard templates, concrete waterproof sealer, 1,500 square feet. Photo courtesy of the artists.
7/9: Karen M’Closkey and Keith VanDerSys (in collaboration with PLY Architecture, Almost Nothing, 2006. CNC custom-milled plywood formwork, precast concrete, native planting, 3,300 square feet. Photo courtesy of the artists.
8/9: Karen M’Closkey and Keith VanDerSys (in collaboration with PLY Architecture, Almost Nothing, 2006. CNC custom-milled plywood formwork, precast concrete, native planting, 3,300 square feet. Photo courtesy of the artists.
9/9: Karen M’Closkey and Keith VanDerSys (in collaboration with PLY Architecture, Almost Nothing, 2006. CNC custom-milled plywood formwork, precast concrete, native planting, 3,300 square feet. Photo courtesy of the artists.


“We argue that patterns—due to their legibility and coherent structure—carry the potential to bind together landscape’s utilitarian and aesthetic functions: system and composition; performance and appearance; matter and sign.”

Karen M’Closkey (b. 1969) and Keith VanDerSys (b. 1968) explore the potential of new digital tools, fabrication technologies, and construction to expand the beauty and sustainability of the contemporary urban landscape. Their projects experiment with patterns that intrigue the eye as well as enhance natural functions, such as water flow and plant growth. Together, M’Closkey and VanDerSys have created techniques that result in a signature aesthetic, leading the way in the next generation of landscape design and contradicting notions that patterns are pretty but useless. They have worked with agencies such as the Philadelphia Water Department and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, and they recently finished writing a book about the effects of digital advances in their field (Dynamic Patterns: Visualizing Landscapes in a Digital Age, forthcoming from Routledge).

VanDerSys received his M.A in critical studies in architectural culture from UCLA. He and M’Closkey are founding partners of PEG office of landscape + architecture as well as PennDesign faculty at the University of Pennsylvania.

References

Collaborators & Colleagues

Bruce Allardice has been the managing director of the multidisciplinary Ping Chong + Company since 1988. He was a Center panelist in theater in 2010.

Pew Fellow Geoff Sobelle’s award-winning production of The Object Lesson travels to Ohio’s Wexner Center for the Arts.

Grants & Grantees

In 1998 the Center awarded Pew Fellowships to 12 Philadelphia-based artists, and grants to 52 dance, music, theater, and visual arts organizations in the greater Philadelphia region.

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.

Grants & Grantees

Yvonne Bobrowicz is a fiber artist and a 1996 Pew Fellow.

Born in Venezuela, Kotain works with various Philadelphia-area nonprofit cultural organizations to teach others about his Arab and Latin musical traditions.

Collaborators & Colleagues

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

Saxophonist and Pew Fellow Matthew Levy on what motivates his multi-faceted practice as a musician, composer, and commissioner/producer of new music, his daily art-making routine, and more.

Grants & Grantees

Isaiah Zagar is a mosaic mural artist and a 1995 Pew Fellow.

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.

In the centerpiece of its 2014 Flamenco Festival, Pasión y Arte will presented two dances choreographed by Israel Galván, winner of the 2012 Gold Medal in Fine Arts from the Spanish Ministry of Culture.

Over our first decade, the Center has been privileged to fund extraordinary work by our dynamic and talented community of practitioners. As we reflect on our history and set the stage for the future, we invite you to take a brief, retrospective journey with us through a lively video that looks back over this period.