“I am looking for ways to conjure a sense of home for the viewer and the often forgotten private moments that make up normal life.”
Melanie Bilenker (b. 1978) translates the historic art of Victorian hair jewelry into work that reflects upon the contemporary era. Her delicate pendants and brooches are wearable art objects, depicting ordinary moments of everyday life—making lunch, bathing, washing dishes—with “drawings” made from resin, gold, silver, and the artist’s own hair. “I am looking for ways to conjure a sense of home for the viewer,” Bilenker states, referring to both her subject matter and the medium of human hair. “I see hair as proof of existence, a souvenir.” Often cited as a leader in the movement to return to craftsmanship in jewelry making, Bilenker has received commissions from the Museum of Arts & Design in New York City, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the National Museum of Scotland, among others. She was recently included in the 40 Under 40: Craft Futures exhibition, featuring traditional and non-traditional works of decorative art created by the top 40 American craft artists under the age of 40, assembled for the 40th anniversary of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery.
“40 Under 40: Melanie Bilenker” by the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Paul Fierlinger is an animator and a 1997 Pew Fellow.
We speak to visual artist Tim Portlock, whose current body of work explores the dialogue between place and the formation of identity.
Michael O’Reilly is a producer and a 1994 Pew Fellow.
Jolle Greenleaf, artistic director of early music ensemble TENET, is one of the leading voices in the field of early music.
A program of Philadelphia University, The Design Center presents exhibitions, tours, programs, college courses, and special events that demonstrate how design shapes everyday life.
The ICA presents a conversation with Koyo Kouoh, founding artistic director of RAW Material Company—a center for art, knowledge, and society in Dakar, Senegal.
Essex Hemphill (1957–95) was a poet and a 1993 Pew Fellow.
A multidisciplinary cohort of artists will consider how SAADA’s materials can inform new works that grapple with questions of identity and belonging, and create a platform for overlooked histories.
Vox Populi presented a group exhibition with guest-curator Malik Gaines that explored various tactics for representing the complex, contradictory legacies of cultural difference.
In 2010, with Center support, Philagrafika—an organization dedicated to contemporary printmaking—organized a massive multi-venue festival.
The Village of Arts and Humanities created a community-centered preservation plan to sustain the organization as the primary arts education institution in North Philadelphia.
Frank Sherlock (Pew Fellow, 2013) views poetry as a call to action and a tool for encouraging interactions and conversations within public spaces.