“I present artworks as tools or artifacts to communicate with creatures that populate a spirit world.”
Originally from Salem, Massachusetts, Paul Swenbeck (b. 1967) developed a fascination with the macabre and occult at an early age, which has filtered into his idiosyncratic sculptures, paintings, photographs, and installations. He graduated with a degree in ceramics from Massachusetts College of Art in 1991. In recent years, he has primarily filtered his creative energy into working with clay, which provides an alchemical experience that is central to his inspiration. “I fully embrace the spirit of chance and loss of control when working with clay,” he says. “I set forth to create objects that are surprising to myself and visually rich in detail.” Swenbeck’s work is on permanent display at the West Collection, Oaks, PA and The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York. He has been included in exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania; Fleisher/Ollman Gallery and Vox Populi in Philadelphia; and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, among other venues. He is the Chief Preparator at Philadelphia’s Institute of Contemporary Art. He plans to continue an ongoing investigation of fossil forms and to visit various fossil sites and house museums as a basis of inspiration for future work in sculpture.
Elizabeth (Elee) Wood, M.Ed., Ph.D., is a practitioner and scholar in the field of informal and non-formal learning in museums and community settings. She served as a Center heritage panelist in 2012.
Megawords (run by Dan Murphy and Anthony Smyrski, both Pew Fellows) is self-described as “an experimental media project” that takes the form of a biannual photography magazine, as well as related installation projects and public events.
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.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art looked back on a decade of the work of Zoe Strauss with a mid-career retrospective and the Billboard Project, which showcased Strauss’ work all over Philadelphia.
This week, we speak to musician and composer Chris Forsyth, whose career remains devoted to his roots in rock music, while questioning and expanding upon them.
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.
Brooke Davis Anderson, an expert on self-taught and outsider artists, reflects on how embellished text is often found in these artists’ works.
M. Ho is a visual artist and a 2005 Pew Fellow.
Lee Tusman is an independent curator based in Philadelphia whose projects straddle the intersection of ideas that are socially-based and urban in nature, with a focus on contemporary new media.
Since its inception in 1996, Peter Taub has overseen the dance, music, performance, and theater program at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.
Sam Miller is the former president of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and currently serves on the Board of Amrita in Phnom Penh. He served as a Center dance panelist and LOI panelist in 2013, Pew Fellowships evaluator in 2014, and Pew Fellowships Panel Chair in 2015.
A program of Philadelphia University, The Design Center presents exhibitions, tours, programs, college courses, and special events that demonstrate how design shapes everyday life.