Vera Nakonechny

2008 Pew Fellow

Vera Nakonechny, 2008 Pew Fellow. Directed by Glenn Holsten.

“All my life, my parents drummed Ukrainian art, Ukrainian this, Ukrainian that. I was always connected. It was home. So when I went to Ukraine for the first time I said, ‘Wow, I’m really here. There is a country called Ukraine.’”

Vera Nakonechny (b. 1947) is a Ukrainian embroiderer, bead worker, and weaver. She came to the United States as a teenager and continued studying the various techniques of Ukrainian embroidery her mother taught her as a young girl. She became a part of the Ukrainian-American community in Pennsylvania, where she continued to expand her skills as an embroiderer. In 1991 Nakonechny was able to return to her homeland, where she conducted archival research and studied with master craftspeople. The love for her culture gave her the inspiration to learn all she could about the various styles and techniques so that they could be preserved in their original pure form from different regions of the Ukraine.

In 2007 Nakonechny received a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship in Folk Arts. In 2003 and 2006 she received grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts to apprentice with Master Yuriy Melnychuk from the Honchar Museum, Kyiv, Ukraine. She has also studied with Masters Zenovia Shulha from the College of Textiles and Arts in Lviv, Ukraine, and Eudokia Sorokhaniuk and Stephanie Shumska-Mayer. Her work has been exhibited at such places as the Down Jersey Folklife Center, Millville, NJ; the Joseph Kobrinskiy Museum in Kolomyia, Ukraine; the Philadelphia Folklore Project; the Ukrainian Museum, New York, NY; and the Ukrainian Festival, Washington, D.C.


Grants & Grantees

Edmunds, executive and artistic director of the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, is The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage’s first visiting scholar. Paula Marincola, the Center’s executive director, spoke with her about the opportunity.

Grants & Grantees

Colucci’s sound designs for theater are distinguished by their sense of musicality, and what he describes as a “sensitivity to the power of sound to evoke the ineffable.”

Collaborators & Colleagues

Lisa Yun Lee is the director of the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, and a member of the art history faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the museum studies faculty at Harvard University.

Grants & Grantees

Hilary Harp is a sculptor and installation artist, and a 1995 Pew Fellow.

Questions of Practice

Rainey is a 2013 Pew Fellow, a soprano saxophonist and composer, one half of improvisational duo nmperign, and leader of the BSC, an eight-member ensemble that uses both acoustic and electronic instruments.

Grants & Grantees

In 2000 the Center awarded Pew Fellowships to 12 Philadelphia-based artists, and grants to 47 dance, music, theater, and visual arts organizations and practitioners in the greater Philadelphia region.

Grants & Grantees

In 1999 the Center awarded Pew Fellowships to 12 Philadelphia-based artists, and grants to 46 dance, music, theater, and visual arts organizations and practitioners in the greater Philadelphia region.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Jenifer Papararo was appointed Director of Artistic Programs at the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art in Winnipeg, Canada in November 2014. Papararo served as a Pew Fellowships panelist in 2015.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Dushko Petrovich is a painter and writer who lives in New York. He is a co-founder of *Paper Monument *and teaches at Yale University.

The Unofficial Guide to Audience Watching Performance is an evening-length autobiographical dance, the culmination of Philadelphia-based breakdancer Raphael Xavier’s 30 years of experience in hip-hop genres. Xavier, a 2013 Pew Fellow, plays with the rhythms of rap, break dancing and narrative to draw parallels between the performer’s body and the stage itself.

The Curtis Institute of Music mounted this fully staged production, presented in collaboration with Opera Philadelphia and Kimmel Center Presents.