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Pew Fellows News: Artists in Whitney and Venice Biennials, an Academy of American Poets Award, and New Works Around the World

Tiona McClodden’s Be Alarmed: The 3rd Attempt, 2012. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Tiona McClodden’s Be Alarmed: The 3rd Attempt, 2012. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Catch up on this month’s Pew Fellows news, including the latest recognition, new works, and press coverage.

Pew Fellows at International Biennials

Multimedia artist Tiona Nekkia McClodden (2016) will exhibit her work at the 2019 Whitney Biennial. McClodden is one of 75 artists selected to participate in the exhibition and one of two Philadelphia-based artists involved in the Biennial—the longest running showcase of contemporary American art.

Visual artist Alex Da Corte (2012) will participate in the central show of this year’s Venice Biennale, titled May You Live in Interesting Times. Da Corte is one of 79 artists from around the globe whose work will be represented in the exhibition.

Black Quantum Futurism—the collaborative, multidisciplinary collective created by 2017 Fellows Camae Ayewa and Rasheedah Phillips—will present at the third Chicago Architecture Biennial. The international exhibition, titled …and other such stories, will open next fall and approach sites, structures, and spaces as “prisms through which to reflect upon social, geopolitical, and ecological processes that affect our collective past, present, and future,” according to the show’s curatorial statement.

Awards & Honors

Poet Sonia Sanchez (1993) will be honored at the Academy of American Poets’ inaugural Leadership Awards at Lincoln Center on April 24. In March, Sanchez was acknowledged for lifetime achievement in the 84th annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, which recognize “books that have made important contributions to our understanding of racism and our appreciation of the rich diversity of human cultures,” according to the Awards’ website.

Painter Bo Bartlett (1993) won a 2019 South Arts State Fellowship for his home state of Georgia. Bartlett discussed the award, which recognizes the highest caliber of artistic work in the South, in a short video interview

Visual artist Michelle Angela Ortiz (2018) is included in Philadelphia Magazine’s “The New Look of Power” feature, a list of 30 Philadelphians who are “changing the city by proving that power is about creating urgency and getting people to believe in something.”

Fellows Around the World

Video artist Ryan Trecartin (2009) and visual artist Lizzie Fitch created Whether Line, a multimedia installation now on view at Fondazione Prada in Milan. The work addresses “the perpetual promise of ‘new’ terrain and the inherent instability of territorial appropriation,” according to Fondazione Prada. It will be accompanied by a book exploring the nearly two-decade collaborative practice of Trecartin and Fitch.

Media artist Louis Massiah (1994), in his capacity as founder and director of Scribe Video Center, has collaborated with the newly opened Museum of Black Civilizations in Dakar, Senegal. The museum will showcase a collection of short films produced by Scribe that explore the global African diaspora, including in the Delaware Valley area, reports The Philadelphia Tribune.

Work by writer, curator, and visual artist Yane Calovski (2001) is on display in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, in Listen to us – Artistic intelligence, a multi-sited exhibition of work created by Eastern European artists after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Calovski’s collaborative show with Hristina Ivanoska at the Museum of Contemporary Art Skopje closed last month.

Visual artist Sharon Hayes (2016) is showing both early and recent works in Echo, a solo exhibition at Stockholm’s Moderna Museet. Hayes’ politically and socially responsive art delves into themes of activism, history, sexuality, and speech across a range of media.

Theater artist Geoff Sobelle’s (2006) HOME, which features  Jennifer Kidwell(2016), showed at the Hong Kong Arts Festival in March and will travel to Taiwan and South Korea after its current run at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. The San Francisco Examiner described HOME as a “showcase of dazzling stagecraft.”

Fellows In the News

Filmmaker Heidi Saman (2016) will make her television directorial debut on the acclaimed drama series Queen Sugar, created by writer, director, and producer Ava DuVernay. Now in its fourth season, the series maintains the “creative initiative” of an all-female directorial team, according to the show’s press release.

Media artist Tanya Hamilton (2004), in another collaboration with Ava DuVernay, will act as showrunner and executive producer of the newly created television anthology Cherish the Day. Hamilton has worked with DuVernay in the past as a director for Queen Sugar, and she will direct the series premiere of Cherish the Day, reports Variety.

Visual artist and ceramicist Annabeth Rosen (1992) exhibited work in a joint presentation with painter Judith Linhares at the Art Dealers Association of America’s annual Art Show. The New York Times described their work as one of the show’s highlights: “Judith Linhares…brings out the color in Annabeth Rosen’s work… In this presentation, both artists present a muscular and unapologetic femininity that feels not only welcome right now but necessary.”

Composer Andrea Clearfield (2016) created Glow, a concerto for electric guitar, through a residency at The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. The piece was performed at the Kimmel Center by guitarist Jordan Dodson. Clearfield discusses Glow and other recent work in an interview with WRTI. The station also produced a short video with excerpts of the composition.

Playwright James Ijames (2015) directed Gem of the Ocean, the first of August Wilson’s “Century Cycle” of plays representing African American experience across the 20th century. The production, which ran at Arden Theatre Company, was featured on 6abc Action News and described by WHYY as “a tightly constructed puzzle, meticulously solved.”

Composer James Primosch (1996) premiered Four Sketches, a new work for woodwind quintet performed at the American Philosophical Society by Imani Winds. Primosch was praised by The Philadelphia Inquirer for capturing “something about our times, despite this lovely work’s traditional techniques and language (or maybe because of them).”

Musician Chris Forsyth (2011) released a new album, All Time Present, on No Quarter Records. The record was previewed on NPR, which described the album as simultaneously “bridging worlds of unconventional abstraction and mass appeal.”