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A Heinz Award, Three MacArthur Fellowships, and More Pew Fellows News

Roberto Lugo, 2019 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.
Roberto Lugo, 2019 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.

Find out which Pew Fellows are bringing home major awards this fall, as well as where you can see these distinguished artists’ new performances and exhibitions in Philadelphia and around the country.

Awards & Recognition

Ceramic artist Roberto Lugo (2019) has been awarded a $250,000 Heinz Award for the Arts. Six awards are given for extraordinary individual achievements each year, with two recipients in each of the three categories: the arts, the economy, and the environment.  “[Lugo’s] prolific work is transforming the art form of ceramics, juxtaposing traditional with new and layering fresh perspectives and storytelling in ways that confront history and direct us toward positive change,” Teresa Heinz, the Heinz Family Foundation’s chairman, told WHYY.

Multidisciplinary artist Raven Chacon (2020), visual artist Carolyn Lazard (2019), and writer Imani Perry (2019) have all received MacArthur Fellowships, commonly known as the “genius grant.” Each fellow receives an unrestricted $800,000 over five years. The MacArthur Foundation website states that the fellowship is a “no-strings-attached award to extraordinarily talented and creative individuals as an investment in their potential.”

Poet Afaa Michael Weaver (1998) has been recognized with the Wallace Stevens Award, a lifetime achievement award presented by the Academy of American Poets. The award recognizes “outstanding and proven mastery in the art of poetry,” according to the academy, and carries a $100,000 stipend. Additionally, Pew Fellow Major Jackson received the academy’s fellowship, a $25,000 prize with a residency at the T.S. Eliot summer home in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

Jazz musician Odean Pope (1992) was awarded the fourth annual Nova Award on Wednesday, November 1, at Ars Nova Workshop's 4th Annual Fundraiser at Solar Myth. Pew Fellow Marshall Allen, who won the award in 2021, performed at the event with Pope’s student-turned-collaborator saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins.

Art & Krimes by Krimes, a documentary about Vvisual artist Jesse Krimes (2022), won an Emmy Award for “Outstanding Arts and Culture Documentary.”for his film Art & Krimes by Krimes. The film, which details Krimes’ artistic work while he was incarcerated, can be streamed on Paramount+, Amazon Prime, and Apple TV, among other platforms.

Mary Lattimore, 2014 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.
Mary Lattimore, 2014 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.

On View around Philadelphia

Writer Candice Iloh (2023) published their newest novel, Salt the Water, on October 3. The book centers a queer high school student who drops out to pursue their dreams and the compromises they must make to support their family.

Harpist and composer Mary Lattimore’s (2014) new album Goodbye, Hotel Arkada was released on October 6. The project features Rachel Goswell of Slowdive, Roy Montgomery, Lol Tolhurst of the Cure, Meg Baird, and more. Alongside the release, Lattimore kicked off a US tour in late September and will wrap up on November 16 in Austin, Texas. 

Filmmaker Rea Tajiri’s (2015) documentary Wisdom Gone Wild will make its broadcast television premiere on November 20 as part of PBS’s POV series. POV describes the film as “vibrant tender cine-poem” in which “a filmmaker collaborates with her Nisei mother as they confront the painful curious reality of wisdom ‘gone wild’ in the shadows of dementia.”

Visual artist Barbara Bullock’s (1997) solo exhibition, Barbara Bullock: Fearless Vision, is on view at Woodmere Art Museum this fall through January 21, 2024. Showcasing over sixty years of Bullock’s mixed media practice, this retrospective exemplifies the artist’s impact on Philadelphia’s Black arts community.

Moveables, a five-artist group exhibition featuring visual artist Ken Lum (2018), is on view at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia. Referring to any object in a building that is not anchored in place, Moveables explores functional design and its relationship to the human body through various installations. The exhibition will be on view through December 17.

Photographer Naomieh Jovin’s (2021) first solo exhibition, Naomieh Jovin: Lover’s Hands, Devil’s Pool, is on view at Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery through December 9. “Building on themes of her past work,” the gallery notes, “Jovin seeks to create new pathways for unlearning harmful stereotypes about Black people, and translating the trauma within immigrant families into power through storytelling and photographic imagery.” 

Visual artist Karyn Olivier’s (2019) mixed media solo exhibition Seep is on view at the List Gallery at Swarthmore College through December 15. The gallery’s press release notes, “Through engaging with history, contemporary events, and architectural contexts and by deftly transforming everyday materials, Olivier creates works that are poignant, thought-provoking, and at times, whimsical.”

Pew Fellow Ada Trillo, If Walls Could Speak, exhibition view, 2019, Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia, PA. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Pew Fellow Ada Trillo, If Walls Could Speak, exhibition view, 2019, Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia, PA. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Fellows around the Country

A World on The Move: Navigating Borders Amidst Conflict and War, a solo exhibition by photographer Ada Trillo (2022), opened at the Chicago Center for Photojournalism on September 22 and remains on view through December 7. This exhibition “chronicles the harrowing journeys of those who chose to remain amidst the chaos as well as those who embarked on the treacherous journey to escape,” according to the center’s website. 

A new solo exhibition by visual artist Mark Thomas Gibson (2021) opened at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit on September 29. Mark Thomas Gibson: A Retelling features selections from Gibson’s Town Crier works on paper series, which addresses historical moments through satire. A Retelling will be on view through February 4, 2024.

Two Pew Fellows will present shows at OZ Arts Nashville this fall. Choreographer Rennie Harris (1996) presents Rome & Jewels, “a story of fear, love, and triumph set in the streets of Philadelphia and deeply rooted in the traditions of Hip-Hop, popping, break dance and more,” November 9–11. Theater artist Geoff Sobelle (2006) will present his show Food at OZ Arts November 30–December 10. On his website, Sobelle describes Food as “an intimate dinner party performance that uses smell, taste, touch and audience instruction to feed a meditation on the ways and whys of eating.” 

Theater artist Alexanda Tatarsky (2020) is performing their semi-autobiographical Sad Boys in Harpy Land through November 26 at Playwrights Horizons in New York City. The presenter describes the show as an “unhinged solo performance [that] takes place in the hellscape of the mind” and “equal parts sad clown, demented cabaret, and extended crisis of meaning.”

Visual artist Odili Donald Odita’s (2022) Degrees of Separation solo exhibition runs at David Kordansky Gallery in Los Angeles November 11 through December 16. The gallery notes the exhibition “features a group of new paintings in which Odita poses pointed questions about the meaning and perception of darkness in a variety of social and aesthetic contexts.”