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Major Awards for Adebunmi Gbadebo and Jesse Krimes, New Writing from Airea D. Matthews and Justin Cronin, and More Fellows News

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Learn where you can find new works from our distinguished Pew Fellows, as well as their latest awards and accolades. 

Exhibitions & New Works

Visual artist Pepon Osorio (2006) presents a comprehensive solo exhibition at The New Museum in New York this summer. The show is centered on “the elaborate, large-scale, multimedia environments that Osorio has been creating since the early 1990s, often developed through long-term conversations and collaborations with individuals in the neighborhoods where they were first shown,” according to the museum. Pepón Osorio: My Beating Heart/ Mi corazón latiente opens June 29 and will be on view until September 17, 2023. 

The Ferrymana new novel by author Justin Cronin (2001), was released in April. Cronin discussed the new dystopian world he built in The Ferryman with The Houston Chronicle, saying the work is his “attempt to write a holy (expletive) of those stories where you throw the book across the room.” The New York Times observes, “Cronin’s shrewd world-building allows us to have it both ways: We sink into aspirational fantasy even as we relish the author’s sly commentary on a certain species of coastal elite.”

Julian Talamantez Brolaski (2019) released a new single, “No More Lonesome Heartache,” on March 3. The song is from the poet and musician’s forthcoming album, It’s Okay Honey, out August 4. Brolaski spoke with Americana Highways magazine about the single and what’s to come.

"No More Lonesome Heartache," by Julian Talamantez Brolaski.

Pianist Orrin Evans (2010) released his latest album, The Red Door, on June 16. Performers on the record include bassist Buster Williams, drummer Gene Jackson, trumpeter Wallace Roney, and saxophonist Larry McKenna, among many others. An All About Jazz review of the record observes, “Evans never fails to bring out the best of whoever he chooses to create with.”

Abandon, a play written by James Ijames (2015) and directed by Brett Ashley Robinson (2021), made its world premiere in April at South Philadelphia-based theater company Theatre Exile. In a piece for Philly VoiceIjames said, “This play was inspired by my own recent journey with grief and loneliness. I wanted to explore how they impact a person and how someone can find their way out of that.” Additionally, Ijames’ Pulitzer Prize-winning and Tony-nominated Fat Ham is playing on Broadway through July 2. 

Rising Sun: Artists in an Uncertain Americaa collaborative exhibition between the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the African American Museum of Philadelphia, features the work of two Pew Fellows: Mark Thomas Gibson (2021) and Wilmer Wilson IV (2017). The exhibition features new works by artists in response to the question: “Is the sun rising or setting on the experiment of American democracy?” Rising Sun spans both museums and will be on view until October 8, 2023. 

Poet Yolanda Wisher (2015) appeared on the June 16 episode of WHYY’s new children’s show Albie’s Elevator. In the episode, Wisher teaches the titular Albie how to express herself through poetry. Wisher also recently performed in Girard College’s Be Holding, an adaption of Ross Gay’s poem of the same name.

Airea D. Matthews, 2020 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.
Airea D. Matthews, 2020 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.

Poet Airea D. Matthews (2020) published a new collection, Bread and Circus, on May 30. The current poet laureate of Philadelphia and former economics student challenges the work of 18th-century economist Adam Smith in autobiographical poems “about the economics of class and its failures for those rendered invisible by it,” according to the publisher.

Poet and performer Denice Frohman (2021) premiered her one-woman show Esto No Tiene Nombre, June 8–10. Directed by Alex Torra (2018), the show’s vignettes place Frohman in conversation with her elders to trace lineages of love, desire and identity.

Awards & Recognition

Jesse Krimes (2022) received support from The Mellon Foundation through its new Imagining Freedom initiative, a $125 million initiative that “supports artistic, cultural, and humanistic work that centers the voices and knowledge of people directly affected by the US criminal legal system.” Krimes was also named executive director of the new Center for Art and Advocacy, a nonprofit helping formerly incarcerated artists develop creative careers.

Adebunmi Gbadebo (2022) received the Maxwell/Hanrahan Award in Craft, a $100,000 unrestricted award awarded in partnership with United States Artists. The Maxwell/Hanrahan Foundation website says the prize awards artists “for their unique and visionary approach to material-based practice, stewardship of cultural traditions and craft's potential to connect people, places and ideas.”

Michael Kuetemeyer & Anula Shetty, 2017 Pew Fellows. Photo by Ryan Collerd.
Michael Kuetemeyer & Anula Shetty, 2017 Pew Fellows. Photo by Ryan Collerd.

Anula Shetty (2017) is SEPTA’s artist-in-residence in a new collaboration between the Forman Arts Initiative and Mural Arts. Shetty will receive $40,000 to participate in a one-year residency creating artworks that reflect the relationship between Philadelphians and SEPTA. The first project of her residency will be unveiled in June.

Visual artist Alex Da Corte (2012) is featured in the first episode of season 11 of Art21’s documentary series “Art in the Twenty-First Century.” The episode features Da Corte and artists Amy Sherald, Rose B. Simpson, and Daniel Lind-Ramos as they all explore the visual worlds they create and the iconic figures who influenced them.

Composer David Ludwig (2018) received an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Music, which honors outstanding artistic achievement and recognizes composers who have arrived at their own voice. Each recipient receives $10,000 and an additional $10,000 to record their work to be presented in concert at the Academy.

The Irish Arts Center in New York hosted a tribute to late musician and Irish folk artist Mick Moloney (2000), who passed away in July 2022. The tribute featured three nights of music from artists who have been influenced by Moloney’s work and legacy as a longtime historian of Irish music.

Choreographer jumatatu m. poe (2012), performing as Makini, and collaborator Jermone Donte Beacham are recipients of the 2023 Herb Alpert Award in the Arts. Poe and Beacham have been working collaboratively on a series titled Let ‘im Move You since 2011.  The award is given annually to risk-taking mid-career dance, film/video, music, theater, and visual artists and comes with a $75,000 unrestricted grant. 

Fellows and filmmakers Rea Tajiri and Sabaah Folayan (2022) are 2023 Chicken & Egg Award Recipients. Awarded to women and nonbinary documentary filmmakers at advanced stages in their careers, this year’s eight recipients each receive a $75,000 grant and a year-long mentorship program targeted to their individual goals.