Arcadia Exhibitions organizes programming for four distinct gallery spaces on Arcadia University’s campus, offering a stimulating roster of individual and thematic exhibitions of contemporary art ranging in scope and stature from the regional to the international. Arcadia's exhibitions regularly travel, often to major museums many times its scale, such as the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. With grants from the Center, Arcadia has organized Ai Weiwei: Dropping the Urn (2009), a traveling survey of the Beijing-based artist’s ceramics and the first museum show of his work outside of New York; JG (2010), a major new film by Berlin-based artist Tacita Dean, shot in Death Valley and the Salt Lake Flats; and Pati Hill: Photocopier (2014), an exhibition of the early artwork of Pati Hill, an American writer who pioneered the use of the photocopier as an artistic tool in the 1970s. In 2019, Arcadia received a Center Project grant to produce Polly Apfelbaum: For the Love of Una Hale, an exhibition of new work by award-winning visual artist Polly Apfelbaum, who fuses craft traditions, sculpture, and large-scale installation. In 2020, Arcadia received a Center Project grant to present Sun & Sea, a contemporary Lithuanian opera that addresses ecological concerns through the inner monologues and melodies of a chorus of beachgoers.
A contemporary Lithuanian opera will address ecological concerns through the inner monologues and melodies of a chorus of beachgoers. On an artificial beach viewed on all sides by the audience from a mezzanine above, swimsuit-clad singers will convey anxieties ranging from sunburn to environmental catastrophe. Singing a composition incorporating elements of folk music, church hymns, and operatic arias, the performers will go about their day, applying sunscreen, checking phones, and playing badminton. The looping, hourlong piece by director Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, librettist Vaiva Grainytė, and composer Lina Lapelytė earned a Golden Lion for best national presentation at the 2019 Venice Biennale. The Philadelphia iteration of the performance will feature the opera’s original cast with support from extras sourced from the local community. The Philadelphia performance, presented in collaboration with FringeArts, is part of a planned US tour that will include performances at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York; The Momentary, Bentonville, Arkansas; and The Geffen Contemporary at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, as part of a collaboration between The Hammer, MOCA, and the Center for the Art of Performance.
The total grant amount represents project funding plus an additional 20% in unrestricted general operating support.