Fellows Friday News: Jennifer Kidwell Wins Obie Award; James Ijames Debuts New Play; Pepón Osorio Opens Site-Specific Installation

26 May 2017


Jennifer Kidwell, 2016 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.


Susan Lankin-Watts, 2015 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.


James Ijames, 2015 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.


Kara Crombie, 2010 Pew Fellow. Photo by Colin Lenton.


Raphael Xavier, 2013 Pew Fellow. Photo by Colin Lenton.


Matthew Mitchell, 2012 Pew Fellow. Photo by Colin Lenton.


Tania Isaac performing in 2007.

This month’s Pew Fellows news sees an award recognizing excellence in off-Broadway theater, grants from Leeway Foundation for projects addressing art and social change, a large-scale installation that tells the story of a local matriarch, a new play tackling race and identity in the art world through comedy, media coverage in The New York Times, and more.

Honors and Awards

Theater artist Jennifer Kidwell’s (2016) play Underground Railroad Game, created with Scott Sheppard, won a 2017 Obie Award for Best New American Theatre Work. The work addresses race relations in America through the antics of two middle school history teachers. Read more>>

Klezmer musician Susan Lankin-Watts (2015) and visual artist Kara Crombie (2010) are the recipients of 2017 Art & Change Awards from Leeway Foundation. The award provides project-based funds to women and trans artists who “work to address a range of social change issues, from immigration and transgender justice, to cultural preservation and environmental justice,” according to the foundation. Read more>>

Choreographer and movement artist Lela Aisha Jones (2016) was award Temple University’s Reflection/Response Choreographic Commission, to create two new works in her current series of episodic works, Plight Release & the Diasporic Body. Read more>>

Visual artist Mei-ling Hom (1998) won the 2017 BigCi Environmental Award for her ecological art partnership practice Art2Grow, described by the organization as “a deeply holistic methodology, pushing what it means to be an environmental artist today.” Read more>>

On View

Visual artist Pepón Osorio (2006) opened Side by Side at Cornell Council for the Arts (CCA), in response to the CCA Biennial’s focus on the cultural production of empathy. The site-specific installation includes a large upside-down house covered in scratched lottery tickets, moving images, and the story of a local family matriarch. Read more>>

Visual artist Emily Brown (2000) will have over 30 of her hand-painted blown glass works featured in Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center’s Emanation 2017, a contemporary art project that includes artist residencies, educational programs, and an exhibition of works created at WheatonArts, opening June 1. Read more>>

On Stage

Playwright James Ijames’ (2015) new comedic play, WHITE, premiered at Theatre Horizon. In a review, The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote that the play “bursts with humor” and “adds to a growing body of plays tackling the issue of racial conflict in the increasingly diverse and purportedly post-racial United States of America.” Read more>>

On June 10, hip-hop choreographer Raphael Xavier (2013) will present the “Here & Now Hip Hop Forum” at the Kimmel Center. The day-long event features lectures and workshops on the history of hip-hop culture, street dance composition, and an open “jam session.” Read more>>

Broad Street Review covered choreographer Tania Isaac’s (2011) dance work crazy beautiful at FringeArts, writing: "The show’s emotive, illustrated motion-reverie is presented in muscularly elevated, flowing-but-fragmented dance steps and carefully spoken text." Read more>>

In The News

The New York Times featured visual artist Sara McEneaney’s (1993) current solo exhibition at Tibor de Nagy in its “47 Galleries That Bring You the Art of Now” article. Read More>>

Poet Yolanda Wisher (2015) was interviewed on WHYY’s radio program Radio Times, discussing National Poetry Month, her role as Philadelphia Poet Laureate, and her goal to make poetry more accessible. Listen here>>

Composer and musician Matthew Mitchell (2012) released his new album FØRAGE, featuring the compositions of saxophonist Tim Berne, played on piano. The classical music blog Sequenza21 reviewed the album, writing: “FØRAGE supplies a potent combination of captivating compositions and abundant musicality.” Read more>>

Visual artist and fine art jeweler Bruce Metcalf (1996) was profiled on WHYY’s Articulate with Jim Cotter television program. Watch more>>