Fellows Friday News: Lela Aisha Jones Nominated for a Bessie Award, Pew Fellows Create Philadelphia Monuments, and Theater Premieres from Thaddeus Phillips and Geoff Sobelle

25 Aug 2017


Lela Aisha Jones, 2016 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.


Geoff Sobelle in The Object Lesson at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. Photo by Craig Schwartz, courtesy of Center Theatre Group.


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


Jenny Sabin, 2010 Pew Fellow. Photo by Colin Lenton.


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

This month’s Pew Fellows news sees world premiere performances in the 2017 Philadelphia Fringe Festival, a national choreography award, a series of new public artworks transforming the city, and more.

Honors and Awards

Choreographer and movement performance artist Lela Aisha Jones (2016) has been nominated for a 2017 New York Dance and Performance Bessie Award for “Outstanding Emerging Choreographer.” Jones was selected “for her brilliant work continuing and expanding the narrative tradition in the dance of the African Diaspora,” according to organization. Read more>>

Playwright and theater artist James Ijames (2015) has been selected as one of four playwrights in People’s Light’s New Play Frontiers Residency & Commission program, an initiative that supports artists’ development of new plays exploring American identity. Read more>>

Philadelphia Magazine named theater artist Jennifer Kidwell (2016) “Best Emerging Theater Artist” in its annual “Best of Philly” cover story, writing that Kidwell “is funny, smart, incisive, and a powerhouse onstage.” Read more>>

In The News

Architect Jenny Sabin’s (2010) interactive installation Lumen, on view at MoMA PS1, has been covered by several national media outlets, including The New York Times, Al Jazeera, and W Magazine, which wrote that the work “spread over the museum's courtyard like cobwebs, creating a gauzy canopy that provides shade and also sprays museum-goers with a cooling mist.” Read more>>

Visual artist Alex Da Corte’s (2012) solo exhibition Slow Graffiti at Secession Vienna, was featured in The New York Times and Wallpaper, which called the show “a 6,500 sq. ft. world of wonderfully weird sculptures, paintings and film.” Read more>>

Traditional African vocalist Fatu Gayflor (2014) was interviewed on WHYY’s Radio Times about how the Liberian Women’s Chorus for Change is addressing the concerns of the local Liberian immigrant community through music. Listen here>>

On View

Electronic musician King Britt (2007), visual artist Sharon Hayes (2016), and visual artist Kara Crombie (2010) are creating new works for Mural Arts Philadelphia’s Monument Lab, opening September 16. The city-wide public art project, supported by the Center, features over 20 temporary artworks displayed around Philadelphia that respond to the guiding question: “What is an appropriate monument for the current city of Philadelphia?” Read more>>

The first major survey exhibition by visual artist Annabeth Rosen (1992) presenting the artist’s contemporary ceramic sculptures and works on paper, is on view at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston through November 26. Read more>>

Interdisciplinary artists Camae Ayewa & Rasheedah Phillips (2017) presented an event at Serpentine Galleries in which they discussed their collaborative work through the Black Quantum Futurism collective. Read more>>

On Stage

Theater artist Thaddeus Phillips (2002) debuts his new visual theater work, A Billion Nights on Earth, September 14-17 as part of the 2017 Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Blending performance art, pop-up storybook design techniques, and a cinematic score, the Center-supported work features a series of bold visual installations and an evolving, circus-style environment created in collaboration with installation artist Steven Dufala. Read more>>

HOME, a new work by theater artist Geoff Sobelle (2006), will premiere September 13-16 during the 2017 Philadelphia Fringe Festival. The large-scale performance mixes illusion, choreography, and live music to depict the lifecycle of a house. Read more>>

Hip-hop choreographer Raphael Xavier (2013) presented his autobiographical dance work Point of Interest at The Yard in Massachusetts. Read more>>

Choreographer and dancer Tania Isaac (2011) performed in Then a Cunning Voice and A Night We Spend Gazing at Stars, a 12-hour participatory performance on Randall’s Island, created by interdisciplinary artist Emily Johnson and presented by Performance Space 122. Read more>>