Fellows Friday News: Projects in Animation, Opera, Poetry, and More

06 Mar 2015


Jennifer Higdon, 1999 Pew Fellow. Photo by Candace di Carlo.


Matt Saunders, 2014 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.

This month's Pew Fellows news highlights include a new opera from Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon, a Hodder Fellowship through Princeton University for set designer and theater artist Matt Saunders, and new exhibition works by artists Tim Portlock, Jane Irish, Alex Da Corte, and more.

On View: Fellows Exhibit in Philadelphia, New York, Minneapolis

Tim Portlock (2011) is one of nine contemporary black animation artists participating in Friction Friction, an exhibition in Minneapolis presented in collaboration with Obsidian Arts and The Soap Factory. Open through March 8, "Friction Fiction explores the environment of urban life and blurs the lines of reality," says the Minnesota Daily.

Locks Gallery in Philadelphia will present Faience & Firenze, a solo exhibition of new ceramics and recent gouache paintings by Jane Irish (2011), open March 6 to April 11. The opening reception will be held at the gallery on March 6 at 5:30 p.m.

While Alex Da Corte's (2011) recently closed exhibition at the ICA, Easternsports, continues to garner praise from Art in America, his new show, Die Hexe, also provokes commentary and excitement. Now at Luxembourg & Dayan in New York City, W Magazine calls the show an "unsettling, surreal universe that is equal parts dollhouse and haunted house." Art F City, Blouin ArtInfo, and Broadway World have also previewed the show, among others.

Philadelphia's Bridgette Mayer Gallery presents a solo exhibition by Eileen Neff (1994), now through April 18, featuring photographic and mixed-media work inspired by unfamiliar landscapes. An opening reception will be held at the gallery on March 6 from 6–8 p.m.

Brian Phillips (2011), founder of the Philadelphia-based architectural firm ISA, will give a talk on environmental design in urban environments. The talk will take place on March 12 at the Scholastic Auditorium in New York City as a part of the Architectural League of New York's Emerging Voices lecture series.

In Print: New Publications From Fellows

Poet Laynie Browne's (2014) latest book, Scorpyn Odes, is now available from Kore Press. In it, she "explores the possibility of 'departure' as locomotion or energy source, travel and incantatory momentum."

Novelist Beth Kephart's (2005) One Thing Stolen, forthcoming from Chronicle Books this April, receives an advance review from Savvy Verse and Wit: "Her novels transcend age boundaries and foster contemplation among her readers, urging them subtly to look past the surface into the heart of her characters and their stories."

In The News

Opera Philadelphia will present Cold Mountain in 2016, an adaptation of the novel-turned-film, composed by Jennifer Higdon (1999). "Even though we're now in the 21st century and that story is set in the Civil War, these characters are familiar. Their speaking patterns are familiar, the manner of thinking. I just understood it. I was thinking: people fall in love, people die, it's perfect for an opera," Higdon said to NewsWorks. Higdon was also interviewed for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Set designer and theater artist Matt Saunders (2014) has been announced as one of the 2015-16 Hodder Fellows at Princeton University's Lewis Center for the Arts, awarded to "artists and humanists in the early stages of their careers...to devote themselves fully to their current or next project."

A Gotham Magazine feature on the New Museum Triennial, co-curated by visual artist Ryan Trecartin (2009), calls it "one of the hottest tickets of New York's art-fair season." Blouin ArtInfo features the exhibition as well, saying, "As much as Cornell and Trecartin's triennial is about how the digital rubs off on the human, it's also about the ways in which the human survives."

Philly Voice features graphic designers taking inspiration from Philadelphia, including Megawords co-founder Anthony Smyrski (2012), who documents his Port Richmond neighborhood in photographs and zines.

Philadelphia's 6ABC features klezmer musician Elaine Hoffman-Watts (2000), with a video of Watts performing.