Fellows Friday News: Zoe Strauss and Afaa Michael Weaver Receive Guggenheim Fellowships, Orrin Evans Joins The Bad Plus, and More

28 Apr 2017


Mattress Flip by Zoe Strauss. Image courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

In this month’s Pew Fellows news, visual artist Zoe Strauss and poet Afaa Michael Weaver receive 2017 Guggenheim Fellowships, musician Orrin Evans becomes a permanent member of the renowned jazz group The Bad Plus, and poet Yolanda Wisher presents The Outbound Poetry Festival.

Honors and Awards

Visual artist Zoe Strauss (2005) and poet Afaa Michael Weaver (1998) received 2017 Guggenheim Fellowships. The fellowships are awarded to a diverse group of scholars, artists, and scientists “on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise,” according to the organization. Read more>>

Architect Brian Phillips (2011) and his design firm Interface Studio Architects won two National Housing Awards from the American Institute of Architects in the “Multifamily” and “One/Two Family Production Housing” categories. Both award-winning projects emphasize green technology and affordability within private housing developments. Read more>>


Pianist Orrin Evans (2010) will become a permanent member of the renowned jazz trio The Bad Plus, known for its masterful combination of avant-garde jazz and rock music. Read more>>

Electronic musician and DJ King Britt (2007) will perform at the electronic music festival, Moogfest, in Durham, NC on May 20. He will also perform the 1969 album Let’s Make An Album by the late artist Sister Gertrude Morgan alongside his re-imagination of that album, King Britt Presents Sister Gertrude Morgan, at the New Orleans Jazz Festival on May 4. Read more>>

Musician and composer Matthew Levy (2016) released a new album with the saxophone quartet PRISM Quartet. Color Theory, produced through a Center-funded project that investigated the concept of “musical color,” features the musical groups So Percussion and PARTCH, guitarist Derek Johnson, and conductor Stratic Minakakis. Read more>>

In the News

The Washington Post reported on the poetry project “Renga for Obama,” curated and edited by poet Major Jackson (1995) and published in Harvard Review. An ode to President Barack Obama, the series publishes new “tan-rengas,” traditional two-stanza Japanese poems, daily for 100 days. Read more>>

Poet Yolanda Wisher (2015) curated The Outbound Poetry Festival, a two-week poetry series presented by Philadelphia Contemporary. Featuring Pew Fellows and poets Frank Sherlock (2013) and Trapeta Mayson (2002), the festival presented daily readings and parings of music and poetry at 30th Street Station. Read more>>

On View

Visual artist and filmmaker Tiona McClodden (2016) curated the forthcoming exhibition PREDICATED. + A RECOLLECTION. The exhibition is part of Bowerbird’s Center-funded project That Which Is Fundamental, which explores the works of the late composer Julius Eastman. Opening May 4 at Slought Foundation, the exhibition includes Eastman’s archives alongside works by ten contemporary artists investigating the fragmented nature of Eastman’s legacy. Read more>>

Visual artist Sarah McEneaney (1993) opened Land, Sea, Sleep, a solo exhibition of acrylic paintings at The Tibor de Nagy Gallery in New York, on view through May 20. Read more>>

Visual artist Benjamin Volta’s (2015) work is on view as part of Elephants on the Avenue, the culminating exhibition of Historic Germantown’s Center-funded project, Elephants on the Avenue: Race, Class, and Community in Historic Germantown (through May 31). On May 13, Volta will lead a calligraphy and collage workshop, “Petitions for Social Justice & Change.” Read more>>

The Philadelphia Folklore Project presented a four-day art and meditation series with Tibetan sand mandala artist Losang Samten (2004). Each afternoon, audiences were invited to observe Samten create a Buddhist mandala out of colored sand, before he dismantled the intricate creation on the final day. Read more>>