Pew Fellows News: James Ijames Wins Kesselring Prize, Susan Lankin-Watts Premieres Soul Songs: Inspiring Women of Klezmer, Alex Da Corte’s Carnegie International Installation Featured in ARTNEWS, and More

25 Oct 2018


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

Alex Da Corte Portrait

Alex Da Corte, 2012 Pew Fellow. Photo by Colin Lenton.


Nichole Canuso, 2017 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.


Ryan Trecartin, 2009 Pew Fellow. Still from Trecartin's Pew Fellow short film, directed by Glenn Holsten.


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


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

In October, our Pew Fellows news roundup includes a Bessie Award and Kesselring Prize, the premiere of a new musical composition, artists on tour around the country, and more. See the latest updates in our news roundup below.

Honors and Awards

Theater artist Geoff Sobelle (2006) earned a New York Bessie Award in the category of Outstanding Production for his large-scale performance work Home. The awards are presented annually to independent dance artists, composers, and visual designers for exceptional achievement. Read More>>

Playwright James Ijames (2015) won the 2018 Kesselring Prize from The National Arts Club for his play Kill Move Paradise, which was most recently on stage at The Wilma Theater in Philadelphia. The prize carries a stipend of $25,000 and a two-week residency at The National Arts Club’s historic landmark clubhouse. Read More>>

Visual artist Rebecca Rutstein (2004) has received a year-long appointment as the Delta Visiting Chair for Global Understanding at the University of Georgia. The twelve-month engagement includes an expedition to Mexico’s Guaymas Basin in the Sea of Cortez, and culminates in her solo exhibition Out of Darkness: Light in the Depths of the Sea of Cortez at the Georgia Museum of Art. Read More>>

Media artist Cheryl Hess' (2005) film Past/Presence: Saving the Spring Garden School won the grand prize for this year's American Institute of Architects (AIA) Film Challenge. The film explores the preservation and adaptive reuse of a historic building in North Philadelphia, and its significance to new and long-time residents. Read More>>

New Work

Klezmer musician Susan Lankin-Watts (2015) leads the world premiere of Soul Songs: Inspiring Women of Klezmer, presented by Philadelphia Folklore Project on October 28. The concert of new compositions is written and performed by three generations of women and brings contemporary meaning to klezmer, the Eastern European, Jewish folk music form. Read More in The Philadelphia Inquirer>>

Composer David Ludwig (2018) debuted The Anchoress, a song cycle for soprano, at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts on October 17. The new work was performed by Piffaro, PRISM Quartet, and soprano Hyunah Yu, and presented as part of the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society’s 2018–19 season. The following evening, Ludwig’s composition premiered at The DiMenna Center for Classical Music in New York. Read the review in The Philadelphia Inquirer>>

On View and On Stage

Visual artist Michael Olszewski's (2003) Meaning and Light, an exhibition of the artist's fiber constructions, is on view at the Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, LA through February 2019. Read More>>

Choreographer Nichole Canuso’s (2017) and theater artist Geoff Sobelle’s (2006) dance-theater concert PANDÆMONIUM played at The Los Angeles Theatre Center, October 19–21. Read More>>

Jazz musicians Dave Burrell (1996), Bobby Zankel (1996), and Marshall Allen (2012) performed in the 2018 October Revolution of Jazz & Contemporary Music festival, presented by Ars Nova Workshop in Philadelphia, October 4–7. Read More>>

Media artist Sheila M. Sofian (1997) co-organized the Breaking the Glass Frame: Women and Animation, Past, Present, Future symposium from October 5–7 at the University of Southern California. The symposium celebrated women’s historical and contemporary contributions to commercial and independent animation and academia. Read More>>

In the News

Media artist Ryan Trecartin (2009) and artist Lizzie Fitch present Lizzie Fitch/Ryan Trecartin, an exhibition of three films shown within sculptural theaters, at The Baltimore Museum of Art through January 2019. “It’s hard to describe the sharp, metallic-tasting genius of Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin… No artists, in fact, since Andy Warhol have reflected American culture back on itself with such a combination of hyper-vigilance and underlying hilarity,” reports The Washington Post. Read More>>

Visual artist Alex Da Corte (2012) was recognized for “the best work in the show” from ARTNEWS for his installation Rubber Pencil Devil at the 2018 Carnegie International. On view at Carnegie Museum of Art through March 2019, the installation is “one of the most thrilling I’ve seen in recent years —the rare example, in this International, of an artist swinging for the fences and hitting it out of the park,” writes art critic Andrew Russeth. Read More>>

Architect and designer Jenny Sabin’s (2010) installation LUSTER, curated by Art Production Fund for the 2018 House of Peroni art popup, was reviewed by The Architect’s Newspaper, writing that the work “presented a more intimate, and refined, version of Sabin’s 2017 Lumen installation for MoMA PS1’s Young Architects Program.” House of Peroni 2018 runs through October 20 in New York before traveling to venues across the US through November 28. Read More>>