Press Release

Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative Announces 2006 Awards

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The Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative announces the outstanding projects and recipients of this year's 2006 grants for the visual arts:
  • The first comprehensive, long-anticipated retrospective for Tom Chimes, a beloved senior Philadelphia artist at the Philadelphia Museum of Art that celebrates and brings attention to his distinctive, under-recognized achievements.  
  • An artists' residency project from Philadelphia Print Collaborative/Philagrafika, through which three internationally-active artists will explore the potential of prints, as they merge with photography and digital media, to reach out and communicate in radical ways to a broad audience.  
  • A public art program of the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia in collaboration with Peregrine Arts, Inc. that will bring attention to Philadelphia's “hidden” cityscape of obscure, under-known, or endangered sites through multi-media, time-based and performative installations and events.  
  • And the 20th Anniversary exhibition of Philadelphia's Village of Arts and Humanities, a noted community arts organization, that will incorporate artists' installations, storytelling and mythmaking to celebrate an organizational milestone and its neighborhood's African-American community.

These exhibitions—organized and presented by large and small organizations, and showcasing internationally recognized artists as well as important local figures, are the recipients of the Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative's 2006 grants, which are announced today. PEI, a visual arts granting program, is located at the Philadelphia Center for Arts and Heritage, which is funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and administered by The University of the Arts. PEI is awarding $667,050 for exhibitions and $79,500 in planning grants to eight organizations for a total of $746,550. With the awarding of its 2006 grants, PEI will have invested over $7.5 million in exhibitions in the Philadelphia region over the course of nine years—a commitment that makes this program unique among private foundations in the country in both focus and level of financial support, and that has brought extraordinary visual arts experiences to literally hundreds of thousands of viewers in our region and beyond.

“The high quality and ambition of our project proposals makes the PEI selection process extremely intensive,” notes PEI Director Paula Marincola. “The resulting awards go to projects that meet the standards of best practice in the field at large, and that will bring outstanding artworks to the attention of a broad public. We're especially excited that PEI's exhibitions awards this year will go to three first-time grantees, demonstrating the growing range of our program and our community's talents.”

In 2006, the exhibition grant recipients and their projects include:

  • Philadelphia Print Collaborative/Philagrafika ($90,000) for (Re)Print: three artists' residencies and projects that will focus on printmaking as a key tool in contemporary global artistic practice. Salah Hassan, African scholar, curator and critic, is the guest curator and will work with internationally recognized artists Magdalena Campos-Pons, Rachid Koraichi, and Bernie Searle.  
  • The Philadelphia Museum of Art ($200,000) for Tom Chimes, a comprehensive solo exhibition for the distinguished and beloved Philadelphia artist. The show will highlight a local artist worthy of scholarly examination and public attention through paintings, constructions, works on paper, and a multi-media installation.  
  • The Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia & Peregrine Arts, Inc. ($200,000) for Hidden City, site-specific, mixed-media, and performative installations and events in under-represented heritage sites throughout the city, featuring artists Sanford Biggers, Jeremy Deller, Sam Durant, Aleksandra Mir, and Steve Roden.  
  • The Village of Arts and Humanities ($177,050) for Bearing Witness, the Village's 20th anniversary exhibition curated by artists Joyce Scott and Homer Jackson, and bringing community members, local and national artists and students together to create public works that reflect and honor the spirit and traditions of North Philadelphia and its African-American community.

In 2006, PEI has also continued an important aspect of the capacity-building component of its program in the form of planning grants. These awards were also identified and selected by this year's panel.

  • Asian Arts Initiative ($20,000) to support the planning phase for the 2008 exhibition Chinatown/InFlux: Future Landscape, building upon and developing the highly successful community public art model begun with the first version of In/Flux, presented in 05-06.  
  • InLiquid.com, Inc & Basekamp ($19,500) to plan Plausible Artworlds, an international conference and exhibition with a significant web component devoted to collaborative and socially-engaged artists' projects and open forms of curatorial practice.  
  • Institute of Contemporary Art/University of Pennsylvania, in collaboration with The Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School, NYC, ($20,000) for the development of The Puppet Show, an exhibition bringing together contemporary artworks in many media that explore the imagery and symbolism of puppets.  
  • The Print Center ($20,000) to develop an exhibition that would offer a concentrated insight into Australia's large and vital contemporary printmaking scene, which is little-known in this country. PPC/Philagrafika, The Preservation Alliance with Peregrine Arts, Inc. and the Village of Arts and Humanities are first time recipients of PEI exhibition grants. InLiquid.com, Inc. with Basekamp is a first-time recipient of a PEI planning grant.

Please note: project descriptions, panel biographies and visual material are available on the Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative's web site, www.philexing.org.

PEI grants are awarded on a competitive basis and are selected by a panel of visual arts professionals from around the country and abroad who have expertise in various aspects of the visual arts as well as a broad knowledge of the field. A distinguished eight-member panel reviewed this year's applications and included:

  • Ned Rifkin, Under Secretary for Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., who served as panel chair  
  • Sally Berger, Assistant Curator, Department of Film and Media, Museum of Modern Art, NYC  
  • Kim Kanatani, Director of Education, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NYC  
  • Sara Kellner, Executive Director, DiverseWorks, Houston, TX  
  • Constance Lewallen, Senior Curator, University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, CA  
  • Marco Livingstone, art historian and independent curator, London, England  
  • R. Craig Miller, Curator, Department of Architecture, Design & Graphics, The Denver Art Museum, CO.  
  • Tumelo Mosaka, Assistant Curator, Brooklyn Museum, NY  
  • Robert Rainwater, independent curator, NYC

"The Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative has brought national and international attention to Philadelphia as a vibrant center for the visual arts," said Marian Godfrey, Director of Culture and Civic Initiatives at The Pew Charitable Trusts. "Once again, these outstanding projects will create great exhibitions on behalf of the region's residents and visitors."

The Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative is one of seven cultural initiatives funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, administered by The University of the Arts, and now co-located at the Philadelphia Center for Arts and Heritage (PCAH). PCAH opened in November 2005, and in addition to PEI, houses the Philadelphia Cultural Management Initiative, the Pew Fellowships in the Arts, the Philadelphia Theatre Initiative, Dance Advance, the Heritage Philadelphia Program, and the Philadelphia Music Project. Together these programs assist cultural organizations and artists in the five-county Southeastern Philadelphia region in developing high-quality public programs and effective management practices. For more information, visit www.pcah.us.

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Justin Kenney

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