Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative Announces 2005 Awards For Exhibitions And Planning

Contact: Justin Kenney, 215.575.4816, Paula Marincola, 215.985.1254


Philadelphia, PA - 04/27/2005 - American artist Ed Ruscha experiments with conventional and unconventional materials, such as powdered granite, gunpowder, and fruit and vegetable juices. Brazil’s Artur Barrio, a figure of international influence little known in the U.S., has been profoundly political yet allusive, and the creator of provocative performances and actions. Dutch architects Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos, American architect Peter Eisenman, and Philadelphia-based landscape architect Laurie Olin work in collaborative teams to create award-winning, innovative and influential buildings and architectural environments. Groundbreaking photographers Ann Hamilton, Vera Lutter, and Abelardo Morell take new and unexpected approaches to reviving the camera obscura-the oldest and simplest photographic device. These internationally-acclaimed visual artists will bring their works to the region thanks to the Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative’s 2005 grants announced today. PEI, a visual arts artistic development program funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and administered by The University of the Arts, awarded $747,200 for exhibitions and $77,260 in planning grants to eight organizations for a total of $824,460. With the awarding of its 2005 grants, PEI will have invested close to $7 million in exhibitions in the Philadelphia region over the course of eight 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.

“The high quality of our project proposals makes the PEI selection process extremely intensive,” noted PEI Director Paula Marincola. “The resulting awards go to projects that meet the standards of best practice in the field at large, and will bring outstanding artworks to the attention of a broad public. We’re especially excited that PEI awards this year will result in the commissioning of major new works of visual art by internationally recognized and acclaimed artists. Our panelists commend PEI as a national model that is exemplary in its efforts to foster excellence in the visual arts community and enrich the cultural life of the region.”

In 2005, the exhibition grant recipients and their projects include:

  • The Fabric Workshop and Museum ($200,000) for a collaboration with artist-in-residence Ed Ruscha-the 2005 U.S. representative to the Venice Biennale--to create a new artist’s book and to organize the first major exhibition of Ruscha’s work in Philadelphia. 
  • Goldie Paley Gallery, Moore College of Art & Design ($197,200) for a solo exhibition of Latin American artist Artur Barrio’s work. Barrio is a figure of international importance who is virtually unknown in the United States. 
  • Institute of Contemporary Art ($200,000) for its ongoing Architecture & Design Series, to include newly commissioned site-specific installations by award-winning Dutch architects Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos (UN Studio), and the presentation of Peter Eisenman and renowned Philadelphia landscape-architect Laurie Olin’s collaborations, realized and unrealized. 
  • The Print Center ($150,000) for Taken With Time, presenting three newly commissioned works by internationally acclaimed artists Ann Hamilton, Vera Lutter, and Abelardo Morell, using a camera obscura that will be sited in public locations around the city.
In 2005, 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.

  • Eastern State Penitentiary ($20,000) for planning a commission for MacArthur “genius” fellowship awardee Liza Lou to explore creating a site-specific installation of glass beads and crystals at the historic prison. 
  • Philadelphia Print Collaborative ($20,000) for supporting planning for Philagrafika, a, new international invitational print festival that will take place throughout the city. 
  • Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia ($20,000) for the development of Sounding Site: Revisiting Historic Sites through Sound and Light Installation, in which sonic installations will be placed in under-known historic sites throughout the region. 
  • The Village of Arts and Humanities ($17,250) to work with artists Joyce Scott and Homer Jackson to develop plans for a multi-media exhibition Telling Our Stories, that will convey the stories and oral histories of neighborhood elders through historic and personal photographs, memorabilia, and original artwork created by local residents. 
  • Philadelphia Print Collaborative and Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia are also first-time recipients of PEI grants.
Press Release, project descriptions, panel biographies and visual material are also on our web site at www.philexin.org. PEI grants are awarded on a competitive basis and are selected by a panel of visual arts professionals from around the country 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:

  • Lisa Phillips, Director, New Museum of Contemporary Art, NY who served as panel chair. 
  • Tom Finkelpearl, Executive Director, Queens Museum of Art, NY. 
  • Jan Howard, Curator, Prints, Drawings and Photographs, Rhode Island School of Design Museum , Providence, RI. 
  • Mark Richard Leach, Deputy Director, Mint Museum of Craft & Design, Charlotte, NC. 
  • Mari-Carmen Ramirez, Curator of Latin American Art, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston, TX. 
  • Raymund Ryan, Curator of Architecture, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA. 
  • Debra Singer, Executive Director and Chief Curator, The Kitchen, NY. 
  • Franklin Sirmans, Independent Curator, NY.
"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 civic life 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 eight regional cultural initiatives at The Pew Charitable Trusts. Others include the Philadelphia Cultural Leadership Program and 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. Known collectively as the Philadelphia Program, each encourages continued creative growth and excellence within the local arts community.

The University of the Arts is the nation's first and only university dedicated to the visual, performing and communication arts. Its 2,000 students are enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs on its campus in the heart of Philadelphia's Avenue of the Arts. Its history as a leader in educating creative individuals spans more than 125 years.

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