July 15, 2008 - Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative (PEI) - Annual Exhibition Awards
July 15, 2008

Annual Exhibition Awards

James Castle
Girl in green dress, with printed paper collage of lady’s legs Construction, found paper and cardboard, finger paint, college, and string19 x 10 inches
Private Collection, Philadelphia, PA


1608 Walnut Street, 18th floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Paula Marincola, Director



The Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative (PEI) announces grants totaling 1,166,231 USD—the largest amount awarded in the program’s 11-year history—to eight visual arts organizations and two teams of independent curators for outstanding visual arts exhibitions and exhibitions planning.

This year’s PEI exhibition grant recipients are:
The Design Center at Philadelphia University
200,000 USD for Lace In Translation: An exhibition that will assemble a group of internationally-renowned artists and designers—Tord Boontje, Demakersvan, and Cal Lane— to explore the intersection of luxurious hand-craftsmanship with modern, mass production techniques through new, site-specific installations located throughout the Center’s grounds and galleries.
Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania
250,000 USD for Dirt on Delight: impulses that form clay: The artists will span the full spectrum of conventional delineations between fine arts, crafts, and outsider practices. In bringing them together around a unifying material and the concept of impulse, this exhibition poses an expansive and critical approach to issues surrounding craft itself.

Megawords (Anthony Smyrski and Dan Murphy)
20,000 USD for Megawords Storefront: Independent curators Smyrski and Murphy will produce a month-long series of events in a storefront space in Center City, Philadelphia. This site will serve as Megawords’ focal point for permanent and rotating installations, guest speakers and artists, musical performances, workshops, and film screenings. Megawords will also release two special-edition, printed issues of their magazine Megawords.
The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
128,796 USD for Peter Saul: A Retrospective: Organized by Dan Cameron for the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach. This show, the most comprehensive exhibition presented of Saul’s work, will feature over 60 paintings and drawings spanning the artist’s entire career (1960–present).
Philadelphia Mural Arts Program
237,535 USD for LOVE LETTER: Will present a large-scale public art installation with Philadelphia-born artist Stephen Powers. Powers has conceived of this installation as a love story, written and painted in 30 parts, that will stretch along a line of rooftops running parallel to the elevated train line in West Philadelphia.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
250,000 USD for James Castle: A Retrospective: This is the first comprehensive exhibition of the work of one of America’s primary self-taught artists. James Castle (1899-1977) spent his life making art as a deaf, non-speaking man in rural Idaho.

This year’s PEI planning grant recipients are:
Arcadia University
25,000 USD for planning a project with Tacita Dean
The Clay Studio
25,000 USD for planning to build a curatorial team and a series of exhibitions
Rosenbach Museum & Library
24,900 USD for planning programming of newly-created exhibition spaces
Screening (Nadia Hironaka and Matt Suib)
5,000 USD for planning a new project with filmmaker Pat O’Neill

PEI grants are awarded on a competitive basis and are selected by a distinguished panel of visual arts professionals: The 2007 panel included:
Jeremy Strick (Panel Chair), Director, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Rashida Bumbray, Assistant Curator, The Kitchen, New York City
Jason T. Busch, Curator of Decorative Arts, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA
Siri Engberg, Curator, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
Laura Hoptman, Kraus Family Senior Curator, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York City
Bill Horrigan, Director, Media Arts, Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH
Nato Thompson, Curator/Producer, Creative Time Inc., New York City

The Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative is one of seven cultural initiatives at the Philadelphia Center for Arts and Heritage, funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and administered by The University of the Arts.

Please note: Press Release, project descriptions, panel biographies and visual material can be found on our web site at www.philexin.org or call 267.350.4930.

Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative (PEI)
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