Graduate Fine Arts

Posted May 11, 2020
  • Grant recipient Ivanco Talevski, senior lecturer in fine arts

Sachs Program Grants Support Weitzman Students, Staff, and Faculty

The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation at the University of Pennsylvania announced its most recent round of grants, totaling almost $270,000, in support of projects in the arts and humanities. Eleven of the 34 grants awarded were for projects involving the Weitzman School community of students, staff, and faculty. This is the third round of grants from the Sachs Program for Arts Innovation, which is supported by an endowed gift from Keith L. and Katherine Sachs.

With support from Sachs, and with the guidance of Associate Professor of Fine Arts Orkan Telhan, the Weitzman School and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences will collaborate on a residency program that will bring together faculty and students to explore the use of robotic technologies in addressing contemporary social, cultural, and environmental challenges.

PennPraxis Research Associate Molly Lester (MSHP’12) will pursue an interdisciplinary interpretive project centered around “Building ghosts,” the imprint and last impressions of a demolished building, left behind on the walls of neighboring structures. This “census” of ghosts will be established through interdisciplinary interpretations, using architectural street photography, oral history interviews, and archival research as a form of forensic storytelling to retrace the ghosts’ structures and selves.

Several Sachs grants will support exhibitions over the coming year. Founded in 2015, the Incubation Series will present another year of exhibitions of the work of Weitzman MFA students. Each artist is paired with a Penn art history graduate student, who curates their exhibition, and the pair organize a robust series of public programs. Senior Lecturer in Fine Arts Ivanco Talevski will create an artist book and audio works to accompany an upcoming solo exhibition at The Print Center in Philadelphia. The Department of Fine Arts will organize an annual satellite show in New York over the next two years for its graduating Master of Fine Arts candidates. Each year the department will invite a curator to work collaboratively with the artists on the exhibition.

Sachs grants will assist current Weitzman students in taking on ambitious new projects. MFA students Emilio Martínez Poppe and Emmanuela Soria Ruiz will organize a free and open to the public multi-day engagement exploring the potentials of classroom aesthetics and learning through lectures, workshops, and collaboratively designed physical environments. MFA student Illya Mousavijad who is part of an artist collective called The Ministry of Culture in Exile, will present an exhibition, ‘Taste of the Sanctioned,’ at a local gallery in Philadelphia. Another MFA student, Viola Bordon, will install a temporary site-specific artwork in Utah’s seasonally flooded Bonneville Salt Flats, over the course of three weeks in the spring of 2021.

The Living Room, a collective of transgender, gender-non-conforming, and genderqueer graduate students, organized by students from the Weitzman School and the School of Social Policy and Practice, will run an artist space in University City to support transgender, gender-non-conforming, and genderqueer artists.

Grants also went to two lecturers in the Department of Fine Arts, Mike Crane and Sosena Solomon, in support of the creation of new work.