News post – Njideka Akunyili Crosby wins ’14 James Dicke, Captain Beefheart album artist show at ImPeRfECT, opportunities and more!


Njideka Akunyili, "Predecessors, Left Panel," 2013.
Njideka Akunyili, “Predecessors, Left Panel,” 2013.

Another well-deserved honor for the gloriously talented Njideka Akunyili Crosby – on Tuesday, the PAFA alumna was named the 2014 winner of the James Dicke Contemporary Artist Prize from the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Akunyili Crosby (Post-Bacc. ’06, Cert. ’06-’09) is the 11th winner of the award, given to under-50s with an exceptional body of work.  For context, the other 2014 James Dicke award nominees were Cory Arcangel, Trisha Baga, Paul Chan, Barnaby Furnas, Theaster Gates, KAWS (Brian Donnelly), Josiah McElheny, Dave McKenzie, Julie Mehretu, Frances Stark, Swoon (Caledonia Curry) and Mickalene Thomas.

 Cal Schenkel, groundbreaking album cover artist for Frank Zappa,Tom Waits and Captain Beefheart is having a rare show of his work at iMPeRFeCT GALLERY, with an opening reception on Saturday, Dec 6, 7PM. Schenkel, who was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and attended the Philadelphia College of Art, met and began working for Frank Zappa in 1967. He’s going to be on-hand to sign art, album and CD covers, plus speaking further about his work and life experiences; later, Thomas Casetta is speaking about the installation in the project room on Wed. Dec 10 at 7pm; the show concludes with a free concert by guitarist Jim Dragoni, presenting original music with guitar, vocals, keyboard and percussion on Sat. December 13, at 7pm.

To help raise money for Vox Populi, Matt Kalasky is offering a new one: Pizza Portraits. As he puts it: “Jewelry, electronics, and clothes are boring gifts that will soon be garbage. Instead give your family or loved one a gift that will live on in stories for years to come. Pizza Portraits are the gifts that say, ‘I love you — I love you and I want to eat your face.'” Give Matt a photo of a person (or pet), and receive a hand-made personalized pizza in their likeness. A deal you won’t find elsewhere, all for the low, low price of $40, all proceeds of which go to Vox Populi and are tax-deductible. We sense a future collab with Pizza Brain, perhaps. If you are interested, email by December 6.




Emerging Documentary Practices,  an interdisciplinary one-day symposium and exhibition at Temple University, Friday April 3, 2015, is calling for proposals, deadline January 12. The symposium welcomes documentary practitioners from across fields of social sciences, humanities and arts to discuss how emerging technologies are transforming the art of the documentary, with a focus on documentaries that use interactivity, locative and mobile technologies. Proposals for participation, short papers (5 minute “proposition/question/provocation”)and the digital exhibition of works on the dedicated kiosks should consist of aproposal statement (max 500 words), a URL if available/relevant, and brief biographic statement (max 150 words). Submissions should be sent in electronic form to: Questions can be directed to FMA Faculty Roderick Coover and LeAnn Ericksen. Conference registration will occur in February. Conference fee is $40 and includes lunch. The fee is waived for Temple students and faculty.


The Scattergood Foundation Design Challenge for the Jane Addams Place is coming up, with a deadline on January 10. Its mission is to create a low-cost, high-impact product that promotes resilience in a women’s shelter environment. If you have an idea for a trauma-informed product that could be implemented, review the application and submit your idea.



Robert Straight, P-516, 2014, 40″ x 36″, acrylic, paper, wood panel. Photo courtesy of the gallery.
Robert Straight, P-516, 2014, 40″ x 36″, acrylic, paper, wood panel. Photo courtesy of the gallery.

Robert Straight’s AS IF at NOVELLA in New York City, which is in its final days (ends December 6), now has photos and an essay on the exhibit up on the website.

Penn MFA work.
CSam Mapp, suicide and suicide suit, 2014. Installation view: Penn MFA Thesis Exhibition, Vienna 2014. Photo courtesy of the Penn MFA program.


Although the venue is yet TBD, the PennMFA program is presenting the 2015 thesis exhibition in Brussels, Belgium. The exhibition, the culmination of a six-month exchange between the graduate students and curator Agata Jastrząbek. The students participating in the residency  are Natessa Amin, Jacob Been, Jennifer Berman, Charles Hall, Ava Hassinger, Daniel Haun, Corey Herynk, James Howzell, Sascha Hughes-Caley, Ashley Kuhn, Katie Locke, Chiara No, Joan Oh, Jing Qian, Derek Rigby, Lydia Rosenberg, Kasey Short, Michelle Yue Wang, Wilmer Wilson IV, and Annie Zverina.

Chad Muthard of Brickbat Books recently updated his website with a couple of photographs from his new body of work, Porta Vir Demens Americana. Some somber beauty if you’re in a contemplative mood.