Wendel White at Swarthmore, RAIR Resident Artists, Main Line Art Center and Roberto Lugo, Tommy Orange and Tailinh Agoyo at the Free Library, plus Philly Photo Day

Congratulations are in order this week for artists Jacob Chris Hammes and the other 2024 RAIR Artists in Residence; to Roberto Lugo and Main Line Art Center for an NEA-funded exhibit at MLAC, and of course, to all the (re)FOCUS artists in the many exhibitions around town, including the Art in City Hall exhibition in collaboration with Women's Caucus for the Arts. We look forward to seeing Wendel White's exhibit at Swarthmore's List Gallery and to Roberto Lugo's exhibit and mentoring project at MLAC and encourage you to get out there and see some art!


A poster image in blue, orange and black shows a group of orange stars and ovals encircling white-printed names with a logo in Black at the top left saying ‘RAIR’ and at the bottom right another statement in black, “2024 Cohort.”

2024 RAIR Resident Artists Announced
RAIR is thrilled to announce the 2024 residency cohort! We look forward to welcoming Jacob C. Hammes, Melissa Langer, Anoushé Shojae-Chaghorvand, Gabrielle Constantine, and two collaborative duos, Lenka Clayton & Phillip Andrew Lewis, and Esther Baker & Bamba Diagne (listed in chronological order of the residency dates). A major thank you to this year’s applicants, our group of application pre-readers, and the jurors Abigail DeVille @victoriouspurple and Alex Klein @apkapkapk. And a billion thanks to @belsh_ for this incredible poster design.

2024 RAIR Resident Artists

Artist Roberto Lugo poses with his ceramics in his studio.
Roberto Lugo in his studio. Photo by Ryan Collerd, photo courtesy of the Pew Research Center.

Roberto Lugo in NEA-supported exhibit at Main Line Art Center
(Funding to MLAC by NEA is one of 49 Philadelphia-area 2024 NEA grants. See PA list here)

We are thrilled to announce The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded Main Line Art Center a grant to support our spring exhibition, It Takes A Village: From Artist & Mentor Roberto Lugo, and our related programming and events, including our free Community Clay Day in May!⁠

Support from the NEA allows us to bring nationally renowned Philadelphia artist, Roberto Lugo and 15 of his mentees and apprentices to exhibit playful, thought-provoking, and boundary-pushing sculpture. The exhibition, running April 30 – May 31, 2024, will explore ideas of mentorship, collaboration, and their place in the creative process. Save the date for Roberto’s artist talk at the reception on Thursday, May 2nd.⁠

Following the opening we will celebrate all things clay at our Community Clay Day, Saturday, May 4th, 2024. This free event will introduce the potter’s wheel, activities in handbuilding and sculpture, and clay games geared for all ages. Come and explore this versatile and electric medium, you won’t want to put it down!⁠

“The NEA is delighted to announce this grant to Main Line Art Center, which is helping contribute to the strength and well-being of the arts sector and local community,” said National Endowment for the Arts Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “We are pleased to be able to support this community and help create an environment where all people have the opportunity to live artful lives.”⁠

For more information on other projects included in the NEA’s grant announcement, visit⁠

Roberto Lugo @robertolugowithoutwax⁠


Philly Photo Day Is Back! April 5th
After nearly a decade, Philly Photo Day is back! If you’re reading this, accept this as your invitation to take a photograph in Philly on Friday, April 5th, and help us shine a light on the city. Grab your phone or camera and join us. Then what? Submit your photo via submittable by April 14th 11:59 EST and it’ll be included in our Philly Photo Day exhibition in our Project Space. An opening reception will be held in conjunction with our annual celebration and fundraiser, InVISION, on May 18th! Meet other lovers of photography, celebrate community, enjoy entertainment and light refreshments, and support TILT with a $25 ticket (for artists who submitted & students) and $75 for general admission. If you can’t make it to InVISION, the exhibit will be up until June 1st and end with a closing reception free to the public. More information at TILT.

Tommy Orange and Tailinh Agoyo, in conversation, March 7 Author Event, Free Library
Tommy Orange | Wandering Stars: A Novel
Thu, March 7, 2024 7:30 p.m.
Parkway Central Library
Cost: Pay What You Wish

Tommy Orange is the author of There There, a novel of “pure soaring beauty” (The New York Times) that tells the story of 12 interconnected Native Americans living in Oakland, California. A national bestseller and lauded by scores of publications as one of the best books of 2018, it was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and won the PEN/Hemingway Award, the John Leonard Prize, and the American Book Award. There There was also the 2020 One Book One Philadelphia selection. An enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma, Orange teaches in the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. In Wandering Stars, he revisits some of the characters from There There and paints new protagonists in America’s past as he examines the tragic legacies of the Sand Creek Massacre of 1864, the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, and the country’s contemporary war on its indigenous peoples.

Tailinh Agoyo is co-founder and director of We Are the Seeds of Culture Trust, a non-profit organization committed to amplifying Indigenous voices through the arts. She also hosts From Here, With a View, a podcast that honors the voices of Indigenous artists and educators, and is a co-founder of Project Antelope, an online marketplace platform developed by Indigenous business leaders for Indigenous artists. Her other work includes the children’s book I Will Carry You and the photo collection The Warrior Project.


A black and white photo of a well-kept, one-story building with a sign on it announcing “Whitesboro Head Start.” The building is fronted by some ornamental shrubs and a flag pole (no flag).
Wendel White, “Whitesboro Head Start, Whitesboro, New Jersey,” 1990. Courtesy of the artist’s website

Wendel White, Black Lives, Resistance, and Agency in America
List Gallery, Swarthmore College
March 6 — April 7, 2024
Gallery hours:
Tues – Sun, Noon – 5:00 PM
Heilman Visiting Artist
Lecture & Reception:
Thursday, March 21
Artist’s Talk : 4:30 – 5:30 PM
Lang Performing Arts Center Cinema
Reception follows: 5:30 – 7:00 PM

Swarthmore College is pleased to host concurrent exhibitions by Wendel White, a distinguished photographer who focuses on Black history, the legacy of slavery, and the importance of empowering perspectives. From March 6 through April 7, 2024, the List Gallery will feature selected photographs from the artist’s foundational bodies of work, Small Towns, Black Lives and Schools for the Colored. Swarthmore’s McCabe Library Atrium will feature selected works from his ongoing series, Manifest, which calls attention to artifacts he has photographed in historic collections throughout the United States, particularly objects related to the history of slavery, abolition, and social justice movements. On March 21, 2024, Swarthmore College will honor White as the Heilman Visiting Artist and Lecturer. The artist will deliver a lecture 4:30–5:30 PM in the Lang Performing Arts Center Cinema and a reception will immediately follow in the List Gallery, 5:30–7:00 PM. Admission is free and open to the public. More information at the artist’s website and at the List Gallery website.