Three Pratt Institute faculty members have been awarded 2023 Guggenheim Fellowships. They include Visiting Assistant Professor of Fine Arts Claudia Bitrán, Professor of Writing James Hannaham, and Fine Arts Civic Engagement Fellow Mary Mattingly.
This year, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation awarded 171 fellowships from almost 2,500 applicants. The annual grants support up to a year of work, enabling recipients to have more time to dedicate to their pursuits. Selection is based on prior professional accomplishments as well as the potential for future achievement. The 2023 Fellows are from 48 scholarly and creative disciplines in the arts, literature, science, and other fields.
Using painting and video, Claudia Bitrán examines the connections between pop culture and contemporary art. She holds an MFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design and a BFA from the Universidad Catolica de Chile, was recently an artist-in-residence at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn, and has participated in numerous residencies such at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Smack Mellon, and the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program, among others. She uses her work to reassess circulated media and viral imagery, such as in the 2022 exhibition Stereotypies at Cristin Tierney Gallery in Manhattan, which featured portraits of Britney Spears and animations depicting viral epic fails. In addition to teaching at Pratt, she is also on the faculty of Sarah Lawrence College and is a guest critic at SIA in Beijing.
James Hannaham’s most recent novel, Didn’t Nobody Give a Shit What Happened to Carlotta (2022), has been critically acclaimed for its empathetic portrayal of a Black/Colombian, trans, formerly incarcerated woman. It was a 2022 New York Times 100 Notable Book, and is a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, Publishing Triangle Award, Gotham Book Prize, Joyce Carol Oates Prize, and Los Angeles Times Book Prize. It follows Pilot Impostor (2021) and Delicious Foods (2015), which was honored with the PEN/Faulkner Award. He is also a visual artist and founding member of the theater ensemble Elevator Repair Service. Hannaham holds a BA in Art from Yale University and an MFA in Fiction/Screenwriting from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas, Austin.
The geodesic dome currently hosting programming on Pratt’s Brooklyn campus is the latest sculptural ecosystem in an urban space created by Mary Mattingly. The artist has previously developed projects such as a “floating food forest” on a vessel in the New York waterways that evolved into the Swale Lab on Governors Island. This May at Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens, she is debuting new work engaging with coastal ecosystems, including a 65-foot living sculpture called “Water Clock” that will highlight the human impact on the places where land and water meet. She holds a BFA from the Pacific Northwest College of Art and Parsons School of Design.
Read more about the 2023 Guggenheim Fellowships.