Each year, United States Artists (USA) awards $50,000 fellowships to the country's most accomplished and innovative artists working in the fields of Architecture & Design, Crafts, Dance, Literature, Media, Music, Theater & Performance, Traditional Arts and Visual Arts. Former DMV artist (now living in Chicago) and one of the 100 in my book about DC artists, Jefferson Pinder is the recipient of the Joyce Fellowship in Performance and Theater.
Fellows are selected through a rigorous, highly competitive process involving hundreds of experts, scholars, administrators and artists. USA Fellows spotlight the importance of originality across every creative discipline, celebrating the broad diversity of American artistic practices from coast to coast, cultivating a creative ecology that is diverse in age, race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation. Past recipients of USA Fellowships include visual artists Glenn Ligon, Kara Walker, Theaster Gates and Catherine Opie; cartoonist Chris Ware; designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy (of Rodarte); performing artist Meredith Monk; jazz composer Jason Moran; ballet dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied; choreographer Bill T. Jones; and writers Annie Proulx and Sapphire.
For more information about USA Fellowships, click here.
Jefferson Pinder's work provokes commentary about race and struggle. Focusing primarily with neon, found objects, and video, Pinder investigates identity through the most dynamic circumstances and materials. Through his meditative exploration with light and sound or his intensely grueling corporeal performances, he delves into conversations about race. His exploration of sound, music and physical performance are conceptual threads to examine history, cultural appropriation, and portrayals of exertion and labor. Creating collaged audio clips and surreal performances he under score themes dealing with Afro-Futurism and endurance.
His work has been featured in numerous group and solo shows including exhibitions at The Studio Museum in Harlem, the Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut, Showroom Mama in Rotterdam, Netherlands, The Phillips Collection, and the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. At present, Pinder is preparing for the 2016 Shanghai Biennale, and has just finished a sculptural installation at the new Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture. Pinder resides in Chicago where he is a Professor in the Sculpture department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
For more information on Jefferson Pinder, click here.
For available artworks by Pinder, who is represented locally by Curator's Office, click here.
Jefferson Pinder is ALSO representing the USA in the current 11th Shanghai Biennale with a work entitled Black Portal (2015). The exhibition is called "Why Not Ask Again: Arguments, Counter-arguments, and Stories" and takes place at the Power Station of Art, the first state-run museum dedicated to contemporary art in mainland China. It was curated by Raqs Media Collective and co-organized by Ugochukwu-Smooth Nzewi.
For more information about the 11th Shanghai Biennale, click here.