The Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University has announced the selection of five Mary Mackall Gwinn Hodder Fellows for the 2019-2020 academic year. Visual artist Ryan Gander, writer Kaitlyn Greenidge, playwright Hansol Jung, choreographer Will Rawls, and poet Nicole Sealey are this year’s recipients of the Hodder Fellowship, created to provide artists and humanists in the early stages of their careers an opportunity to undertake significant new work.
In making the announcement, Michael Cadden, chair of the Lewis Center, said, “Mrs. Hodder recognized the need for what she called ‘studious leisure’ to give people the time they need to tackle major projects. Her model was John Milton’s father, who underwrote the research necessary to the creation of Paradise Lost. In the University’s role as a patron of the arts, we’re happy to welcome these five talented artists to the Princeton community. We hope they experience their Hodder year as ‘paradise regained.’”
Hodder Fellows may be writers, composers, choreographers, visual artists, performance artists, or other kinds of artists or humanists who have, as the program outlines, “much more than ordinary intellectual and literary gifts.” Artists from anywhere may apply in the early fall each year for the following academic year. Past Hodder Fellows have included Librarian of Congress James H. Billington, novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, playwright and actor Danai Gurira, choreographer Nora Chipaumire, and composer and lyricist Michael Friedman.
Ryan Gander has established a reputation as a maker of artworks that materialize in a vast array of forms involving a questioning of language and knowledge, as well as a reinvention of both the modes of appearance and the means by which an artwork is created. His work can be reminiscent of a puzzle or a network with multiple connections of an embedded story. His major exhibitions include Liverpool Biennale 2018; Sydney Biennale 2018; Performa 15, New York City; Panorama, High Line, New York City; Esperluette, Palais de Tokyo, Paris; dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, Germany; the 54th International Venice Biennale; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City; Public Art Fund, Central Park, New York City; National Museum of Art Osaka, Osaka, Japan; and Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, Colorado. Through associative thought processes that connect the everyday and the esoteric, Gander intends to use the Hodder Fellowship to develop a narrative masterwork mirroring the workings of language in unstructured conversation, roaming through illogically related cultural phenomenon.
Kaitlyn Greenidge’s debut novel, We Love You, Charlie Freeman (Algonquin Books), was one of The New York Times critics’ Top 10 Books of 2016. Her writing has appeared in Vogue, Glamour, Wall Street Journal, Elle.com, Buzzfeed, Transition Magazine, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Believer, and American Short Fiction. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Whiting Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. She was a contributing editor for LENNY Letter and is currently a contributing writer for The New York Times. During her fellowship year, she will be working on a novel in progress and a nonfiction book of essays.
Hansol Jung is a playwright and director from South Korea. Her plays include Wild Goose Dreams, produced at The Public Theater and La Jolla Playhouse; Cardboard Piano, produced at Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville; Among the Dead at Ma-Yi Theatre; and No More Sad Things, which had its co-world premiere at Sideshow Theatre, Chicago, and Boise Contemporary Theatre. She has received commissions from the National Theater in London, La Jolla Playhouse, Playwrights Horizons, Seattle Repertory, Ma-Yi Theatre Company, Artists Repertory, and the Play On! project at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Fellowships and residencies include the Royal Court in London, the New York Theatre Workshop, Berkeley Repertory, MacDowell Colony, Hedgebrook, Sundance Theatre Lab, O’Neill Theater Center, Victory Gardens, and Page 73 Productions. She is the recipient of a Whiting Award and a Helen Merrill Award. Jung holds a M.F.A. from Yale School of Drama and is a member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab and a Usual Suspect at the New York Theatre Workshop. During her fellowship year, she will be working on Window House, a live audio feed play exploring the cost of privacy in a classist and capitalist society where personal information is a form of capital.
Will Rawls is a choreographer and writer who interweaves dance and language to investigate the poetics of blackness, ambiguity, and abstraction. His work has been presented at High Line Art, New York (2018); Danspace Project, New York (2012 and 2018); Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Oregon (2017); The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2017); MoMA PS1, New York (2016); ImPulsTanz, Vienna, Austria (2016), Prix Jardin d’Europe (2016); Performa 15, New York (2015); and The Chocolate Factory, New York (2013). In 2016, he collaborated with Ishmael Houston-Jones to co-curate Danspace Project’s Platform 2016: Lost and Found, which focused on the intergenerational impact of the AIDS epidemic on dancers, women, and people of color. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship (2017), a Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Residency (2017), and a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant (2015). His writing has been published by Artforum, Triple Canopy, les presses du réel, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Hammer Museum. Rawls teaches and lectures internationally at universities and festivals. During his fellowship year, he will be researching the writings of painter Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Nicole Sealey, born in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, and raised in Apopka, Florida, is the author of Ordinary Beast, a finalist for the 2018 PEN Open Book Award and the 2018 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and The Animal After Whom Other Animals Are Named, winner of the 2015 Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize. Her other honors include the Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize from The American Poetry Review, a Daniel Varoujan Award, and the Poetry International Prize, as well as fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, CantoMundo, Cave Canem, MacDowell Colony, and the Poetry Project. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times and elsewhere. Sealey holds a M.L.A. in Africana Studies from the University of South Florida and a M.F.A. in Creative Writing from New York University. During her fellowship year, she will work on an epic erasure of the Department of Justice’s 100-plus-page Ferguson report.
In addition to creating new work, Hodder Fellows may engage in lectures, readings, performances, exhibitions and other events at the Lewis Center for the Arts.
To learn more about the Hodder Fellows, the Lewis Center for the Arts, and the more than 100 public performances, exhibitions, readings, screenings, concerts and lectures presented each year, most of them free, visit arts.princeton.edu.