Faculty Members, Alumna Recipients of 2010 Pew Fellowships in the Arts

Jewelry maker Melanie Bilenker '00, jazz violinist John Blake Jr. and clay artist William Daley to each receive $60K award

October 11, 2010

Two University of the Arts faculty members and an alumna are among the 12 winners of 2010 Pew Fellowships in the Arts, announced recently by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. The new Fellows include Melanie Bilenker, jewelry maker and a 2000 graduate of the Jewelry/Metal program; John Blake Jr. (below left), faculty member and jazz violinist/composer/arranger; and William Daley (below right), clay artist and UArts professor emeritus. Each Fellow will receive a $60,000 award.

Pew Fellowships in the Arts provide fellowships over one to two years to artists of exemplary talent in the five-county Philadelphia area. Artists are selected based on the merit of their work, dedication to their professional practice and the potential impact that the fellowship will have on their subsequent creative endeavors. Fellowships may be awarded to artists at any stage of their career development and to artists working in a wide range of aesthetics and traditions.

"To be selected for a Pew Fellowship in the Arts is a prestigious honor that recognizes an artist as among the most innovative and influential in the region," said Sean Buffington, president of the University of the Arts. "That three of the 12 recipients this year are members of the University of the Arts family is a testament to the extraordinary quality of our students, faculty and alumni."

This year marks the first cycle of Pew Fellows chosen through a new multi-level review process through which artists were nominated and invited to apply to the program. In addition, for the first time in PFA's history, artists working in any discipline could be considered in the same year. As with all of the programs at the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, grant decisions were made by a distinguished panel of experts in the various disciplines. Their work was informed by assessments made by an equally accomplished group of evaluators with the necessary expertise in the candidates' disciplines.

Above: Melanie Bilenker's "Chocolate" locket: gold, ebony, resin, pigment and hair (collection of Philadelphia Museum of Art)

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