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Hermitage Artist Retreat Welcomes Sanford Biggers, Rajiv Joseph, Cathy Park Hong, Du Yun To National Curatorial Council

Each year, the organization's esteemed Curatorial Council selects artists of extraordinary ability across multiple disciplines for Hermitage Fellowships.

Hermitage Artist Retreat Welcomes Sanford Biggers, Rajiv Joseph, Cathy Park Hong, Du Yun To National Curatorial Council

The Hermitage Artist Retreat recently announced its 2022-2023 Curatorial Council, comprised of distinguished national arts leaders spanning the fields of theater, music, visual art, literature, and arts education.

The newest additions to the Council include award-winning visual and multimedia artist Sanford Biggers, New York Times bestselling author Cathy Park Hong, Pulitzer Prize-nominated playwright Rajiv Joseph, and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Du Yun. Sanford Biggers and Du Yun are also both Hermitage alumni, with Biggers winning the Hermitage Greenfield Prize in 2010 - the first awarded in the discipline of visual art, (Full bios below.)

The full National Curatorial Council for the 2022-2023 season, comprised of thirteen accomplished and diverse nominating members from across the country, includes:

  • Sanford Biggers* (visual art), Celebrated Visual and Multimedia Artist, Guggenheim Fellow, Hermitage Greenfield Prize Winner
  • Eric Booth (arts education), International Arts Learning Consultant with Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, LA Philharmonic, Juilliard, and more
  • Christopher Burney (theater and film), Artistic Director of New York Stage and Film
  • Daniel Byers (visual art), Director of the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University
  • Claire Chase (music) Flutist, Avery Fisher Prize Winner, and MacArthur 'Genius' Fellow
  • Jennifer Clement (literature), President, PEN International
  • Kimberly Drew (visual art), Writer, Independent Curator, and Art Influencer
  • Nataki Garrett (theater), Artistic Director of Oregon Shakespeare Festival
  • Cathy Park Hong* (literature), Award-Winning Author and Time's "100 Most Influential People of 2021"
  • Rajiv Joseph* (theater), Award-Winning Playwright and Screenwriter; Member of Steppenwolf Theater, Chicago
  • Mitchell Jackson (literature), Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author
  • Terrance McKnight (music) Evening Host of WNYC/WQXR Radio
  • Du Yun* (music), Pulitzer Prize-Winning and Grammy Award-Nominated Composer

*New to the Council as of 2022


"We are honored to welcome these visionary leaders to the Hermitage Curatorial Council," says Andy Sandberg, Artistic Director and CEO of the Hermitage. "Sanford Biggers, Cathy Park Hong, Rajiv Joseph, and Du Yun are forward-thinking creative minds with a finger on the pulse, each highly regarded for their unique contributions to their respective fields. The members of this esteemed Curatorial Council share a collective passion for the development and creation of new work from bold and diverse voices, and we are incredibly fortunate to have them in the Hermitage family. With their breadth of experience, their vast networks, and their insightful ability to identify extraordinary talent, we know that the selection of our Fellows could not be in better hands."

Sanford Biggers was awarded the Hermitage Greenfield Prize in 2010. His work is an interplay of narrative, perspective, and history that speaks to current social, political, and economic happenings while also examining the contexts that bore them. His diverse practice positions him as a collaborator with the past through explorations of often-overlooked cultural and political narratives from American history. Appointed the 2021-2022 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Visiting Professor and Scholar in the MIT Department of Architecture, he is also a 2020 Guggenheim Fellow, a recipient of the Rome Prize in Visual Art, and the 2018 American Academy of Arts and Letters Award.

Cathy Park Hong's New York Times bestselling book of creative nonfiction, Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography, and earned her recognition on TIME's "100 Most Influential People of 2021" list. She is also the author of poetry collections Engine Empire; Dance Dance Revolution, chosen by Adrienne Rich for the Barnard Women Poets Prize; and Translating Mo'um. Hong is the recipient of the Windham-Campbell Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. She is a full professor at Rutgers-Newark University.

Rajiv Joseph's play Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo was a 2010 Pulitzer Prize finalist for Drama and also awarded a grant for Outstanding New American Play by the National Endowment for the Arts. He has twice won the Obie Award for Best New American Play, first in 2016 with Guards at the Taj (also a 2016 Lortel Winner for Best Play) and in 2021 for Describe the Night. Other plays include Archduke, Gruesome Playground Injuries, Animals Out of Paper, The Lake Effect, The North Pool, Mr. Wolf, and King James. He is also a member of Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago.

Du Yun was born and raised in Shanghai, China, and works at the intersection of opera, orchestral, theater, cabaret, musical, oral tradition, public performances, electronics, visual arts, and noise. Known for her "relentless originality and unflinching social conscience" (The New Yorker), Du Yun's second opera, Angel's Bone (libretto by Royce Vavrek), won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Music. She was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Classical Composition category for her work Air Glow. Her collaborative opera Sweet Land with Raven Chacon (for opera company The Industry) was named the 2021 Best New Opera by the North America Critics Association. Du Yun is a past Hermitage Fellow.

Members of the Curatorial Council are experts in their disciplines and connected to some of the world's most renowned artists and cultural institutions. Each year, the Council selects artists of extraordinary ability who are already making an impact in their field - artists who are eager to continue developing bold and impactful new works, and who may benefit creatively from a distinguished Hermitage Fellowship. *Since national and international Hermitage residencies are curated, there is no application; neither the Hermitage staff nor members of the Curatorial Council can accept applications or solicitations. However, Sarasota County artists and Florida public school teaching artists can find information on how to apply to select programs (John Ringling Towers Fellowships and Hermitage STARs) through the Hermitage website.

The Hermitage hosts artists on its Gulf Coast Manasota Key campus for multi-week residencies, where diverse and accomplished artists from around the world and across multiple disciplines create and develop new works of visual art, theater, music, literature, dance, and more. As part of their residencies, Hermitage Fellows participate in free community programs, offering audiences throughout the Gulf Coast region a unique opportunity to engage with some of the world's leading artists and to get an authentic "sneak peek" into extraordinary projects and artistic minds before their works go on to major galleries, concert halls, theaters, and museums around the world. These free and innovative programs include performances, lectures, interactive experiences, readings, open studios, school programs, teacher workshops, and more, serving thousands in our regional community each year. Past Hermitage Fellows have included fifteen Pulitzer Prize winners, MacArthur "Genius" Fellows, Poets Laureate, National Book Award recipients, and multiple Tony, Grammy, Oscar, and Emmy Award nominees and winners.

For more information about the Hermitage and upcoming programs, visit HermitageArtistRetreat.org.

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