Skip to content
Arts & Culture
Link copied to clipboard

Philly artist wins big national fellowship awarded to disabled artists

Carolyn Lazard was also chosen last year to participate in the Whitney Museum Biennial.

Carolyn Lazard, "Extended Stay" (2019)
Carolyn Lazard, "Extended Stay" (2019)Read moreCourtesy of the artist and Essex Street / Maxwell Graham, New York

Carolyn Lazard, an interdisciplinary artist and MFA graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, has been named one of 20 winners of Disability Futures fellowships, a new initiative from the Ford and Andrew W. Mellon Foundations.

The fellowship, which is designed to increase the visibility of disabled artists across the nation, consists of a $50,000 grant to support the work of each of the fellows. The program was designed in conversation with disabled artists, who also selected the honorees from a wide range of disciplines.

Lazard, 33, who lives in Plymouth Meeting, was also one of 75 artists selected for the 2019 Whitney Biennial.

Lazard’s work on view at the Whitney, dubbed Extended Stay, consisted of a wall-mounted television on a movable metal arm. Lazard induced the Whitney to link the unit to cable television — visitors could then sit on a bench and watch TV, much as patients waiting and undergoing procedures are compelled to watch the endless round of cable shows without respite.

Daytime soaps, talk shows, and news programs amount to a jarring encounter for art gallery visitors.

“It’s a video installation and a sculpture, and I’m making a piece that uses a hospital TV monitor and a hospital TV mount — the kinds of personal TVs you would find inside a chemotherapy infusion suite — and I’m having the museum wire itself for cable TV, and developing a program that will allow the TV to surf channels autonomously,” Lazard told Penn Today prior to the Whitney show.

In addition to Lazard, other Disability Futures fellows include: Perel, performance artist, dancer, choreographer, writer, New York; Christine Sun Kim, artist, Fullerton, Calif.; Tourmaline, filmmaker, Brooklyn; John Lee Clark, writer, Hopkins, Minn.; Alice Wong, journalist, San Francisco; Rodney Evans, filmmaker, Brooklyn; Jerron Herman, dancer, New York; Jim LeBrecht, film director and producer, Berkeley, Calif.; Mia Mingus, writer and journalist, Oakland, Calif.; Jeffrey Yasuo Mansfield, designer, Boston; and Riva Lehrer, painter and writer, Chicago.

Also awarded Disability Futures fellowships: Jen Deerinwater, journalist, nonfiction creative writer, memoirist, and photographer, Washington, D.C.; Sky Cubacub, garment maker, Chicago; Navild (niv) Acosta, multimedia artist, Brooklyn; Patty Berne, artistic director, filmmaker, and writer, Berkeley, Calif.; Ryan J. Haddad, playwright and performer, New York; Alice Sheppard, choreographer, Los Altos, Calif.; Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, writer and performance artist, Seattle; and Eli Clare, poet, essayist, Burlington, Vt.