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December 15, 2009

The United States Artists announced the USA Fellows on December 14. The goal of the fellowship program is to support the arts by each year awarding $50,000 unrestricted grants to 50 artists, a handful of which are architects and designers.

 

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  Completed by Neil M. Denari Architects in 2009, HL23 is a 14-floor condominium tower adjacent to The High Line at 23rd Street in New York. Collaborating architect Marc I. Rosenbaum writes: "The project's geometry is driven by challenges to the zoning envelope on the site and by NMDA's interest in achieving complexity through simple tectonic operations."Photo courtesy of Hayes Davidson
    Completed by Neil M. Denari Architects in 2009, HL23 is a 14-floor condominium tower adjacent to The High Line at 23rd Street in New York. Collaborating architect Marc I. Rosenbaum writes: "The project's geometry is driven by challenges to the zoning envelope on the site and by NMDA's interest in achieving complexity through simple tectonic operations."

    Photo courtesy of Hayes Davidson
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  Neil Denari, USA California Community Foundation FellowDenari is the principal architect at Neil M. Denari Architects, which he founded in 1988 in Los Angeles as Cor-Tex Architecture. After studying at the Harvard GSD, he worked in Paris and New York and by age 29, had a drawing purchased for exhibit by the Cooper-Hewitt Museum. Today, Denari (whose work is now owned by museums including the Museum of Modern Art New York, MoMA San Francisco, and the Denver Art Museum) teaches in UCLA's Architecture and Urban Design Department and is the author of two books.Portrait courtesy of Neil Denari
    Neil Denari, USA California Community Foundation Fellow

    Denari is the principal architect at Neil M. Denari Architects, which he founded in 1988 in Los Angeles as Cor-Tex Architecture. After studying at the Harvard GSD, he worked in Paris and New York and by age 29, had a drawing purchased for exhibit by the Cooper-Hewitt Museum. Today, Denari (whose work is now owned by museums including the Museum of Modern Art New York, MoMA San Francisco, and the Denver Art Museum) teaches in UCLA's Architecture and Urban Design Department and is the author of two books.

    Portrait courtesy of Neil Denari
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  Laura Kurgan, USA Rockerfeller FellowLaura Kurgan is the founder of Laura Kurgan Design; is an architecture professor at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation; and is the school's director of visual studies and the director of the Spatial Information Design Lab. Her work blends "academic architectural research with design, information, communication, advocacy, and public work."Portrait courtesy of Laura Kurgan
    Laura Kurgan, USA Rockerfeller Fellow

    Laura Kurgan is the founder of Laura Kurgan Design; is an architecture professor at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation; and is the school's director of visual studies and the director of the Spatial Information Design Lab. Her work blends "academic architectural research with design, information, communication, advocacy, and public work."

    Portrait courtesy of Laura Kurgan
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  Laura Kurgan's image, titled Architecture and Justice 1, was displayed at the Museum of Modern Art New York in the Design and the Elastic Mind exhibition in 2008.Photo courtesy of Laura Kurgan
    Laura Kurgan's image, titled Architecture and Justice 1, was displayed at the Museum of Modern Art New York in the Design and the Elastic Mind exhibition in 2008.

    Photo courtesy of Laura Kurgan
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  Rick Lowe, USA Booth FellowRich Lower is an artist who founded Project Row Houses in Houston in 1993 in an effort to build a positive community in the city's oldest African-American neighborhoods by buying and renovating dilapidated shotgun-style houses. The community has grown to 40 properties, including 12 artist exhibition and/or residency spaces.Portrait courtesy of Kethora Smith
    Rick Lowe, USA Booth Fellow

    Rich Lower is an artist who founded Project Row Houses in Houston in 1993 in an effort to build a positive community in the city's oldest African-American neighborhoods by buying and renovating dilapidated shotgun-style houses. The community has grown to 40 properties, including 12 artist exhibition and/or residency spaces.

    Portrait courtesy of Kethora Smith
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  From the original 22 renovated houses, Rick Lowe's Project Row Houses has grown to 40 properties, including 12 artist exhibition and/or residency spaces, a community gallery, seven houses for young mothers, low-income residences, a park, office spaces, and commercial spaces.Photo courtesy of Danielle Miles
    From the original 22 renovated houses, Rick Lowe's Project Row Houses has grown to 40 properties, including 12 artist exhibition and/or residency spaces, a community gallery, seven houses for young mothers, low-income residences, a park, office spaces, and commercial spaces.

    Photo courtesy of Danielle Miles
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  Diana Al-Hadid, USA Rockefeller FellowBorn in Syria but living and working in Brooklyn, Diana Al-Hadid is an artist who creates large, architectural structures. In the same way she balances to cultures, she says she also balances opposites in her works, whether combining the Chartres Cathedral with the Tower of Babel, the secular and the sacred, or ideas of the past with those of the future.
    Diana Al-Hadid, USA Rockefeller Fellow

    Born in Syria but living and working in Brooklyn, Diana Al-Hadid is an artist who creates large, architectural structures. In the same way she balances to cultures, she says she also balances opposites in her works, whether combining the Chartres Cathedral with the Tower of Babel, the secular and the sacred, or ideas of the past with those of the future.
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  Measuring over five feet tall, Spun of the Limits of My Lonely Waltz is a sculpture created by Diana Al-Hadid in 2006.Photo courtesy of Diana Al-Hadid
    Measuring over five feet tall, Spun of the Limits of My Lonely Waltz is a sculpture created by Diana Al-Hadid in 2006.

    Photo courtesy of Diana Al-Hadid
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Completed by <a href="http://www.nmda-inc.com/">Neil M. Denari Architects</a> in 2009, <a href="http://www.nmda-inc.com/index.php?/projects/high-line-23/">HL23</a> is a 14-floor condominium tower adjacent to <a href="http://www.dwell.com/articles/the-high
Completed by Neil M. Denari Architects in 2009, HL23 is a 14-floor condominium tower adjacent to The High Line at 23rd Street in New York. Collaborating architect Marc I. Rosenbaum writes: "The project's geometry is driven by challenges to the zoning envelope on the site and by NMDA's interest in achieving complexity through simple tectonic operations."

Photo courtesy of Hayes Davidson

Each year, 50 artists are named USA Fellows and are awarded $50,000 unrestricted grants. Last year's fellows included designers such as Julie Bargmann, who founded D.I.R.T. studio and collaborated on The High Line, and Stephen Burks, whose TaTu Collection is sold by Artecnica. Past recipients have used their award to fund new projects, buy new equipment, travel for research purposes, or even give back to younger artists and students in their field. For others, it means they can pursue their passion full time, rather than needing to hold other jobs to make ends meet.

View the slideshow to read about a selection of the new fellows and see examples of their work.

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