Philadelphia, PA – Moore College of Art & Design is honored to announce the selection of artist Caroline Woolard as the first recipient of the Jane and David Walentas Endowed Fellowship. The prestigious annual fellowship underscores Moore’s ongoing commitment to social engagement by offering opportunities to thoughtful artists who bring their vision for the future of cultural production to the Moore community and the larger artistic community of Philadelphia.
Woolard, a New York-based artist who creates sculptures, installations and online networks, will use this inaugural fellowship to contribute to the creative and intellectual life of Philadelphia, and to Moore’s artistic and academic community. In collaboration with key organizations such as the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives, Woolard will produce a series of sculptures and public events between March 2019 and June 2020, including public talks, workshops, an exhibition at The Galleries at Moore (on view August 3 through September 21, 2019), an exhibition at the Free Library of Philadelphia, and a culminating publication.
“Thanks to the Jane and David Walentas Endowed Fellowship, we are able to sustain and nurture Moore’s legacy as a bridge to the larger art world and as a hotbed of activity for forward-thinking contemporary artists such as Caroline Woolard,” said Cecelia Fitzgibbon, president of Moore College of Art & Design. “As the first and only visual arts school for women in the country, we believe deeply in the power of artists to influence society, and we are honored to pursue this opportunity with a generous endowment from Jane and David Walentas.”
As the Walentas Endowed Distinguished Fellow, Woolard will create sculptural objects for worker-owned businesses and self-organized groups, including a clock that relies upon water to mark intervals of time. Her project asks the questions: What does a culture of reflection and listening look like? What if the tables and objects in our spaces were as imaginative as the conversations we are having? Woolard will make, with the support of Moore studio technicians, sculptural objects that are meant to act as tools to facilitate difficult conversations about structural and interpersonal inequity. These objects will migrate throughout Moore and become a central part of the Free Library’s new Robert and Eileen Kennedy Heim Center for Cultural and Civic Engagement, where they can be checked out to support the work of other community organizations around the city.
“Can an object interrupt the unavoidable antagonisms of working together? How do workers without bosses (i.e. worker-owners in cooperative businesses) transform workplace conflict?” asks Woolard. “It is important to me that my work exists in the field of art and in the co-op movement, because these spaces rarely intersect but they have a lot to teach one another about making space for action, reflection and social transformation. I make these objects in multiples: half of them will live in art spaces and half of them will live in conflict transformation settings. I hope to honor existing, slowly developed, community-generated facilitation skills in the context of organizing for economic justice.”
The fellowship, newly launched in 2019, was endowed by Jane Zimmerman Walentas, who graduated from Moore in 1966, and her husband, David.
“I’m very excited with the choice of Caroline Woolard, the first Walentas Endowed Fellow at Moore,” said Jane Walentas. “Caroline’s interactive and inclusive work will have a huge impact on the students and will stir interest in engaging the Philadelphia community with Moore. Caroline will certainly set a standard for fellows to come.”
Caroline Woolard employs sculptures, installations and online networks to study the pleasures and pains of interdependence. Woolard has co-founded barter networks OurGoods.org and TradeSchool.coop (2008–15), the Study Center for Group Work (since 2016), BFAMFAPhD.com (since 2014), and the NYC Real Estate Investment Cooperative (since 2016). Recent writing on her work has been published in The Brooklyn Rail, Artforum, Art in America and the New York Times. Woolard’s work has been featured twice in the PBS / Art21 documentary series New York CloseUp. Woolard is an assistant professor of sculpture at the University of Hartford. Making and Being, her forthcoming book about interdisciplinary collaboration, co-authored with Susan Jahoda, will be published in fall 2019. Her work can be viewed at her website, carolinewoolard.com, and at her project website, studycollaboration.com.
Jane Walentas, who worked for many years as an art director in advertising for Elizabeth Arden, Avon and Estee Lauder, is a longtime member of Moore’s Board of Trustees, and serves on the Visionary Woman Awards committee. She is known for restoring and operating Jane's Carousel, a historic 1922 carousel that is located in Brooklyn Bridge Park, in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn, which was developed by David Walentas. The Walentas Faculty Fellowship was born out of the desire of Jane and David Walentas to enrich the curriculum for all students at Moore and to expose them to exceptionally innovative thinking and new experiences.
Moore College of Art & Design educates students for careers in art and design. Founded in 1848, Moore is the nation's first and only women's visual arts college for undergraduates. The College's career-focused environment and professionally active faculty form a dynamic community in the heart of Philadelphia's cultural district, surrounded by world-class museums. The College offers ten bachelor of fine arts degrees for women and four coeducational graduate programs. In addition, Moore provides many valuable opportunities in the arts through The Galleries at Moore, Continuing Education Certificate programs for professional adults, the acclaimed Young Artists Workshop, The Art Shop and Sculpture Park. For more information about Moore, visit www.moore.edu.