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Arts and Sciences artists join 2024 Guggenheim Fellows

April 24, 2024

Arts and Sciences artists join 2024 Guggenheim Fellows

pink flowering trees on the Oval in spring

Abby Zbikowski, associate professor in the Department of Dance; Gina Osterloh, photographer and associate professor in the Department of Art, and Ryan Johnson, post-MFA scholar in the Department of Dance, have received 2024 Guggenheim Fellowships

Abby Zbikowski

Zbikowski created her company Abby Z and the New Utility in 2012 and has served as an associate professor of dance at the University of Illinois and on faculty at the American Dance Festival. She has taught at the Academy of Culture in Riga, Latvia; at Festival Un Pas Vers L’Avant in Abidjan, Ivory Coast; and studied at Germaine Acogny’s L’École de Sables in Senegal. 

“I am immensely grateful for my ongoing work in dance to be recognized at a time where so much evolution in the field is occurring,” Zbikowski said. “I’m excited that years of hard physical and intellectual labor are starting to yield results that will support my next choreographic endeavor, ‘Exhilarama!’ which is an evening-length work about class and elitism in the arts approached through the psychology and aesthetics of dance and wrestling.”

Gina Osterloh: Associate Professor, Department of Art

Osterloh has exhibited all over the world, with works displayed in Hong Kong, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Spain, Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City. Her photographic practice embodies the printed image, drawing, film and performance to explore the resonances between the physical body and its representational imprint, trace or stand-in. 

“The Guggenheim Fellowship is an incredible honor,” Osterloh said. “I have applied several times, and being awarded the Guggenheim this round couldn’t be more meaningful. Last year I became a tenured associate professor in the Department of Art, and the Guggenheim is testimony that my art and photography form the core of why I am here. The award will enable much needed time, art materials, and research in archives with vast holdings of American Colonial-era photographs in the Philippines that will inform my studio art practice. It will no doubt shape the next volume of my research and art, as well as inform my teaching and the artistic knowledge I can share with students. I deeply thank my letter writers and my mom Yolanda Alinsug Sanchez Osterloh.”

Ryan Johnson

Johnson is an award-winning artist, scholar and founder of SOLE Defined dance company, whose work shines a spotlight on African Diasporic Percussive Dance, including tap dance, body percussion, stepping and the South African gumboot dance, in academia and performance.

“Being named a 2024 Guggenheim Fellow is a transformative moment! I am filled with humility and honor to be among the seven artists selected in the choreography category,” Johnson said. “My dream is to become the first percussive dance specialist in an R-1 program, build bridges between my company and The Ohio State University, and curate a percussive dance-based curriculum that will be a catalyst for the advancement of the dance department. Beyond writing a letter of support for me, I want to thank Charles Anderson for having the vision to see a place for a percussive dancer in the academy. Thank you, Ayodele Cassel and Brian Williams, for writing on my behalf and believing in my artistry. I honor my family with this achievement and dedicate it to my teachers and the generations of percussive dancers coming after me into the academy.”

Zbikowski, Osterloh and Johnson are three of 188 Guggenheim Fellows for 2024 chosen from a rigorous application and peer-review process out of almost 3,000 applicants. In all, 52 scholarly disciplines and artistic fields, 84 academic institutions, 38 states and the District of Columbia, and four Canadian provinces are represented in this year’s class of Guggenheim Fellows.

Created and initially funded in 1925, by US Senator Simon and Olga Guggenheim in memory of their son John Simon, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has sought to “further the development of scholars and artists by assisting them to engage in research in any field of knowledge and creation in any of the arts, under the freest possible conditions.”

Since its establishment, the Foundation has granted over $400 million in Fellowships to more than 19,000 individuals, among whom are more than 125 Nobel laureates, members of all the national academies, winners of the Pulitzer Prize, Fields Medal, Turing Award, Bancroft Prize, National Book Award, and other internationally recognized honors. The broad range of fields of study is a unique characteristic of the Fellowship program.

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