Big Town v. Bean Town (Guggenheim Fellowship Edition)

Every year the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation awards fellowships “to assist research and artistic creation.”

And, as is its wont, the Foundation ran a full-page ad in the New York Times to announce its 2014 recipients.

 

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Massachusetts artists, scholars, and scientists did pretty well in the Guggenheim Fellowship bake-off, as yesterday’s Boston Globe Names column noted.

Guggenheim announces 2014 fellowships

An image from a video by artist and teacher Patty Chang.

An image from a video by artist and teacher Patty Chang.

The 2014 Guggenheim Fellowships were announced Thursday, and based on our count, 15 of the recipients are from Massachusetts. Within that group, there’s a pack of local artists, musicians, and writers who’ve been honored for their work — including “All This Talk of Love” author Christopher Castellani, composer Elena Ruehr, and artist Patty Chang. Castellani, who is the artistic director at the Boston writing center Grub Street, said the Guggenheim award will help him with his next book, “Leading Men.” Video and performance artist Chang, who teaches at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, told us that the fellowship money will pay for travel to Uzbekistan, Newfoundland, and the Xinjiang region in China for “The Wandering Lake,” a project based on explorer Sven Hedin’s “The Wandering Lake: Into the Heart of Asia.” Brookline’s Ruehr, a lecturer at MIT, said the award will help her write an opera for Roomful of Teeth, an eight-voice a cappella group that visits MIT this fall. Ruehr said that when she discovered she had been awarded a Guggenheim, she “wrote a little song.” “It’s such an honor,” she said. “To get this validation, it really boosts an artist [like myself]. It’s very exciting.”

Undoubtably. But – no promo – the Big Town did kinda better.

The hardcounting staff tallied 26 New York, NY winners, and 22 Brooklyn, NY awardees. (Apparently Brooklyn has seceded from the Five Boroughs.)

There were two notable categories for the Brooklynites.

First:

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Then this Brooklyn Broom:

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That’s some two-step, yeah?

 

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