Franklin Furnace Fund Recipients 2014-15

Panel Biographies

Rachel Frank

Rachel Frank uses video, sculpture, and performance to explore themes combining the theatrical, man’s relationship to the natural world, and loss. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including grants from The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, The Puffin Foundation, and Franklin Furnace Archive. Residencies include The Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation, The Women’s Studio Workshop, Sculpture Space, Yaddo, and The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She has an upcoming residency at the Platte Clove Catskill Center in New York State. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. More information can be found at: http://www.rachelfrank.com

Miao Jiaxin

From his early practice, starting as a street photographer tracking Shanghai prostitutes to the development of a pseudo-transvestite web celebrity, Miao Jiaxin has evolved an edgy and protean practice. Raised in Shanghai, Miao then immigrated to New York, expanding his view of urban streets towards a more conceptual public stage, where his works travel across different media. Initiated from universal themes of existentialism, Miao's works tend to be politically participating in contemporary events, while expressing the universal theme of urban angst. Among his performative practices, he has blended his naked body into the bleak streets of a midnight New York City, traveled inside a suitcase hauled by his mother through urban crowds, live-feed erotic performances on an interactive pornographic broadcasting website, and dressed as a Chinese businessman for a year when working towards his MFA at School of the Art Institute of Chicago. More lately, he converted his New York studio into a jail charging $1 per night as accommodation through Airbnb and Facebook. Miao's works often express the ambivalent and sometimes antagonistic tension that always exists between the individual and governing or cultural authorities, questioning assumptions about power in relation to individual identity, race, gender, sexuality and social class. He posits the artist's nature as one who transgresses boundaries, challenges consensus, and keeps his distance from authorities.

Joseph Keckler

Joseph Keckler is a singer, writer, and interdisciplinary performance artist. His most recent performance piece, “I am an Opera,” was commissioned by Dixon Place. Other performances have taken place at South by Southwest, New Museum of Contemporary Art, Merkin Hall, Joe’s Pub, Performa, Issue Project Room, and BAM Fisher. Keckler was recently featured on WNYC Soundcheck and BBC America’s “The Nerdist.” The recipient of a Franklin Furnace Fund grant and a Fellowship in Interdisciplinary Work from New York Foundation for the Arts, he has been awarded multiple residencies at MacDowell and Yadoo. Composer Aleksandra Vrebalov has been commissioned by ASCAP to write a song cycle for Keckler, which will premiere next year. He is currently working on a new EP and collection of essays. The Village Voice recently named Keckler “Best Downtown Performance Artist, 2013.

Stacy Scibelli

Stacy Scibelli is an artist and designer living and working in New York. She is currently the Program Coordinator and Visiting Lecturer of the Women in Creativity course at Rutgers University in New Jersey and an Adjunct Professor of Fashion Design at Montclair University in New Jersey. Stacy has participated as an Artist in Residence at the Boston Center for the Arts and has received a Mass MOCA Assets for Artists grant, a Franklin Furnace Grant, and a project grant from Possible Futures in Atlanta GA. Stacy has shown work at Proof Gallery, the Danforth Art Museum in Framingham MA, the Torrance Art Museum in Los Angeles, Present Company in DUMBO, and The Parlour Bushwick in Brooklyn.

Pamela Sneed

Pamela Sneed is a New York based poet, writer and actress, whose work has been featured in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Time Out, Bomb, VIBE, and on the cover of New York Magazine. She is author of Imagine Being More Afraid of Freedom Than Slavery, published by Henry Holt in April 1998 and KONG and other works published by Vintage Entity Press 2009. She has performed original works for sold out houses at Lincoln Center, P.S. 122, Ex-Teresa in Mexico City, The ICA London, The CCA in Glasgow Scotland, The Green Room in Manchester England, and BAM cafe. She has headlined the New Work Now festival at Joe’s Pub/Public Theater. In 2013, she performed at Central Park Summer Stage, The Whitney Museum of Art, Columbia University’s, “Geographies of Mass Incarceration.” In 2011, she performed in South Africa, in collaboration with the women’s organization FEW. She teaches at Sarah Lawrence Writing for Solo Performance and Solo Performance in Production. In 2014 She appeared at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, and Long Island University. Her work is included in The 100 Best African American Poems edited by Nikki Giovanni. Her recent publications include work in Best Monologues from Best American Short Plays, Future Perfect, and LIU Teaching Narratives with upcoming work in Ping Pong Magazine and Cutbank Magazine. She is the author of a new chapbook of poetry, Lincoln, published in 2014.