Community College Of Philadelphia Professor and Videographer Receives $60,000 Pew Fellowships in The Arts Award

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 19, 2010 —Kara Crombie, a professor in Community College of Philadelphia’s Photographic Imaging Department, is a recipient of  the 2010 Pew Fellowships in the Arts (PFA) award.

Crombie is a talented video artist and photographer working with animation. She is one of 12 new PFA fellows—all of them local artists, who work in a wide variety of artistic disciplines, including classical music, tap dance, architectural design and jewelry making.

“I see my work as representation of the first generation to grow up entirely under the umbrella of a ‘read-write’ culture,” Crombie says, referring to the current digital age, in which society interprets, reformulates and shares information, as opposed to merely consuming it.

Crombie is interested in exploring the ways in which our environments inform our identities and vice versa. Her new animated series, Aloof Hills, addresses contemporary American “taboos,” such as interracial relationships and drug and alcohol use, and does so in a historic setting. Crombie’s characters are Civil War-era paper dolls, and her landscapes include paintings and YouTube video clips.

She has had solo exhibitions at Vox Populi Gallery and Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia, and she has participated in group exhibitions at the Tate Modern in London, Philadelphia Art Alliance, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, and elsewhere.

Crombie joined the College faculty in September 2010. Prior to that, she was an adjunct professor at Moore College of Art and Design. She received a bachelor degree in Art History and Photography from the University of Pittsburgh in 1996, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2001. She also has taught at the University of the Arts. Prior honors include The Fleisher Art Memorial Wind Challenge in 2008.

The PFA is a program of The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. It provides “no strings attached” fellowships of $60,000 over one to two years to artists of exemplary talent in the five-county Philadelphia area. Artists are selected based on the merit of their work, dedication to their professional practice and the potential impact that the fellowship will have on their subsequent creative endeavors. Fellowships may be awarded to artists at any stage of their career development. This year’s fellows range in age from 32 to 85.

Pew Fellowships in the Arts was established by The Pew Charitable Trusts in 1991 and awards grants to artists working in a wide variety of performing, visual, and literary disciplines. The program is in its 19th year and has awarded 244 fellowships to 249 artists, for a total investment of more than $12.5 million in the creative and professional development of working artists in the Philadelphia area.