Artist Michelle Lopez ’92 and writer Sylvan Oswald ’01 were both awarded 2019 Guggenheim Fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Chosen from a group of nearly 3,000 applicants, Lopez and Oswald represent two of the 168 recipients who make up the foundation’s 95th fellow class from the United States and Canada.

“These artists and writers, scholars and scientists, represent the best of the best,” said the foundation’s president, Edward Hirsch, in the official announcement. “Each year since 1925, the Guggenheim Foundation has bet everything on the individual, and we’re thrilled to continue to do so with this wonderfully talented and diverse group.” 

Michelle Lopez ’92
Lopez, an interdisciplinary sculptor and installation artist, is the assistant professor of sculpture at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. Lopez is known for her conceptual practice and experimental approach to process and material. Her artwork examines abject collapsed structures within industrial design, pop culture, and the architectural environment. She has shown at New York City’s Simon Preston Gallery, Deitch Projects, and MoMA PS1, as well as the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Fairfield, Connecticut. Lopez will have a solo exhibition this fall at the ICA in Philadelphia.

Sylvan Oswald ’01. Photo by Gema Galiana
Oswald is a Los Angeles-based interdisciplinary artist who creates plays, texts, publications, and video exploring how we construct identity. His recent projects are “Trainers,” a theatrical essay; “High Winds,” a live show adapted from his artist’s book co-created with Jessica Fleischmann (X Artists’ Books, 2017); “Outtakes,” a web series; and “A Kind of Weather,” a play. Oswald’s honors include a Jerome Fellowship from the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, the Dorothy B. Strelsin Playwriting Fellowship at Soho Rep, and residencies at Sundance/Ucross and the MacDowell Colony. He is an assistant professor of playwriting at UCLA’s School of Theater, Film & Television, an affiliated artist at Clubbed Thumb, and an alum of New Dramatists. As part of his Guggenheim Fellowship, Oswald will write a series of texts responding to Virginia Woolf’s 1928 novel Orlando from a trans perspective.

—VERONICA SUCHODOLSKI ’19