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Daniel Heyman receives Guggenheim Fellowship

Daniel Heyman, artist and Lecturer in Visual Arts in the Lewis Center for the Arts has been awarded a 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Heyman is among 180 artists, scientists and scholars chosen from a more than 3,000 applicants from the United States and Canada this year.

Guggenheim Fellowships are American grants awarded on the basis of stellar achievement and exceptional promise. The fellowships, awarded annually since 1925 by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, are open to advanced professionals in mid-career. Grant amounts vary and are adjusted to the needs of Fellows, considering their other resources and the purpose and scope of their plans.

For the past four years, Daniel Heyman has concentrated his art on making images about the war in Iraq, specifically the abuse and torture of innocent Iraqis at Abu Ghraib and other prisons.  For this work, Heyman traveled to Jordan and Turkey where he has talked face to face with over 45 former detainees, painting their portraits and taking down their own versions of what happened to them at the hands of the American captors.  Three of these detainees have since been killed in the war.  He has also met and drawn the portraits of survivors of the September 16, 2007 Blackwater attacks at Nasoor Square in Baghdad.  Closer to home, Heyman has drawn portraits of 7 African American men in Philadelphia who have been helped by the National Comprehensive Center for Fathers after troubled youths in and out of prison, has worked with Veterans living in a half-way home in north Philadelphia, and female veterans who were raped by their male colleagues while stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

“I am honored and humbled to be awarded this fellowship in support of my work, said Heyman. “I will use the funds to continue producing work that questions some deeply troubling aspects of our country's military culture including the torture of foreign prisoners incarcerated illegally throughout the world and the high incidence of rape of American service women by American service men while stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

The Foundation seeks to create a diverse group of recipients, both in demographics and fields of study. According to a statement from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, there are 59 disciplines and 65 academic institutions represented by this year’s Fellows. A complete list of recipients can be found on the Foundation’s website.

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