The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM) invites contemporary artists to create new work using experimental materials and techniques. This internationally acclaimed Artist-in-Residence (AIR) Program hosts emerging and established regional, national, and international artists who have a demonstrated commitment to innovation and exploration. To that end, FWM supports artistic experimentation in a wide range of mediums by providing honorariums and materials to artists, employing its facilities and staff to address their creative needs.
The AIR Program serves as the creative nucleus of FWM and the genesis for the museum’s groundbreaking exhibition program. A key element for each resident is their work with the FWM Studio staff—comprised of a team of artists trained in various disciplines—including a Project Coordinator paired with each Artist-in-Residence. Under the guidance of FWM’s Director of Studio Operations, Project Technicians and Studio Assistants also play an important role in testing ideas and materials; the team’s on-site studio work is often supplemented by field research in Philadelphia and beyond.
Ahmed Alsoudani, who came to the U.S. after fleeing from Baghdad in the mid-1990s, is known for his vividly-colored and surreal acrylic and charcoal canvases, in which distorted, grotesque faces and body parts portray the horrors of war. This motif draws on the artist’s own experiences of recent wars in Iraq, the imagery of devastation and violence evoking a universal experience of conflict and human suffering. Alsoudani received his MFA in Painting from Yale in 2008; he also holds a BFA from Maine College of Art. In 2011, he was one of five artists representing Iraq in the Venice Biennale, the country’s first time hosting a pavilion in 35 years. Alsoudani is represented by Marlborough Gallery in New York. The artist’s work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, the Phoenix Museum of Art, and the Portland Museum of Art; recent institutional group exhibitions include Chaos and Awe: Painting for the 21st Century at the Frist Art Museum and the Chrysler Museum of Art.