demonstrating exceptional creative ability in the arts

Professor Phyllis Galembo, 2014 Guggenheim Fellow

Professor Galembo, a photographer and faculty member in the Department of Art & Art History, was one of this year's 178 recipients of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. She was selected on the basis of her extraordinary work documenting the transformative power of ritual dress in Africa and the Americas.

Professor Phyllis GalemboIf you didn’t already know, getting a Guggenheim Fellowship isn’t easy. All else being equal, any single application has about a 5% chance of success.

All else is not equal, though. Simply put, Guggenheim Fellows are widely regarded as leaders in their fields. Being selected as a Guggenheim Fellow is considered to be an extraordinary accomplishment, “…intended for men and women who have already demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.”  

Professor Galembo's selection as a Guggenheim Fellow is only the latest in a series of noteworthy accomplishments. She has received numerous awards and fellowships including the Senior Fulbright Research Award in 1994. Her work was recently displayed at the 2013 Venice Biennale, one of the most significant exhibitions of contemporary art in the world. In addition, her photographs are part of many institutional collections including the Library of Congress, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the New York Public Library.

In spring 2014, Professor Galembo's work was displayed in Theater of Belief, a solo exhibition hosted jointly by the African American Cultural Center Gallery of North Carolina State University and the Frankie G. Weems Art Gallery of Meredith College. The Guggenheim Fellowship will enable Professor Galembo to return to Gabon, located on the west coast of Central Africa, to continue her photography.

Professor Galembo joined the UAlbany faculty in 1978 not long after she completed her MFA at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. At the undergraduate level, Professor Galembo teaches Non-silver Photography, Intermediate Photography and Digital Imaging, and Color Photography. At the graduate level, Professor Galembo supervises independent studies and projects in combined media.