Marcus Zotter (BFA '13) mainly works in street art and graffiti but relies on the fine art education he received at PAFA to create. “PAFA really molds the greatest artist in the United States teaching us how to do the fine arts, the most complicated work out there,” he said. “Being in Philly I was very influenced by street art and graffiti so it was really entertaining to be learning fine art sitting in front of a model and then experiencing my environment which was influenced by graffiti and street art.”
It took Zachary Van Horn getting a little uncomfortable and moving to Philadelphia to become a better artist and refine his work. Van Horn says his time in the MFA program has been rigorous but rewarding. Working with PAFA’s faculty allowed him to get out of his own way when it comes to his art.
Tyler Kline (MFA ’11) manipulates photos of friends and fellow artists into video. The Philadelphia-based multimedia artist works make use of base materials and alchemical processes to translate the chaos of everyday stimulus into the universal. Kline’s videos, installations, and sculptures propose alternate structures of reality where logic is thrown out, and a direct experience with the unknown becomes possible.
Connections are key to artist Doron Langberg’s (Cert. ‘10) work. His work often features Langberg’s friends, family, and lovers in everyday settings. He hopes by sharing his connections and relationships that people will see him as accessible and relatable.
Inga Kimberly Brown (BFA ’14) likes to keep busy. Whether she’s creating work for an exhibition at the Amelia Center Gallery in Florida or working on commissions, she always tries to have a paintbrush in her hand. The PAFA graduate recently completed a work for the 3rd Regiment United States Colored Troops Reenactors.
Liza Samuel (BFA '17) traveled to California, Arizona, Texas, and Arkansas with the help of the J. Henry Schiedt Memorial Travel Scholarship. The scholarship allowed her to spend 30 days collecting materials such as dirt, burnt wood, and rocks, which she used to make her own paint.
“One of my favorite things about the program in my time here was that I was able to sort of make the mistakes that maybe I wouldn’t have been able to do as freely if I were at another program. The faculty and my peers were open to sharing ideas and having a dialogue. I thought that was really terrific.”
In the fall of 2016, Peckenpaugh spent a month in Nepal through the PAFA Fellowship’s Patan Museum Residency. On the last day, she inadvertently drank contaminated water and contracted typhoid. Making the most of a situation to better her work is Peckenpaugh’s style—read more to learn how that experience has profoundly shaped her approach.
"PAFA challenged me about was it meant to be a professional artist. PAFA gave me another level. PAFA gave me a professionalism that I didn’t have. It made me want to be competitive. It taught me that when I go to MOMA, when I go to the Whitney, I have to think about how to put my work here. I have to say being close to New York City has been very important to me. When I go to Chelsea, I think how do I bring my work here? It’s not a matter of thinking that I’m good enough, but it’s my responsibility as an artist to a part of this conversation that is happening. It’s my responsibility to be in the places that have a say in the art world. It gave me a healthy ambition, because I really feel responsible to do my best."
“The lure of PAFA was its connection to Philly, and how this would provide a sort of bedrock to my early professional years as an artist. Reflecting on this, I felt charged by the atmosphere of Philly, and found something very special in the intimacy and legacy of PAFA. Upon visiting the MFA program, I was convinced that while PAFA has deep roots as an academic institution of the past, it also has a commitment to incubating artists who are living in the now. This duality was nourishing for me.”