Alumni Stories

Vincent Desiderio

1983

/ Certificate

Vincent Desiderio has played a major role in reclaiming painting as a valid and significant medium in late 20th-century art. He started out as an abstract painter before he focused on representational work.

Constantina Zavitsanos

2008

/ MFA

“By far the greatest part of my experience at PAFA was the one-on-one interaction with my core group of chosen critics/ teachers and my fellow MFA students. I continue many of these relationships today."

Orit Hofshi

1990

/ Certificate

Orit Hofshi began working at Mishkan Omanim (The Artist’s Studio) in Herzliya, Israel, following a decade of studying, working and exhibiting in the U.S.

Jon Laidacker

2007

/ MFA

Jon Laidacker was the lead muralist on the 85,000-square-foot "How Philly Moves" image that graces the Philadelphia International Airport parking garage walls near Interstate 95.

Njideka Akunyili Crosby

2006

/ Post-Baccalaureate, Certificate

Njideka Akunyili was born in Enugu, Nigeria. Her paintings, characterized by rigorous figuration, explore the artist’s complex relationship to both Nigerian and Western culture.

Itsuki Ogihara

2008

/ Certificate

Itsuki Ogihara strives to apply her fine arts education in the design world. "The best thing I learned was to have a great eye: to be able to see and identify things, like colors. What I learned as a fine artist is universal.”

Maureen Drdak

1975

/ Certificate

“As a recent Fulbright Senior Scholar, my latest work in Nepal has inspired a renewed appreciation of my debt owed to PAFA. ... The school was crucial to my development as a global artist."

Kate Samworth

2010

/ BFA

“Access to the excellent printmaking and sculpture facilities gave me the chance to experiment in new media and expand my narrative paintings into books and dioramas."

Barkley L. Hendricks

1967

/ Certificate

As a contemporary painter, Barkley L. Hendricks has made pioneering contributions to African American portraiture and conceptualism. He is best known for his striking and provocative life-sized portraits.

Jordan Griska

2008

/ Certificate

Jordan Griska originally applied to pre-medicine programs, but soon returned to his love of building and constructing, which later became a love of fine art.

Newton Harrison

1957

/ Certificate

“When I was 14, I apprenticed myself to a sculptor. A year later, I could make larger figures. My earliest influences were not modern. I was studying Donatello and the Renaissance sculptors.”

Moe Brooker

1963

/ Certificate

One of Moe Brooker’s earliest honors had a lasting impact: PAFA’s Cresson Memorial Travel Scholarship. “I saw paintings that I only knew from photographs, and realized the importance of seeing the actual work.”

Sarah McEneaney

1979

/ Certificate

Sarah McEneaney counts Martie Zelt, Jimmy Lueders, Elizabeth Osborne and Sidney Goodman as some of the PAFA faculty who had a great impact on her artistic development.

Andrea Packard

1989

/ Certificate

Since 1995, Andrea Packard has directed the List Gallery at Swarthmore College, organizing and curating over 60 exhibitions, and she co-founded Protean Gallery in Philadelphia with other PAFA alumni.

Bodu Yang

2012

/ MFA

Bodu Yang decided to make museums her main subject in her paintings, as PAFA’s museum was a critical factor in her artistic development. “I really value the relationship between artwork and exhibition spaces.”

Aaron Fowler

2011

/ BFA

Aaron Fowler first came to art-making after the tragic loss of his 6-year-old cousin. “After drawing him I felt a whole lot better about the situation, as if I had gone to therapy,” says Fowler.

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