Press Release

120th Annual Student Exhibition & Preview Fundraiser: Celebrate and Support Today's Emerging Artists

One of the most celebrated student-artist group shows in the country and the only taking place in a world-class museum returns for its 120th year.

PHILADELPHIA (April 28, 2021) -- The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) presents its 120th Annual Student Exhibition (ASE), May 14 through June 6 at 128 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, in the Historic Landmark Building and the Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building. On May 13, PAFA will host the school's Commencement ceremonies and the evening's ASE Virtual Preview. Nearly 70 of PAFA's BFA and MFA candidates will be exhibiting, all on the verge of their professional careers. Among the many successful artists who have launched their careers at the Annual Student Exhibition(ASE) are Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Moe Brooker, Jonathan Lyndon Chase, Barkley L. Hendricks, Clarity Haynes, Orit Hofshi, Sarah McEneaney, and Mia Rosenthal. The range of student work will include drawing, illustration, painting, printmaking, mixed media, and more. Patrons can learn more about the students and their creations via the online catalogue, the art sales platform, or by attending one of the public programs on May 6 and May 18, which will feature students discussing their artistic practices and inspiration. 

Celebrating its 120th anniversary, PAFA's ASE is one of the most celebrated student-artist group shows in the country and the only taking place in a world-class museum. While art exhibitions for matriculating students are expected, PAFA's is singularly unique. The show is an academic capstone event and the longest-standing student exhibition of its kind. 

For more than a century, ASE has given students the opportunity to curate, install, and sell their works in the museum's galleries. PAFA's curriculum prepares students for the ASE through studio classes, critiques from faculty and visiting artists, student-organized exhibitions throughout the academic year, workshops on topics ranging from pricing artworks to planning and installing a show, and artwork management practices, and curator discussions. As the first art museum and school in the United States, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts celebrates the transformative power of art and art-making.

"This year's Annual Student Exhibition highlights the incredible resilience, ingenuity, and creativity of PAFA students. In this extraordinary time of the global pandemic and national unrest, these artists have been courageous in their pursuits, making work that reflects both their inner visions and the world around them," shared Executive Dean of the College of Fine Arts, Clint Jukkala. 

ASE offers a rare chance to view and purchase works by the art world's young talents, including winners of PAFA's prestigious travel awards, museum purchase prizes, and other prizes awarded for various categories of excellence. This year's hybrid model (online and in-person) allows thousands of visitors worldwide to see the work, from artists, collectors, curators, and gallery owners to family and friends. 

"The ASE was one of the reasons I chose to pursue a degree at PAFA, and it was just as exhilarating of an experience - as I imagined those years ago. I wish every artist the opportunity to participate in a showcase as diverse and avant-garde as the PAFA ASE. Having my artwork hanging on the same museum walls as so many contemporary and historical greats was so special to me," shared Eustace Mamba (BFA'20, MFA' 22), Judith McGregor Caldwell Purchase Prize. 

The ASE Preview, an annual event presented by the Women's Committee, is a vital source of direct scholarship support and has been for decades. The virtual event on May 13 offers guests an exclusive opportunity to browse and acquire works by these future art stars before the exhibition opens to the public. The ASE Preview and Exhibition is a tradition for art collectors, art lovers, and alumnae.

In recognition of more than 30 years of generous support, the 2021 Honorary Chair is The Albert M. Greenfield Foundation. The ASE Preview Co-Chairs, Marigrace C. Morris and Kathryn Quinn Wright, are dedicated members of the Women's Committee and to the event's success. Proceeds from the Preview and a portion of the art sales benefit much-needed student scholarships at PAFA. These scholarships play a vital role in ensuring that PAFA can continue recruiting, educating, and nurturing the very best and brightest up-and-coming artists. Sponsorships and tickets are available here

The Albert M. Greenfield Foundation has been a generous partner for over 30 years, enabling PAFA to undertake ambitious projects it would not have been able to accomplish otherwise. From the Broad Street Studio in Memory of Barbara Greenfield to the recent creation of new classrooms and studio spaces for PAFA's Animation Major, The Albert M. Greenfield Foundation has supported PAFA's growth on campus and online for decades. Barbara Greenfield was deeply involved with PAFA, with over 50 years of service as a Board Member and member of the Women's Committee. These are only a few examples of the many innovative projects the Greenfield family and The Albert M. Greenfield Foundation have supported. 

PAFA extends a special thank you to our Benefactor sponsors: Bill and Laura Buck, and Ken and Dottie Woodcock; and Partner Sponsors: Marianne Dean, and The Philadelphia Trust Company, and to all Preview supporters. A complete list of sponsors may be found here.

About PAFA

Founded in 1805, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is America's first school and museum of fine arts. A recipient of the National Medal of Arts, PAFA offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the fine arts, innovative exhibitions of historic and contemporary American art, and a world-class collection of American art. PAFA’s esteemed alumni include Mary Cassatt, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, William Glackens, Barkley L. Hendricks, Violet Oakley, Louis Kahn, David Lynch, and Henry Ossawa Tanner.