Press Release

PAFA Announces Schedule for the 119th Annual Student Exhibition and 2020 Commencement Exercises

PAFA Announces Schedule for 119th Annual Student Exhibition and 2020 Commencement Exercises, Both to Take Place in September 2020

PHILADELPHIA (April 3, 2020) – The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) has announced the revised schedule for its 119th Annual Student Exhibition, and commencement exercises for the graduating class of 2020. In response to the public health threat of COVID-19, these capstone events, which traditionally coincide with the end of the spring academic term, will now be scheduled to take place in September 2020. This update is in alignment with PAFA’s priority and responsibility to protect the health and wellbeing of its community.

The Annual Student Exhibition (ASE) is now scheduled to be on view to the public from September 11—October 3, 2020. The exclusive ASE Preview Party is scheduled to take place on September 10, and commencement exercises are planned to take place on September 11.

An academic capstone exhibition for PAFA’s graduating students, ASE is the longest-running exhibition of its kind and a vital annual event in the city’s cultural calendar. Unlike other graduating student art exhibitions, ASE offers student-artists the chance to curate, install, and sell their work in the setting of a major, historic museum. This culminating exhibition, featuring the work of undergraduate and graduate students, has launched the careers of many internationally-acclaimed artists including Barkley L. Hendricks, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Bo Bartlett, and Jonathan Lyndon Chase.

“The Annual Student Exhibition is one of the most important and exciting events of the year for PAFA,” said David R. Brigham, President & CEO. “While our current global circumstances have necessitated a change in date, we are all very much looking forward to gathering together later this year, to celebrate our students’ extraordinary work in person.”

Net proceeds from ticket sales and sponsorships for the ASE Preview Party, as well as a portion of the proceeds from each student artwork sold, directly support PAFA scholarship funds for current and future students. These funds play a vital role in ensuring that PAFA can continue to recruit, educate, and support the very best and brightest up-and-coming artists. Tickets for the Preview Party, which offers an exclusive opportunity to explore and purchase new works by student-artists before the exhibition opens to the public, are available through the PAFA website.

The 2020 PAFA commencement speaker, ASE Distinguished Alumni Awardee, ASE Alumni Service Awardee, and Preview Party Honorees, will be announced at a later date. PAFA continues to monitor the local and global situation related to COVID-19, including advisories from government and health authorities. In the event that the public health threat persists, and the current schedule for ASE and commencement is deemed potentially unsafe, further updates will be announced.

Last Updated
April 3, 2020 - 1:38 PM

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.