Press Release

PAFA Announces 2015 Fine Arts Venture Fund Recipients

PAFA Announces 2015 Fine Arts Venture Fund Recipients

Over $22,000 awarded to PAFA students to advance their artistic goals

PHILADELPHIA (February 23, 2015) -- The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) is pleased to announce the recipients of the PAFA Fine Arts Venture Fund for 2015.

The Venture Fund was established in 2014 to support students' artistic goals and encourage their developing professional practices. The first program of its kind at PAFA, it allows students to engage in a grant-seeking process in which they develop a unique art project, write a grant proposal and, for the semi-finalists in the process, present their work to funders. 

"PAFA is committed not only to teaching excellence in the studio but also the business practices to succeed professionally as an artist. This new Fine Arts Venture Fund trains our students to be intentional in developing their careers and to compete for opportunities while also helping fund their near-term goals," says David Brigham, PAFA President and CEO.

This year, 24 students submitted grant proposals, with funding requests ranging from several hundred to several thousand dollars. The Venture Fund awarded more than $22,000 to 15 of the applicants. The 2015 awardees include painters, sculptors, installation artists and video-based artists at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

The 2015 Fine Arts Venture Fund recipients are: Claire Kowalewski (Cert./BFA '15); D.L. Zartner (MFA '15); Mary Ramirez (MFA '15); Dee Glazer (MFA '16); Alma Selimovic (MFA '15); Madeline Fried (Cert./BFA '16); Freeman Schlesinger (Cert./BFA '17); Jillian Schley (MFA '15); Andrew Perez (BFA '15); Jonathan Newman (MFA '16); SaraNoa Mark (Cert./BFA '15); Chelsea Allen (BFA '15); Taylor Hickman (Cert./BFA '15); Sean Hildreth (MFA '15); and Julie Thompson (MFA '15).

"We are inspired by the ideas presented, the artwork created and take pride in our students and in the tremendous difference a modest gift can make in the lives of working artists. We invite others to join us in our investment in PAFA's talent," says Anne McCollum, Venture Fund founder, and PAFA Trustee, Development Committee Co-Chair and Assistant Treasurer. 

Among the projects enabled by the grants are Madeline Fried's "Safety Net" installation using award ribbons inspired by summer camp; Sean Hildreth's large-scale "cave paintings" honoring his childhood home; Yoni Newman's creation of a robot that can teach drawing; Jillian Schley's efforts to open an independent gallery (Automat) with five other students; and SaraNoa Mark's purchase of woodcutting tools to create a large-scale book composed of carved paper. 

Student works created under the auspices of the Fine Arts Venture Fund will be on display at PAFA this spring, and some will be included in the 114th Annual Student Exhibition, on view May 15 - June 7, 2015.

One of the most highly anticipated events at PAFA each year, the ASE is the largest and longest-standing exhibition of its kind, featuring over 1,000 works of art by third- and fourth-year Certificate students and graduating MFA and BFA students.

Last Updated
February 24, 2015 - 1:28 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, Thomas Eakins, William Glackens, Barkley L. Hendricks, Violet Oakley, Louis Kahn, David Lynch, and Henry Ossawa Tanner.