Press Release

PAFA Announces 2018 Recipient of the Anne Bryan Memorial Award

PHILADELPHIA (May 7, 2018) – The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) is pleased to announce that Aubrey Brown, a graduating Illustration student in the Certificate program, is the recipient of this year’s Anne Bryan Memorial Award.

The award will be announced at the Spring Prize Ceremony, preceding Commencement, on May 11, 2018 at 11 am in the Rotunda in PAFA’s Historic Landmark Building.

The Anne Bryan Memorial Award is named for Anne Bryan, a PAFA student who died in the Salvation Army Thrift Store building fire and collapse on June 5, 2013 at 22nd and Market Streets in Center City. Five others died and 14 people were injured in the collapse.

The Award was established by Anne’s mother, Nancy Winkler, in her name and was designed to support PAFA students on their artistic journey.

Students may use the $5,000 award to develop business plans, travel, research, create a web and social media presence, rent space for a working studio or pop-up gallery, initiate an artist co-op or join a cooperative gallery, purchase material or equipment needed to create work, and produce objects for sale.

“I am both honored and grateful to have been chosen as this year’s recipient of the Anne Bryan award,” Aubrey said. “It is especially meaningful to me because I met Anne when I first visited PAFA and I remember thinking she was someone I would like to get to know better, so I was truly horrified to learn about the Salvation Army incident.”

Aubrey plans to pursue a career as a freelance artist in fantasy-focused illustration. He plans to sell work to publications and market pieces at conventions and art fairs. The funds he receives will help him set up a marketing plan, create an online selling platform and social media promotion campaign, and purchase tables and display hardware that will be used at conventions to sell his artwork.

“Out of the many outstanding applications for the Anne Bryan Memorial Award this year, Aubrey Brown’s proposal stands out for its artistic and entrepreneurial vision,” said Clint Jukkala, Dean of the School of Fine Arts. “The passion Aubrey brings to his paintings and illustrations, which draw on mythology, fairytales and fantasy, is matched by his thoughtful approach to marketing his work and connecting with new audiences. Aubrey’s creativity and dedication embrace the spirit of the Anne Bryan Award and will serve him well on his artistic journey as he transitions from student to artist in the world.”

First given out in 2015, the Anne Bryan Memorial Award is endowed through gifts from Anne’s many friends and family members. Anne Bryan was a young artist of great promise—bold, inquisitive, searching, determined, well-read, kind and generous. As a first-year Painting major in PAFA’s Certificate program, faculty described her as someone who pushed them to be their best and who lifted up fellow students who were struggling. The award was established in Anne’s honor to help students realize their potential as practicing artists.

In its four-year history, the Anne Bryan Memorial Award has proven to do just that. Fernando De Jesus, the award’s first recipient, recently completed a commissioned sculpture of a glassblower, which will be placed in the town square in Glassboro, NJ in July. Another previous recipient, Brittany Bennett, used her award to develop her practice as a scientific illustrator and led to her current life as a graduate student in Medical and Biological Illustration at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Last year’s recipient, Fang Fang Ren, used the funds to travel to Berlin to work with refugees from the Syrian crisis and to create work based on her interactions with refugee families.

For Aubrey, PAFA provided many of the tools he needed to develop his thinking along professional lines. “Here at PAFA, I have gotten advice from our resident illustrators, and in my classes with Jessica Abel [Chair of the Illustration program],” he said. “Between the fourth year independent study and the professional practice course, I have gained a solid understanding of the fundamentals of starting a freelance art business, and a much greater sense of control over my own career.”

The dedication of the June 5 Memorial Park is scheduled for June 5, 2018 at 11 am at the former Salvation Army site.

PAFA’s annual Spring Prize competition traditionally takes place at the end of April during the Annual Student Exhibition installation period. Students can submit their work for over 100 prizes and awards, including several travel scholarships. The competition dates back to the earliest days of PAFA’s Certificate program—in the early 1800’s. Some travel scholarships allow students to travel to Europe; others cover tuition for the next year at PAFA.

Last Updated
May 7, 2018 - 11:47 AM

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.