Press Release

PAFA Announces Innovative Scholarship-Granting Exhibition

PAFA Announces Innovative Scholarship-Granting Exhibition

Juried exhibition Crosscurrents is the first of its kind; open to undergraduates at select art schools, winner receives PAFA scholarship

PHILADELPHIA (December 14, 2016) -- The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) has awarded a full scholarship to its Master of Fine Arts program as part of a first-of-its-kind juried exhibition of undergraduate art work from around the country.

The exhibition, Crosscurrents, was open exclusively to third- and fourth-year undergraduate students attending any of the 42 art schools in the U.S. and Canada that are members of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD).

Didier William, Chair of MFA Programs; Jan Baltzell, Painting Professor; and Colleen Asper, Visiting Critic, served as jurors. Of more than 300 submissions received, 37 artists from Maine to California were selected to show their work in Crosscurrents, on view through January 15 at PAFA, 128 North Broad Street in Philadelphia.

Among the selected artists, Isabelle Schipper, a student at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), was chosen as the recipient of a full-tuition scholarship to the MFA program at PAFA. Schipper, a fourth-year painting major at MICA, intends to begin her graduate studies at PAFA in fall 2017.

"Including eight current PAFA students, the works chosen for the exhibition demonstrate a high level of material rigor and exciting intellectual and conceptual propositions by the some of the most talented and curious undergraduates in the country," said MFA Chair Didier William.

PAFA's MFA program is an intensive, two-year experience focused on studio practice and individual artistic development. The program is interdisciplinary in nature and welcomes students working in a variety of media with a wide range of interests. Through seminars, studio classes, critiques, and visiting artists, students are exposed to diverse viewpoints and approaches to art making.

The program cultivates a strong sense of community, as students are both supported and challenged by their peers and faculty. It fosters independent, critical thinkers and makers who are engaged members of their artistic communities.

"We're excited for the inaugural year of this innovative exhibition, which has provided a way for artists from different schools to show together in PAFA's museum galleries" said Clint Jukkala, Dean of the School of Fine Arts. "Crosscurrents has given us an opportunity to get a wide view of the talented students and diverse work coming out of our partner AICAD schools."

A nonprofit consortium of 42 leading art schools in North America, AICAD was founded in 1991 by a group of 25 art college presidents. Its mission is to strengthen the member colleges individually and collectively, and to inform the public about these colleges and the value of studying art and design.


Founded in 1805, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) is America's first school and museum of fine arts. A recipient of the 2005 National Medal of Arts, PAFA is a leader in fine arts education with a world-class permanent collection of American art. 

Last Updated
December 14, 2016 - 9:55 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, Thomas Eakins, William Glackens, Barkley L. Hendricks, Violet Oakley, Louis Kahn, David Lynch, and Henry Ossawa Tanner.