Press Release

PAFA Announces New Board Members

PHILADELPHIA (July 11, 2019)--The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) is pleased to announce the election of five new members to its Board of Trustees.

The new trustees are:

Valentine James (Jim) Link, Jr. of Flourtown, is Managing Director for PFM Asset Management LLC. He was previously in leadership roles with Wachovia Bank, Manning and Napier, and T. Rowe Price. He earned a B.S. in Economics from Texas A&M University. Jim and his wife, Katharine, have attended Bacchanal since 2014. They are both members of the Union League and the Philadelphia Cricket Club.

Mr. Link said: “Being nominated to the PAFA Board of Trustees is an honor and a pleasure. Growing up in a family that was deeply involved in the arts and education makes PAFA a great place for me to contribute my time and talents. I look forward to helping the Academy achieve its goals and positively impacting the arts community in Philadelphia.”

Kenneth Mitchell, of Haverford, is Principal at Kenneth Mitchell Architect, LLC specializing in residential design. Prior to starting his own firm eight years ago, Kenneth worked for over 26 years in the Philadelphia office of the architectural firm of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. He earned his Master’s in Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis and his Bachelor’s in Environmental Design from the University of Colorado. Kenneth and his wife, Laura, are annual supporters of Bacchanal, the Annual Student Exhibition, and Make a Name at PAFA. Kenneth is a member and Director of The Philadelphia Club. He is also a member of the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, the Society of Architectural Historians, and the American Institute of Architects.

Mr. Mitchell said: “It is a great honor and with a deep sense of responsibility that I join the Board at PAFA. I have been a member of PAFA for over three decades and have a strong affinity for the museums’ collections, exhibits and the training of its students.”

Sandra “Sandy” Norcross, of Cherry Hill, NJ, has attended the Annual Student Exhibition for several years.

Ms. Norcross said, “It’s an honor to be a trustee of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. I will do my best to support the mission of inspiring the public through American art, and educating the student artists.”

Joel Koppelman, of Santa Monica, CA, is a new national trustee. He is the retired co-founder of Primavera Systems in 1983, which he sold to Oracle in 2008, and ran as Oracle Primavera until the end of 2010. He has an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Drexel University. Joel is a former trustee and member of the school committee, as well as an abstract painter and former longtime Continuing Education student.

Mr. Koppelman said: “I am very excited about rejoining PAFA as a national trustee in order to help strengthen PAFA's connections with artists, potential students, collectors, and contributors on the west coast.”

Njideka Akunyili Crosby '06, of Los Angeles, CA, is the new ex-officio trustee. An artist and PAFA alumna born in Nigeria, she was the recipient of PAFA’s 2016 Distinguished Artist Alumni Prize. In 2018, Njideka was honored at Bacchanal. She is a participant in La Biennale di Venezia and the 58th International Art Exhibition, May You Live In Interesting Times, curated by Ralph Rugoff. Recent solo exhibitions include Njideka Akunyili Crosby: The Beautyful Ones, The National Portrait Gallery, London (2018-19), and Counterparts, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, TX (2018-19) and Baltimore Museum of Art, MD (2017-18). She is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Art from Swarthmore College in 2019, a 2017 MacArthur Fellowship, and was awarded Financial Times' “Woman of the Year” in 2016. She earned her BA from Swarthmore College, her Post-Baccalaureate Certificate from PAFA, and her MFA from Yale University School of Art.

Last Updated
August 5, 2019 - 1:06 PM

About PAFA

Founded in 1805, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is the United States’ first school and museum of fine arts. A recipient of the National Medal of Arts, PAFA offers a world-class collection of American art, innovative exhibitions of historic and contemporary American art, and educational opportunities in the fine arts. The PAFA Museum aims to tell America's diverse story through art, expanding who has been included in the canon of art history through its collections, exhibitions, and public programs, while classes educate artists and appreciators with a deep understanding of traditions and the ability to challenge conventions. 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.