Press Release

PAFA Announces Preview Party for 116th Annual Student Exhibition

PAFA Announces Preview Party for
116th Annual Student Exhibition

Thursday, May 11, 2017, 4 - 9 p.m.

PHILADELPHIA (April 7, 2017) -- The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) will kick off the 116th Annual Student Exhibition (ASE) with a Preview Party, hosted by PAFA's Women's Board, on Thursday, May 11, 4 - 9 p.m. at PAFA, 128 North Broad Street in Philadelphia.

The ASE Preview Party offers the first opportunity to view and purchase work by 105 PAFA students, including third- and fourth-year undergraduate students, and MFA and Post-Baccalaureate candidates. The majority of the 1,000 works in the ASE each year are purchased on the night of the Preview Party.

The Preview Party is the major annual fundraiser by the Women's Board in support of scholarships. It has an enthusiastic following of savvy art buyers with an eye for work by emerging artists on the verge of their professional careers.

Preview Party guests have the opportunity to discuss the works with PAFA's talented young artists, who are present throughout the evening. Students retain the majority of the purchase price of works sold, and all proceeds from the Preview Party support PAFA student scholarships.

The Annual Student Exhibition and the Preview Party will feature a multitude of experiences for visitors that are unique to this year. Among the undergraduates, Gabrielle Shefski (BFA '17) will present an installation and interactive art-making experience in the new Broad Street Studio, gift of the Albert M. Greenfield Foundation, and Janusz Suchta (BFA '17) will create a virtual reality experience in the first-floor Fisher Brooks gallery, both located in PAFA's Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building.

Among the MFA students, Alexander Coco (MFA '17) is creating an installation that will "convey the debris of remembered experiences," while Holly Matthews (MFA '17) will install her paintings in a carefully created and intimate space intended to provide a respite for exhibition visitors. In addition, prize winning work from throughout the 2016-2017 academic year will be on view in Gallery 128, located on the lower level of the Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building.

"PAFA has a remarkable history of training and launching great artists, from Mary Cassatt to Henry Ossawa Tanner to David Lynch and Barkley Hendricks, and this year will give a glimpse at the next generation of emerging contemporary artists," said David R. Brigham, PAFA President, CEO and Acting Museum Director.

Honorary Chairs for the 2016 Preview Party are Dr. and Mrs. J. Brien Murphy of Haverford. Co-chairs of the event are Kelly Culley of Flourtown and Carolyn Nagy of Bala Cynwyd.

Tickets are sold in multiple tiers, allowing guests different benefits and entry times to visit the exhibition and make their selections: Scholar level ($3,000), Philanthropist level ($1,000), and Connoisseur level ($500) all enter at 4 p.m. Collector level attendees ($300) enter at 5 p.m., Patrons ($250) enter at 6 p.m., and Friends ($150) enter at 7 p.m.The party, sale and festivities continue until 9 p.m. Corporate sponsorships are available starting at $5,000. Tickets to the event and branding on select materials are among the many benefits offered.

The 116th Annual Student Exhibition opens to the public the day after the Preview Party, May 12, and continues until June 4.

For Preview Party tickets and information, visit or call 215-972-2077.


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

Last Updated
April 7, 2017 - 10:15 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.