Press Release

PAFA Presents a Forum on Art and the Election

PAFA Presents a Forum on Art and the Election
What is the role and responsibility of artists
in responding to a nation divided?

Friday – Sunday, November 3 – 5, 2017

PHILADELPHIA (October 9, 2017) – Marking one year since the most recent national election, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) presents a weekend filled with community discussions and artmaking, focusing on art, civic engagement and the political process. In our current political climate, what is the role and responsibility of artists in responding to a nation divided? How can your voice be part of that conversation? Visit PAFA’s galleries for free on the anniversary weekend of the country’s last Presidential election and explore the answers to this question.

A Forum on Art and the Election
Friday, November 3, 6 p.m.
FREE / Registration encouraged

Brooke Davis Anderson, PAFA’s Edna S. Tuttleman Director of the Museum, and artists Sonya Clark and Amos Paul Kennedy, Junior, host a lively community conversation that asks how we should respond to a nation divided and offers a chance for artists and audiences to contemplate the wide variety of answers. The artists will discuss their own work, how politics relates to practice, and Anderson will consider how art institutions like PAFA can stay relevant with contemporary issues.

Teen Summit
Saturday, November 4, 10:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
By invitation

PAFA is partnering with the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and other teen-serving arts organizations to convene Philadelphia’s teen leaders for a hands-on, interactive session that will explore how arts and culture can help young people break through the political, social and economic divides they face.

Sonya Clark’s Unraveling
Saturday, November 4, 3 p.m.
FREE / Registration encouraged


In this performance, artist Sonya Clark invites visitors to work with her side-by-side in the museum galleries to unravel a confederate battle flag, slowly deconstructing it thread by thread over the course of an afternoon. The whole process takes months and many hands. The cloth becomes a metaphor, something investigated and picked apart. In the artist’s words, Unraveling encourages “us to think about the complexity of what happened here in this country that gave rise to this flag. It’s not easy for us to undo. It requires community and persistence.”


Family Arts Academy Workshop with Amos Paul Kennedy, Junior
Sunday, November 5, 2 p.m.
FREE / Registration encouraged

A participatory print-making workshop with artist Amos Paul Kennedy, Junior, brings community members together as one voice with many messages.

Last Updated
March 26, 2018 - 2:42 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.