Stories of Impact

The Broad Street Studio: A Window into the Creative Process

The Broad Street Studio, dedicated by The Albert M. Greenfield Foundation in memory of Barbara L. Greenfield, was completed in the fall of 2016. Already in its first year, the Studio has played host to over a dozen exhibitions of student work, putting PAFA’s dual mission as both a museum and school of the fine arts on dramatic display.  This valuable new public space—located directly on the corner of North Broad Street and Lenfest Plaza—is one of the most dynamic and unique projects made possible by the PAFA First Campaign.

The design and location of this innovative studio and exhibition space have allowed PAFA to showcase a wide breadth of artistic practice to the large, diverse audience of North Broad Street. The Studio has also generated new creative and curatorial opportunities for PAFA students. PAFA Painting Instructor and Resident Critic Stuart Shils has served as an advisor for students exhibiting in the Studio, and noted the effect produced by the change of scenery: “in that space they each really took huge and aggressive steps… something about being let loose in a room with high ceilings alone with themselves to have high-minded fun produced very dramatic and generative results.”

MFA student Justine Ditto was selected as the first artist-in-residence in the Broad Street Studio. She was immediately struck by the potential of the space, noting “Because of this openness there was a high level of energy and flexibility…There was great freedom for me even in just the short time I was able to work there.”

Shils likens the Broad Street Studio to a residency where students can escape the strictures of class work and “follow their curiosity and to learn how to make visual and intellectual inquiry.” The flexibility of the space has also allowed it to be utilized as a classroom and seminar space for PAFA’s undergraduate and graduate courses.

The Broad Street Studio represents an important step in the Campaign’s objective to establish PAFA as an anchor of the newly revitalized North Broad Corridor. In the next phases of the Campaign, PAFA will develop new exterior signage, video display monitors, and architectural features to continue to improve its presence and branding streetside.

PAFA is extremely grateful to The Albert M. Greenfield Foundation’s support in making possible this innovative space, and is pleased to honor Barbara Greenfield’s memory in this way.  We hope that the next time you find yourself on North Broad Street, you stop and enjoy this window into the creative process.

 


Drawn to PAFA

Frank Genuardi is a third-year student in PAFA’s Certificate program, concentrating in Illustration. Like many contemporary illustrators, Frank’s interest in drawing and illustrating began with a love of comic books and grew as he got older and realized the potential of art to tell stories and communicate ideas. Frank chose PAFA to pursue his art degree because of the seriousness of the faculty and students and the intimate setting.

Frank is among the growing body of PAFA Illustration students who are benefitting from the Illustration studio classrooms on the fifth floor of the Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building. The transformation of 25,000 square feet into new facilities to support the Illustration and Low-Residency MFA programs were made possible by the PAFA First capital campaign. According to Frank, “I think the new fifth floor makes the school feel complete. It may be the only place where you can see students doing research, relaxing, working on computers, learning in class, studying, or working on a project all on the same floor. One of the things that makes the floor unique is that while we are going to and from class, we are constantly reminded of the great works of art in the PAFA collection as we pass the Archives and Works on Paper collection. As an illustrator, having the computer lab, multipurpose media studio, library, and the work classrooms all close to each other on the same floor is so invaluable.”