Perspectives: Stories from PAFA

A platform for artists, scholars, and art enthusiasts—explore our rich history and culture of contemporary art making.

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Critiques are integral to the learning and curricular experience at PAFA, designed to push students and make the most of their time while in school. Second-year MFA student Jess Aquino discusses her experiences with the critique process, and how they have shaped the work she makes.

Who came first—Philadelphia or New York? In "From the Schuylkill to the Hudson: Landscapes of the Early American Republic," PAFA explores an untold version of American art history.

An unexpected job loss in 2011 forced Illustration student Frank Genuardi '19 to rethink his future and reconsider past decisions. So Genuardi went back to community college with the intent to earn a degree in business. Upon re-enrolling, he discovered he was a few credits shy of earning a degree in Fine Arts. After graduating, he chose to continue studying art at PAFA. Genuardi was selected by his classmates to give the Undergraduate Speech at this year's Commencement Exercises.

An artist’s education doesn’t end at graduation. PAFA has a long-standing tradition of encouraging artists to explore the world and travel. Awarded each spring, PAFA's travel prizes—the Cresson, von Hess, and the newly-established Rubens—are among the most coveted at the Academy.

Rhona Hofmeyr '20 is a trained opera singer and studies sculpture at PAFA. After a summer study abroad trip to Greece, she was inspired to create more installations, which allows her to merge her creative interests.

To get prepared for a digital career in video games, PAFA-Penn student Gianna Del Rossi '20 chose to PAFA to study traditional fine art and focus on her technical skills. After finishing up at PAFA this spring, Del Rossi is going on to study at the University of Pennsylvania with a focus on mythology and classical studies. Those subjects are where she draws much of the inspiration for her art and soon-to-be video games.

There are several Walt Whitman-related artworks in PAFA’s collection, but in celebration of Whitman’s 200th birthday, contemporary curator Jodi Throckmorton thought there was room for one more Whitman work in the permanent collection. She commissioned artist Mark Stockton to create a drawing of the poet, which is currently on view in the exhibition, "Multitudes: Whitman at 200," curated by PAFA's Youth Council program.

Cardin Moffett '19 came to PAFA to study painting but he couldn’t shake the nearly 20 years experience he has working in technology, as a graphic designer and programmer. As a recipient of a grant from PAFA’s Fine Arts Venture Fund, Moffett was able to marry his technology skills with art and create "Living Systems," now on view as part of the Annual Student Exhibition.

Graduation is a time when many students are getting ready to join “the real world” and are often uncertain of the road ahead for them. But PAFA’s 2019 graduation speaker, artist Chitra Ganesh, urges students to recognize that while they are on the cusp of something new they shouldn’t discount the experiences they’ve already had.

As he prepares for the Annual Student Exhibition, the impact Philadelphia's landscape on Daniel Flinchbaugh's (BFA '19) artistic work is apparent—the city is deeply reflected in the subject matter and presentation of his work. After graduating from PAFA this May, Daniel plans to attend UPenn for landscape architecture. He believes his graduate work will inform his artistic practice and vice versa.