Points of View Speaker Series

For Freedoms Town Hall: Art, Citizenship and Engagement
Thursday, October 18th, 6:00 pm
Free with a registration.

Four of Philadelphia’s cultural institutions come together for an artist-led evening of talks that look at how art deepens public discussions of civic issues and core values. Organized around the four freedoms articulated by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1941, these short but impactful glimpses into the engaged practices of four different artist projects will present timely and inspiring new perspectives on the collective power of artists and the importance of free dialogue. Presenting artists include Rina Banerjee, Shawn Theodore, Richard Watson and young artists from Mural Arts Philadelphia. Presenting organizations include the African American Museum in Philadelphia; Philadelphia Photo Arts Center; Mural Arts Philadelphia; and PAFA. 



Book Discussion: Mindy Kaling’s Why Not Me?
Saturday, November 3rd, 2:00 – 3:40 pm
$15 / Free for PAFA Members and Students

Over the last ten years, Indian American women have become increasingly present in the cultural dialogue surrounding identity and dislocation, and increasingly visible in popular culture. Built on the popular book club tradition of socializing around literature, this program uses Mindy Kaling’s 2015 book as a point of entry to the exhibition Rina Banerjee: Make Me A Summary of the World, where the artist explores similar themes of feminism, intersectionality, and the experience of being “other.” Read the book before you come, enjoy a light afternoon tea, and dive into lively discussion with other bookworms, artists and PAFA Professor Chelsey Everest.



Njedeka Akunyili: Living on the Hyphen
Friday, November 9th, 12:00 pm
Free with a registration.

MacArthur Foundation Grant Award-winning artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby creates large-scale works that seamlessly intertwine classical modes of painting with drawing, collage, and printmaking. Taking as their subject issues of transnationality, love, and diaspora, the works draw the viewer into interior spaces that are both fictional and rooted in the Nigerian-born, Los Angeles-based artist’s experience. In this lecture, PAFA alum Akunyili Crosby will speak about her success and artist practice since her days at the Academy.

Registration for this event is now closed.

Frank Furness: Architecture in the Age of the Great Machines 
Saturday, November 10, 2:00 pm$15 / Free for Members
Private Pre-Talk Tour: $25 / $10 PAFA Member (Includes registration for lecture)
This program will be followed by a book signing with the author.


Frank Furness has remained a curiosity to architectural historians and critics, somewhere between an icon and an enigma, whose importance and impact have yet to be properly evaluated or appreciated. In this lecture that places Furness’ story within the industrial culture that supported his work, George Thomas, Ph.D., author and Harvard faculty member, presents Furness as a cutting-edge revolutionary who launched the beginnings of modern design, played a key part in its evolution, and whose strategies continue to affect the built world.


Toward a More Global Philadelphia
Saturday, November 17th 2:00 pm
$15 General Admission / Free for Members


How we tell our story to the world directly affects life at home. The narratives created by artists, historians, journalists, and tourism bureaus have a direct effect on the communities they speak about, influencing economics, job markets, educational systems, and the sense of camaraderie a city’s residents feel for each other. A globally relevant Philadelphia encourages city-wide aspirations for improvement and creates the ability to dream of brighter futures for all residents. This panel of dreamers includes professionals working at the intersections of all these fields, who come together to share their expertise, their tips, and their aspirations for Philadelphia’s importance in global conversations.


This program is a partnership with Global Philadelphia Association




We’re All A Summary of Our Worlds: Three Dialogues
Saturday, December 1, 1 – 4:30 p.m.
$25 / $10 Members and Students

Join PAFA for an afternoon of dialogues exploring themes that transcend historic moments and geographical boundaries, like the tension between craft and art, the way commodities trade has defined cultures, and the influence of life on the hyphen for contemporary artists working between multiple home communities.

1:30 Portrait of a Woman in Silk: Blending macro and micro history with nuanced gender analysis, Zara Anishanslin, Assistant Professor of History and Art History at the University of Delaware, and Curator of Historical American Art, Anna Marley, discuss how making, buying, and using goods in the British Atlantic created an object-based community that tied its inhabitants together, while also allowing for different views of Empire.
2:30 The Harmony of the Spheres: Maria Berrio is a mixed media Colombian artist residing in Brooklyn, New York. Berrio’s works, large in scale and comprised of diversely sourced patterned papers and images, depict re-appropriated stories that blur biographical memory with lush paradises and beings found in South American folklore.
3:30 String, Felt, Thread: The Hierarchy of Art and Craft: Long debated in the world of art and design, this tangled debate will be the subject of a discourse between Elissa Auther, Windgate Research Curator at the Museum of Art and Design, and Curator of Contemporary Art Jodi Throckmorton.