Visiting Artist Program

Student Organizations & Programs

This student-run program brings an outstanding roster of local, national and international artists to PAFA each semester for lectures, critiques, and workshops. The program exposes students and the public to a range of artistic approaches and fosters discussion about contemporary art and ideas.

VAP Artist Lecture Schedule

All lectures are free and take place from 11:45am - 1:00pm.  Some lectures will be held online and others will be held in person in PAFA's Rhoden Arts Center.  See the Fall 2022 list of artists for more information.  

PAFA students do not need to register for these public programs—check your student email account for invitations to the online lectures. The public may attend by registering through the museum events page.

Catch up on past artist talks by enjoying recordings of last season on our YouTube channel.

Fall 2022 VAP Series

Micka Thurin

Mickayel (Micka) Thurin - September 14, 2022

Rhoden Arts Center | 11:45am - 1:00pm 

Mickayel (Micka) Thurin is a Haitian American artist born in 1987 in Newport News, VA. She grew up in NY, VA and MI. She eventually landed in Philadelphia, PA to attend the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) where she studied painting. Thurin’s chief influences have consistently been faces, expressive color, pattern, and texture. Her works play within the realms of trauma, social injustice, the human experience, spirituality, mindfulness, self-love, and honest vulnerability. She is interested in artists such as Soutine, Bonnard, Alice Neel, Bisa Butler, Amoako Boafo, Evita Tezeno, Willem de Kooning, Mitzi Melnicoff, Lissy Funk, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. The majority of her works tend to be colorful, expressive, abstracted portraiture done with mixed media. They often contain embroidery, tufting, and collage.

Dawn Kramlich

Dawn Kramlich - September 28, 2022

Rhoden Arts Center | 11:45am - 1:00pm 

Dawn Kramlich is a Texas-born artist and writer living and working in Philadelphia. Her work examines systems of power in language through the disciplines of painting and poetry amid a lens of queer studies and intersectional feminism. Kramlich earned her BA degree from Muhlenberg College, producing the first cross-major creative honors thesis (ekphrastic painting + poem pairs) in the history of Muhlenberg’s English and Art departments. While at Muhlenberg, Kramlich became a member of the Phi Beta Kappa National Honors Society and graduated magna cum laude with honors. She then moved to Philadelphia and earned her MFA in Studio Art from Moore College of Art & Design, culminating in an art installation and written thesis titled "Palimpsestual Responses: The Limits of Language in Contemporary Society.”

Kramlich has shown her work widely in the US and internationally in Ireland. Most notably, her work was included in Maus Contemporary's Capitolism: The Normalization of Political Violence in the United States exhibition in 2021, Rowan University Gallery's exhibition entitled Dialogic alongside John Giorno, Jaume Plensa, Jenny Holzer, and Glenn Ligon in 2013, in the 4-person installation-based exhibition entitled PaperScapes at the Philadelphia Art Alliance in 2017, and in the 3-person exhibition titled Beyond the Screen at the Main Line Art Center in 2018. Her artwork has been published in "Muhlenberg Magazine," "CODAmagazine," "THE magazine," and the online version of "Creative Quarterly."

Jean Sbarra Jones

Jean Sbarra Jones - October 5, 2022

Rhoden Arts Center | 11:45am - 1:00pm 

Jean Sbarra Jones received her MFA from Boston University and her BFA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She has exhibited widely since 1993 and has received many honors and awards, including multiple residencies at the Vermont Studio School and the Nan Award (Boston University). Jean's paintings have been included in shows juried by well-known artists such as William Bailey, Judy Chicago, Faith Ringgold and Donald Sultan. Her work is included in many private collections, including the estate of the late Kenneth Noland, a well-known 1960’s color field painter. Her work is represented by Alpha Gallery in Boston, MA. Since 2009, Jones has taught at the Massachusetts College of Art & Design. Prior to that, she taught at the Art Institute of Boston (now part of Lesley University) and the New England School of Art & Design, among others.

Lauren Whearty

Lauren Whearty - October 12, 2022

Rhoden Arts Center | 11:45am - 1:00pm 

Lauren Whearty is an artist, educator, and curator living and working in Philadelphia, PA. She received her MFA from The Ohio State University (Columbus, OH), and her BFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University (Philadelphia, PA) and has been a Co- Director at Ortega y Gasset Projects, an artist run curatorial collective and non-profit in Brooklyn, NY since 2017. Lauren has attended residencies such as Yale’s Summer School of Art through the Ellen Battel Stoeckel Fellowship, The Vermont Studio Center, Soaring Gardens Artist Retreat through the Ora Lerman Trust, and the Golden Foundation Artist Residency. She has recently received grants from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation and Joseph Roberts Foundation. 

Hernease Davis

Hernease Davis - October 26, 2022

Online | 11:45am - 1:00pm 

Hernease Davis earned her MFA from ICP-Bard College and widely exhibits multimedia installations throughout the U.S. Using photograms, cyanotypes on fabric, crochet and sound installation, Hernease creates immersive spaces of rest for herself and others. Work from her new cyanotype series, " love." debuted as a part of the SHIFT Residency 2020-21 hybrid exhibition at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts in NewYork City. She has also exhibited with the Silver Eye Center (Pittsburgh), Transformer Station (Cleveland), the International Center of Photography (New York City), the Visual Studies Workshop (Rochester), Tiger Strike Asteroid (Brooklyn), the Houston Center for Photography, and was named to the inaugural Silver List which recognizes emerging photo-based artists who are advancing the medium. She has been featured in Front Runner Magazine, LensCulture, and her work inspired an article in Musée Magazine that explored facets of trauma. Hernease teaches in the MFA program at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, NY. She also served as a Visiting Lecturer at ICP-Bard where she led a course exploring empathy through art practice.

Christiane Cegavske

Christine Cegavske - November 9, 2022

Online | 11:45am - 1:00pm 

2019 Guggenheim Fellow Christiane Cegavske grew up among the dark firs and gnarly oaks of Oregon. The woodland environment left a permanent mark upon her creative work, in which her anthropomorphic creatures live out their dramas in natural settings. Cegavske’s work blurs the boundaries between fine art and animation and her gallery art supports and enhances her films, using dreamlike motifs in different mediums. Her finely crafted stop-motion animation is comparable only to a handful of creators in its expressiveness and artistic quality. Recurring themes make their way through Cegavske’s work in widely varied mediums, the expression shifting among her paintings, sculpture, film, quilts, or dolls. She is working on her second animated feature film, Seed in the Sand, which explores survival in the midst of ecological and emotional collapse through the adventures of furry creatures, a masked woman, dancing rag dolls, and a vicious sea monster. This masked woman also appears in her paintings and sculpture. In the film Cegavske plays this enigmatic figure wearing a painted life-mask of her own face. The rag dolls appear in Seed in the Sand dancing on an animated dream island and tormenting the masked woman, and feature prominently in her Cottonflesh Sacrifice installation as life-size sewn cotton versions at Cegavske’s exact height of five-foot-three and in many of her paintings and miniature sculptures. Red string winds its way into everything she does.

Allison Zuckerman

Allison Zuckerman - November 16, 2022

Online | 11:45am - 1:00pm 


Allison Zuckerman is an American contemporary artist. Her work takes art historical paintings and internet culture as a point of departure, utilizing both paint and digitally manipulated images to create acerbic, hybrid portraits, brimming with cultural and societal critique. These colorful pop collages are created from fragments of Zuckerman’s past work, imagery of iconic paintings, and overlaid entirely with paint. Zuckerman’s knowledge of art history and popular culture is deployed with sly ambiguity,alternating between reverence and shrewd criticism. Shortly after receiving her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Zuckerman attracted the interest of the influential art patrons Don and Mera Rubell, who offered her a residency at their Miami museum. Zuckerman has presented work in galleries across the globe and has exhibited her work in solo museum shows at The Akron Art Museum, The Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, The University of Florida in Gainesville, and the Rubell Museum. Some of her notable collaborations include Veuve Clicquot, TODs, Charli XCX, Elle USA, and Vogue Italia.


Catch Up on Some Talks You Missed


Stories from the Visiting Artist Program

MFA student Lily Brown hosts a zoom session

"The most important thing I have learned is what it feels like when my voice and decisions have power. The choices Lily, Marley, and I make about who we will invite is a responsibility that far outweighs the administrative work in the background. We are not only representing PAFA and our student body, we are also helping to create the art world we want to be part of." –Kristy Jane (Low-Res MFA '22), VAP coordinator

Claudia Valenti (MFA '20) in her studio

“Visiting artists like Haley Josephs have come into my studio and I lost my mind. It was such an incredible experience; you get a total random chance to meet an artist you’ve been following for years. Usually these programs are not run by students, so it’s really exciting to be able to have that agency in school.” – Claudia Valenti (MFA ’20), previous VAP coordinator