May 7, 2015

PAFA celebrates its 114th Annual Student Exhibition and its 210th commencement

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA)
2014 Annual Student Exhibition, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Photo: Kelly & Massa Photography.

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) presents its 114th Annual Student Exhibition,  May 15 to June 7, at 128 North Broad Street, Philadelphia. The exhibition opens to the public with a reception on May 15.

An academic capstone and professional debut for PAFA students, the ASE offers students the rare opportunity to curate, install, exhibit, and sell their work in the galleries of a major museum. Thousands of people see the work: artists, collectors, curators, as well as the general public.

The longest-standing exhibition of its kind, the Annual Student Exhibition (ASE) is one of the most highly anticipated student group shows in the country. This year’s ASE will feature approximately 1,000 works in various media by 37 graduating MFA students and 49 Certificate and BFA students.

The ASE opening reception will take place immediately after the school’s 210th commencement ceremony on May 15 at 3pm at PAFA, 118 North Broad Street, Philadelphia.

Acclaimed sculptor Donald Lipski will address the class of 2015 as the Commencement speaker. Lipski is widely recognized for his installation work and large-scale works for public spaces. His work is in the permanent collections of dozens of museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and The Art Institute of Chicago.

Artist, filmmaker and PAFA alumnus David Lynch will be awarded with an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree. Lynch, who is unable to attend the ceremony, will acknowledge the award with a video message to the graduating class. In 2014, PAFA presented David Lynch: The Unified Field, the first major U.S. museum exhibition of Lynch’s work. Organized in close collaboration with the artist, The Unified Field received universal critical acclaim.

PAFA will present the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award to James Havard. Havard studied at PAFA from 1961 to 1965. He was a winner of many awards at PAFA, including the William Emlen Cresson Memorial award and the J. Henry Schiedt Memorial award. His work is included in public collections at institutions including PAFA; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Museum of Modern Art (Stockholm), and many others.

The 2015 Alumni Distinguished Service Award is being presented to Hilarie V. Hawley, who served for 13 years as President of the Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, which has operated with the mission of “artists helping artists” since 1897.


Founded in 1805, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) is America’s first school of fine arts and museum. A recipient of the 2005 National Medal of Arts presented by the President of the United States, PAFA is a recognized leader in fine arts education. Nearly every major American artist has taught, studied, or exhibited at PAFA. The institution’s world-class collection of American art continues to grow and provides what only a few other art institutions in the world offer: the rare combination of an outstanding museum and an extraordinary faculty known for its commitment to students and for the stature and quality of its artistic work.


PAFA celebrates its 114th Annual Student Exhibition and its 210th commencement

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