Helen of Troy’s face may have launched a thousand ships, but the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts’ curriculum has launched countless artists’ careers. Marking the end of students’ time at the country’s first and oldest art school and museum in the country, the 115th Annual Student Exhibition , open from May 13 through June 5, gives attendees a chance to see the work of students on the cusp of a professional career.
The works shown come from the largest- and longest-standing exhibit of students making their professional debut. The various mediums include illustration, drawing, printmaking, painting and sculpture that wow the thousands and thousands of visitors who attend the exhibition.
Taking place in the Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building, nearly 1,000 works of more than 100 emerging and aspiring talents compete for various prizes, including Travel Awards and PAFA’s Spring Prize competition — students can take home more than $170,000 in prizes and scholarships.
The exhibit not only offers MFA students, third- and fourth-year certificate and BFA students an opportunity to display work, but also sell their pieces. Notable alumni who have had their work on vie — and purchased — in previous years include Justin Matherly, Jordan Griska and Njideka Akunyili Crosby.
The free, opening reception takes place the next day, Friday, May 13, following the school’s 211th commencement ceremony.