The William Penn Foundation has awarded PAFA
a grant in the amount of $440,000. The grant will fund a three-year Contemporary Art Program that will support the production of new art, encourage the broadest understanding of contemporary art practice, and expand audiences for both contemporary and historical art at PAFA.
"This grant is a major step forward in making contemporary art more accessible to the public and to advancing Philadelphia's identity nationally as a center for contemporary art," comments Edna S. Tuttleman Museum Director David Brigham.
PAFA's multi-year contract with the William Penn Foundation will be used in support of the following forthcoming exhibitions:
-Philagrafikia: The Graphic Unconscious (January - April, 2010)
-Five solo exhibitions of young and emerging artists in the Morris Gallery (May 2010 - December 2011)
-We're All Still Here (October 2011 - January 2012)
These projects will promote the work of established and emerging artists, provide opportunities for the development and display of new work, and develop a new supportive context for art from the Philadelphia region. Through these exhibitions, it is PAFA's intention to present work of the highest quality created by artists regionally and nationally and, framed by the Academy's renowned American art collection, encourage a rich debate about contemporary ideas and their antecedents.
Julien Robson, PAFA's Curator of Contemporary Art states, "This is a great vote of confidence in our programming plans and allows PAFA to move into a new and dynamic phase of contemporary exhibitions that will promote regional artists in a national and international context while expanding audiences within the city and the region."
Philagrafika 2010: The Graphic Unconscious is the inaugural presentation of a multi-sited international festival of contemporary art that will occur in Philadelphia every four years. Philagrafika 2010 will focus on artistic practices that engage the visual, intellectual, and creative frontiers in printmaking and how these approaches relate to social and political issues in the public sphere.
Further developing the Morris Gallery's role and reputation as an important venue for supporting emerging art, PAFA will stage a series of five solo exhibitions. The five artists will be drawn from across the country and the Philadelphia region and their work will be in a diverse range of mediums. In a number of cases this will be an artist's first solo museum exhibition. This series will also provide for the commissioning of new works. Each exhibition will be a platform for the artist's work to be brought to public attention.
We're All Still Here will bring together six curators from other regions, commissioned to collaborate with PAFA's Curator of Contemporary Art to create an exhibition that surveys artists who live outside the main market centers and who make the hot issues of contemporary art their own. Conceived to take account of an artist's "sense of place," this exhibition will provide a platform to support and promote the work of Philadelphia and regional artists demonstrating the vitality of art being made in different parts of the country.
The William Penn Foundation, founded in 1945 by Otto and Phoebe Haas, is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the Greater Philadelphia region through efforts that foster rich cultural expression, strengthen children's futures, and deepen connections to nature and community. In partnership with others, the Foundation works to advance a vital, just, and caring community.