Sunday, May 15, 2011


Last Friday evening a friend and I went to check out the Annual Student Exhibition (or "ASE") at the venerable Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (or "PAFA") right here in Philadelphia. This event constitutes a Big Deal here in our fair city of brotherly love, as this represents the work of the best and brightest products of the institution known far and wide as this nation's oldest fine art museum and school. Pomp! Publicity! Prizes! And, hopefullly most importantly, Art.

While there was a great amount of work on display, from not only the 3rd and 4th year certificate program and BFA students but also the MFA student body - therefore making for an interesting but slightly overwhelming viewing session - I have selected out a few of the pieces which grabbed me upon first viewing to mention here. First off was Alabama native Christina Weaver, whose wall of work centered on paintings and charcoal drawings of bridal gowns. While bridal gowns wouldn't normally strike me as a compelling subject, the artist's superior painting and drawing skills, paint handling, use of composition all conbined with spooky atmospheric effect of the works made her wall immediately eye-catching. Here's one of the paintings:

Brides and Accessories, 49"x35", oil on canvas, by Christina Weaver

Another series of pieces which stood out for me were a series of eye paintings (how curious that I would be drawn to eye paintings, ha) by artist Mark B. Goodson. The idea behind the paintings is that they are "The Critical Eye of PAFA," in other words, close-ups of the eyes of all of the faculty critics in the MFA program. See them all at this link on Mark B. Goodson's website or see this one below as an example:

The Critical eye of PAFA 2010 - a series of 12 paintings
(this one above is of Tom Csaszar)
2010, oil on canvas, each panel (as above) 6"x 12"

The last series of pieces which struck me as memorable were graphite drawings on illustration board by Karen David, an MFA student for whom I can unfortunately find no website (so I'll have to post my crappy photos from my crappy camera). They were delicately rendered and utterly disturbing in a kind of 1920s Dada-ist vein, but wonderfully so - here are photos of her work taken by me, a terrible photographer with a terrible camera:

Drawings by artist Karen David

There was, of course, much more to the show... this guy's work, and this guy, for example, etc. etc., but, as I mentioned, so much work quickly became visual overload. And I don't want to have blog post overload either! So that's all I'm posting. If you're in the Philadelphia area, go check out the show yourself, it's up until June 8th. Check out

Time to go get some painting of my own done, people! Peace out.