Art professionals conducted senior portfolio reviews

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Friday, March 23rd, 2018

Six artists, gallery professionals and curators visited PCA&D Monday to assist in a first ever portfolio review for the senior fine art and photography majors.

Arranged by Julia Staples, Adjunct Instructor in the Photography Department, as part of the students’ required Professional Practices Class, the event was designed to offer networking opportunities to the students along with practice in talking to professionals and showing their work.

By bringing in a diverse range of professionals from the arts, from diverse locations, we will be creating new relationships for the students and the institution. This could lead to potential collaborations with PCA&D where we could establish an ongoing relationship for potential internships or future speakers and supporters of the College.

 The visiting artists were:

  • Libby Modern, founder of Modern Art, an art and design studio in Lancaster, PA.   Modern Art uses creativity and quirky design thinking to provide an entry point into positive change making. Modern Art’s interactive projects, workshops, events and machines challenge complex systems of thought. Libby graduated with a degree in History and Russian Studies from Princeton University, then studied design and art direction at the Creative Circus in Atlanta, GA.
  • Whitney López, a Brooklyn-bred and Philadelphia-based disabled, gender non-conforming/nonbinary trans mixed media creator, performer, and independent curator of African American and Boricua descent. With two visual artists for parents, creating has always been a part of López’s world. Their visual work and performance art uses their background in Anthropology and Africana Studies as a lens to examine, decolonize, and reconstruct aspects of their own identity. Through fiber and imagery, López explores hairiness, accessibility, queerness, gender identity, Blackness, and Latinidad, while fully embracing absurdity and macabre humor. They have a collaborative, interactive exhibition with artist Eva Wo on display at William Way LGBT Community Center in Philadelphia.
  • Ginny Kollak, a Philadelphia-based independent curator whose interdisciplinary exhibition projects have dipped into topics as diverse as offshore finance, geologic time, postmodern fiction, synesthesia, and the iconography of stripes. Kollak was Curator at the Berman Museum at Ursinus College (Collegeville, PA) from 2013 to 2017; she started her career at the Tang Museum at Skidmore College (Saratoga Springs, NY). In 2017 she was a curator-in-residence at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Alberta, Canada, and in 2011 she participated in the prestigious Young Curators’ Residency program at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin, Italy. She holds a BA from Williams College and MA from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College.
  • Stephanie Bursese is Philadelphia Creative Collaboratives Program Manager at Haverford College . In addition, Bursese makes work that investigates photography’s role in limiting perspective; she uses site-specific installations, book forms, and printed images to create loops of meaning within spatial and psychological spaces. Her work has been shown in numerous galleries, museums, and publications nationally and internationally; she is represented in both private and public collections. She has published two books of photographs, Razor Thin Rock Hard (2013) and Belt and Brace (2015), and is currently working on new book tied to her exhibit ‘to skip, to gloss’. Bursese earned a B.F.A from the University of Florida and her M.F.A. from Syracuse University and works as the Program Manager for the Philadelphia Area Creative Collaboratives program at Haverford College, a new initiative funded by the Mellon Foundation. She is an artist member at Vox Populi Gallery in Philadelphia where she lives and works.
  • Matt Kalasky is a designer, educator and arts organizer living in Philadelphia. Kalasky is also , Education and Programs Manager, The Galleries at Moore College of Art & Design where he oversees all community collaborations, programming, and education initiatives. In fall of 2017 he organized Bodyworks, a festival of performances, workshops and collaborative projects that examined the body as both material and tool in contemporary performance. Incorporating practices of dance, theatre, costume, and sound, this exhibition brought together a diverse group of Philadelphia artists who use their bodies to engage viewers with their craft and create new spaces for social action, dialogue and representation. Through his position at Moore, He also manages the Collaboration Lab which is an ongoing partnership between The Galleries and the U School — a Philadelphia public high school in Kensington. Past Collaboration Lab projects have included a year-long arts, activism and technology program called Open Windows; a student-created gallery audio guide; a reused material fashion project; and most recently a semester-long dance/fashion exploratory curriculum. He received his MFA in Sculpture from the Tyler School of Art; was the Director and Co-Founder of the online arts organization The St.Claire; and was a member of the Vox Populi artist collective.
  • Christian Hansen, a Philadelphia artist, is the creator of A Puzzlement Laboratory, a travelling experiment creating participatory community based Arts and Crafts projects investigating how our differences can be invitations to community. According to Christian, also known as Ask Nicely, Develop awareness of the importance of how every individual’s effort has importance and that the coordination and communication of the effort can lead to better appreciation of options. He is a collaborator in the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s ongoing Philadelphia Assembled exhibition, telling the story of active resistance and radical community building through the personal and collective narratives that make up Philadelphia’s changing urban fabric.

According to organizer Staples, “For the students, benefits from participating could manifest as internship opportunities, future jobs or professional opportunities such as getting exhibitions or freelance work.”