On Monday evening, April 19, 1897, approximately five hundred people met in the Pennsylvania Academy lecture room at the behest of Edward H. Coates, President of PAFA, and Harrison S. Morris, Managing Director, to form an organization of alumni that would become known worldwide as The Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. The idea was quickly endorsed by 32 prominent artists. Robert Vonnoh, a former student and later Academy instructor, suggested that a notice be sent to several thousand alumni and the group was officially formed.
The Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is one of the oldest, alumni art-nonprofit organizations in America. It is an independent entity, staffed solely by volunteers, whose sole purpose is to benefit all PAFA Alumni.
After 124 years the Fellowship is still going strong and is proud to celebrate the 2021 Annual Exhibition at the Gross McCleaf Gallery.
This year’s exhibition is comprised of two shows; a live exhibition featuring 63 works will be on display at Gross McCleaf from November 3 - 27, 2021, and a large virtual show featuring 112 works will remain on view at www.fellowshipgallery.org from November 7 - January 31, 2022. All of the artwork is created by Academy alumni and is for sale.
This year's juror, Rebecca Segall, has selected the artwork and awards.
"It was a pleasure to review the vast array of subjects and media submitted for this year’s Fellowship Annual. Sorting through the many accomplished works posed a difficult challenge; however, a narrative emerged and began to shape the selection. I am grateful to every artist offering their work for review.
This body of work beckoned me toward an alternative world… a not all-together comfortable place with more questions than answers, and the lingering feeling of dislocation.
In this unknown, dreamlike place, I wonder what has happened to the land that surrounds me. The scent of metal hangs in the air and I’m aware that all of my friends are missing. I begin to perceive coded messages that demand to be deciphered. This keeps me busy.
While uncanny visions abound, I am also relieved that organization and order find their way into the fray. Richness and meaning are retained.
Thus, I am not totally lost in this altered space."
- Rebecca Segall
Director, Gross McCleaf Gallery