Student Biennial 2016

January 19–February 7, 2016
Commons Art Gallery


This exhibition is the sixth in a series of student exhibitions at Arcadia juried by an outside curator. This year’s exhibition was juried by Andrea Wohl Keefe and Colin Keefe. Both are practicing artists and together they direct Mount Airy Contemporary, an artist-run exhibition space in northwest Philadelphia.

Left to right: Eien Sykes Bidwell ’16, “No Looking Back / Forget the Bad”—2015. Digital manipulation output as inkjet print on gloss paper. Christine Kemp, “The Amazing Voyage”—2015. 3D printed ABS plastic and powdered resin. Abbie Brewster ’16 “Growth”—2015. Acrylic and ink on canvas, photo: Matthew Borgen.

The artists in the exhibition include: Allyson Apsokardu ’18, Emily Berger ’16, Abbie Brewster ’16, Savannah Bullinger ’17, Alyssa Dellaria ’17, Caron Dessoye ’15, Rose Fahringer ’19, Nicole Frost ’16, Grace Hiegl ’17, Pat Higgins ’16, Nicholas Ilic ’18, Arianna Kendra ’17, Mary Koger ’18, Steven Lewis ’16, Maggie Martin ’16, Brittany Monser ’16, Sydney Mount ’18, Caitlin Powers ’16, Jamie Roth ’16, Samantha Simmons ’17, Eien Sykes Bidwell ’17, Katie Whalen ’17, Chelsea Wilf ’17, Olivia Witt ’16, Tiffany Zysk ’16, and Media and Communication Studio Supervisor Christine Kemp.

The Keefes selected 29 entries from a record pool of 160 submissions by Arcadia first-years, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. The works selected include photographs, an artist book; a photopolymer print; oil and acrylic paintings; metal jewelry; ceramics; sculptures utilizing leather, fabric, porcelain and found objects; and 3D printed ABS plastic and powdered resin. Drawings completed in graphite, ink, Conté, and charcoal will also be on display.

According to the Arcadia University Art Gallery Director Richard Torchia, “The Keefes were painstaking in their approach to reviewing the entries. Their criteria for inclusion were nuanced and evenhanded. It was a pleasure to watch them evaluate the work and their thoughtful choices have given Arcadia an outstanding exhibition that reflects the strengths of the department.”

Prior to 2006, the department of Art and Design faculty selected works for this biennial exhibition. The current practice of inviting outside jurors began that year when independent curator Julie Courtney was invited to make the selections for the exhibition. Subsequent jurors included Elyse Gonzalez, Assistant Curator, ICA, Philadelphia in 2008; Sue Spaid, Independent Curator, Philadelphia in 2010; and Charles Ritchie, Artist / Associate Curator, Department of Modern Prints and Drawings, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. in 2012. The 2014 exhibition was juried by Judith Tannenbaum, Curator, RISD Museum (Rhode Island School of Design), Providence, Rhode Island. The University Commons Art Gallery has hosted this exhibition since its opening in 2012.

Left to right: Arianna Kendra ’17, “Swing Ring”—2015. Sterling silver, druzy quartz. Alyssa Dellaria ’17, “And Then She Flew Out the Window”—2015. Metal, onyx, feathers. Sydney Mount ’18, “Bigfoot For My Hand”—2015. Sterling silver and nickel silver. Abbie Brewster ’16, “untitled”—2015. Fabric, polyester fill, photo: Matthew Borgen.


Mount Airy Contemporary is focused on connecting artists and artist communities from a variety of regions. To this end, most shows that the Keefes present consist of pairings of local Philadelphia artists with artists residing in other cities. Their most recent exhibition, “The Suburban Milwaukee: 16 Years,” presented this past October in conjunction with the Philadelphia-based project Alternative Currencies, introduced 37 artists to the Philadelphia region associated with the artists-run space The Suburban, founded by 2014 Whitney Biennial curator Michelle Grabner, which recently relocated its operations from the Chicago suburbs to Milwaukee, Wis.

The realization of this exhibition is made possible in part by a donation to the Gateway Society by Theresa and John Rollins.