Celebrating the 124th Annual Adult Student Exhibition
Samuel S. Fleisher founded the Graphic Sketch Club, which would later become Fleisher Art Memorial, in 1898. A self-professed believer in “bringing the influence of art whenever and wherever possible into child life,” Fleisher felt that art belonged to all people and that it was “the most democratic thing in the world… It knows no country, race or religion and often drops its choicest blessings where least expected.”
The Graphic Sketch Club “held children’s classes in drawing, and classes for all ages in sketching, portraiture, illustrating, designing, etching, modeling, and rhythmic expression.” Fleisher Art Memorial carries on that mission 125 years later, offering free and low-cost art instruction to whomever comes through its doors.
Though the student exhibition has also been an annual event since the organization’s inception, the earliest account of the exhibition I could find was from 1916: “The 18th Annual Exhibition of the Graphic Sketch Club, held in Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park, showcased sixty-nine art works in oil, watercolor and chalks, and thirty-eight pieces of bronze, plaster and clay sculpture from teachers, Graphic Sketch Club students, and even work from Samuel S. Fleisher himself.” 
Things change in 125 years, however, and Fleisher’s class offerings—which are reflected in this year’s student exhibition—are no exception.
The 124th Adult Student Exhibition (there are now separate exhibitions for teachers and students participating in Fleisher’s children and youth programming) includes work in media that would have seemed alien to a Graphic Sketch Club student in 1898: screen printing, video art and animation, digital illustration, and digital photography, to name a few. But as Fleisher Art Memorial continues to evolve and expand its range of classes, it stays true to Samuel Fleisher’s mission: to make art accessible to everyone, regardless of economic means, background, or artistic experience.
 Art in Philadelphia, Eugene Castello, The American Magazine of Art, Vol. 7 No. 10 (Aug. 1916), pp 423-425.
Written by Martha Aleo. Martha is a Fleisher Student Advisory Council member and a blogger at Ornamento.
124th Annual Adult Student Exhibition Awardees with Class Information
First Place: Bernadette Sunner, Sprout, Children’s Book Illustration, Instructor: Andre Chaney
Second Place: Mary-Angela Papalaskari, Self Portrait in Recycling Bin (Perspective Study), Drawing with Confidence, Instructor: Barbara Zanelli
Third Place: Joy Wiltenburg, Clark Park beech , Drawing with Confidence, Instructor: Barbara Zanelli
Still Life, Landscape and Figure Painting
First Place: Taryn Gillies, Dumpsters, Intro to Portrait Painting, Instructor: Inga Kimberly Brown
Second Place: Louise Vallely, Model, 2022 , Portrait Painting, Instructor: Inga Kimberly Brown
Third Place: Daniel Van Dyk, Vienna, Portrait Painting, Instructor: Paul DuSold
First Place: Kathy Lieb, Collateral Damage, Critique Seminar, Instructor: Fran Gallun
Second Place: Judith Dutton, Houston Meadows II, Painting with Imagination, Instructor: Lara Cantu-Hertzler
Third Place: Ryan Myers, Fraternal Twins, Abstract and Intuitive Painting, Instructor: Chau Nguyen
First Place: Andrea Preis, Tra-la-la-tra-la, Ceramics Open Studio
Second Place: Rennia Rodney, Big Ass Pot, Nigerian & Ghanaian Pottery, Instructor: Robin Williams-Turnage
Third Place: Cynthia Bayer, Fig Newtons, Ceramics Open Studio
First Place: Julia Durand, Creatures at home, Ceramics Open Studio
Second Place: Mary Miraflor, Untitled, Portrait Sculpture, Instructor: Cathy Hopkins
Third Place: Carole Abercauph, Figure Study, Terracotta Figure Sculpture, Instructor: Cathy Hopkins
Fiber Arts & Crafts
First Place: Sheru Hoffman, Mosaic Collage, Mosaics, Instructor: Carol Stirton-Broad
Second Place: Francesca Lally, Sythie, Frame It Yourself, Instructor: Robert Stauffer
Third Place: Bonita Sklar-Friedman, The Wizard’s Secrets, Mosaics, Instructor: Carol Stirton-Broad
First Place: Peri Law, mishandled, Papermaking, Instructor: Anna Benjamin
Second Place: Phoebe Murer, Geyser Eruption, Screenprint, Instructor: Bill Brookover
Third Place: Ash Fritzsche, Billy’s Conex, Stone Lithography, Instructor: Peter Hartz
First Place: Olivia Davis, Wildwood Fog, Darkroom: Color Photography, Instructor: Ahmed Salvador
Second Place: Elise Harven, Peak into Paradise, Darkroom: Color Photography, Instructor: Ahmed Salvador
Third Place: Steve Schultz, Legacy, Darkroom Open Studio
Erick J. Dougherty Award in Photography
Jon Kriney, Folded House, Darkroom: Color Photography, Instructor: Ahmed Salvador
Student Advisory Council Award
Sarvelia Peralta-Duran, Venus Garden, Collage and Papercutting, Instructor: Henry Bermudez
Francis McCarthy Drawing Award
Diane Fredrickson, Le Petite Elephant, Introduction to Drawing, Instructor: Barbara Zanelli
OVER THE PAST 125 YEARS, FLEISHER ART MEMORIAL HAS SERVED OUR COMMUNITY AS A CREATIVE HUB AND A SECOND HOME.
Wherever you are in your artistic journey, Fleisher will meet you where you are, push you forward, and support your creative practice. We can do this because of supporters like you who prioritize community-driven arts programming.
Whatever part of your life Fleisher touches, let’s create the path forward together.
Make a gift today and be part of Fleisher’s exciting next chapter.
Ways to Give
SINCE 1898, FLEISHER ART MEMORIAL HAS BEEN MAKING ART ACCESSIBLE IN PHILADELPHIA.
125 YEARS LATER, WE’RE STILL GOING STRONG! THANK YOU FOR BEING A PART OF OUR HISTORY.