7th Annual Art Unleashed Exhibit and Art Sale to Showcase Exceptional Works by UArts Students, Alumni, Faculty and Staff

March 31, 2016

Jewelry, furniture, sculpture, photography, illustrations, paintings and more on exhibit and for sale to support student scholarships April 8-11; Opening Night Party is April 7


“House” by Jessica Lim '16 (Photography)

Emerging and established visual artists will be the stars of the show when the University of the Arts hosts its annual Art Unleashed Exhibition & Sale April 7-11 in iconic Hamilton Hall. Celebrating its seventh year, Art Unleashed features the original work of UArts students, faculty, alumni and staff. The Opening Night Party, this year on Thursday, April 7, has become one of Philadelphia’s can’t-miss art events, as it gives more than 700 guests the chance to preview over 1,000 works of art and purchase their favorites before the public show opens. Art Unleashed is the University’s largest fundraiser for student scholarships.

Pieces on display and for sale range from contemporary jewelry and ceramics, to boundary-pushing photography and crafts, as well as selections of furniture, painting and sculpture. Art Unleashed is an extraordinary opportunity for the public to acquire one-of-a-kind pieces of art that cross genres or to simply explore the rich artistic offerings of Philadelphia’s premier arts university.

“Underwater World 2” by Marisha Simons MFA ’03 (Book Arts + Printmaking)

“In my short time at the University, I have experienced a depth of artistic and innovative talent here that is remarkable. I look forward to celebrating the excellence of our community during Art Unleashed and to expanding support of our Sam S. McKeel Promising Young Artists Scholarship Fund for the generations of talent to come,” said David Yager, UArts’ new president.

Over the last seven years, Art Unleashed has raised over $1,800,000 for the fund, which has helped over 1,000 students attend the University of the Arts since 2010.

This year’s Art Unleashed organizing committee is co-chaired by Patricia Fowler, UArts Trustee and alumnus Tom Miles BFA ’75 (Sculpture) and Norma Reichlin.

The public exhibition and sale is kicked off by an Opening Night Party on April 7 from 6 to 9 p.m., where guests have exclusive access to view and purchase pieces in advance of the public exhibition in support of student scholarships. For a more intimate experience and exclusive early access, a special VIP Reception, with champagne and passed hors d’oeuvres, will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. Early Admittance tickets are also available for 5 p.m., one hour prior to the official start of the Opening Night Party. 

VIP Reception tickets and Early Admittance tickets, both of which include admission to the full Opening Night Party, range from $1,000 to $5,000 for two attendees; Opening Night Party-only tickets range from $100 to $200 per person. All funds raised through this event support scholarships for young artists at the University of the Arts. All tickets can be purchased at uarts.edu/artunleashed or by calling 215-717-6147. 

“Forever Known” by Heather Croston BFA '94 (Jewelry/Metals)

Art Unleashed is open to the public (free admission) from Friday, April 8 through Monday, April 11 from noon to 5 p.m. daily. With hundreds of pieces of original art on display, Art Unleashed offers a unique opportunity for everyone, from first-time purchasers to established collectors.

Both the Opening Night Party and the Public Exhibition will take place at the University of the Arts, Hamilton Hall at 320 South Broad Street.

“Three's A Crowd” by alumna Megan Angolia BFA ’13 (Craft + Material Studies).

This year's event will showcase the work of noted artist and UArts alumna Piper Shepard BFA ’85 (Fibers) and Distinguished Visiting Professor Warren Seelig.

Shepard, this year’s Art Unleashed Alumni Spotlight Artist, holds a BFA in Fibers from UArts and an MFA in Fiber from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. She is a faculty member in the Fibers department at the Maryland Institute College of Art, where she has taught since 1994. Her work has been exhibited widely within the United States and in Europe. It has been shown in the Helen Drutt Gallery and the Snyderman-Works Gallery, Philadelphia; the Museum of Arts and Design, New York City; the Baltimore Museum of Art; the Delaware Art Museum; the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts; the Textile Art Centre, Chicago; the Museum of Art and Design, Helsinki, Finland; and the Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, Birmingham, England. Her work has been featured in Fiber Arts magazine, Surface Design Journaland American Craft magazine, and Telos Press has published a monograph on her work. Shepard has received four Individual Artists Awards from the Maryland State Arts Council in Crafts. She received a 2015 Silver Star Alumni Award at the University of the Art’s 137th Commencement ceremony.

Seelig lives and works in Rockland, Maine. He holds the rank of distinguished visiting professor in the Craft/Fibers program at UArts, where he teaches, curates and writes on various subjects related to fiber, textiles and material studies. He received a BS from the Philadelphia College of Textiles & Science and an MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art. Seelig has twice received individual fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and three fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. His work has been included in more than 30 major museum exhibitions in the United States, Europe, Japan and Korea, with many solo and group exhibitions worldwide. He has lectured extensively, including for programs at the Korea National University of the Arts, the Gerritt Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and the Royal College of Art in London. He has written extensively for American Craft, Fiber Arts, Surface Design Journal, Textileforum and Nouvel Objet. His work is in the collections of museums, colleges, and private and corporate collections. Seelig is a regular visiting critic at the Rhode Island School of Design and is a mentor in the graduate program at Maine College of Art. He was elected a fellow of the American Crafts Council and is a member of its board. A major retrospective of his work was shown last year at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.