Philadelphia Photo Arts Center



Ten years ago, Sarah Stolfa saw that something was missing in Philadelphia’s arts community. Having gotten an MFA in Photography at Yale University, she found that Philadelphia lacked a space to produce, exhibit, and study digital photography. Stolfa founded PPAC to meet the needs of artists working in the rapidly evolving form.

Today, PPAC remains an artist-centric institution while serving a diverse and ever-growing audience in its gallery, classrooms, and digital Artist Lab. Teen Photo, a free afterschool program for Philadelphia public high school students, serves up to 80 students per year, while Photo in Schools brings instructors and cameras to elementary and middle schools. The Artist Lab is available to the public at affordable prices, and free to the artists in PPAC’s annual residency. Exhibitions, and the panel discussions, artist talks, screenings, and other events that accompany them, are always free.

And while remaining committed to the possibilities of digital practice, PPAC reaches across disciplines in its curatorial practice. Recently, PPAC has exhibited artists including Debi Cornwall, Colette Fu, and David Hartt. PPAC is also a leader in large-scale social practice projects. In 2016, PPAC partnered with Hank Willis Thomas for the Philly Block Project, which engaged thousands of people in PPAC’s neighborhood of South Kensington in the creation of a community archive, a slate of public events, and a final exhibition featuring floor-to-ceiling photographs showing the inside and outside of the neighborhood. In March 2019, PPAC concluded the Women’s Mobile Museum with Zanele Muholi, a yearlong project centered on a paid residency for Philadelphia women. With the mentorship of Muholi and many other artists, the women created a powerful multimedia exhibition that traveled between community centers in two underserved Philadelphia neighborhoods, before final exhibitions at PPAC and the Pennsylvania Academy for the Fine Arts.

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Philadelphia Photo Arts Center

Philadelphia Photo Arts Center

Address: 1400 N. American Street, Suite 103, Philadelphia, PA 19122

Tel: +1 215 232 5678