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Ten years ago, the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center opened its doors – all 1,800+ square feet – at 1400 N American Street as an artist-focused exhibition and education space meant to foster what the PPAC call the study, practice, and appreciation of contemporary photography, all the while surveying a diversity of landscapes and lenses.
Now, on December 12, during the Contemporary Exhibition IX Opening, Sarah Stolfa, President, Chief Executive Officer, and Artistic Director of Philadelphia Photo Arts Center will unveil the winning artists work in the Contemporary Photography Competition’s open call for entries and its Exhibition IX: Sasha Phyars-Burgess and Guanyu Xu.
“Our first exhibition was an open call, and at that time, it was just regional artists,” recalled Stolfa of the September 2009 start point of Philadelphia Photo Arts Center. “We wanted then to show that we were a resource for the Philadelphia region. The exhibition that opens tonight is the same thing, an open call. However, as we have grown, the PPAC has become more involved in the national and international dialogue around photography.”
Along with showing off the work of photographers Phyars-Burgess and Xu – and their works exploring, respectively, the reality of black bodies and gay men hidden in layered landscapes – Stolfa and her staff present the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center’s recent, more visible explosion: a physical space of over 8,000 square feet. “Along with that physical expansion, we have also expanded our audiences and our photographers with youth engaging in before school and after school programs to exhibitions and residencies involving ten local women.”
Exhibition IX is from December 12 to February 22, 2020.