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24 Sep 2015

History in the making

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September 24, 2015 Category: Local Posted by:

Celelbrated artists come together for CCP’S 50th Anniversary Art & Soul Gala to help fund free tuition program

A group of Philadelphia artists will be coming together for an art exhibition and sale benefitting the Community College of Philadelphia’s 50th Anniversary Scholars Program.

On October 2, the College will host “An Evening of Art & Soul,” a black tie optional gala featuring beautiful paintings, sculptures, ceramics and photographs along with music spanning the last five decades by the Renaissance Orchestra. The exhibition and sale, curated by faculty members Jeff Reed, Karen Aumann and Jake Beckman, is the first citywide fundraiser held to support the 50th Anniversary Scholars Program, which allows eligible students to pursue an associate’s degree at no cost for tuition and fees. Nearly 200 students have signed up for the program in its first semester. 

The festivities begin at 6 PM at the Pavilion Building, which is on 17th Street, south of Spring Garden Street. Tickets are $125 for individuals or 10 tickets for $1,000. Community College of Philadelphia students can buy tickets for a discounted rate of $50.

“We can find many examples throughout history where artists, through their ability to see things – not for what they are but for what they want them to be – have made a difference in the world, President Donald Guy Generals said. “Not only are Philadelphia artists sharing their artwork with us, they also are demonstrating how strongly they believe in the promise of Philadelphia’s high school graduates.”

Nearly 80 artists donated pieces, some renowned, some up and coming, but all with a connection to Philadelphia and the College. Donated works of art range from affordable ($10) to pricey ($12,000). Diane Burko, a former member of the Art Department faculty, is among the outstanding artists contributing works. Burko’s art has been displayed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and around the city. Primarily known as a landscape artist and photographer, Burko has recently gained acclaim for her cinematic, aerial explorations documenting the natural environment. She contributed two pieces to the show, including “Falling Leaves,” an archival inkjet print priced at $3,000.

Photographer Rita Gaudet deVecchis, owner of deVecchis Gallery on South Street; painter Paula Molnar; graphic artist Manny Hernandez and mixed media artist Danny Narvaez are among the notable alumni donating works. Contributing faculty members include ceramicist Aumann, graphic artist Terry Peterson and Reed, hailed as one of the living legends of landscape painting in Philadelphia. Individuals purchasing 10 or more tickets will be entered into a drawing to win a Reed original worth $1,800.

“It is fitting that Community College of Philadelphia would hold an art sale and exhibition during its 50th Anniversary because the art students and faculty have brought great distinction to this institution,” Dr. Generals said.

For more information about the gala and the art sale, visit

Community College of Philadelphia enrolls more than 34,000 credit and non-credit students. It offers day, evening, weekend and online classes. Visit us at Follow us on Become a fan at

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