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Notable Alumni: S-Z








Charles Santore (1935-2019)

PMSA Class of 1956, BFA, Illustration


UArts Silver Star Alumni Award, 1979.

Charles Santore was born in Philadelphia in 1935 and attended the Philadelphia Museum School of Art. After graduating, he worked as an illustrator for many top advertising agencies and numerous leading magazines. Since 1986, he has illustrated children's books, including The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Other Cherished StoriesAesop's FablesThe Wizard of Oz, and many others. He is also the author and illustrator of William the Curious: Knight of the Water LiliesA Stowaway on Noah's ArkThree Hungry Pigs and the Wolf That Came to Dinner; and The Silk Princess. He has received numerous awards, including the Society of Illustrators' Award of Excellence and the prestigious Hamilton King Award. His illustrations for Aesop's Fables were the inspiration for a series of Merrill Lynch TV commercials aired during the 1993 Winter Olympics, and he is the subject of a 1997 documentary, Charles Santore Illustrates the Wizard of Oz. He has had major exhibitions at the Brandywine River Museum and the National Heritage Museum in Massachusetts.

- Silver Star Alumni Award Exhibition

Image Source: University of the Arts Digital Collections








Pearl B. Schaeffer

PCPA Class of 1979, MFA, Dance

UArts Silver Star Alumni Award, 1992.

Pearl B. Schaeffer received her bachelor's degree in Education from Drexel University before attending the University of the Arts, where she obtained an MFA in Dance. After her graduation Schaeffer taught English and dance at Temple University, UArts, and to K-12 students. Schaeffer is currently the CEO of the Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership, a program that helps create art education programs for Pre-K-12 schools in the Philadelphia region.

Image Source: Metro Philadelphia








Susan Gertrude Schell (1891-1970)


Painter, Educator

Miss Lea First Prize for Work in Water Color Painting, 1917.

Susan Gertrude Schell was born in 1891 in Titusville, PA. She attended West Chester State Teachers College, the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. After her graduation, Schell returned to PMSIA where she taught for 30 years. Schell was also a member of the Philadelphia Ten, a group of female artists who often exhibited together, in the 1930s and 1940s.

Image Source: University of the Arts Digital Collections








Thomas F. Schutte

UArts Silver Star Alumni Award, 1983.

Image Source: University of the Arts Digital Collections








Edgar Viguers Seeler (1867-1929)

PMSIA Class of 1890


Richards Prize for the Best Drawing in Pen and Ink, 1886.

One-Year Scholarship for Excellence, 1886.

Edgar Viguers Seeler was born in Philadelphia in 1867. After graduating from the Philadelphia Museum and School of Industrial Art, Seeler attended MIT and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts where he studied architecture. When Seeler returned to Philadelphia, he founded an architectural office and taught architectural design at the University of Pennsylvania. Seeler's most well-known buildings are the Curtis Building, the Penn Mutual Life Building, and the Philadelphia Bulletin Building.

Image Source:








Charles Sheeler (1883-1965)

PMSIA Class of 1902

Painter, Photographer, Filmmaker

Certificate A in Industrial Drawing, 1901.

Certificate B in Decorative Painting and Applied Art, 1902.

UArts Silver Star Alumni Award, 1957.

Charles Sheeler was born in Philadelphia, and attended the Philadelphia School of Industrial Art from 1900 to 1903, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, where he studied under William Merritt Chase. He found early success as a painter and exhibited at the Macbeth Gallery. He took up commercial photography around 1912, focusing particularly on architectural subjects. A self-taught photographer, he learned his trade on a five-dollar Brownie camera. He moved to New York City in 1919 and the next year collaborated with the photographer Paul Strand on the film Mannahatta. Sheeler received recognition for both his paintings and his photography, which were made in the clear-focus, highly detailed Precisionist style. He was hired by the Ford Motor Company to photograph and make paintings of their factories, and in 1940, Fortune Magazine published his "Power Series" of six paintings. Both The National Gallery in Washington, D.C. and The Museum of Fine ARts in Boston have hosted retrospective exhibitions of his work in recent years.

- Silver Star Alumni Award Exhibition

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Edward E. "Harry" Shenton (1895-1977)

PMSIA Class of 1917, Industrial Drawing


Honorable Mention, Mrs. J. L. Ketterlinus Prize for Sketches Made in Service A.E.F.

Edward E. Shenton was born in Pottstown, PA in 1895. He grew up in West Philadelphia and attended the Philadelphia Museum and School of Industrial Art in 1916. In 1917 he joined the Army and served in France during WWI. When he returned to Philadelphia he attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and won two scholarships to study in Paris, France. After his education, Shenton made a name for himself as an illustrator of over 130 books and as the house illustrator of Scribner's magazine.

Image SourceHands of Ned, Barbara and Me, collection of Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.








Piper Shepard

PCA Class of 1985, BFA, Fibers

Fiber Artist

Leon C. Bunkin Award in Fibers, 1985.

UArts Silver Star Alumni Award, 2015.

Piper Shepard attended the University of the Arts where she earned a BFA in Fiber and the Cranbook Academy of Art in Michigan where she earned an MFA in Fiber. Shepard works with cloth and paper, creating filigree through cutting and constructing patterns. She has shown her work at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Delaware Art Museum, and many others. She has also taught at the Maryland Institute College of Art since 1994.

Image Source: University of the Arts Digital Collections








Clyde F. Shuler (1892-1969)

PMSIA Class of 1912, Interior Decoration

Architect, Industrial Designer

Certificate A, Industrial Drawing, 1911.

Certificate in Interior Decoration, 1913.

Honorable Mention, Mrs. Thomas Roberts Prize for General Excellence in Interior Decoration Course, 1913.

Miss Lea Prize ($10.00) for Best Work in Watercolor, 1913.

Mary Lucretia Ramborger Prize for Best Set of Sketches Made in the Alumni Association Costume Class ($5.00), 1913.

Clyde F. Shuler was born in Pottstown, PA in 1892. He attended the Pennsylvania museum and School of Industrial Art and earned his diploma in 1921. After his graduation he designed rennovations for several houses before working for the offices of Price & McLanahan and then Ralph Pencker. Later in his career, Shuler opened his own practice in Philadelphia, focusing primarily on residential architecture. In addition to his work as an architect and designer, Shuler taught at the Philadelphia College of art as the director of the Industrial Design department.

Image Source: Industrial Designers Society of America








Barbara Silverstein

PMA Class of 1969, BM, Piano

Conductor, Artistic Director

UArts Silver Star Alumni Award, 1988.

Barbara Silverstein was born in Philadelphia in 1947. After graduation from the Philadelphia Musical Academy, Silverstein became the artistic director and conductor for the Philadelphia Opera Theater. She has also translated several Italian, French, and German operas into English.

Image Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer








John Ray Sinnock (1888-1947)

PMSIA Class of 1913, Diploma, Normal Art Instruction

Chief Engraver for the U.S. Mint, 1925-1947

Certificate A, Industrial Drawing, 1910.

Honorable Mention, Elizabeth Duane Gillespie Prize for best work in Drawing, 1910.

Prize of the 1910 Graduating Class, $15.00, for Best Work in Drawing from the Antique, First-Year Classes, 1910.

Certificate B, Surface Design and Color (Normal), 1911.

Mrs. Thomas S. Harrison Prize, $15.00, for Wrought Iron, 1911.

Edward Tonkin Dobbins Scholarship for School Year 1910-1911, Awarded by the Alumni Association, 1911.

Certificate C, Constructive Design and Modelling (Normal), 1912.

Mrs. Joseph F. Sinnott Prize, $10.00, for the Best Executed Piece of Garden Pottery in Cement, 1912.

Honorable Mention, G. Gerald Evans Prize for Piece of Cabinet Work Meritorious in Design and Execution, 1912.

Honorable Mention, Charles J. Cohen Prize for Design for a Fountain, 1912.

Mary Lucretia Ramborger Prize, $5.00, offered by the Alumni Association for Best Set of Sketches Made in the Costume Class, 1912.

Edward Tonkin Dobbins Scholarship for School Year 1912-1913, Awarded by the Alumni Association, 1912.

Mrs. Francis Forbes Milne Prize, $10.00, for Original Design in Decorative Landscape, 1913.

Honorable Mention, Mrs. J. L. Ketterlinus Prize for Best Design for a Cover for the Museum "Bulletin", 1913.

Honorable Mention, Mary Lucretia Ramborger Prize for Best Set of Sketches Made in the Costume Class, 1913.

Scholarship for Advanced Study in Italy, 1913.

John Ray Sinnock was born in 1888 in Raton, NM. He moved to Philadelphia and studied at the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial art and earned his diploma in 1913. After graduation, Sinnock joined the Philadelphia Sketch Club and Philadelphia Alliance and developed his reputation as a sculptor and engraver. He taught at PMSIA and Western Reserve University before applying to work at the US Mint, where he was hired as Assistant Chief Engraver. After the death of Chief Engraver George T. Morton in 1925, Sinnock became the eighth Chief Engraver of the US Mint. As Chief Engraver, Sinnock designed or oversaw the design of many medals and coins. Most notably, Sinnock sculpted the plaster models for Elizabeth Will's design of the Purple Heart military medal and designed the Roosevelt Dime and Franklin Half Dollar.

Image Source:








Olaf Skoogfors (1930-1975)

PMSA Class of 1953, Diploma, Silversmithing and Jewelry


T. B. Hagstoz and Son Silversmithing Award, 1953.

Dean's List, 1951-1952.

Chair of Crafts Department, 1971-1975.

UArts Silver Star Alumni Award, 1976.

Olaf Skoogfors was born in Bredsjo, Sweden, and moved with his family to the United States in 1940. He attended the Philadelphia Museum School of Art where he studied with Virginia Wireman Cute and Richard Reinhardt. After two years in the army, he attended the Rochester Institute of Technology. He won numerous awards while still a student. In 1959, he set up a studio producing limited edition and custom jewelry, commissions for hollowware, and ecclesiastical metalwork. He became Chair of the Crafts Department in the Philadelphia College of Art and was a founding member of the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG). He was also active in the World Craft Council and exhibited nationally and internationally. His work is included in the permanent collections of museums in the United States and Europe.

- Silver Star Alumni Award Exhibition

Images Source: University of the Arts Digital Collections








Leslie Smolan

PCA Class of 1975, BFA, Graphic Design

Graphic Designer

Art Directors' Club Gold Medal, 1975.

UArts Silver Star Alumni Award, 1989.

Leslie Smolan is the co-founder of the Carbone Smolan Agency and Director of Creative Strategy for the firm, which is the creative force behind some of the world's most celebrated brands. She has been internationally recognized for her work in brand identity, publishing, and marketing communications. Recent projects include a global brand strategy and identity system for her longstanding client, Morgan Stanley, and a branding, marketing and sales campaign for Nizuc, a new ultra-luxury resort and residences on the Riviera Maya. In 1998, she was elected to the Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI), a select group of world-class designers. Smolan has been widely awarded and published. In 1993 she authored The Hat Book (Nan Talese/Doubleday) that won every major design award including the AIGA 50 Great Books show and the Leipzig Book show. And in January 2006, her views on the disastrously poor information design of the U.S. healthcare system were published in the Op-Ed section of the Washington Post.

- Silver Star Alumni Award Exhibition

Image Source: University of the Arts Digital Collections








Fredric Snitzer

PCA Class of 1973, BFA, Sculpture

Sculptor, Gallery Owner

UArts Silver Star Alumni Award, 2016.

Fredric Snitzer was born in 1950 in Philadelphia. He graduated from the Philadelphia College of Art and later earned his MFA from Penn State University. Snitzer moved to Miami, FL and opened his first gallery there in 1977. Over the decades Snitzer has opened five further galleries in the Miami area. Snitzer has served on the selection committee for Art Basel for more than a decade and has supported arts and art schools in the Miami area.

Image Source: University of the Arts Digital Collections








Evan Solot

PCA Class of 1967, BM, Trumpet and Composition; Class of 1975, MM, Composition

Composer, Musician, Educator

UArts Silver Star Alumni Award, 2011.

The work of composer Evan Solot, a University of the Arts professor and Composition department chair, has earned accolades and support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, and the American Composers Forum, to name just a few. A Fullbright Scholar, he composes for orchestras, jazz groups, pop recordings, dance, theater, film and commercials, collaborating with poet Sonia Sanchez, playwright Ntosake Shange, Stevie Wonder, and University alumni including bassist Stanley Clarke '71 (Bass) and choreographer Judith Jamison '64 (Dance). His music has been performed by leading jazz and pop performers including Randy and Michael Brecker, Kurt Elling, Mel Torme and Ben Vereen.

A former trumpet player, Solot toured with Bette Midler, Burt Bacharach, Frank Sinatra and Lou Rawls, and served as lead trumpet in more than 50 Broadway shows.

His music underscored the award-winning documentary "Standing in the Shadows of Motown" and is a part of Naxos Records' American Essentials series with the Chestnut Brass. He also orchestrated the new NBC Nightly News Theme. Solot earned B.M., and M.M. degrees from the Philadelphia Musical Academy, now the University of the Arts.

- Commencement Program, 2011.

Image Source: University of the Arts Digital Collections








Lucas Steele

UArts Class of 2001, BFA, Musical Theater

Musical Theater Actor

UArts Silver Star Alumni Award, 2018.

Lucas Steele is an award-winning musical theater performer who earned a 2017 Tony Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for the role of Anatole in Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812.

The show was a sung-through musical adaptation of a 70-page segment from Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace. Steel won the Lucille Lortel Award fro Best Actor in a Musical for playing Anatole in the Off-Broadway version ofthe musical. He also starred with Tony winner  Alan Cumming, Cyndi Lauper and Ana Gasteyer in Threepenny Opera, staged at the famed Studio 54.

- UArts Commencement Program, 2018.

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William Stephens

PMSA Class of 1955, BS, Industrial Design

UArts Silver Star Alumni Award, 1969.

After graduating from the Philadelphia Museum School of Art, William Stephens started working at the Knoll design company as an assistant prototype builder. He soon became one of their top designers. In 1967, he headed a four-man team with Don Albinson and Andreas Christen to research and develop Knoll's office landscape systems. He designed the popular 1305U armchair and worked on the research and tooling of the Pettit laminated wood chair and the development of the wood Stephens chairs. In 1973, he designed The Stephens System, which capitalized on the dominant trend during the 1970s and 1980s toward open offices, as opposed to walled-in spaces.

- Silver Star Alumni Award Exhibition

Image Source: Stand-up Desk, 1992. From Silver Star Alumni Award Exhibition








Jeffrey Stern

PCA Class of 1975, BFA, Film

UArts Silver Star Alumni Award, 2014.

Jeffrey Stern is an Emmy Award-winning sound editor who has worked on more than 100 films, including “Silence of the Lambs,” “School of Rock,” “Goodfellas,” “The Untouchables,” “American Splendor,” “Chicago,” “Casino” and “The Cove,” which won the Academy Award for best feature-length documentary in 2009. Stern was the dialogue editor on the team that won the 2014 Emmy Award for Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series for the HBO hit “Boardwalk Empire.” He was previously nominated for Emmys for his work on the show in 2012 and for the documentary “Joni Mitchell: A Woman of Heart and Mind.” He has worked on films helmed by such legendary directors as Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee, Robert Altman and Woody Allen. Stern is also an assistant professor of professional practice at the University of Miami School of Communication. He has served as a filmmaker in residence at the North Carolina School of the Arts and as an adjunct professor at the New School in New York City.

- Commencement Program, 2014.








Katherine D. (KaDee) Strickland

UArts Class of 1998, BFA, Theater


UArts Silver Star Alumni Award, 2006.

KaDee Strickland graduated from The University of the Arts with a BFA in theater in 1998. In the short time since receiving her diploma, the Georgia native has made a name for herself as one of Hollywood's rising stars.

Most recently, Strickland has appeared in The Grudge (2004) and Fever Pitch (2005). Strickland's first lead role came when producer Doug Belgrad saw the dailies of her scene from Something's Gotta Give. Impressed by her work, he cast the actor opposite Johnny Messner and Morris Chestnut in the jungle-set horror film Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid, the sequel to 1997's Anaconda. Strickland played an accomplished research scientist who travels to Borneo as part of an expedition team searching for a species of plant that is rumored to have life-extending properties.

Strickland's career began with a brief appearance as a ghost in The Sixth Sense in 1999, a two-line part that she received writer and director M. Night Shyamalan while reading lines for those auditioning for the film. But her big break as she calls it, came in 2003 when she appeared in Woody Allen's romantic comedy Anything Else. She followed that role up with parts in Something's Gotta Give (starring Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton), a major critical and commercial success, and The Stepford Wives with Nicole Kidman.

Strickland, who counts among her influences Jessica Lange, Holly Hunter, Diane Keaton and Jane Fonda, will be seen next in the Richard Gere crime thriller movie The Flock and in the television series Laws of Chance, each of which is in post-production.

- Commencement Program, 2006.

Image Source: The Movie Database








Vincent J. Trombetta

PMA Class of 1965, BM, Saxophone


UArts Silver Star Alumni Award, 2007.

Vincent J. Trombetta received a bachelor of music degree from the Philadelphia Musical Academy (now The University of the Arts) in 1965. A woodwinds, composer and recording artist, Mr. Trombetta also studied at the Philadelphia Conservatory and the Juilliard School.

Shortly after graduation, the Philadelphia native began working as composer, arranger and woodwind player on the famed Mike Douglas Show, a gig that would last for 18 years. In 1967, Mr. Trombetta launched the saxophone program at the Philadelphia Musical Academy and served as department head and composition instructor for 10 years. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the saxophone major at The University of the Arts.

Mr. Trombetta has taught musicians as diverse as Michael Brecker, Stanley Clarke and Bob Malach and has recorded and performed with some of the world's most talented artists, including Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, Frank Sinatra, Fred Astaire, John Lennon and Phil Woods.

Mr. Trombetta has composed and arranged numerous works for both television and film and has over 350 published compositions to his credit. His solo and ensemble work can be heard on thousands of recorded hours in television and motion picture soundtracks. His performance credits include Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Father of the Bride, A League of Their Own and Bugsy.

The Trombetta legacy is strong at UArts. Each spring, the Vince Trombetta Saxophone Award is given to a deserving music student. His oldest son, Vincent Trombetta, Jr., is a UArts alumnus and works in Los Angeles as a musician. The elder Trombetta's third child, Nicolas, earned his bachelor's degree in saxophone performance in 2006.

An integral part of the negotiations of every American Federation of Musicians national contract for the past 15 years, Mr. Trombetta was elected Vice President of Professional Musician's Local 47 in 2005 and continues to serve in that role.

- Commencement Program, 2007.

Image Source: Discogs








Riitta Vainio (1936-2015)

PMA Class of 1962, Diploma, Dance

Dancer, Choreographer

UArts Silver Star Alumni Award, 2005.

Riitta Vainio, a native of Finland, graduated from the Philadelphia Dance Academy in 1962 with a diploma in dance. Vainio is best known as the pioneer of Finnish contemporary dance and her works have been performed throughout the country.

A multifaceted artist, developer of Finnish and European contemporary dance and an educator, Vainio founded Riitta Vainio's School of Modern Dance and the Finnish Institute of Modern Dance Art. She has taught numerous courses on modern dance and gave the first modern dance performance ever in Finland, which was seen by 1.5 million people through a live television broadcast.

During her career, Vainio has choreographed about 1000 pieces, ranging from three minutes in length to three hours. She has received many medals and awards, including the Pro Finlandia in 2004, the most prestigious award an artist can receive in Finland.

Riitta Vainio will turn 70 next year and is in the middle of a strong creative phase. She is currently preparing her new choreography Äiti (Finnish for 'mother'), to premier in Helsinki.

- Commencement Program, 2005.

Image Source: University of the Arts Digital Collections








Dana P. Vaughan (1899-1983)

PMSA c. 1920

UArts Silver Star Alumni Award, 1960.

Dana P. Vaughan was born in Middleboro, Massachusetts, and attended the Massachusetts School of Art and the Philadelphia Museum School of Art. He also studied at Harvard and Brown Universities, the Beaux Arts of New York, the University of Upsala in Sweden, and in Kyoto, Japan. Vaughan taught at the Rhode Island School of Design for five years and was Dean of the college for ten years. From 1942 to 1945, he was director of the Trenton School of Industrial Arts; he then moved to the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York where he was the head of Art and Architecture until his retirement in 1963. At Cooper Union he was largely responsible for upgrading the arts and architecture curriculum into a Bachelor of Arts program. From 1945 to 1946, Vaughan was President of the Eastern Arts Associations, and in 1957, Moore Institute of Philadelphia awarded him an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts. He enjoyed renovating homes, and a year before his death he bought and renovated a cabin in Orford, New Hampshire.

- Silver Star Alumni Award Exhibition








German Vazquez

UArts Class of 2020, BFA, Photography


UArts DEIA Award, 2023.

German Vazquez was born in Bayamón, Puerto Rico and raised in New York City. After graduating from the University of the Arts, Vazquez worked as a professional editorial and artistic photographer. Vazquez's photography has been published by clients such as Condé Nast, Apple, and Smithsonian Magazine among others. He has also showcased his work as part of several group and solo exhibitions. As winner of the 2023 DEIA Alumni Award, Vazquez states,

My primary aim is to illuminate and uplift the narratives and experiences of BIPOC LGBTQIA+ individuals worldwide, with a particular emphasis on regions historically affected by colonization.

Image Source: University of the Arts








Brian T. Vernon

UArts Class of 1992, BFA, Dance Education

Dancer, Educator

Prize for Outstanding Student Teacher, 1992.

UArts Silver Star Alumni Award, 2000.

Brian T. Vernon is a stunningly energetic alumni. In 1992, he earned his BFA in Dance Education, with an emphasis on Jazz, Theatre, and Tap. He went on to earn an MFA in Dance Education from the University of California at Irving two years later, with a focus on Teaching and Administration. Upon completing that program, he received the university's most prestigious distinction, the Chancellor's Fellowship Award. He currently serves on the faculty of Colorado's Mesa State College, where he recently earned tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor of Dance.

If his teaching alone were all he had accomplished since graduation, that would be enough. However, he continues to be an active practitioner, leader, and advocate of dance in the United States and worldwide. As a Colorado state representative for the International Tap Association, Brian Vernon has received numerous awards, honors, and recognition, and was recently included in several "Who's Who" publications. While all of his activities are interesting, particularly notable are his annual trips to South Africa, where he teaches and choreographs in Johannesburg, Cape Town, and in several financially impoverished townships.

Brian Vernon remains active in American venues as well. Among his credits in the Musical Theatre are A Chorus Line, Ain't Misbehavin (where he served as assistant, director, choreographer, and leading performer), and performances with the original Broadway cast and company in an international touring production of Black and Blue. He has also choreographed or directed Anything Goes, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Guys and Dolls, 42nd Street, My Fair Lady, and Jesus Christ Superstar. At a young age, Brian Vernon continues to actively teach and perform constantly in other musicals, television commercials and programs, and films, serving as a living embodiment of the best in contemporary dance.

- Commencement Program, 2000.

Image Source: UCI Claire Trevor School of the Arts








Marguerite Walter

PMSIA Class of 1938, Diploma, Teacher Training

UArts Silver Star Alumni Award, 1981.

Marguerite Walter graduated in the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art's class of 1938 with a diploma in teacher training, after being awarded first prize for work in teacher training in 1937. She was delegated by the Philadelphia Board of Education to serve as an Art Supervisor to the Philadelphia Museum of Art's educational staff.

- Silver Star Alumni Award Exhibition

Image Source: University of the Arts Digital Collections








Martha Walter (1875-1976)

Studied at PMSIA from 1895-1898


Certificate A, 1896.

Honorable Mention, Henry Perry Leland Prize given by Mrs. John Harrison for Work in Pen and Ink, 1896.

Second Prize for Best set of Drawings in the Course of Industrial Drawing, $20.00, 1896.

John T. Morris Prize of $10.00 for Drawing of Details of the Human Figure, 1897.

Jacob H. Weil Prize of an Outfit of Oleo Water-Colors for Best Sketch in Water-Colors from Life, 1897.

Honorable Mention, Mrs. George K Crozer Prize Offered for the Best Work in Drawing, 1898.

Caroline Axford Magee Prize of $20.00 for group of designs introducing decorative use of the human figure, 1898.

Martha Walter was born in Philadelphia in 1875. After attending the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art she attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts where she studied under William Merritt Chase. While at PAFA, Walter was awarded a scholarship to further her studies abroad; traveling and exhibiting her work in Europe and North Africa. She returned to the USA and continued painting while teaching at Chase's New York School of Art.

Image SourceMotherhood, 1915. From








André Watts (1946-2023)

PMA Class of 1963


Avery Fisher Prize, 1988.

University of the Arts Medal, 1988.

National Medal of Arts, 2011.

André Watts was born in Nuremberg, Germany in 1946. Watts began studying the violin and then piano while in Germany and then moved with his family to Philadelphia in 1952. Watts made his piano performance debut at age nine, winning a competition to perform with the Philadelphia Orchestra Children's Concerts. Watts then enrolled in the Philadelphia Musical Academy and graduated in 1963. In his last year at PMA, Watts took part in a competition to play in Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concert Series with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. After the success of the performance, Bernstein asked Watts to again play with the Philharmonic, filling in for renowned pianist Glenn Gould. Watts completed his studies at PMA while continuing to record and perform and then attended the Peabody Institute, where he earned his Bachelor of Music Degree. Watts continued to perform until 2019, while also teaching at Indiana University.

Image Source:








Susan Welchman

PCA Class of 1970, BFA, Photography


UArts Silver Star Alumni Award, 2005.

Susan Welchman graduated from the Philadelphia College of Art in 1970 with a degree in photography and then went to work as a staff photographer at the Philadelphia Daily News. After four years as photo editor at the New York Post, she accepted a position as Illustrations Editor at National Geographic Magazine and has been making stories there for nearly 30 years, now as Senior Photo Editor. In 1995, Welchman created the Flashback section for the magazine, featuring images from the archives. In 2000 she created another new section, ZipUSA, and now is the editor of Yourshot for the web site. In addition, Welchman has had responsibility for innumerable stories, including stories on Slavery, Caffeine, Fat, Australia, Marco Polo, Somalia, Manhattan and Dreamweavers, which was the first story in the magazine's history to utilize all digital photography. She has also edited special publications including Swimsuits–100 Years of Pictures100 Best Pictures, the 100 Best Vintage Photographs and most recently the Yourshot book. Susan Wlechman received the Silver Star Alumni Award for her work in the field of photo editing.

- Silver Star Alumni Award Exhibition

Image Source: University of the Arts Digital Collections








Neil Welliver (1929-2005)

PMSA Class of 1952, BFA, Education


Honor List, 1949.

Dean's List, 1951.

Dean's List, 1952.

Anne E. Sinnott Award for Excellence in the Art Education Course, 1952.

Neil Welliver was born in Millville, PA in 1929. After receiving his BFA from the Philadelphia Museum School of Art, Welliver attended Yale University and received an MFA. After the completion of his education, Welliver taught art at Cooper Union, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania. In the 1960s, while teaching at Yale, Welliver traveled to Maine where he created his most well-known paintings of the landscapes and scenes he encountered there.

Image Source: Madison Museum of Contemporary Art








Alina Wheeler (1948-2023)

PCA Class of 1970, BFA, Illustration


UArts Silver Star Alumni Award, 2012.

Alina Wheeler was born in 1948 in South Orange, NJ. After graduating from the Philadelphia College of Art, Wheeler co-founded the graphic design firm Katz Wheeler in 1980. In the same year she was a founding board member of AIGA Philadelphia and became its president in 1985. In 2003, she published the book Designing Brand Identity, an important work in the world of graphic design.

Image Source: Ed Wheeler, the Authors Guild








Barry Wilke

PMSA Class of 1958, BS, Industrial Design

UArts Silver Star Alumni Award, 1974.








Deborah Willis

PCA Class of 1975, BFA, Photography

Photographer, Curator, Author, Scholar

UArts Silver Star Alumni Award, 1995.

MacArthur "Genius" Award, 2000.

Exposure Group's Award for Lifetime Achievement in Photography, 2002.

Deborah Willis was born in Philadelphia and received a BFA from The Philadelphia College of Art, an MFA from the Pratt Institute, an MA from City College in New York and a PhD from George Mason University. A 2005 Guggenheim and Fletcher Fellow, a 2000 MacArthur Fellow, a 1996 recipient of the Anonymous Was a Woman Foundation Award, as well as an artist, she is one of the nation's leading historians of African-American photography and curators of African-American culture. Her work has been in numerous major exhibitions, including: Progeny at Columbia University Wallach Gallery; Double Exposure at Wadsworth Antheneum, Hartford; A Sense of Place: Contemporary African-American Art at the University of Pittsburgh; and African Queen at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Among her notable book projects are Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers–1840 to the PresentBarack Obama: The Historic Campaign in Photographs, and Posing Beauty: Images of African Americans from 1890 to the Present. Named among the 100 Most Important People in Photography by American Photography Magazine, Willis is Chair and Professor of Photography and Imaging at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University.

- Silver Star Alumni Award Exhibition

Image Source: University of the Arts Digital Collections








Loveis Wise

UArts Class of 2018, BFA, Illustration


UArts Young Alumni Award, 2023.

Loveis Wise was born in Washington, D.C. Almost immediately after graduating from The University of the Arts, an illustration of theirs was selected for the cover of The New Yorker, bringing them national renown. Since then, Wise has worked as a freelance illustrator for clients such as Google, Harper Collins, Apple, Dr. Marten, L'Oréal, The New York Times, and countless others. Wise has also illustrated several children's books. 








Samuel Yellin (1884-1940)

Attended PMSIA 1906


Special Prize of $10.00 by the Principal for Group of Work in Wrought Iron, 1906.

Bok Prize, 1925.

PMSIA Alumni Association Gold Medal, 1931.

Samuel Yellin was born in Mohyliv-Podilskyi, Ukraine in 1884. He emigrated to the United States in 1906 and attended the Pennsylvania Museum School of Art. He shortly thereafter began teaching at PMSIA while operating his own metal shop in the city. Samuel Yellin Metalworkers created iron fixtures, furniture, and hardware for buildings of all types throughout the country.

Image Source: Chicago Silver








Peggy Turner Zablotny

PCA Class of 1970, BS, Industrial Design

Stephen M. Zablotny

PCA Class of 1970, BS, Industrial Design

UArts Silver Star Alumni Award, 1987.

Stephen M. Zablotny graduated from the Philadelphia College of Art in 1970 with a BS in Industrial Design. He met Peggy Turner in freshman year and again in the ID department, where they made plans to someday have a design firm together. They married in 1971 and in 1976 started Z Studio, which focuses on exhibition and graphic design as well as many other design capabilities. Zablotny always had an interest in theater and techniques of presentation which led naturally to exhibition design. He was fortunate to have been hired as a designer, while a sophomore, by General Exhibits of Philadelphia. His first assignment was to research and write a report on the future of exhibits in trade shows and museums. This started a direction in his design career that continues today: the desire to explore and research new techniques in presentation and production methods. Stephen served as the technical director and is currently the graphics and publications designer and resident set designer for The Vineyard Playhouse. In 1994, Peggy started to experiment with pressing flowers from her garden on Martha's Vineyard where they spent much of their time. Her love of gardening and design combined to create her unique botanical collage compositions. Her first show in 1996 was at the Field Gallery in West Tisbury, and she is represented by numerous galleries in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and California. She continues to create and exhibit her work, and has many publications and collectors to her credit. The Zablotnys are currently residents of Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts, where they continue their design and exhibit work from Z Studio on Martha's Vineyard.

- Silver Star Alumni Award Exhibition

Image Source: University of the Arts Digital Collections