Montco artist’s work part of ‘Art Unleashed’ exhibit, sale @UArts in Philadelphia

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PHILADELPHIA – The University of the Arts’ iconic Hamilton Hall will be brimming with art by emerging and established visual artists during the University’s eighth annual Art Unleashed exhibition and sale April 6-10.  The event, which raises critical support for student scholarships, is an opportunity for the public to acquire one-of-a-kind pieces of art, or to simply discover the rich artistic offerings of Philadelphia’s premier arts university.

Among the artists at this year’s event is Hailey Bryant, of Blue Bell, an UArts senior taking BFA Crafts + Material studies classes. Bryant will have two pieces on display, “Wearable Tension” and “Tension.”

“Wearable Tension” speaks to the association she has with stress and the tension that it causes in her life, physically and emotionally. The weight of the piece when wore has a form of comfort to it as if an extension of the body. Over time though the weight that is placed on her shoulders starts to set in and become discomforting.

“Tension” is less about the relationship to the physical body and more about the object’s weight and how each individual object is being balanced. The salt within each tube is not specifically measured to be even therefore each tube when hung finds its own balance. This piece signifies many of her emotions.

“Art Unleashed is not just an opportunity to experience the richness of our artistic community; it is an opportunity for the Philadelphia community to help make the dreams of future students a reality through scholarship support,” said David Yager, president of University of the Arts.  “This event sows the seeds for the future of our innovative arts, cultural and business leaders.”

This Spring, when UArts flings open its doors to the public for this unique exhibition and sale, works by emerging student artists will mingle with work by alumni, faculty and staff. The pieces on display and for sale will include a wide range of genres including contemporary jewelry and ceramics, and world-class photography, crafts, painting, sculpture and more. The Opening Night Party on Thursday, April 6 will provide hundreds of guests a chance to preview these works of art and purchase their favorites before the public show opens on Friday, April 7.

Art Unleashed is the University’s largest fundraiser for student scholarships and has provided scholarship support to help more than 1,000 students pursuing their academic and artistic goals at UArts.  In the past seven years, Art Unleashed has raised nearly $2 million for the Sam S. McKeel Promising Young Artists Scholarship Fund.


Art Unleashed will showcase the work of Philadelphia-based artist and UArts alumna Shelley Spector BFA ‘94 (Sculpture).  This year’s Art Unleashed Alumni Spotlight Artist, Spector has been actively engaged in Philadelphia’s art community for years as a respected artist, innovative gallery owner, teacher and champion of emerging talent. She is a multidisciplinary artist who uses materials, often discarded, to make work that is in search of communal connection.

Spector’s work is part of many public and private collections including The Philadelphia Museum of Art, which presented her solo exhibition “Keep the Home Fires Burning” in 2015, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Human Rights Campaign in Washington, D.C.  She has received grants from the Independence Foundation Fellowship in the Arts, and grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Leeway Foundation.  Spector founded SPECTOR Gallery/Projects, a program to work outside the traditional gallery system and Artjaw.com, an online anthology of first person stories from the Philadelphia art community. She is currently on faculty at the University of the Arts.


The Opening Night Party on April 6 from 6 to 9 p.m. kicks off the exhibition and sale by providing guests exclusive access to view and purchase pieces in advance of the public exhibition. Last year’s Opening Night party raised $350,000 in support of student scholarships.

For exclusive early access, a special VIP reception, with champagne and passed hors d’oeuvres, will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. In addition, tickets are also available for 5 p.m., one hour prior to the official start of the Opening Night Party, for those seeking early access to the works of art.  VIP Reception tickets and Early Admittance tickets, both of which include admission to the full Opening Night Party, range from $1,250 (two attendees) to $10,000 (six 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 through the Sam S. McKeel Promising Young Artists Scholarship Fund. Tickets are available for purchase at uarts.edu/artunleashed or by calling 215-717-6147.

This year’s Art Unleashed committee is co-chaired by UArts Trustee Patricia Fowler and Barbara Harberger BFA ’76 (Painting).

Hailey Bryant is shown with one of her art pieces  — “Tension” — in the background.
Submitted photo


Art Unleashed is free and open to the public April 7-10 from noon to 5 p.m. With hundreds of pieces of original art on display, Art Unleashed offers a unique opportunity for everyone, from first-time purchasers to established collectors, to view and purchase pieces they love. Saturday, April 8 is Neighborhood Appreciation Day, featuring music and giveaways by Art Unleashed exclusive radio sponsor More FM’s “Street Team.”

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

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