Student Spotlight: Harry Galiano


A Junior at Penn, Harry Galiano is study Fine Arts with a minor in Architecture.

Aside from participating in the Arthur Ross Gallery’s Student Advisory Board and Student Docent program since 2017, Harry is involved in a myriad of art-related endeavors on and off campus.  Nearly all of these endeavors are philanthropic in some capacity.

On campus, Harry is a private art instructor for a Penn professor.

Off campus, Harry currently holds internships at both Mural Arts and 40th Street AIR.  As an intern at Mural Arts, he assists multiple departments such as Porchlight rehabilitative programming.  As an intern for 40th Street AIR, Harry currently helps five Philadelphia artists develop community outreach programs.

Harry is a fellow at Philadelphia’s Crane Arts; in this role, he leads community programming and the production of an exhibition.

Finally, he has been a volunteer artist and art instructor for Art(is)4Kids since early 2017.

He was formerly the Museum Education Intern at the Philadelphia Museum of Art for the Summer 2018 term.

12@12 with Curator Heather Moqtaderi


For today’s 12@12 talk, our Assistant Director, Heather Moqtaderi, highlighted comments from select participants (citizen curators) who voted for artworks in our current crowd-sourced exhibition, Citizen Salon. Moqtaderi focused on the artworks installed on the two walls that face each other at the center of the gallery’s west wall. Hanging on one wall, viewers find three artworks by male artists who are heavily featured within the canon of art history, each depicting a female subject’s face. On the opposite wall hang three artworks by female artists – all accomplished but not recognized in the “textbook” sense. Moqtaderi spoke about how these two walls form “a sort of conversation between the male gaze and the perspective of woman artists.”

Below, you’ll find the comments that Moqtaderi included in today’s 12@12 talk. The phrases that Moqtaderi referenced are bolded, and each citizen curator’s name is listed below. Enjoy these comments! For more citizen curator commentary, you can also listen to citizen curator voices through our audio guide:



Man Ray, Julie, 1970








I had no idea Man Ray made lithographs so I would love to see one of these in person.” -Rachel Wetzel

-“I choose this work because it’s interesting. Her eyes are captivating and they draw you in. You don’t know if she’s sad, watchful, or lost. She’s mysterious. Also, I haven’t seen much lithography work by Man Ray before, so I think it’s a great opportunity to display and discuss an important part of his career.” -Tina Smith

“I have always loved Man Ray’s photography and this painting has a similar impact on me as a portrait – the woman’s eyes are piercing and focused; the placement of the hands says a lot about what women are – and aren’t – allowed to show of themselves in society, which is still resonant today. She’s also classically beautiful. It’s a distinct portrait of a woman which is unexpectedly revealing, especially to be painted by a man.”
-Laura Cavender

“The figure “Julie” in the piece emerges from the background of flat, abstract, black space into a simplified form to give the viewer the expression of a woman who is shielding herself with her hands. The figure is mysterious and delicate yet holds a lot of power in her eyes. We share the same name.” -Julie Heffernan

Henri Matisse, Etude pour la Vierge, Tête voilée, ca. 1950

“As someone who studies 19th century European painting, I don’t spend enough time with works on paper. This drawing has become iconic, even in its simplicity of form and subject, the work is instantly recognizable. I love that Matisse, who is known for his colorful paintings, has somewhat of a different identity with his works on paper, but we know exactly who he is in both media.” -Emma Lasry

“This work stood out to me as I was struck by the way that Matisse was able to capture so much with so few, and such simply drawn lines. There is a stark simplicity to the black line on the white paper where most of the paper shows through. However, despite the bareness of the medium, the intricate expression of his muse is apparent. She gazes sideways with her head tilted down. Her lips are pursed and almost seem to give the viewer a small smile. The quickness of the medium actually adds to her expression in my opinion, as it seems that the artist has managed to capture one fleeting moment.”
-Yasmin Gee

Luis Arenal Bastar, Mujer de Taxco, 1947


“This is such a powerful image, and so skillfully executed in the way the artist uses the color of the paper to serve as highlights on the cheek, nose, eyebrow, and ear. Undoubtedly, the current political situation makes this image feel urgently relevant today.”
-Cindy Kang

The negative space and the side angle view are appealing. The history of the printmakers engagement with political print organizations was something I was unaware of and so I thought presenting this (hopefully with the caption) might inspire others to learn more about those histories. Finally, the fact that the artist was self-taught seems like an important component of this exhibit’s populist framework.” -Daniel Tucker

Linda Plotkin, Morning, 1978

“I love that the concept was art for the people. The wealthy have overtaken the art market and it feels sometimes that we have Christie’s auctions for millions or Home Goods sofa art. This celebrates the in between.” -Joanne Murray

“When first looking at the piece I thought it was depicting a cityscape with two towers. Only the second look made me realize it was a breakfast table. I found this contrast interesting, especially with the somber and dramatic black and white shading. The breakfast table, usually a intimate happy place, takes on a new grand scale of drama and tragedy.” -Ali AlYousefi

Mabel Dwight, Night Work, 1931


“The light and shadows in a monochromatic palette.” -Casey Boss

“I just like the look of it – almost colorless, tranquil, interesting somewhat antique details.” -Ed Deegan

“I find this scene compelling, I want to look deeper, see what’s going on in the same way a Magritte draws one in. It’s welcoming and mysterious at the same time. I also don’t know the artist and would like to see the work of a female artist who is not a household name these days on display.” -Luise Moskowitz

“I am often drawn to early 20th century artwork, especially art that explores urban life at the time. I liked the strong lines and shadows of this piece, which give this nighttime landscape dynamic energy despite the absence of color and barely visible human presence. When I clicked, I wasn’t surprised to see the artwork dated 1931, but I was happy to see that it was created by a woman! Female artists often get left out of the conversation when we talk about modernist artists, especially artists of urban landscapes. I really hope Citizen Salon takes that into consideration for the exhibition: it’s wonderful to invite the public into the selection process, but we non-specialists are likely to choose what is familiar, and what is familiar is usually the work of celebrated men.” -Sara Davis

P J Crooke, Reminiscing, 1988

“I chose this work because of the moment it captures. I love that the work is centered around the moment shared by these two women in conversation but creates a dreamy and strange environment far beyond the realities of the two subjects. I also love the interior and exterior details: the portraits hanging on the wall and the countryside seen through the window.” -Lauren Altman


“The symmetry is visually compelling, with a narrative that seems squarely in the middle of the tale. The beginning and end exist in some other plane where shadows can exist as light in shadow.” -Bob Gutowski

“I am drawn to this painting because it is an interior domestic scene with a surreal element to it!” -Hannah Declercqo

Student Spotlight: Reese Berman


A Sophomore at Penn, Reese is majoring in Art History and minoring in Psychology and Fine Arts.

Aside from being a Student Board member at the Arthur Ross Gallery, Reese is currently a graphic illustrator for both 34th Street Magazine and Penn Appétit Magazine.  She also helps organize arts events at Penn as a member of the SPEC Art Collective.

Reese is involved in a number of philanthropic endeavors on campus.  She educates students on civic engagement in nearby schools through The Upstander Initiative and mentors a local middle school student weekly through Big Brother Big Sisters.

She worked as an intern last summer at the Sean Kelly Gallery in New York and is proficient in Hebrew.

Citizen Spotlight: Faye Anderson

Faye Anderson

Photo by Eric Sucar

Faye Anderson is director of All That Philly Jazz, a place-based public history project that is documenting Philadelphia’s golden age of jazz.  The places include Geno’s Empty Foxhole, which was located in the basement of the parish hall of St. Mary’s Church at Penn.

At our Citizen Salon exhibition, Faye experienced a rush of emotions upon seeing the portrait of Marian Anderson.  Robert Savon Pious captured the contralto’s grace and determination to navigate racial obstacles on her journey from the stage of South Philly’s Union Baptist Church to the world stage at New York’s Metropolitan Opera.  Faye thought that on her shoulders stand those who were inspired by her act of resistance at the Lincoln Memorial.  They became the leaders and foot soldiers of the Civil Rights Movement.

Faye is also involved in the fight to save Abolition Hall, an Underground Railroad site that is at risk of degradation by a proposed townhouse development. The landmark is located on the Corson Homestead, the ancestral home of Penn alumni Hiram Corson (1828) and Joseph Kirby Corson (1863). After the Civil War, the purpose-built structure was converted into a studio where Thomas Hovenden painted “The Last Moments of John Brown.”

The Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries–of which Penn is a member–recently launched “Chronicling Resistance, Enabling Resistance.” This project explores how to connect archival materials to current social change narratives.  Faye is curating news and information about a singular place of resistance at Abolition Hall Deserves Better.  She invites the Penn community to contribute to the crowdsourced project.

Student Spotlight: Alex Johnson


A Senior at Penn, Alex is majoring in Philosophy and minoring in Gender, Sexuality, & Women’s Studies, Law & Society, and History of Art.  She hails from Washington, D.C.

Alex is the current Co-Chair of the Student Advisory Board of the Arthur Ross Gallery.  She boasts an impressive research background, having worked as a research assistant at Penn’s Law School, Medical School, and Philosophy Department.  Outside of Penn, she has held research assistant roles at The Brookings Institution in D.C. and the Legal Aid Society in New York.

On campus, Alex is the President of the Penn Debate Society.  In addition, she is the President of the American Parliamentary Debate Association, overseeing all operations of the nation’s oldest collegiate debate league (comprised of over 100 schools, including the Ivy League).

Alex is currently the 3rd-best debater in the nation. She is also a classically trained pianist.

Student Spotlight: Caroline Miller


A Senior at Penn, Caroline is majoring in Visual Studies and minoring in Art History.  She hails from Arlington, VA.

Caroline is the current Co-Chair of the Student Advisory Board of the Arthur Ross Gallery.  This past summer, she was as an editor and researcher for Dr. Ian Verstegen (Assistant Head of the Visual Studies Department at Penn), assisting with two of his books.  Prior to this, she interned in Fundraising and Outreach at the Opera del Santa Croce (Florence, Italy) and at Christie’s (New York).  Caroline hopes to eventually get a PhD and be a curator in Renaissance drawings. She cares deeply about getting people to interact with art.

For this reason, most of her extracurriculars at Penn are focused on making art accessible and interesting to the Penn community.  On campus, Caroline is the Director of the SPEC Art Collective, a PennArts Leader, a member of the ICA’s Student Board, and a member of the Clio Society.  She is currently writing her Visual Studies thesis on Auguste Rodin’s experimental “Assemblage” process works and how they demonstrate his fascination with specifically fragmentary works of ancient art and with Michelangelo’s non-finito or unfinished works of art.


Paper and Process: A 12@12 Talk by Mary Tasillo


During a recent installment of 12@12 (a twelve minute gallery talk at 12pm), Mary Tasillo of the Common Press responded to our current exhibition “William Kentridge: Universal Archive”:

I’d like to talk about paper and process – as both a papermaker and a printmaker. Right now we’re surrounded by linoleum cut prints based on ink drawings. One of the things I love about relief printmaking is the transformation that happens as you go from one medium to another – from an initial drawing, file, or photograph – to a dimensional, somewhat sculptural process such as carving into a block – back to the primarily 2D result of a print. What changes in the character of a line through those transitions? 

What is remarkable about this exhibit is that these prints retain so carefully that gestural quality of the brush painting – a result of the painstaking detail with which the drawings were transferred and carved. 

So…why not just make a brush painting? Why make a print at all? Certainly making a print, the process of creating copies for an edition, has implications for value and distribution – the potential for a wider reach.

As Kentridge explained in 2010, “at the other side of the press is a version of your drawing that is different to the marks originally made. A separation, as if some other hand had made the print.”

Clearly Kentridge is interested in transformation – much like the shifts that take place across a series of coffee pots, morphing into a human figure.  A transformation from a quick, loose capturing of the moment to a meticulous and slow process of codifying those images by carving them into a block. We discuss a “vocabulary” of images, of everyday objects. A visual lexicon that reflects the idea of the dictionary pages onto which these images are printed. Also we have multiplicity – here we can view the same bird, or the same tree, displayed on its own, or seen as part of a larger composition – allowing for repetition and driving home this idea of a visual language. The matrix of the linoleum block like the matrix that casts the letter “e” in metal in a system of moveable type or the typewriter key striking the page.

Coming back to those dictionary pages. Once you create a linoleum block, your matrix, your print can exist on multiple substrates. We tend to think about paper as neutral – but it needn’t be, and as a papermaker I’d argue that it never is.

Some examples, beyond the found pages of the dictionary, from the world of contemporary hand papermakers: the Combat Paper Project has facilitated art making workshops with veterans for the last decade, in which veterans are invited to transform their uniforms into paper pulp, make sheets of paper from the pulp, and create works of art from the sheets. The People’s Paper Co-op and Re-entry Project, here in North Philadelphia, facilitates handmade paper art at criminal record expungement clinics where participants are invited to pulp their just-expunged criminal records and transform them into paper that holds their personal stories. Here, taking meaningful materials through a physical transformation is a vehicle for emotional transformation – and anyone holding that piece of paper in their hands connects to that transformation.

William Kentridge is no stranger to the breadth of possibility that lies within paper, having collaborated with Dieu Donne Papermill in New York, which has really pushed handmade paper as an art medium unto itself. In a few of editions, making use of the watermark (the image one might see in the corner of a sheet of resume paper when holding it up to the light) as a drawing medium – the entirety of the piece held within the sheet of handmade paper.

If Kentridge is interested in the metamorphosis of his work through process, surely it must delight him to see the dance of meaning when his imagery becomes juxtaposed with various pages of the dictionary. How do we view the bird, when the word “visitation” crops up in the background, versus when layered over words such as “exodus”? One reading, a pleasant encounter with nature – the other coming closer to the idea of “extinct.” Thus printing on the dictionary pages gives us the potential for endless readings, based on chance encounters between surface and substrate. And the more gestural the image, the more subject it is to the influence of the page.

The nature of the paper has other implications for the life of the work. You’ll notice throughout the exhibition labels that the dictionary pages are continually marked as “non-archival” — and the label for “If you have no eye” also specifies the “archival tape” piecing things together. It’s a bit funny for an exhibition named “Universal Archive.” The found pages are not pH neutral, and will continue to yellow and deteriorate over time. Much like Kentridge’s collection of everyday items, plants, and mammals will deteriorate or be tossed away over time. This is in contrast to the typical notion of archive, preserved for all time – but in line, once again, with changes and shifts, and with the ongoing construction and deconstruction taking place in the collaged prints, such as the cats, where the pages making up the prints have been both torn apart and pieced together. The shape of the dictionary pages follows the shape of the cat, using the substrate, the page, to reinforce the form and sense of movement.

So as you view this exhibition, I ask you to consider process – the print and the substrate? How does Kentridge use the multiple? And how would the work change with a different substrate – either with a plain background, or with found paper of a different nature?

Student Spotlight: Yasmin Gee


A Senior at Penn, Yasmin is majoring in Art History and minoring in Journalistic Writing.  She hails from London, U.K.

Aside from working as a docent at the Arthur Ross Gallery, Yasmin is currently a campus representative for Rent the Runway.  She has already held a number of internships in both the fashion industry and the art industry.  Last summer, she was a Buying Intern at Bergdorf Goodman in New York.  Prior to this, she interned at the Lisson Gallery, the FLAG Art Foundation, and Christie’s.

Yasmin carries her passion for art to her activities on campus.  Currently, she is the Chair of the SPEC Art Collective.  Some events she’s hosted in this role include a trip to Phillip Johnson’s glass house in Connecticut, two annual “Careers in the Arts” speakers panels, and a docent tour of the Anselm Kiefer shows at the Barnes.  She even curated an exhibition at the Fox Art Gallery called “Art in Translation.”  Prior to this, she was the Programming Chair of the ICA Student Board.

Yasmin is proficient in French and enjoys cooking, reading novels, attending the theatre, and (of course) visiting galleries.

Student Spotlight: Morgan Moinian


A Junior at Penn, Morgan is majoring in Art History and Architecture. She hails from New York City.

Aside from working as a docent at the Arthur Ross Gallery, Morgan is currently a brand strategist for Felix Coffee Co. in New York, as well as the owner of an online gallery called Empty Wall Committee (which will launch in the next few weeks).  She formerly interned at Sasha Bikoff Interior Design and at CNN on the Digital Labs team, both in New York.

On campus, Morgan is a member of the Wharton Undergraduate Real Estate Club.  She is fluent in English, Hebrew, Farsi, and Spanish–and she’s in the process of learning Italian!

Student Spotlight: Luiza Repsold Franca

Luiza Franca picA Junior at Penn, Luiza is majoring in Art History and minoring in English and Fine Art. She hails from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Aside from working as a docent at the Arthur Ross Gallery, Luiza has been involved in the Philadelphia Museum of Art in multiple capacities.  She previously held two different internships at the PMA: she was the Contemporary Art Department Curatorial Intern, then she interned in the museum’s prestigious Museum Studies Summer Program.  Currently, she volunteers at the PMA–doing textile and costume work for the exhibit Fabulous Fashion: From Dior’s New Look to Now.

Luiza carries her passion for costume and fashion design to her campus activities.  At Penn, she is involved in the Penn Fashion Collective and several performing arts groups. You can find Luiza at rehearsal for Penn Singers or Penn Players, and even crafting professional-level costumes for the sketch comedy group Bloomers.