故事从PAFA

Painting 教师 艾尔Gury Finds Reward in Advocacy

艾尔Gury wears many hats, to say the least. At PAFA alone he chairs the painting department, 本科教学, 高中, and continuing education levels, and directs the After-im体育app下载 Studio Art Program for young people in the city. He also works with Mural Arts Philadelphia, people experiencing homelessness, and the elderly; and is proud to have served over 3000 animals as a volunteer for the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS).

When he transferred to PAFA as a student in 1972, he didn’t expect to follow any path other than painting. “I gradually realized that I was a complex person with a variety of interests and skills and that the people who had been important in my life were teachers. So I did just about everything to find my place and my voice.” Everything included mentoring artists of all ages, including his most impactful positions working with students with disabilities and those from underserved areas. “But I dreamed of coming back to PAFA along the way to teach,” he recalls. “And I discovered that I actually was good at administration. I loved being an advocate for students and faculty.” 

In the four decades he has served on the faculty, he finds every student different. 但是作为一名im体育官网app下载者, he helps them to answer the same questions: What is the best way for them to contribute, 为了谋生, 成为社区的一份子, 来打造他们独特的声音? Even if that means following a different career path, says Gury “We teach people to think. We teach them to ask questions and about the actual physical skills it takes to make really compelling art.”

He sees this manifested each year through the 年度学生展览 (May 14–June 6, 2021). “Every year I look forward to the immense variety of creativity that our students come up with. It’s amazing when I have them in a first-year class and then I work with them as a senior and see what they developed.” He expects something unique this year, akin to influences seen during PAFA’s World War II years: “I'm very interested to see how students have responded to the pandemic.” 

Gury continues to find influences for his own painting, fueled by lecturing around the world and publishing numerous books and articles. “它们确实相互通知. As the kid who felt that he was the dumb student in elementary school, the great irony is that later I discovered that as I loved talking about ideas, 我喜欢把这些写下来!“大约三年前, Gury found himself lecturing in southern France, where Henri Matisse had worked. “I came home and I realized that I needed to change it up. 在我的颜色课上, 例如, I've always taught students how to do the Fauvist Expressionist work that Matisse did as an exercise.他自己也试过, which bloomed into a whole exhibition of new work, which still inspires him today. “That just changed my whole way of working.”

在五月的一个晚上, he politely ended a work call as a family came to his door to retrieve a newly adopted kitten. Volunteering for PAWS, as well as teaching, has always been a release from the stresses of an artist. “这些动物需要你. You can’t go in there and fuss over what’s on your mind. You have take care of these little creatures and it’s the same with students. 它帮了我很多次.”
 

艾尔Gury stands with a student and her work
艾尔Gury holds kitten in blanket

关于PAFA

成立于1805年, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is America's first school and museum of fine arts. A recipient of the National Medal of Arts, PAFA offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the fine arts, innovative exhibitions of historic and contemporary American art, and a world-class collection of American art. PAFA’s esteemed alumni include Mary Cassatt, Njideka阿克罗斯比, 汤姆·艾金斯, 威廉Glackens, 巴克利L. Hendricks, Violet Oakley, Louis Kahn, David Lynch, and Henry Ossawa Tanner.