Philly's Can't-Miss Spring & Summer Art Exhibits

In the coming weeks, a variety of art will debut in museums and galleries around the city. Established names like Jean Renoir and William Morris, as well as young artists yet to break onto the art scene, make up a series of exhibits that explore themes like nature, virtual reality, and the relationship between film and paintings. Here are the new art exhibits coming to Philly.

CHANNELING NATURE BY DESIGN

Nature is the inspiration of this exhibit, and creative design is its vehicle. Channeling Nature by Design features works of furniture, pottery, cutlery, and other industrial objects that have captured the beauty of the natural world. The exhibit traces the rise of nature as an artistic  centerpiece, starting in the late 1800’s when the movement was a respite from industrialization, moving to an ecologically conscious postwar era, and finishing in contemporary design focused on sustainability and technology. Some of the works include botanical wallpaper by William Morris and the streamlined, modern approaches of March newson and Zaha Hadid.

April 22nd – July 16th
Philadelphia Museum of Art
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

PAFA’S 116TH ANNUAL STUDENT EXHIBITION

For over a century, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts has provided students the chance to curate and sell their works in the museum galleries. The show features work by PAFA’s BFA students, third-year and fourth-year Certificate program students, and MFA candidates. Hundreds of paintings, sculptures, and installations by the rising artists will be on sale, and students will vie for a handful of scholarships as well.

May 12th – June 4th
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
118 North Broad Street

MYTHS OF MARBLE

What happens when the “virtual” is utilized to visualize the world’s limitations and possibilities? A group of international artists tackle this question while assessing how to distinguish between reality and a virtual construct of the world around us. Mediums like painting, sculpture, and video consider also explore themes like physical and online existence, technology, and human limitations. The Institute of Contemporary Art teamed with Henie Onstad Kunstsenter in Norway to produce the exhibit.

April 28th – August 6th
Institute of Contemporary Art
118 S. 36th Street

RENOIR: FATHER AND SON / PAINTING AND CINEMA

Jean Renoir, the son of impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir, is widely regarded as one of the best directors of all time. The symbiotic relationship between Jean’s films and his father’s paintings is explored at the Barnes Foundation, weaving the core themes of the two men’s works together. Tracing Jean’s rise to prominent filmmaker, the exhibition will pair paintings, drawings, films, photos, and ceramics by both Jean and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. In the process all the works will draw connections between father and son, and traditional art and film.  

April 28th – September 3rd
The Barnes Foundation
2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway