Press Release

May 8, 2018

'Respect Starts Here' Teams Up With Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

As an awareness element of Janney’s Respect Starts Here campaign, Joe Culley, Executive Committee Member, Head of Capital Markets, and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) Trustee, and Davina DeMark, Diversity & Inclusion Programs Manager, hosted an exclusive, interactive tour of “The Art World We Want” exhibit at the PAFA. Brooke Davis Anderson, PAFA Museum Director, guided the private tour and educated a group of Janney employees about its inception and purpose.

In October 2017, PAFA launched a photography exhibit displaying renowned artist, Chuck Close. Three months after its opening and in the midst of the #metoo movement, when victims of harassment and trauma felt empowered to speak up, several women came forward to accuse the artist of past sexual misconduct. The accusations against Chuck Close are a reminder that the problems of abusive power are as prevalent in the art world as they are in other sectors and that alleged victims will no longer remain silent.

Rather than remove the exhibit, PAFA decided to continue with the Chuck Close show but wanted to respond to the allegations in a manner that encouraged full dialogue without muting the allegations of misconduct. To determine the best course of action, PAFA hosted multiple meetings with its staff, Board of Trustees, and students.

What ensued was a new installation of paintings titled, “The Art World We Want”. It features works from both PAFA’s permanent collection and current students and is intended, says PAFA’s Anderson, to “address issues of gender, power, the politics of the workplace in the art world, and most specifically, the artist in the studio.” The exhibit features a post-it note wall where visitors can leave behind their interpretations of the art and expressions around the problematic issues that spurred the collection.

The guided tour highlighted that harassment affects every profession and presented how an art organization can publicly respond to accusations during a social movement. The root issue addressed by PAFA aligns with the ‘Respect Starts Here’ campaign, which aims to educate and focus on the entire picture of harassment and disparate treatment. Elements of the ‘Respect Starts Here’ campaign call attention to what inclusive behaviors look like and bring awareness to the positive behaviors that uplift our people, culture, and workplace. In case you missed it, the campaign launched with a videotaped message by Janney’s President and CEO, Tim Scheve followed by an Unconscious Bias course found in Janney’s Learning Management System. Additional campaign activities will continue throughout the year as we spotlight what inclusion looks like and how we can continue to “Keep People at the Center.”

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