Shaping the Future of Art

Eric Fischl '68
Eric Fischl and guest artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby select Vanguard Award winners from work submitted to the annual Phoenix College Student Art Exhibition
Vanguard Award winner Case Binkley
February 07, 2018

Phoenix College and contemporary American painter, sculptor and author Eric Fischl are shaping the future of art in Arizona – and beyond – by providing life-changing opportunities for students, and supporting the next generation of great American artists.

Paying it Forward

In 2005, Fischl returned to Phoenix College to give back to his alma mater and to help aspiring artists. Fischl honors the college’s influence on his life by returning annually with world-famous artists and art enthusiasts to present the Eric Fischl Series – hosted at the PC campus and the Phoenix Art Museum.

Fischl says he feels a sense of obligation to facilitate conversations on the arts and to give back to the place where he first felt he could be an artist. Fischl is helping Phoenix College become a center for the arts in Phoenix.

A painting teacher at PC, Merrill Mahaffey, saw something in Fischl and pushed him to believe in himself.  Fischl says it seemed natural to return to the college and give back.

“Phoenix College afforded me an opportunity to find myself and my voice as an artist."   
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Eric Fischl

Life-Changing Student Experience

As part of the annual Fischl Series, Phoenix College art students participate in portfolio critiques with Eric Fischl and the guest artist. This one-on-one analysis provides students with critical guidance and support as they develop their artistic technique.

The Fischl Scholarship – the first of its kind at a community college – provides vital financial support, allowing students to concentrate on their education. The program aims to increase the number of students pursuing an Associate of Fine Arts Degree at Phoenix College – in preparation for university transfer.

The Fischl Scholar Program is a competitive scholarship program, which includes mentorship with PC art faculty and college counselors designated to help ensure student success. The Program pays for tuition and art supplies for the scholars while pursuing their fine arts degree at Phoenix College. 

Shaping the Future of Art

The Eric Fischl Program is having an impact not only on students’ lives, but also on the quality of art education being offered at Phoenix College, and on the art community…by shaping the future of art in Phoenix…and beyond.

To learn more about the Fischl Program, please call 602-285-7667, or email deborah.spotts@phoenixcollege.edu.

About Phoenix College

Phoenix College is one of the 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District, one of the largest community college districts in the nation. Phoenix College offers academic courses leading to associate degrees, university transfer, certificates and short-term job training to more than 11,000 students annually.