Shaping the Future of Art - 2018

April 25, 2018

Eric Fischl ’68, contemporary American painter, sculptor, author, and philanthropist, spent time critiquing Phoenix College students’ artwork as part of the annual Eric Fischl Lecture Series.

Lecture Series

Each year, Fischl returns to Phoenix with a guest artist to host a lecture, student art exhibition, and Vanguard Awards at the Phoenix Art Museum.

During the critique, Fischl offered students insight into the creative process, spending time with each student artist discussing methodology, technique, and motivation behind their work.

“Art instruction is a vocational process that hopefully facilitates discovery – leading to a broadening and widening of expression and skill” – Eric Fischl

Having a noted artist evaluate their creations is an invaluable gift to Phoenix College students hoping to become professional artists.  Series guest artist Jose Lerma also spent time critiquing students’ work.

Later that week at the Fischl Lecture Series, three students were recognized as Vanguard Award winners, as best-in-show among work submitted to the student art competition.

2018 Vanguard Award winners:

Julie Grasso

Kimberly Harris

Julia Szczecinski.

As a part of the Series, the Vanguard Award winners and nine student artists in three categories (photography, 3-Dimensional, and 2-Dimensional art), displayed their work in the Great Hall at the Phoenix Art Museum.


First Place – Joseph Medina

Second Place – Alexandria Sosa

Third Place – Jonathan Shalley

3-Dimensional Art:

First Place – Christopher Ziems

Second Place – Amy Manning

Third Place – Paul Elliott

2-Dimensional Art:

First Place – Sofia Anzadlua

Second Place – Najlaa Ahmed

Third Place – Linda Fitzgerald

The Future of Art Scholarship

To help shape the future of art in Phoenix and beyond, Eric Fischl and Fischl Program supporter Dan Withers created a scholarship for students wishing to pursue an Associate of Fine Arts degree at Phoenix College. Applications for the 2018-19 Fischl Scholars Program are now being accepted.

The scholarship provides financial assistance for tuition, books and art supplies (up to $3,000 per year). Students are provided a faculty mentor and have the opportunity to participate in the annual art critique with Fischl and guest artist.

To learn more about the Fischl Program, visit  To see photos from the Eric Fischl Lecture Series with Jose Lerma, check out our photo page.

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.