DVAA Member since january 2015
In 1966, Ed Bronstein returned to Philadelphia after graduating Princeton University to study architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, with the objective of opening his own architectural practice. He opened his office in 1974, and within eight years, his restaurant designs graced the covers of five national design journals, “Pennsylvania Architect”, the state’s journal, and the book “Dining by Design”. In 1983, he was recognized with the “Gold Key Award”, the highest design award of the American Hotel and Motel Association. His design for AIA Philadelphia, the local chapter’s headquarters, appeared in “Architecture” magazine’s 1994 Annual Review of American Architecture. In 1989, after watching his daughter’s art education, he began evening and weekend courses at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. From then until now, he has continued his “formal” art training there, and at Fleisher Art Memorial, taking several courses every year. While continuing to teach as an Adjunct Professor at Drexel University since 1983, he closed his successful practice of architecture in 2001, in order to pursue painting full time. His last commission, the Greene Towne School, was noted in an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer as “one of the most artful and inventive new buildings to show up in Center City in the last few years”.
He was appointed to the Philadelphia Art Commission by the mayor in 1996, and has been instrumental in organizing the city-wide “Philadelphia Open Studio Tours” event, as well as the Philadelphia’s Design Advocacy Group (DAG). He has painted in Ireland, twice painting as a resident at the Cill Rialaig Project in Ballinskelligs. In 2008 he had a solo show at the Urban Retreat Gallery in Dublin, Ireland, showing work he developed during eight visits to Ireland in less than ten years. His oil and pastel paintings have been shown in Philadelphia, and in galleries in New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware since 1993. He mounted a solo show at the Southern Vermont Art Center in the spring of 2000, and his works were included in the “Art of the State” show at the Pennsylvania State Museum in Harrisburg in 2000, and 2002’s Juried Show of the Allentown Art Museum.
“As a practicing Architect in Philadelphia for over thirty years, I learned to see the world in a certain way. In the late 1980’s, with a new interest in painting, I returned to ‘formal’ art training, at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and Fleisher Art Memorial, and subsequently decided to pursue painting as a full time profession. I paint what I see around me because the light hits it a certain way or because it says something to me about my life, humor, history, or beauty. Although my work can be said to be realistic, it has also been called both impressionistic and expressionist– go figure.”