We build community through art.
Da Vinci Art Alliance (DVAA) is a non-profit art space based in South Philadelphia that provides resources, exhibition space, and community for our artist members and surrounding neighborhoods. Presenter of the annual Da Vinci Fest, DVAA inspires all who walk through our doors to explore their inner genius.
Founded by 9 Italian immigrant artists in 1931, Da Vinci Art Alliance (DVAA) has continuously served as a space of creative refuge. Among the founders were Emidio D’Angelo, painter and cartoonist; Severo Antonelli, photographer; Giacomo Colombo, architect; Henry Coscia, architect; Nicolo D’Ascenzo, stained glass artist and first President of the Da Vinci Alliance; Giuseppe Donato, sculptor; Domenico D’Imperio, sculptor; Earnest Lapatino, illustrator; Luigi Maraffi, sculptor; Frank and Anthony Martino, painters, Alex Papale, framemaker; Joseph Primavera, violin maker; Armando Ricci, interior architect; Cesare Ricciardi, portrait artist; and Jules Scalella, commercial artist. This impressive gathering selected a name to honor the famed genius Leonardo of Vinci.
Between the beginning of World War II and 1996 there was little activity at Da Vinci Art Alliance. In 1997 artist, Kathryn Pannepacker breathed new life into the organization by taking up residency in the building, renovating the gallery space, and establishing a web presence for the institution. Under her leadership Da Vinci Art Alliance was reborn. In 2015, Jarrod Markman was hired as the organization’s first paid team member, later joining as the first full-time Executive Director. DVAA hired Bryant Girsch as the Exhibitions and Programming Director in 2019. Since 2015, DVAA has grown to new heights as an organization and as a community. DVAA transitioned to full-time staff, launched a full schedule of new membership programming, piloted the first grant funded Fellowship Program, announced our new community arts festival (Da Vinci Fest), and has caught the eye of the Philadelphia’s press and arts community like never before. We are at the cusp of a Renaissance at DVAA and are excited for you to get involved!