HomePAC Artists> Yeonmi Ahn> Artist Statement & Bio

Artist Statement

I was born and grew up in South Korea, starting my atelier lessons at age 9 with Hyunkye Cho, a South Korean watercolor master, and continuing my training in drawing and painting until I finished high school.  Unable to persuade my parents to let me pursue an art degree in college, I majored in Politics and Diplomacy at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea and subsequently, to the best of my knowledge, became the first Korean woman to earn a Ph.D. in Political Science at Yale University in New Haven, CT.  After completing a research fellowship at the Brookings Institution, working at the Library of Congress, teaching at Indiana University as a visiting scholar and staying at home to bring up children, I moved to Philadelphia area in 2006 along with my family.  With that change, I took the opportunity to return to my childhood dream of becoming a painter. 

For three years thereafter, I studied with Laurie Daddona, Karen Fogarty and Kashim Amoudi to broaden my artistic horizons.  I am a juried member of the Delaware Valley Art League, a full member of Artist Equity, Philadelphia Arts Connection and ARTsisters and an associate member of Philadelphia Watercolor Society.

My primary medium is watercolor.  I am most familiar with it and have the most confidence in handling and manipulating it.  Watercolor suits my temperament, and above all, I like its clarity, intensity and crispness.  I often paint things and events around me—ordinary things that evoke a strong emotional response in me.  Like Edward Hopper, I paint what I can’t put into words.  I have recorded flowers for the fleeting beauty that I saw when they were presented to me, for my emotional responses to them and in memory of the giver’s love, generosity and care.  I also work with acrylic and mixed media and have been exploring my personal style of paintings by combining western painting methods with elements of oriental paintings and crafts in some of my flower and mixed media works.

List of Group Shows

Wayne Art Center: Juried Member Show (2012, 2011 & 2009),    
                Philadelphia Arts Connection (PAC) Invitational Show (2011) & Expressions of Radnor (2008-12)
Philadelphia Watercolor Society’s Annual Members’ Juried Show (2012 & 2010)
Tyme Gallery: ARTsisters Group Show (2012), DVAL Miniature Show (2010) &  
                Tyme Gallery’s Annual Juried Show (2010)
Da Vinci Alliance Gallery: PAC 2nd Member Show (2012) & Juried Show Titled “Apocalypse Soon, 2012”    
Philadelphia Sketch Club Shows : Art of the Flowers, (2009-10), Absolutely Abstract(2009), 
                Phillustrations (2010) & Miniature(2009)
ARTsisters’ Group Shows:
               AbstractExpressions Contemporary Art Gallery (2011) & Commerce Bldg. in Philadelphia (2010)
Philadelphia/Tristate Artist Equity:
               Fall Juried Show (2012) & 62nd Anniversary Members’ Juried Exhibition (2011)
MCGOPA (Montgomery County Guild of Professional Artists) Annual Spring Juried Show (2011)
Delaware Valley Art League’s Juried and Board Shows, 2008-present
Main Line Art Center: Annual Member Shows (2009-2011)
Gryphon Café (Feb. 2010)
Wayne Art Festival (2009)

List of Awards

* Gudrun Fällman Memorial Award for “Celebration” at Penn Medicine at Valley Forge Winter Show 2011-12
* Honorable Mention for “Stream in Spring” at Penn Medicine at Valley Forge Spring Show 2012
* Second Prize for “Blue Night” at Philadelphia Sketch Club Show Titled “Miniature, 2009”
* Honorable Mention for “Lilies” at Wayne Art Center’s Fall Juried Member Show, 2007 

Yeonmi Ahn