PennDesign graduate named 'The Next Great Artist'

Penn alumnus Abdi Farah
courtesy of NBC Universal Cable Entertainment

Penn alumnus Abdi Farah was recently crowned the winner of the new reality show “Work of Art: The Next Great Artist” on Bravo. As the champ, Farah receives a prize of $100,000 and gets a solo show of his artwork at the Brooklyn Museum.

Farah graduated from Penn's School of Design in 2009 with a major in Fine Arts and a minor in Religious Studies. During his student days, he was an active resident and council member of the W.E.B. Du Bois College House. His artwork appeared in the Daily Pennsylvanian and also graced the cover of the inaugural issue of The Esu Review, the undergraduate research journal of the Center for Africana Studies. Farah played junior varsity basketball and also volunteered in a student-created and student-led enrichment program for West Philadelphia middle school children.

As a contestant on the reality show, Farah competed against 13 other aspiring contemporary artists in painting, sculpture, photography, collage and industrial design. A panel of recognized leaders in the art world and celebrity guest judges pared down the number of contestants each week.

China Chow, the host and one of the judges on “Work of Art” has said that Farah’s art stands out because “not only is he technically proficient ... but there’s a lot of humanity in his work.” Primarily a painter, Farah also creates sculpture and illustrations, as well as video art and prints. A portfolio of his work can be seen at

Originally published on .