JOHN JAMES PRON, AIA
I am an architect, an artist, a retired faculty member from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University and from 1998 til 2016, a member of the 3rd St Gallery on 2nd Street in Old City, Philadelphia. Now I am an active member of the DVAA (DaVinci Art Alliance) Gallery in Bella Vista, South Philadelphia.
I graduated with an M.Arch from the University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Fine Arts (now PennDesign). Since 1976 until retiring, I taught in the Department of Architecture, Tyler School of Art, Temple University, teaching design studios, freehand drawing and Beaux Arts presentation graphics as well as lecturing on architectural history (both Western and Non-Western traditions). In my studios, I specialized in the adaptive reuse of historic buildings. I led several summer study tours of Italy and Greece and taught at the campus of Temple University Rome. I was the recipient of his college’s Distinguished Faculty Award (1981), a Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching (1986), and the Temple University Great Teacher Award (1995)- its highest honor. Since 2012, I am an Emeritus Professor.
As a registered practicing architect in Pennsylvania, I am currently the Director of Architecture and Design for Hospitality Design Group, Architects, in Chalfont PA, a firm that specializes in hotel design- both new construction as well as the renovation of older buildings of historic character- in the countryside as well as in urban settings. Most recently, I redesigned the modernist interiors of the Desmond Hotel at Great Valley, Malvern, PA in a style to match the traditional Chester County vocabulary. Presently, in my retirement from teaching, I serve as a consultant assisting in the conversion of small, unique, privately-owned hotels that seek to have a global hotel franchise. How can I preserve- indeed enhance- what are the special, highly individual qualities of a hotel anchored in a particular regional and cultural setting, and yet meet the global expectations of contemporary hotel chains?
Also an artist, I am a member (and former director) of the 3rd Street Gallery in Old City, Philadelphia, regularly presenting in their group shows. At the gallery, I have exhibited in seven 1- and 2-person shows, each with a precise theme that combined social, political and economic issues with a unique architectural expression: Citta di Roma: Touch and Go 2002 (the result of a sabbatical in Rome), Cita-del of Brotherly Love 2004- a snarky study of the impact of terrorist threats on American freedom, Phorbidden City: East West Quaker Buddhist 2006, on increasing Asian influences in America, and PHILApocalypse: a waterlogged Delaware Valley in the age of global warming 2008, Roman Remix: repurposing its excess sacred spaces for social needs 2010 (the result of another Temple sabbatical in 2009 and also shown at Rome’s Temple Gallery in January 2012), Fracking Roma: Uncovering its Buried Heritage 2012, and philadelphiaBURNOUT: past regrets present frustrations future warnings 2014. I have also shown my artwork in juried shows at the Phila AIA Gallery, the Penna Academy of the Fine Arts, the Nexus Foundation for Today’s Art, the DaVinci Art Alliance, the Print Club, the Sketch Club, the Plastics Club- all in Philadelphia. Also the Abington Art Center, the Perkins Center in Collingswood, NJ and the Arcadia University gallery, in Glenside. I was until recently, an Associate of the 3rd St Gallery, in 2 recent group shows, displaying Urban Quadruplets (4 prismacolor renderings) in October 2014 and Drone Drawings (8 mixed media collages) in April 2015. Now I am an active member of the DVAA (DaVinci Art Alliance), organizing, curating and participating first in its recent 2017 "Yo, Piranesi !" show (that connected ideas and images of 18th c Rome and related them to Philadelphia today) and second, in its 2018 " Rocky (re)Run exhibition, that brought together an interdisciplinary team of 13 architects, researchers, video artists, painters, sculptors and installation artists to confront the "hidden neighborhoods" as well as the "hidden residents" thru which Rocky Balboa ran 40 years ago: what is the same, what has changed, and for the better...or the worse.