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Paul Runyon
Paul Runyon
Program Director, Photography and Associate Professor



Academic Building, 408

Paul Runyon studied photography at The University of New Mexico, where he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. He then moved to New York City, where he worked as assistant director of the Light Gallery.

Runyon’s photographs are held in collections in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC, Philadelphia Museum of Art, The United States Information Agency in Washington DC, and The Mellon Bank Corporate Collection. His work was recently included in Streets of Philadelphia: Photography 1970-1985, the first overview of street photography made in Philadelphia during the 70s and 80s. His most recent work centers on how the masses interface with the contemporary Western American landscape and its accompanying complexities, contradictions, and ambiguities.

In addition to his fine art career, numerous Fortune 500 companies, including AT&T, Arm & Hammer, Citicorp Bank, IBM, and Nissan, have commissioned Runyon’s photography. He divides his time between Philadelphia; Tucson, Arizona; and Las Vegas, Nevada

Runyon has been a Professor of Photography at Philadelphia’s Drexel University since 1993 and has chaired the university’s Photography Program for the past 14 years. He currently teaches a wide range of both applied and fine art coursework including Freshman University Seminar, Photography and Business, Studio Photography, Large Format Photography, The Zone System, Advanced Studio and Senior Thesis. In addition, he travels with six students each year to photograph in the canyons of Southeast Utah and has been nominated for the Lindback teaching award. 


BFA, Photography, University of New Mexico
2013 Pies and Tarts with Heart, Quarry Publishers, 60 Photographic Illustrations
2012 Celebrate Vegan, Globe Pequot Press, Cover Photography
1995 PDN Magazine, Article on digital portfolios, May  
1987 American Showcase of Photography, American Showcase, Inc. 
1987 ASMP Silverbook of Photography, American Society of Magazine Photographers, Inc. 
1985 The Philadelphia Inquirer, Review
1985 Print Club Invitational exhibition
1985 The Philadelphia Photo Review, Review of solo exhibition at The Photography Place Gallery

Vanishing Point

The American West, with its inherent irony, is deeply intertwined with the concept of Manifest Destiny and the historical narrative of westward expansion. Manifest Destiny was the belief prevalent in 19th-century America that it was the country's destiny and duty to expand its territory from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. This belief fueled the push for westward expansion and had profound consequences for both the land and the people of the American West. The American West's history is shaped by the frontier myth. The myth of the rugged individual, epitomized by the cowboy figure, emerged from the West and became deeply ingrained in American culture.

The American West faces significant environmental challenges, including water scarcity, wildfires, droughts, and the impact of climate change. Finding sustainable solutions for water management, energy consumption, and land use will be crucial for the region's future. Water scarcity is a significant concern in the West, given the importance of water for agriculture, cities, and ecosystems. Balancing competing demands and managing water resources sustainably will be crucial for the region's prosperity.



2013 Photography and Environmental Concern, Photo Place Gallery, Middlebury, VT. 


2011 Faculty Exhibition, The Leonard Pearlstein Gallery, Drexel University 


2009 Streets of Philadelphia: Photography 1970-1985, The Print Center of Philadelphia 


2007 Photography Faculty Exhibition, The Leonard Pearlstein Gallery, Drexel University


2005 Selections from the Permanent Collection, The Philadelphia Museum of Art


2003 Mentors & Students; The Fleischer Art Memorial, Philadelphia, PA


2002 Re-Viewing Photography, The Photo Review @ 25 years, The Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2002 Re-Viewing Photography, The Photo Review @ 25 years, Doane Hall of Art. Allegheny College, Meadville, PA
2002 Re-Viewing Photography, The Photo Review @ 25 years, Sordoni Gallery, Wilkes College, Wilkes-Barre, PA
2002 Re-Viewing Photography, The Photo Review @ 25 years, Southern Alleghenies, Museum of Art, Altoona, PA
2002 Re-Viewing Photography, The Photo Review @ 25 years, Southern Alleghenies, Museum of Art, Loretto, PA

1998 Challenge Exhibition 20th Anniversary Exhibition, The Fleischer Art Memorial, Philadelphia, PA 


1991 Bridges, A Photographic Survey, The Paul Cava Gallery, Philadelphia, PA


1986 Challenge Exhibition: The Fleischer Art Memorial, Philadelphia, PA.  

(One person exhibition)


1985 Paul Runyon, Photographs, The Photography Place Gallery, Philadelphia, PA


1985 Art Quest 85; North American Competition, University Art Museum, Cal. State University 

Third Place Winner 


1985 Art Quest 85, The Video Exhibition, Pratt Institute Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, “


1984 Photography 4: Perkins Center for the Arts, Moorestown, NJ,

Recipient of Honorable Mention


1984 The Print Club 60th Annual Competition, Philadelphia, PA, Recipient, Philadelphia Museum of Art Purchase Award 


1984 Regional Photographic Educators, National SPE Conference, Philadelphia, PA 


1984 Selections, The Philadelphia Print Club, Philadelphia, PA 


1983 The Photography Place Faculty, Millersville State College; Millersville, PA 


1982 American Vision, New York University, NYC, NY 


1982 Annual Juried Exhibition, Abington Art Center, Abington, PA, 

Award Recipient 


1981 Exposure 1981 Cheltenham Art Center, Cheltenham, PA, 

Award Recipient 


1981 Philadelphians, The Photography Gallery, Philadelphia, PA 




The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Permanent Collection.


National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C., Permanent Collection 

PSFS, Corporate Collection 

The Frank Goodyear Collection, Philadelphia, Pa.