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The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is the birthplace of American art and an incubator for artistic expression. As the country’s first fine arts school and museum, PAFA trains many great artists and is home to one of the most important collections of American art anywhere.

Fine Arts Programs

Our programs of studio training and study are centered on drawing, painting, sculpture and printmaking while encouraging experimental and interdisciplinary approaches. Varying in emphasis by specific program, PAFA offers balanced training in technical skills, artistic abilities and studio practice. This is facilitated through faculty mentoring and critique as well as intellectual exploration.

For over a century, our Annual Student Exhibition (ASE) has been a major component of the curriculum at PAFA. Highlighting the exceptional fine arts training at PAFA, hundreds of works by graduating MFA, BFA and third- and fourth-year Certificate students are on display in the Museum galleries of the Samuel M. V. Hamilton Building.

A Community of Working Artists

Our distinguished faculty and talented fine arts students create complex, diverse works of art in an intense journey of challenge, discovery and triumph. They are part of a community of artists and a living tradition of great art-making, past and present. Through the often challenging and uncertain act of creation, PAFA’s vibrant community of working artists provides inspiration and stimulus for individual expression.

In addition, PAFA provides a variety of visiting artists programs. Through the Museum’s Art at Lunch Program, the School’s Visiting Artist Program and the student-run Visiting Artist Committee, these guest artists, curators and critics offer lectures and demonstrations on their work or particular area of interest.