Summer Studio/Critique Program

July 8 - August 16, 2019


This six-week program is designed for artists and educators who desire constructive feedback on their artwork, as well as the support and interaction of an artistic community. Registration includes a private studio in the Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building, and individual critiques every Friday from a stellar ensemble of nationally and internationally known artists, including members of PAFA’s acclaimed faculty. Lead critique Neysa Grassi will hold group critique, discussion and field trips.

Application deadline:  Rolling, on a space-available basis
Tuition: $1,500 for 3.0 graduate credits, 4.0 undergraduate credits, or non-credit + refundable $75 studio deposit fee
Schedule: Unlimited studio access; Friday critiques scheduled by timeslot sign-up
Additional benefits:  Receive a 10% tuition discount on all subsequent summer CE studio classes!  (Complete Summer 2019 CE schedule will be available by April 8.)



Neysa Grassi is known for her gouache, mixed media, and oil paintings whose surfaces reveal the intense physicality of her creative process. Through multiple layers of paint that have been applied, manipulated, wiped out, and covered again, she creates a tactile quality that variously evinces spontaneous energy or calculated meditation.  Grassi is a recipient of a Pew Fellowship and has had solo exhibitions at several museums, including the Pensacola Art Museum in Florida and PAFA, as well as numerous one-person exhibitions in galleries in Philadelphia and New York. Her work is included in the permanent collections of PAFA, the Berman Museum of Art, the Palmer Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Woodmere Art Museum. She is represented by Locks Gallery, Philadelphia. She is a critic in PAFA’s MFA program.

Syd Carpenter is a ceramics and mixed media sculptor and professor of studio art at Swarthmore College.  For Carpenter, working as an artist is a source of joy and meaning, encompassing the importance of family, teaching and community in her life.  Her work is included in the collections of PAFA, the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, James A. Michener Art Museum, Fuller Craft Museum, Tang Museum of Skidmore College, Pennsylvania Convention Center and the Jengdezhen Ceramic Institute in China.  She has received numerous grants and awards including a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fellowships, and a Leeway Fellowship.  She has served as an artist-in-residence at the Haystack Mountain School, Penland School of Crafts, Brandywine Workshop, Anderson Ranch and others.

Margo Dolan is a founder of Dolan/Maxwell Gallery in Philadelphia.  She served as Director of the Print Club and founded the sole branch of Associated American Artists before co-founding Dolan/Maxwell with her husband, Peter Maxwell, in 1984.  Internationally known in the field of modern and contemporary art, Dolan/Maxwell specializes in work by artists from the 1930's to the present, with notable expertise in works on paper in all media.  Dolan is also a founding director of the Ballinglen Arts Foundation, which brings artists of recognized ability from around the world to live and work in North County Mayo, Ireland, to mutually benefit the community and their artistic practice.

Jane Irish works at the intersection between the decorative and the political, deploying both art and craft with equal engagement (and abandon) to create paintings, sculptures, objects, and elaborate installations.  The tension in Irish's work arises from her genuine love of all things Gilded Age—the porcelains, tapestries, and gleaming interiors—and a resistance to the very systems of power that this imagery represents. As part of a long-term collaboration with the activist group Vietnam Vets Against the War, Irish embeds anti-Vietnam War texts and imagery within her monumental paintings of ornate, rococo interiors.  She has exhibited her work widely in museums throughout the country and is currently represented by Lock’s Gallery, Philadelphia. 

Ying Li was born in Beijing, China, and graduated from the Anhui Teachers University, where she taught 1977-83. She immigrated to the United States in 1983 and received an MFA from Parsons School of Design, New York, in 1987.  She is a painter and the Phlyssa Koshland Professor of Fine Arts at Haverford College, known for her highly energetic, on-site landscapes that simultaneously describe direct visual experience and pure abstraction. Her uncompromising sense of personal vision combined with complete abandon in the possibilities of paint make her work style the epitome of painterliness. Ying Li lives and works in New York City and Haverford, PA. 

Scott Noel often alludes to history, literature and mythology in his paintings and pastels, but always begins with the observable world around him.  Noel's paintings are included in numerous private, public and corporate collections. He has received grants from the Bader Foundation, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the Independence Foundation, as well as a fellowship to the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. His work has received reviews in Arts and Art in America and he has twice been profiled in American Artist.  He is represented by Gross McCleaf Gallery, Philadelphia, where his latest solo exhibition, The Academy and the Alcázar, was on view in February 2019. Noel is a professor at PAFA, teaching drawing and painting in the BFA and MFA programs, and serving as a MFA critic.


Application Deadline:  Rolling, on a space available basis.  (Space is limited.  Early application is encouraged as a Wait List is expected.)

Application Requirements:  

  • Completed online SlideRoom application form
  • Portfolio of 5 - 10 images of recent work
  • Personal statement (a brief description of your artwork and experience, and why you would like to participate in the program)

This is an uninstructed program; as such, prior art-making experience and the ability to work independently are required.

Application Directions: 

  • Go to SlideRoom.
  • "Login" to an already existing account, or “Sign Up” to make a SlideRoom account.  (SlideRoom is a free service.)
  • If creating a new account, open the email that automatically will be sent to you and click on the activation link.  Log into your new account.
  • Select "CE Summer Studio/Critique Program 2019" from the Directory. 
  • Complete the application form and upload your personal statement and portfolio images. 
  • Once all sections are completed, review and submit your application.  You can save an application in progress if you need to check or add information/images before submitting.  Once submitted, it cannot be altered.  Logout when finished.  Be sure to make note of your SlideRoom login information:  In addition to logging in to complete an application in-progress, you can use this account for future SlideRoom applications at PAFA and other participating institutions.

Acceptance Decisions: 

  • Acceptance decisions for early-decision applications received by April 1 will be announced by email by April 8.      
  • Accepted early-decision applicants must submit a studio deposit payment of $75 by April 15 to confirm their acceptance and participation in the program, with tuition of $1,500 due in full by May 1.  
  • Applications after April 1 will be accepted on a rolling basis, pending space availability.  Applicants accepted to the program after the early decision deadline must submit payment in full of $1,500 tuition and $75 refundable studio deposit fee upon acceptance to confirm their participation in the program. 

Payment Procedures:

Upon acceptance, deposit and tuition payments may be provided in the form of checks, money orders, or credit card information. 

  • To pay by credit card, call the Continuing Education Office at 215-972-7632.  Accepted credit cards are VISA, MasterCard, American Express and Discover Card.
  • Mail Check or money order payments should be made payable to “PAFA" and mailed to the following address:
    Continuing Education Programs
    Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
    128 North Broad Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19102

For questions, please contact Michael Kowbuz, PAFA’s Director of Continuing Education Programs at 215-972-2028 or

By applying for the Summer Studio/Critique Program, you agree to abide by PAFA's policies and regulations (see below). 


The Summer Studio/Critique Program is offered through PAFA's Continuing Education (CE) Programs.

  • Review Continuing Education Registration and Policy Information prior to registering for important policies, including information about PAFA accreditation and transcript requests.
  • Withdrawals from the program must be issued in writing to  Withdrawals issued before June 7 be issued a full refund, less a $50 administrative feeNo refunds are issued for withdrawals after June 7.
  • No materials list is provided for this program.  Students may work in their media of choice, adhering to PAFA's materials safety rules and clean air policy, as described in its Student Regulations and Policy Guide.  A letter from the director with information regarding orientation, move-in directions, and the studio rental agreement will be provided.