Develop 21st-century digital and storytelling skills in tandem with PAFA's time-honored foundation in observational art making.

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It's not too late—PAFA is still accepting applications for its undergraduate and graduate programs.

The Illustration program connects PAFA’s strong fine arts traditions with a focus on empowering students to succeed as both creators and entrepreneurs.

Illustration students develop skills in storytelling, visual communication, and entrepreneurship. Their training includes building strong foundational skills in drawing, painting, sculpture and printmaking—a core PAFA philosophy that has launched generations of PAFA artists and illustrators from Maxfield Parrish and Violet Oakley, to Don Martin and Kate Samworth.

This dynamic program also connects students to established illustration professionals through lectures, hands-on critiques, demonstrations, and workshops.

Illustration students use the mediums of painting, life drawing, printmaking, figure sculpture, artistic anatomy, print media and the digital arts to develop and communicate their personal artistic vision through individual and collaborative art-making and storytelling.


Graduates of the program will be equipped with the tools to launch careers in fields including animation, book and magazine illustration, graphic novels, poster and storyboard art, medical illustration, and many other art- and design-related professions.

Courses in the new program include the History of Illustration, Visual Narration, Narrative and Sequential Drawing, Illustration Methods, Digital Imaging, Letterpress and Book Arts, Business Practices of Art, and courses with master illustrators such as David Wiesner and E.B. Lewis.


Jessica Abel
Chair of Illustration, Associate Professor
Blair Baskin
Renée P. Foulks
Chair of Drawing, Professor
Al Gury
Chair of Painting, Professor
James Heimer
Adjunct Faculty
Terry LaBan
Adjunct Faculty, Illustration
Dan Miller
William Scott Noel
Roberto Osti
Rosae M. Reeder
Maria Teicher

Visiting Illustrators

Phil Noto
Gary Panter
David Wiesner
E.B. Lewis
James Gurney (Distinguished guest artist)


New classrooms, workspaces and digital facilities will greet students in the new Fine Arts Illustration program. The modern additions serve as a complement to drawing classes in PAFA’s breathtaking cast hall, which includes cast models of antique and Renaissance sculpture that have been part of the curriculum for nearly 200 years.

The Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building has outstanding facilities for illustration. These include two skylit painting studios, a number of large painting classrooms, illustration, drawing studios and painting studios, and a rooftop terrace often used for cityscapes. 

All advanced Certificate and BFA students also have 24-hour access to working studio spaces in a secure facility. PAFA’s other outstanding facilities include sky-lit studios and a rooftop terrace often used for cityscapes. 

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Degree Programs

PAFA’s School of Fine Arts offers a world-class professional education that focuses exclusively on the success of the emerging fine artist. With over 200 years of experience training artists, we nurture the artistic development of our students. Our priority is the quality, comprehensiveness, and relevance of a fine arts education to develop and pursue an artistic vision wherever it may lead.

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Facilities, Studios and Classrooms

  • New state-of-the-art media lab on the 5th floor of the Hamilton Building

    New state-of-the-art media lab on the 5th floor of the Hamilton Building