Press Release

Public Programs and Classes Move Online for Summer 2020

Summer Programs at PAFA, Including Continuing Education, Summer Art Camp, and Teen and Pre-College Programs, Will Be Held Online

PHILADELPHIA (May 20, 2020) – The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) has announced that its summer programming for 2020, including its Continuing Education, Summer Art Camp for Kids, and Teen and Pre-College Programs, will be conducted online through virtual learning platforms.

This updated format, a response to the continuing public health threat of COVID-19, will ensure that PAFA’s signature summer public programs can be held in a way that prioritizes the health and safety of the PAFA community, including campers, parents, students, staff, and instructors.

“Summer programs are an essential facet of PAFA’s mission to celebrate the power of the arts with our community,” said Monica Zimmerman, Vice President of Public Education and Engagement. “Although the current health crisis has forced us to reimagine how we will engage with our audiences this summer, PAFA’s talented instructors and staff are thrilled to share these vital programs with the public. During this moment of uncertainty, art and creativity are more important than ever.”

Following guidelines from the State of Pennsylvania, PAFA’s campus is closed until further notice. Details on PAFA’s summer programs for adults, teens, and young audiences are available below.

Continuing Education

With instruction from an outstanding faculty of professional, practicing artists, Continuing Education programs at PAFA offer studio art, art appreciation, and art history classes and workshops for learners of all skill levels and interests. For summer 2020, all Continuing Education courses will be taught through virtual learning platforms such as Zoom and Canvas.

Registration for Session I of summer Continuing Education courses is now open. Current opportunities include:

  • Introductory art instruction with Beginning Drawing, Fundamentals of IllustrationIntroduction to Oil Painting, and Watercolor Fundamentals.
  • A new class, Mindful Art-Making in Challenging Times, taught by art therapist Dona Duncan.
  • Art History and Appreciation courses including Art Appreciation: A Global Perspective and Modern Art Since 1945.
  • Live online classes and critiques including Abstract Painting: Find Your VoiceFigurative Painting, and Critique with Neysa Grassi.
  • One-day seminars on topics such as setting up a home studio, and other practical art tips.

Summer Art Camp for Kids

PAFA’s award-winning summer camps for kids offer engaging classes and art activities that nurture seeing, exploration, and creativity for young learners, ages 6–15. From June 22 through August 14, summer camps for 2020 will be held in an online environment, providing campers with live interaction with instructors and friends through the video conferencing platform Zoom.

Camp will take place Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM–3:00 PM, and campers can participate for a specific week or the entire summer. Multi-week discounts are available.

This summer, registered campers will be provided with an Art Toolbox that includes all the necessary art supplies for their week, or weeks, of camp. Throughout each weekly camp session, campers will enjoy PAFA’s signature art-making activities in the safe environment of their homes, guided by highly skilled instructors in small, intimate groups. Daily movement and mindfulness exercises will be integrated throughout the day, and campers will be able and encouraged to communicate and collaborate through Zoom and Canvas, PAFA’s online learning management platform. At the end of the week, campers will share their creations in a virtual exhibition for friends and family.

daily virtual art camp schedule is now available, which illustrates a breakdown of a typical day of PAFA Summer Art Camp in the new virtual setting.

Summer Art Camp topics this year include Video ArtGraphic NovelsIntroduction to DrawingGreen Screen ImaginariumOcean ExplorersMyths and HeroesExpress Yourself Naturally, and more.

Teen and Pre-College Programs

PAFA’s Summer Academy and One-Week Summer Intensives provide an opportunity for developing artists to experience world-class art instruction with PAFA’s esteemed faculty. In the virtual space for summer 2020, both of these programs will employ best practices for online instruction developed during the Spring semester PAFA's undergraduate and graduate programs.

Open to talented and highly motivated high school students, PAFA’s Summer Academy is a rigorous, four-week, college-level art-making experience taught by members of PAFA’s faculty of practicing artists. Online programming will include training and mentorship by PAFA faculty, with demonstrations, discussions, small group sessions and one-on-one guidance using videoconferencing and online learning management system platforms. PAFA will arrange exclusive opportunities for students to meet with artists, educators, curators, and collectors to gain critical insights into how to achieve success in the arts. Participating students will earn 4 college-level course credits.

One-Week Summer Intensives, beginning June 22, are open to high school students of all artistic skill levels, offering the chance for emerging artists to hone their skills under the guidance of the PAFA faculty while earning optional college course credit. Online classes this summer include Landscape PaintingPainting I: Still LifeDrawing IDrawing for ComicsPortrait Drawing & PaintingDigital Photography, and more.

About PAFA

Founded in 1805, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is America's first school and museum of fine arts. A recipient of the National Medal of Arts, PAFA offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the fine arts, innovative exhibitions of historic and contemporary American art, and a world-class collection of American art. PAFA’s esteemed alumni include Mary Cassatt, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, William Glackens, Barkley L. Hendricks, Violet Oakley, Louis Kahn, David Lynch, and Henry Ossawa Tanner.