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Mia Rosenthal had her sights set on being a painter when she enrolled in PAFA’s graduate program. Soon after her arrival, however, she found herself “making things that weren’t paintings.”
Raymond Saunders’ influence on American art since his graduation from PAFA has been profound. While his work as an artist is at the forefront, Saunders also changed perceptions within the art world with his words.
Currently teaching at the College of New Jersey, Mauro Zamora finds his continued relationship with PAFA helpful in maintaining a dialogue about artistic practice.
Clarity Haynes knew from the age of 16 that she wanted to be an artist, and a mentor demonstrated to her the importance of working on one’s craft constantly. This philosophy is also what drew her to PAFA.
Bo Bartlett and his fellow PAFA realists saw themselves as “renegades fighting against the hegemony” of the abstraction-obsessed 1970s.
“I was surprised to find how strongly the faculty advocates unbridled self-expression. This was unexpected but very helpful.”
“Every person has a frequency that is unique only to them. I try to tune in to that in my portraiture.”
Growing up in a small town in Pennsylvania can be a challenge when you’re considering a life in the arts. Making the choice of where to study can be a difficult one.

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, Thomas Eakins, William Glackens, Barkley L. Hendricks, Violet Oakley, Louis Kahn, David Lynch, and Henry Ossawa Tanner.