Athena Scott with back turned works on large painting of figures

“An artist enrolled in a school such as PAFA finds their practice transitioning from one realm of exploration to another until discoveries are made.” So begins the description of the Paths exhibit, which displayed works by PAFA’s Master’s of Fine Art Class of 2022 this past summer and early fall…

Kristy Jane smiles, doing the splits in front of a large PAFA sign

This academic year Lily Jane Brown, Kristy Jane, and Marley Massey Parsons lead PAFA’s Visiting Artist Program. With untold opportunities for attendees and coordinators alike, the program is entirely student-run—Lily and Marley are enrolled in the Master of Fine Arts program and Kristy participates…

artist Arcmanoro Niles standing between paintings in studio

After graduating from PAFA with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2013, award-winning painter and Washington, D.C. native Arcmanoro Niles has gone on to exhibit in solo and group shows around the United States, China, Costa Rica, and Ireland—including an upcoming show at ICA Boston in 2022—and his works…

Alumni News
Joan Semmel's Centered Oil on canvas 48 x 53 in
The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) presents the first-ever retrospective of iconic painter Joan Semmel in a career-spanning exhibition, Joan Semmel: Skin in the Game, October 28, 2021 through April 3, 2022. With over 50 works that will trace the artist’s career from early abstract…
Press Release
painted illustration of carnations by rosa m towne

Edward Tabor shares the discovery of hidden illustrated books in Harvard's Botanical Museum and how it connects to Shakespeare and a PAFA student, Rosa M. Towne (1827-1909), who painted illustrations of  plants mentioned by Shakespeare.

From Tabor: 

"She wrote that she had decided to do the…

In the News
Hiro Sakaguchi sits in studio with crossed arms and artwork in background

Perhaps few of us can sympathize with a fish. A drawer and painter—and self-described as awkward and imaginative—PAFA’s continuing education instructor Hiro Sakaguchi is one of those few. 

One of Sakaguchi’s most-seen paintings depicts Niagara Falls with a bear catching one of several airplanes…

Alumni News
Artist Eustace Mamba stands on top of marble balcony

Originally from Manhattan, N.Y., Eustace Mamba entered PAFA in 2016. He received a BFA in illustration and is currently pursuing his MFA. Among other prizes, Mamba has received the 2019–2020 Raymond D. & Estelle Rubens Travel Scholarship. His “Weighing Escape Options” was acquired through the Judith…

Alumni News
Camp Still Life

PAFA has partnered with the Satell Institute – a Philadelphia-based Think and Do Tank dedicated to Corporate Social Responsibility - in their YES (Youth Enrichment Series) Initiative in 2021, to provide free scholarships to any student who wanted to learn safely and socially online over the summer…

Custom sheets of paper in yellow, orange, and red dry on a large table

“I’m primarily a painter”—an understatement from PAFA alumna Sarah McEneaney, whose autobiographical paintings can be seen in permanent collections from coast to coast—"but I have made some sculpture in the past throughout the years and they've mostly been animals. I think that’s because I live with…

Alumni News
Al Gury stands in front of group of students, leading in-studio lecture

Al Gury wears many hats, to say the least. At PAFA alone he chairs the painting department, teaching at the undergraduate, high school, and continuing education levels, and directs the After-School Studio Art Program for young people in the city. He also works with Mural Arts Philadelphia, people…

River wearing dragon head

River Hennick first came to PAFA for a visit in February 2020. She had recently submitted her application and was enthralled by the school’s Cast Hall and museum. “I feel so inspired by the city. I knew it was the right choice.” After she returned home to Overland Park, Kansas, the country shut down…


The 2020-21 school year was an extraordinary time, and PAFA students, faculty & staff faced it with creativity and resilience. Thanks to the diligent efforts of everyone on campus, the PAFA community remained safe and strong, and because of those efforts, the campus will be open this fall.  As…

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.