The painting program at PAFA encourages imagination and creativity through skills-based training and aesthetic understanding.

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

The Painting program at PAFA encourages imagination and creativity through skills-based training and critical and aesthetic understanding.

Students explore themes in observational painting, classical representation, abstraction and conceptual approaches through a wide variety of classes that include still-life, landscape, figure painting, and non-representational modes of working.

As they move through the program, students are encouraged to develop their own voice and personal interests. At the advanced level, all students receive a private studio and work with personal mentors and critics.

Workshops and critiques with visiting artists further artistic development and prepare students for professional painting careers. In the Annual Student Exhibition, students mount a professional-quality show of their work.


Jan Baltzell
Anthony Ciambella
Renée P. Foulks
Chair of Drawing, Professor
Michael Gallagher
Al Gury
Chair of Painting, Professor
Douglas Martenson
William Scott Noel
Roberto Osti
Carolyn Pyfrom
Jill A. Rupinski
Bruce Samuelson
Stuart Shils
Resident Critic, Instructor
Peter Van Dyck
Assistant Professor


All advanced BFA students are provided with studio working space. Students have 24-hour access to the studios, which are maintained in a facility with safety and security features.

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

Cast drawing classes and life drawing classes are held in the breathtaking cast halls of the Historic Landmark Building. These six studios have 20-foot vaulted ceilings and skylights with northern exposure. PAFA’s famous cast collections of antique and Renaissance sculpture have been part of the curriculum for nearly 200 years.

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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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Painting Facilities, Studios and Classrooms

  • Windowed Studio, Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building

    Windowed Studio, Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building