Perspectives: Stories from PAFA

A platform for artists, scholars, and art enthusiasts—explore our rich history and culture of contemporary art making.

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Painter Amy Sherald, who painted former First Lady Michelle Obama's portrait, visited PAFA as part of the Visiting Artist Lecture Series.

Each year PAFA’s Fine Arts Venture Fund awards more than $20,000 to student projects. When Sophie Brenneman (MFA '17) heard about the Fine Arts Venture Fund while she was a first-year MFA student she thought it was too good to be true.

Meet Tierra Deacon, one of the Student Ambassadors in PAFA's Admissions Office.

For more than 85 years, PAFA has coordinated a BFA degree program with the University of Pennsylvania, combining the academy’s fine arts studio training with an Ivy League liberal arts education at Penn.

Meg Borah (MFA '18) thinks there is more to art than natural talent and ability. She is using her time at PAFA to strengthen her drawing skills in the hopes of becoming a Philadelphia-area art teacher.

To find his own voice, PAFA MFA student Ben Grzenia listens to others. Learn more about how PAFA's MFA faculty and visiting critics help students like Ben to try new methods of experimentation and develop new modes of critical thinking.

The art of illustration is woven into the DNA of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. The Illustration program was officially introduced at PAFA in the fall of 2015 but there is a long-standing tradition of illustration at the academy. Fine Arts Dean Clint Jukkala sat down with Jessica Abel, the Chair of PAFA’s Illustration Program, and Frank Genuardi, an illustration student, to talk about Fine Arts training, illustrating in a digital age, and preparing for life after graduation.

For Kristy Munday (Cert '18), the ASE is a culmination of more than a semester's worth of work and multiple mediums coming together. She attributes this convergence to the lessons she's learned as a PAFA student.

Brice Hunt's interest in traditional illustration and desire for a school that felt like home is what attracted her to PAFA.

Daniel Flinchbaugh has a passion for the unexpected. He's always on the lookout for his next adventure and is excited to try new things in life and his artwork.