Ask PAFA students about their most loved classes or favorite works of art, about their inspirations, and the conversation will undoubtedly extend to the museums, architecture, and vibrant neighborhoods within a short walk or bike ride of campus. You might pick up tips about a stylish local artisan’s new shop or hear about a memorable al fresco dinner with friends. Our students see their PAFA experience as the foundation of a vibrant life that binds them to the culture of the city.
You’ll find PAFA located near the convergence of Broad Street — the Avenue of the Arts — and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, famed for its museums and outdoor sculptures. Philadelphia has more public art than any other American city, and it’s home to the first art school and museum in the nation: PAFA. It’s no wonder our students consider the city of Philadelphia an integral part of their fine arts education.
From museums visited by millions every year to pop-up art spaces meant to last for an evening, inspiration is always nearby. Joining PAFA’s own museum is the Rodin Museum (the largest collection of Rodin sculptures outside of Paris), the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Institute of Contemporary Art, the Fabric Workshop and Museum, and the new home of the Barnes Foundation. On the First Friday of each month, the galleries of Old City open their doors for an evening of opening receptions, music, festivities, and socializing. Creative epicenters abound in West and South Philadelphia, Chinatown, Northern Liberties and Fishtown, where artist collectives, galleries, studios and nightlife are surrounded by the thriving local music scene.
Philadelphia’s identity has been shaped by a love of the arts, a dedication to craftsmanship, and a connection to community. PAFA’s proximity as an urban campus stands out within the city and beyond. With New York City and Washington, D.C. readily reachable by bus and train, PAFA students have the art world at their fingertips.