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.

  Painting Department Curriculum

Painting Facilities

Still life studio
Still life studio
Still life studio 2
Still life studio
Shared studio space
Advanced still life studio
Spray booth
Spray Booth
Senior Studio
Senior Studio

Stories from Painting

Njideka Akunyili Crosby headshot

“I obtained a vast knowledge of art, the history of it, how my art fit into it, and it’s still with me today, and it feels really good. I still struggle in my studio—I think all artists do—but it’s a different kind of struggle. If I want to achieve an effect, I know I can do it. After four years at PAFA you can dance around, paint and brush in a way very few people can. I don’t think there are a lot of schools that offer that." –Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Certificate '06