The Sculpture program at PAFA embraces contemporary and classical approaches across a broad range of art-making—from traditional figurative sculpture to video and installation art.

Students receive hands-on training from PAFA’s talented sculpture faculty about tools, materials, and techniques of sculptural composition and fabrication, figure modeling and carving, bronze casting, woodcarving, welding, plaster casting, foundry, and site-specific sculpture.

Students learn anatomy, sculpt the figure from the life model, and cast their sculpture in the bronze foundry. Advanced courses offer guidance on getting commissions and creating public sculpture.

Sculpture students receive private studios while also having access to large common studios and excellent sculpture shops and tools. The Annual Student Exhibition is a chance to exhibit professional quality sculpture and site-specific work.

  Sculpture Program Curriculum

Sculpture Facilities

All advanced Certificate and 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 houses outstanding sculpture facilities including a large clay figure modeling studio, a room for casting and plasterwork, a mold-making room used for ceramic shell molds, rubber molds, wax working, patina work and sandblasting.

PAFA's sculpture shops have a supportive and inspired atmosphere. The shop manager provides technical advice, including one-on-one instruction with tools. Every student receives an individual studio. Students also participate in tutorials and group critiques, showing their work to an art-informed audience.

A large, multi-room fabricating area features a woodshop, metal shop, foundry (ceramic shell casting) and a separate shop dedicated to stone carving. A metal shop has a number of welding stations and is equipped for gas MIG and TIG welding, and the foundry is capable of pouring 120 pounds at a time. There is a kiln for firing small clay sculpture and a portable hoist. The woodshop is completely equipped with an instant stop table saw, radial arm saw, stationary sander, miter saw, band saws for metal and wood, drill press, planer, jointer, lathe, and pneumatic air tools. Hand tools can be checked out, and materials are sold on-site.

PAFA also has a large “gang studio” for installation and independent sculpture work and a dedicated room for sculptural installations, and a sculpture gallery that hosts changing exhibitions of student work.

Sculpture Hallway
Sculpture floor
Wood shop
Wood shop
Metal Shop
Metal shop
Student Grinding metal
Student metal working
Foundry action shot
Foundry bronze pour
Plaster Casting studio
Plaster casting studio
Figure Modeling studio
Figure modeling studio
Anatomy in studio 6
Anatomy in studio 6
Stone carving
Stone carving studio
Spray Booth
Spray Booth
Work in progress
Student instillation in progress
Shared studio space
"Gang studio" studio space

Stories from Sculpture

Rhona Hofmeyer '20, "The Show Must Go On" (2019). Installation.

“There’s always been this intense longing to have that fully immersive experience and be surrounded by a community and you get feedback from people who understand your mind. Maybe they don’t see things the exact same way as you but they have insight into your thinking." –Rhona Hofmeryer, BFA '20 (

justice bell installation in museum

Chair of the Sculpture Department, Rob Roesch, connected the Justice Bell Foundation with PAFA alums. Alumni Erin Addie '18 and Gary Pergolini '18  fabricated and installed their replica of the Justice Bell in the Rotunda of the Hamilton Building for a temporary exhibition.