Summer Studio/Critique Program

July 3 - August 11, 2023

The Summer Studio/Critique Program is a six-week studio-rental program is designed for experienced visual artists and educators who desire constructive feedback on their artwork, as well as the support and interaction of an artistic community. Stimulate your personal artistic growth in your own private PAFA studio through individual weekly critiques from a stellar ensemble of nationally and internationally known artists, including members of PAFA’s acclaimed faculty, as well as discussion, group critiques, and artist's studio visits.

Registration For 2024 Not Yet Open

Registration Deadline: Rolling, on a space-available basis.  Only 12 spaces available.
Tuition:  $1,800 for non-credit or $2,300 for 4.0 undergraduate credits or 3.0 graduate credits (select credit status upon registration). Tuition covers rental of a private studio in PAFA's Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building, weekly individual critiques from distinguished artists and curators, and supplemental group activities/critiques.
Schedule: Students have daily studio access, 8 a.m. - 10 p.m.  Weekly one-on-one critiques will be conducted each Friday by time-slot sign-up.  Critiques will take place chiefly in-person in student's studios, but select critics may be available by Zoom only.  Lead critic Tom Csaszar will host additional group critiques/discussions and field trips/artist studio visits, scheduled to best accommodate the group's needs. 
Additional benefits:  Receive a 10% tuition discount on all subsequent PAFA CE Summer 2023 Session 2 Classes! 
Review complete Registration and Policy Information below.

2023 Critics

Tom Csaszar headshot

Tom Csaszar (Lead Critic)

An artist, writer and lecturer based in Philadelphia, Tom Csaszar has shown his works widely as well as written numerous pieces over three decades for the Journal of Art, Artnews, Art in America, American Crafts, the New Art ExaminerSculpture,, and artcritical.comHis paintings have been shown regionally for over 40 years, including in 2017 at Cellini Gallery in Ambler PA, and in 2019 at Cerulean Gallery in Philadelphia PA. Csaszar was a Contributing Editor of the New Art Examiner from 1993 to 2001, and he is a member of the College Art Association and the International Association of Art Critics. Csaszar has taught seminars and as a studio critic in the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts MFA graduate program since 2001.

Alex Cohen

Alex Cohen

Alex Cohen is an oil painter living in Newtown, Pennsylvania. He creates custom, hand-carved and gilded frames and teaches painting and drawing. Alex co-creates Art at Kings Oaks, an annual invitational group exhibition in Newtown, with theatre artist Clara Weishahn.  He is a graduate of PAFA and exhibits in galleries throughout the Philadelphia region, Bucks County, and New England. 

Mikel Elam

Mikel Elam

Mikel Elam is a visual artist working primarily as a painter. His work focuses on storytelling through memory and dreams using the fragments of face and figure to convey information and ideals about world culture. Mikel attended the University of the Arts, Philadelphia. He received a Bachelor's degree in Studio Arts/Painting. He went on to study at School of the Visual Arts in New York City. Mikel's work has been featured in international publications and media. He also worked as an traveling assistant to Jazz musician Miles Davis, and assisted Mr. Davis in achieving his visual arts aspirations as a painter.

Neysa Grassi

Neysa Grassi

Neysa Grassi is a faculty critic in PAFA's  Post Baccalaureate and MFA programs. A graduate of PAFA’s Certificate program, she has won numerous awards, including a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, a Works on Paper Fellowship from the Ballinglen Arts Foundation in Ireland and a Residency Award from the Fundación Valparaíso in Mojácar, Spain. She has had over 20 solo shows in galleries in Philadelphia and New York as well as at the Pensacola Art Museum, FL and the Maryland Institute of Art, MD. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art; The Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State University and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Grassi’s paintings are distinctive for their surfaces that reveal the intense physicality of the artist’s creative process, with multiple layers of paint that have been applied, scarred, concealed, wiped out, and covered again, to impart the tactile quality of materials bodily or organic and a perceived scale that could be both micro or macro. She is currently represented by Locks Gallery, Philadelphia.  

Mickayel Thurin

Mickayel Thurin

Mickayel Thurin is a Haitian American artist born in 1987 in Newport News, VA. She grew up in New York, Virginia, and Michigan, and eventually landed in Philadelphia to attend PAFA, where she studied painting.  Thurin’s chief influences consistently have been expressive color, pattern and texture, citing interest in artists such as Soutine, Bonnard, Alice Neel, Willem de Kooning, Mitzi Melnicoff, Lissy Funk, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. The majority of her works tend to be colorful, expressive, abstracted portraiture done with mixed media. They often contain embroidery and collage. According to Thurin: "The painting lets me know what it wants to become. I'm there but I’m just the translator... I record the inspiration that’s being sent my way." - Art Sync: An Excuse To Paint.

Patricia Traub

Patricia Traub

Patricia Traub is a graduate of PAFA and studied figure drawing at Atelier La Grande Chaumiére.  Her interest in animal painting and conservation led to studies in zoology and taxonomy at the University of Pennsylvania, ornithology at Cornell University, and primatology with Dr. Birute Galdikas at Camp Leakey, Indonesia.  She has received awards including the Faculty Development Grant, Leeway Foundation grants 1998 – 2004, and numerous awards from PAFA including the Henry Schiedt Memorial scholarship. Her work has been exhibited at the Palazzo Cini, Venice; Pasinger Fabrik, Munich; Galleri Ericson, Norway; and many Pennsylvania galleries and museums. She is represented by Gallery Henoch, New York.

Registration and Policy Information

Registration for 2024 Not Yet Open

The Summer Studio/Critique Program is offered through PAFA's Continuing Education (CE) Programs

Please review the following information carefully prior to registering:

  • This is an uninstructed program; as such, prior art-making experience and the ability to work independently are required. Beyond this understanding, there are no specific application requirements or prerequisites for this program.
  • Review the Continuing Education Procedures & Policies for important policies, including information about PAFA accreditation and transcript requests.  By applying for the Summer Studio/Critique Program, you agree to abide by PAFA's Procedures and Policies.
  • Withdrawals from the program must be issued in writing to continuinged@pafa.eduWithdrawals issued prior to two weeks before the first day (by June 20, following Juneteenth holiday) will be issued a full refund, minus a 10% tuition deductionNo refunds are issued for withdrawals after June 20, after studio rentals have been reserved.
  • No scholarships or discounts are available for this program.  Membership discounts apply to regular CE courses only; Special Programs are not eligible for tuition deductions.
  • No materials list is provided for this program.  Students may work in their media of choice within PAFA's safety/clean-air guidelines.  Access to print and sculpture shop facilities is not included in tuition:  Students must be enrolled in print or sculpture classes for access to these facilities and abide by shop rules and access hours.
  • Students from outside of the Philadelphia area are responsible for their own accommodation arrangements. PAFA does not provide a housing option for this program; however, students can find short-term rental options through Airbnb:  PAFA encourages travel insurance for students traveling from a distance in case of unforeseen cancellations or changes in schedule due to COVID or other reasons.
  • Review CE's Procedures and Policies for important program information, including updated COVID safety guidelines, academic credit policies, and other classroom/program rules.

For questions, please contact Allison Syvertsen, PAFA’s Director of Continuing Education Programs at

Contact Continuing Education

Thank you for your interest in PAFA's CE programs. Join our community of dedicated artists of all ages and skill levels:  Continuing Education offers exceptional studio art classes and workshops for beginner to advanced artists outside of PAFA's degree programs, available to both museum members and the general public.

Telephone: (215) 972–7632