Program Overview

Summer Academy is an intense college-level art program. This rigorous experience is modeled after PAFA's own world renowned, undergraduate first-year arts curriculum. 

Learn more at our Virtual Open House on Monday, March 21, 5pm and our In-person Open House on Saturday, March 26, 1pm. 

Students will master essential drawing and oil painting skills in the Foundations of Fine Art course. Students build on this foundation by choosing to explore a range of other skills, including sculpture, printmaking, illustration and animation. 

Students gain additional artistic and professional development experience with weekly critique sessions (affectionately known as ‘crit’) and behind the scenes tours of PAFA and other Philadelphia art spaces. 

Finally, students will have the opportunity to exhibit their work at PAFA’s world-class museum and receive an in-depth portfolio review with PAFA Admissions staff, giving students the experience to reach the next level of their artistic journey. 
 

Summer Academy Course Schedule

All students study drawing and oil painting in Foundations of Fine Art and choose three additional concentrations to explore: sculpture, printmaking, illustration, and animation.

Classes take place from 9 AM- 4 PM, with a 1-hour lunch break. Each Summer Academy course is one full day per week, and schedules vary depending on which courses students sign up for. The program also offers up to two hours of free studio time each day from 4-6 PM for students to continue developing their work.

Fridays are devoted to critique, museum tours, and free studio time. 
Classes involve a mixture of lecture, demonstrations, studio time and feedback. Students receive one-on-one guidance from world class instructors who push young artists to reach the next level of skill and creativity. Students also learn from encounters with their creative peers.

Sample schedule (varies depending on courses student enrolls in):

 

 

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday                            (varies by week)

9am-12pm

Foundations of Fine Art

Illustration

Printmaking

Animation

Museum tour/critique/free studio

12-1pm

Lunch

1-4pm

Foundations of Fine Art

Illustration

Printmaking

Animation

Museum tour/critique/free studio

4-6pm

Optional Free Studio

Applicants have the opportunity to rank their preferred concentrations when they apply and a course schedule will be included with admission. Every attempt will be made to offer students their top choices, balanced with a commitment to developing a rich community of student artists in each class. 

Courses and Faculty

Foundations of Fine Art

Observational drawing and oil painting skills are the foundation of artistic endeavors and essential for a strong portfolio. Master the elements of line, shape, composition, perspective, and value to create the illusion of three-dimensional forms in convincing space. Learn oil painting techniques of color mixing and paint application to create complex, full-color compositions. Students will learn to depict still life, interior space and the human figure from direct observation. This course will use nude models.

This course is required for all students in Summer Academy.
 

Sculpture

Sculpture is the art form that operates in three dimensions (3-D). This course will explore the three basic components of sculpture: modeling, carving & assembly. Using these techniques, students will develop conceptual and perceptual skills to make an accurate and expressive volumetric sculpture. Students will learn to understand symmetry, proportion and sculptural visualization skills.

This course is an optional concentration.
 

Printmaking

Learn the fundamentals of printmaking in PAFA’s exceptional printshop. Students develop their own drawings and ideas to create prints using a wide range of techniques. Students gain access to specialized equipment rarely available beyond a few professional studios. Students make black-and-white and color prints using additive and subtractive processes, which may include relief printing, stencil, etching (intaglio) and silkscreen. 

This course is an optional concentration.
 

Illustration

Illustration students develop skills in storytelling and visual communication using a range of hand-drawn and digital media. Students explore the materials, methods, and language of visual storytelling, which may include book and magazine illustration, graphic novels, posters, and storyboard art. With a strong basis in drawing from Foundations of Fine Art, students create digital art to convey an artistic narrative.

This course is an optional concentration.

Animation

Animation connects PAFA's world-class training in studio arts with moving imagery and narrative storytelling, emphasizing experimental fine art-based approaches to animation. Students explore handcrafted and digital methods to create images that leap to life from their artistic imaginations. Methods may include stop motion and 2D animation techniques along with training in digital platforms. 

This course is an optional concentration.
 

Earning College Credit

Summer Academy students earn 4.0 undergraduate credits. One grade/credit is awarded for each discipline, and appears on a PAFA transcript. Credits are eligible for transfer to an art school or college.

PAFA is accredited through the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).  PAFA is a member of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD).

 

If you have questions, please reach out to precollege@pafa.org or 215-972-7630


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Studio art classes and education for high school students to develop their artistic passions and prepare for college.