PAFA Graduate Brochure

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Master of Fine Arts Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

GRADUATE STUDIES AT PAFA The graduate programs at PAFA offer an interdisciplinary environment that welcomes diverse perspectives and artists working in a broad range of media. The lack of disciplinary boundaries gives students the freedom to fluidly pursue their research and follow their individual interests. All programs are studio-based and are supported by seminars in theory, contemporary art, and professional practices. Studio course offerings allow students to expand their skills in everything from painting and printmaking to sculpture, video, and digital media. All graduate students develop a critical framework for deepening their practice as they consider

their work in both a historical and contemporary context.

Graduate Faculty and Visiting Critics 2019–2020

The museum/school combination is a defining feature of PAFA. Students study work from the permanent collection and special exhibitions and learn from curators and exhibiting artists. PAFA’s location in Philadelphia gives students access to a thriving arts hub that is close to both New York and Washington D.C. In all programs, students benefit from PAFA’s close-knit community. The dedicated faculty and engaged student body create a rigorous yet supportive atmosphere for critique, discussion, and experimentation.

Emily Abendroth Mark Blavat David Cohen Tom Csaszar Matthew Deleget David Dempewolf Abigail Deville Renée Foulks Ilana Harris-Babou Daniel Heyman Michael Gallagher Neysa Grassi Clint Jukkala Amy Lee Ketchum

Sharon Loudon Jonathan Lyndon Chase Mario Moore Kate Moran Eileen Neff Scott Noel Kaitlin Pomerantz Kevin Malcolm Richards Judith Schaechter Jennie Shankar James Allister Sprang Kyle Staver Becky Suss


All graduating students mount their thesis exhibition in the galleries at PAFA, marking their museum debut. Students have numerous other opportunities to exhibit their work on campus, and each summer the MFA program hosts an annual exhibition of recent student work at a New York gallery.



The two-year, full-time MFA offers students an on-campus, immersive experience. With year-round individual studios and 24/7 access, students are part of a dynamic community of artists.

One of the key components of PAFA’s graduate programs, the Visiting Critics Program brings a roster of distinguished artists to campus throughout each semester for one-on-one discussions with students about their work. This experience provides an invaluable opportunity for students to receive in-studio feedback on their work as it develops.

Recent Visiting Critics include: Ellen Altfest Colleen Asper Yevgenija Baras Katherine Bradford Charles Burwell Sharon Butler Caitliln Cherry Hope Gangloff James Hyde Gillian Jagger

Titus Kaphar Marie Lorenz Virgil Marti Troy Michie Jennifer Packer Sondra Perry Claire Sherman Jason Stopa Mika Tajima


The Low-Residency MFA program includes three summers of intensive study on campus with online courses offered in the fall and spring. The program is ideal for students who desire the community, support and rigor of a traditional MFA, but need a more flexible structure to fit their lives and schedules. The Low-Res MFA is studio-focused and has a strong writing component, with all students completing a written thesis in addition to their visual work.


The Post-Baccalaureate program is an intensive, yearlong experience designed for artists who are beginning to develop their own artistic practice. From students who need more experience before pursuing their MFA to those looking to renew their practice, the Post-Bacc program provides critical feedback and a supportive community of working artists.

Professional development is an important part of the graduate experience at PAFA. MFA students have opportunities to work as teaching assistants in undergraduate courses.

All graduate students are eligible to apply for internships and assistantships throughout PAFA, and some students work as Gallery Assistants in the museum. These positions provide financial assistance and valuable work experience. Tuition support is available through merit scholarships as well as need-based aid. PAFA also has unique programs such as the Venture Fund, which assists students with material costs for special projects. Each year, students have the opportunity to submit a proposal for a specific project that they need funded. Finalists pitch their ideas to a panel, and the top proposals receive funding.

VISITING ARTISTS Visiting Artists are an important part of all of PAFA’s graduate programs. This student-led program brings artists to campus to discuss their work, share ideas, and give studio critiques.

Recent Visiting Artists: Njideka Akunyili Crosby Alejandro Almanza Pereda Lucas Blalok Katherine Bradford Martha Clippinger Susanna Coffey Anne Craven Alex Da Corte Abigail Deville Mark Dion Natalie Frank Chitra Ganesh Judy Gelles Mark Thomas Gibson

Peter Halley Josephine Halvorson Hillary Harkness Anne Harris Orit Hofshi Jane Irish Titus Kaphar Kurt Kauper Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley Sharon Louden Sangram Majumdor Justin Matherly Catherine Murphy

Laurel Nakadate Alex Paik Gary Panter Stephanie Pierce Hanneline Rogerberg Rachel Rose Heather Rowe Peter Saul Amy Sherald Devan Shimoyama Jean Shin Shelley Spector Paula Wilson Saya Wolfalk

Above: Claudia Valenti (MFA ’20), The Stonecutters Cover: Jonathan Lyndon Chase (MFA ’16), Untitled (detail), 2016, Mixed media on canvas, 72 x 60 in. Judith McGregor Caldwell Purchase Prize from the Pennsylvania Academy Annual Student Exhibition, 2016.14.1

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