The Low-Residency MFA program at PAFA is ideal for students who desire the community, support, and rigor of a traditional MFA, along with a more flexible structure to fit their lives and schedules. Similar to PAFA’s traditional MFA, the Low-Residency program focuses on independent studio work and is interdisciplinary in nature, welcoming a wide range of approaches to art making.

PAFA’s curriculum is focused to help students develop their work materially and conceptually. PAFA is a school that gives great weight to both ideas and how things are made. The Low-Residency MFA provides students the tools to engage deeply and critically with making their work while thinking about their practice in relation to contemporary and historical art and ideas.

The Low-Res MFA consists of both on- and off-site learning. The core of the program is three summer terms completed on the PAFA campus. For these intensive, eight-week sessions, students have their own private studio and are engaged in independent work. Individual studio research is complemented by seminar courses, regular visits with faculty, group critiques, and an outstanding roster of visiting artists.

During the fall and spring terms, students are off-site, and supported by a vital online community with virtual studios, critic meetings, and courses in art history, contemporary art, theory, writing, and professional practices.

Key to the summer sessions is PAFA’s location in the heart of Philadelphia. Seminars connect students with museums, galleries, and artists’ studios. Philadelphia’s proximity to New York and Washington, DC allows for day trips to see even more. The online component of the program ensures that students are always connected to their community of peers and faculty, and receive continual feedback and support for their work.

PAFA’s Low-Residency MFA faculty members include Astrid Bowlby, David Dempewolf, Jennifer Kabat, Jennifer Packer, and Kevin Richards. Past visiting artists include Shelley Spector, Lynn Palewicz, Claire Sherman, Anne Harris, Jane Irish, and Hilary Wilder.

Want to know more about PAFA’s Low-Residency MFA? Check out Proximity Arts, a blog run by students currently in the program.

The Latest


The following organizations, entities, and companies sponsor or have sponsored Hyperallergic.