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Continuing Education at PAFA

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Open Academy: Observational Practices (DR 206, In-Person)


with John Horn

Calendar Current session started Jan 13, 2023 at 8:30 am, runs for 15 weeks

Fridays, 8:30 a.m. - 3:50 p.m.

PAFA’s Open Academy provides the opportunity for Continuing Education (CE) and non-matriculated students to enroll in select BFA courses for credit or non-credit.  Open Academy students enrolled in PAFA’s renowned studio arts courses learn technical skills, creative expression, and critical thinking from master artist-teachers while working amongst dedicated full-time students in PAFA's classrooms.

The goal of this course is to strengthen and hone a student’s foundational skills of drawing through a series of one and two-day drawing projects. The major topics of concern will be gesture, design, perspective, structure and space. Students will be encouraged to experiment with different media and to develop a personalized drawing practice. Subjects for this exploration will be the life model, anatomical models, the city and the observable environment in general. The course includes field trips to the Wagner Free Institute of Science, the Academy of Natural Sciences, the Reading Terminal and the Observation Deck at Liberty One.

Optional:  This course is also available for 3.0 credits for $2,800 (select add-on pricing during registration).

Please note:  All students enrolling in on-campus courses must submit proof of full COVID-19 vaccination and one booster upon registration. Requests for exceptions for medical or religious reasons must be submitted with appropriate documentation and approved by PAFA’s head of security. PAFA reserves the right to refuse entry and withdraw enrollment for students who have not provided proof of vaccination and have not been approved for exemption. Withdrawals for noncompliance will result in fees. See Open Academy Policy Information for complete COVID safety requirements and policies.

Image: John Horn (detail)

Register by: January 6

Materials List

Open Academy Policy Guide

CE Proof of Vaccination/Booster Form

In-Depth Watercolor, Section 1 (In-Person)


with James Toogood

Calendar Current session started Jan 27, 2023 at 9 am, runs for 10 weeks

Fridays, 9 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Enrich your knowledge of painting with an in-depth look at watercolor. Thoroughly investigate a wide range of watercolor materials and techniques from your choice of landscape, still life, portrait, and figure subjects. Open to watercolorists of all levels and to acrylic/oil painters looking to broaden their skills. 

Learning Objectives 

  • Students will learn about color theory as applied to watercolor. 
  • Students will receive a comprehensive explanation of watercolor materials and tools, with particular focus will be paid to the properties of paint and pigments as they interact with the paintbrushes and paper. 
  • Through both discussions and demonstrations, first time participants and beginners will learn a variety of techniques that are fundamental to watercolor, presented in a systematic step by step method. Participants can expect to have regular individual instruction, given at their current skill level. 
  • Focus also will be paid on acquiring the skills needed to achieve a richness of color and a feeling of light. 
  • Participants will work from direct observations from the still life and model, as well as from one’s own source materials. 
  • Those not taking the class for credit will have the option to work on landscape, still life, portrait and figure or abstraction, as they wish. 
  • Participants will be exposed to a variety of watercolor styles and encouraged to discover one’s own personal aesthetic. 
  • The course is ultimately designed to equip participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to make accomplished, personally rewarding watercolor paintings. 

Optional: This course is available for 1.5 undergraduate credits for $995. Select credit option when registering. 

Please note:  All students enrolling in on-campus courses must submit proof of full COVID-19 vaccination and at least one additional booster upon registration. Registrations lacking vaccine documentation or approved medical exemption one week after submission are subject to withdrawal. Requests for medical or religious exemptions must be approved by PAFA’s head of security. Withdrawals for noncompliance will result in fees. See CE Policy Guide for complete COVID safety requirements and policies.  

Image:  James Toogood

Register by: January 20

Materials List 

CE Policy Guide Winter/Spring 2023 


Full Course
Meditate and Make: Art Appreciation and Creation for Mindfulness (Online)
Registration Unavailable

Meditate and Make: Art Appreciation and Creation for Mindfulness (Online)


with Dona Duncan

Calendar Current session started Jan 27, 2023 at 1 pm, runs for 6 weeks

Fridays, 1 – 2:30 p.m.

Experience art creation and appreciation as means of promoting mindfulness. Under the guidance of Dona Duncan, registered art therapist and practicing artist, this class uses both art history and meditation to cultivate a restorative drawing and painting practice. Each weekly session will examine a modern or contemporary artist, exploring their biography and major work. Class participation and connection is encouraged as students then make their own versions of masterworks examined in class, not as copies but rather as interpretations or means of personal expression. Additional guided meditation sessions, supplemented by classical music and readings of Rumi, Mary Oliver, and other poets, will further inspire students to draw or paint their thoughts, moods, and memories.  This course is ideal for anyone seeking a means of processing their thoughts and feelings, and practicing mindfulness, through art-making. No prior art experience necessary.  

Image: Dona Duncan, Tsunami. 

Register by: January 20

Materials List 

CE Policy Guide Winter/Spring 2023 

Zoom Technical Requirements 

Colorfield Abstraction Workshop (Online)


with Kassem Amoudi

Calendar Next available session starts Mar 3, 2023 at 10 am

Friday - Sunday, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Broaden your painting horizons through this in-depth focus on colorfield painting. Explore the painting techniques and color-layering processes behind this sophisticated genre. Masters including Jules Olitski, Morris Louis, Nicolas de Stael, and Richard Diebenkorn will be discussed. Includes a presentation of notable artworks and critique. Painting experience recommended.

Image: Kassem Amoudi.

Register by: February 24

Materials List

CE Policy Guide Winter/Spring 2023

Zoom Technical Requirements

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