Ashcan Art’s Pre-College Summer Program 2016

Your portfolio is THE MOST critical component to a College application

Discover your Unique Creative Vision & start/complete an Outstanding Portfolio this Summer

Ashcan Art‘s Pre-College Summer Program 2016



Drawing for BFA admissions – DRAWING CLASS Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 11-3 & 4-8


Sculpture for BFA admissions – SCULPTURE CLASS Wednesdays & Thursdays  11-3- & 4-8



Design for BFA admissions – DESIGN CLASS Mondays & Tuesdays  11-3- & 4-8


Model for BFA admissions – ARCHITECTURE Class Saturdays 4-8

 Fashion Design for BFA admissions, FASHION DESIGN Class Mondays 11-3 & 4-8





PAFA BFA Portfolio Guide

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Undergraduate Guide to Portfolio Development

Creating a portfolio can be an exciting but challenging process. The following guide is designed to help you develop a portfolio for the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Please note: Portfolio requirements are different for each school, please contact each school for specifics.

Keep in mind that this is merely a guide. Each applicant is different and must submit work that appropriately represents his or her individual strengths. Our goal at the Office of Admissions at PAFA is to help you create a successful portfolio. Please contact us if you have any questions or if you would like to set up an appointment to meet with one of our portfolio counselors:

call (215) 972-7625 or email



PAFA requires a portfolio of 12-15 strong images. We are interested in well-developed portfolios and we look for a high level of skill, creativity, focus and ambition. Your portfolio should consist of observational pieces that investigate the fundamentals of art-making (line, composition, value, proportion, illusion of depth…). We also want to see works that showcase the complexity of your thinking as well as how you create and organize visual images. These works should explore concepts creatively and ambitiously, may be implemented observationally, imaginatively, or abstractly, and can be executed in any media. In every case, we want to see your strongest work.

Observational Work

A successful undergraduate portfolio will include examples of observational work. An observational piece is any image that you create while looking at actual subject matter. It can be a figure drawing, portrait, still life, interior space, landscape, etc. Do not use photographs as reference. The ability to translate a three-dimensional space into a two-dimensional image is a challenging task; it is critical that we are able to evaluate this ability.

Creative Thinking

In addition to evaluating your observational and technical skills, we will look for evidence that you have the ability to think conceptually and that you have the ability to create images according to your own personal vision. These works can be in any medium. They should also be finished pieces that are thoroughly developed and that clearly use elements of visual language.


Beyond technical skill and conceptual thinking, a quality portfolio will display the artist’s response to a variety of challenges. Outstanding portfolios will maintain strong conceptual themes while exploring a diversity of media, scale, and technique. Students should strive to create complex compositions, to display extraordinary skill, and to exhibit a unique artistic point of view. Your portfolio should demonstrate focus and commitment; these are the elements that distinguish scholarship-winning portfolios. Remember, it is never a good idea to sacrifice or dilute quality; a portfolio should only contain your strongest images. Do not include work that is ambitious if it is not also well executed.

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How should the portfolio be submitted?

The quality of each image is extremely important. All artwork should be photographed with sufficient lighting and a neutral background. Make sure that each image is clear and correctly formatted. Edit your images to improve their presentation and to honestly reflect the original artwork. Do not submit images that are outdated or of low-quality.

Applicants should submit their portfolio online, via SlideRoom, at

All portfolio images must be in JPEG format. For good image quality and fast upload, image files should be sized with a maximum dimension of 1240 pixels at 72dpi. (Higher

resolutions will make your images unnecessarily large and make the uploading experience, for both you and us, difficult).

Contact Office of Admissions at if you are experiencing difficulty with your on-line application.

10. The Long Shower


PAFA BFA Admissions Requirements

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  • Application Form
  • Application Fee
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Transcripts
  • Resume (Optional)
  • Portfolio

Deadline: February 15

Office of Admissions and Financial Aid:
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
128 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Phone: 215-972-7625
Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Application Deadlines:

Spring 2014

  •  Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Programs: November 1, 2013.

Fall 2014

  •  Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Programs:
    Early Decision- December 1, 2013.
    Regular Decision- February 15, 2014


Application Form

Filling out the application is your first step toward being considered for admission to PAFA. PAFA does not require a separate application for merit-based Scholarship consideration. Start your online application here.


The portfolio is your platform to showcase your artistic talents and convey who you are as an artist. It is important that you be selective when choosing work to include in your portfolio, as it is the cornerstone of your application. We have created guidelines to direct you on how the portfolio should be presented but it will be up to you, the artist, to decide what works best reveal your talent, ambition and desire to attend PAFA.Upload your Portfolio and Letters of Recommendation via Slideroom.

BFA Guide Download the Undergraduate Portfolio Guide

Image Inventory

As a supplement to the portfolio, every applicant may submit an image inventory detailing the title, medium, size and date of each piece of work. When uploading your images to SlideRoom, you will be promted to add this information for each image.

Statement of Purpose

Our Admissions Committee seeks not only talented artists, but also those who can communicate intelligently about their artwork and their educational pursuits. Your Statement should be 1-2 pages typed, double-spaced.  Your Statement of Purpose can be uploaded via SlideRoom.

BFA: What kind of artistic environment are you looking for in a school?

Letters of Recommendation

PAFA requires every applicant to submit two Letters of Recommendation. These letters are opportunities for others to speak on your behalf and tell us more about you. Recommendations should come from individuals who are familiar with you and your artistic abilities, such as: teachers, mentors, guidance counselors and employers. Please give your recommenders enough time to write these letters and submit them. Recommenders will be notified to upload letters via SlideRoom once you submit their e-mail addresses.


Everyone applying for admission must submit official transcripts, which convey academic history and serve as proof of eligibility for your intended program.

  • Certificate and BFA applicants must provide proof of graduation (a final, official high school transcript showing date of graduation) or high school equivalency (GED).
  • MFA and Post Baccalaureate applicants must provide proof of their bachelor’s degree.
  • Currently enrolled applicants should submit official transcripts with their courses in progress and official, final transcripts upon graduation.

Only transcripts in a sealed envelope will be considered official.

The following candidates are not required to submit high school transcripts:

  • Certificate or BFA applicants who have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher
  • Transfer students who have, or will have, earned 30 semester credits before enrolling at PAFA.

Please contact the Office of Admissions if you have any questions about transcript requirements. It is important to keep in mind that transcripts must arrive with your completed application by the appropriate deadline.

Application Fee

All applicants are required to pay a non-refundable application fee of $60 that is to be included with your completed application.  You will be asked to submit your credit card information at the end of the on-line application process.

Resume (Optional)

Submitting a resume is an optional, but helpful, way for you to enlighten us about your life experiences and accomplishments. A resume may be especially helpful if you have been out of school for some time or are looking to pursue graduate studies. Resumes can be sumbitted online through SlideRoom.