Painting (BFA in Fine Arts)
With a Painting emphasis in the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program, you’ll build strong painting skills with hands-on studio time. You will also develop problem-solving and decision-making skills for all artistic disciplines in a classroom setting.
This is an intense and immersive studio experience, coupled with inspiration from world-class art museums in the city and exposure to a wide range of visiting artists and critics.
The structure of our curriculum allows you to focus on painting while also exploring and collaborating across other fine arts disciplines, such as Sculpture. You'll expand your cultural and intellectual understanding of the world, and prepare to navigate the complexities of being an artist in today's world.
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the Painting emphasis in the Fine Arts program. Through research, studio experimentation, artistic invention and daily practice, you'll hone the skills and practices necessary to execute your artistic vision.
On Monday, Oct. 21, the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage announced that more than $8.4 million will fund 27 project grants and 12 Pew Fellowships for Philadelphia’s artists and cultural organizations. Two of these fellowships were awarded to UArts alum and faculty member Dinita Clark BFA ’05 (Dance), as well as UArts alum Jonathan Lyndon Chase BFA ’13 (Painting).
Dinita Clark, senior lecturer in the School of Dance, is a choreographer, performer and educator who engages the vocabularies of street dance and hip-hop culture to create dynamic, polyrhythmic performances. Her teaching practice addresses the lack of training for women in the foundations of hip-hop and provides accessible dance education to “unlock self-discovery, self-worth and integrity for female dancers,” challenging preconceived ideas of hip-hop culture while creating opportunities for women within the genre. Clark has performed and taught in Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan and Palestine, as a U.S. cultural ambassador.
“The essence of my work stems from the social aspect of hip-hop dance culture and produces a community of acceptance, unity and individuality.” — Dinita Clark, 2019 Pew Fellow
Clark co-founded Just Sole! Street Dance Theater Company with her partner and fellow faculty member, Kyle Clark. She also co-founded Funky Sole Fundamentals, a workshop series dedicated to the preservation of hip-hop, house and funk styles.
“The essence of my work stems from the social aspect of hip-hop dance culture and produces a community of acceptance, unity and individuality,” says Clark.
Pew Fellowships provide awards of $75,000 to individual artists. This year’s fellows are working in visual art, literature, dance and theater; 10 live and work in Philadelphia.
“Our annual grants foster the highest levels of artistic and programmatic excellence,” said Paula Marincola, Pew’s executive director. “The ambitious work these artists and institutions will produce in the coming months will inspire audiences and further elevate Philadelphia’s visibility as a thriving hub for culture.”
Jonathan Lyndon Chase also earned a Pew Fellowship for their work in visual art. Chase utilizes various media in their portraits, which reflect the complexities of black and queer identity. Chase describes Their subjects as “friends and family or my own reflection,” often considering both the private and public nature of the body through life-sized figures and large-scale canvases.
Chase was recently named a “young artist to watch” by Artnet News. They hold a BFA from University of the Arts and an MFA from Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. “The weight of line and volume of color in my paintings are tools to narrate the experience of living as more than one thing at a time,” they say. “Fluidity is important in the pursuit of freedom.” (pewcenterarts.org)
6ABC Action News recently visited the studio of UArts alum and 2011–2012 Fulbright Scholar Maureen Drdak BFA ’75 (Painting). Drdak recently returned from a month-long retreat in Nepal in continuation of her Fulbright work, the Prakriti Project, which pioneered and established the first synthesis of repoussé metalwork and contemporary painting.
Drdak is the only practicing artist in the U.S. who has learned firsthand the ancient metalwork technique, working directly with repoussé master Rabindra Shakya, grandson of the famed historic master Kuber Singh Shakya and owner of Image Atelier in Nepal. Repoussé is an ancient technique in which sheet metal is hammered from both sides to produce a three-dimensional bas-relief.
You can watch her process in the 6ABC story below.
In the Fine Arts major, you’ll study with professional working artists who exhibit nationally and internationally.
Click the images below to read more.
The curriculum of the Fine Arts bachelor's program with an emphasis in Painting is based on a framework of research, studio experimentation, artistic invention and daily practice. Personal vision and artistic innovation anchor the development of work for significant cultural contributions and dialogue, gallery and museum exhibitions, and creating work for diverse communities and public spaces. To that end, you will be given assignments designed to develop conceptual skills and become proficient in the necessary processes and techniques appropriate to your artistic vision and intention.
Students who complete the Fine Arts bachelor's program with an emphasis in Painting will
demonstrate independent, creative problem-solving and original thinking through the development of a distinct and personal approach to art-making informed by contemporary issues and historical precedents.
demonstrate critical and conceptual development through research and analysis, applying readings, theories and methodologies toward the production of critically informed artworks.
acquire and demonstrate the professional skills needed to be successful as practicing artists, entrepreneurs and productive citizens, including further study at the graduate level.
effectively communicate, orally and in writing, the thoughts behind their choices and decisions concerning content and strategies.
demonstrate proficiency in a number of advanced techniques in individual studio practice, including a deep familiarity with materials and processes.
Drawing: Objects & Space
Art History Survey I
Writing I Placement
Free elective (your choice)
Body as Form or Found & Fabricated
Drawing: Natural Forms & the Human Figure or Drawing: Ideation
Art History Survey II
Writing II Placement
Critical Studies (your choice)
Thinking Through Science
Free elective (your choice)
Discipline history (your choice)
Concepts in Painting
Fine Arts Thesis Groundwork
Critical Studies (your choice)
Free elective (your choice)
The Artists' Manifesto
Fine Arts Thesis Studio
Explore the Full Curriculum
UArts Painting alumni are carving out successful and fulfilling careers in their specific disciplines and across many creative fields.
Alumni & Careers
BFA '13 (Painting)
Frequently asked questions about the Painting BFA program.
Painting can be a fulfilling career for those passionate about artistic expression and visual communication. Though the field of painting may be competitive, success can be achieved through talent, dedication and building a strong body of work. Many professional painters work as independent artists, exhibiting their artwork in galleries, participating in art fairs, selling artwork directly to collectors and even receiving commissions for custom pieces.
How to Apply
UArts offers recommended priority deadlines; students who apply and submit all required materials by the priority deadline will receive first consideration for scholarship aid from UArts. Applications received after the priority deadline will be reviewed on a rolling, space-available basis.
International students requiring an F-1 visa for study in the U.S. might be subject to earlier deadlines to provide time for completion of the visa process. Contact Admissions for guidance if you are an international student who wishes to apply after the priority deadline.
Spring 2024 priority deadline: Oct. 15, 2023
Fall 2024 priority deadline: Feb. 15, 2024
We cannot accept spring 2024 applications after Jan. 8, 2024, and cannot accept fall 2024 applications after Aug. 16, 2024.
The following materials are required for your application.
The application includes two required short-answer questions: What excites you about UArts? What inspires you?
If you qualify for a fee waiver from NACAC, CollegeBoard, UArts or another source, indicate that on your application. If the cost of the application fee is a barrier, contact Admissions to request a fee waiver code.
Official transcripts must be sent directly from your school by mail, email or a secure electronic document-delivery service.
International transcript requirements
If you’ve attended high school outside the U.S., read the additional guidelines for international transcripts.
Transfer student transcript requirements
High school transcripts may be waived for transfer applicants who have completed a minimum of 24 credits of college-level coursework, including a minimum of 18 academic, non-studio credits.
Official college transcript(s)
Official transcripts must be sent directly from all the colleges you have attended by mail, email or a secure electronic document-delivery service.
If you’ve attended college outside the U.S., you are required to have an official course-by-course evaluation of your college coursework sent to UArts. Additional guidelines for international transcripts are available.
A portfolio is required for all Art, Design, Film and Writing programs. Your portfolio may be uploaded during the application process or via your applicant status portal after submission. You must confirm when your submission is complete via the linked electronic form before your portfolio can be reviewed for admission.
Letters of recommendation from teachers or mentors are optional and may be submitted by the recommender via email to email@example.com or by your high school through a secure electronic document-delivery service.
About the School of Art
The School of Art at University of the Arts deeply values and celebrates creative curiosity, interdisciplinary collaboration and exploration of numerous media and practices. You will be professionally prepared for a creative practice that emphasizes critical thinking and technical skill. You can create your own education through interdisciplinary learning and mixed media, or focus on a chosen discipline. No matter your path, you’ll learn to express your personal vision and innovate your chosen artforms.
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