Arcmanoro Niles (BFA ’13) is an award-winning painter whose work has been shown in exhibitions spanning from Philadelphia and New York to Costa Rica and Shanghai, China. He credits his time at PAFA with instilling the values and skills that continue to inform his artistic practice and daily life. A native of Washington, D.C., Niles first visited PAFA during a class trip in his senior year of high school. Niles’ larger-than-life paintings are simultaneously representational and conceptual. Often using friends and family as his subjects, his work imbues complex, multifaceted narratives onto visually arresting compositions.

After graduating from PAFA, Niles received the Bob Colacello Scholarship, which allowed him to attend the New York Academy of Art for his MFA. In 2014, he was awarded a two-month residency and group show in Shanghai and in fall 2015 his work was part of a group exhibition at Long Island University. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn.

“The teachers and critics at PAFA were very caring and critical and did their best to see each student succeed. Painting was important to them; they cared about art and wanted to give back. There is a quote attributed to Ian Maclaren: ‘Be kind because everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.’ This sums up how I think the teachers interacted with us because they’d been there, they knew some of the battles we may be facing and they did their best to help us.”