Public Art Academy

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The Public Art Academy is a registered non-profit organization that strives to give artists engaging and new opportunities to get involved with major works of art and the community. Over the years the Public Art Academy has provided some of the most unique and engaging artistic opportunities around the wold with a particular focus on mural arts. Michael Pilato is the founder of the Public Art Academy.


43Pilato Art AcademySince its inception in August 2003, the PAA, a 501c(3) nonprofit organization, has worked hard to meet its educational mission objectives. Among its accomplishments:

  • Created a successful Artist in Residence Program, now in its third year
  • Mentored a Norwegian/American student exchange for instruction in mural making as a community participation project
  • Engaged school children in and out of Pennsylvania in innovative mural workshops
  • Conducted master classes in mural making as well as one-on-one art instruction
  • Involved citizens of many communities in the hands-on experience of public mural creation
  • Gave contract employment to multiple artists
  • Enhanced downtown tourism in State College and Williamsport by using the visual centerpieces, Inspiration: State College and Inspiration: Lycoming as launch points for mural tours stopping at numerous additional murals. The Lycoming mural is the world’s largest outdoor portraiture mural.
  • Created other community murals around Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Norway



PAA Mission

Pilato Public Art AcademyIn all of its initiatives, the PAA strives to engage a community’s participation in its own artistic life. It encourages citizens to explore, through artistic expression, their connections to the wider world. PAA artists welcome observers during all stages of their work, and believe that public art-making is a shared experience that can bring healing after tragedy, inspire, and draw people together.