Beaux Arts

Visual Art Drawings

Visual art provides the basis for all other disciplines taught at VAAS, while also standing alone as a course of study . The visual art curriculum is the longest running program at Phare Ponleu Selpak. It was the first discipline taught at PPSA back in 1994. Even before the birth of Phare, our founders came together in the refugee camps in 1986 to study drawing with Veronique Decrop. Learn more of our fascinating origin story here.

Today, children of all ages are welcome at VAAS to study visual art as a technical skill, or enjoy casual classes. From kindergarten students attending painting classes, to young adults taking the vocational training, visual arts form the core of the curriculum throughout VAAS.

Leisure and Kindergarten

  • For children under 13-years-old
  • Children discover their personality and their relationship to the world through art
  • No grades are given
  • No attendance is taken, to encourage children to return and to adapt to local customs


  • children sculptureChildren 13 and older
  • Courses focus on drawing, painting, and sculpture
  • Attendance is kept

Preparatory Year

  • Children 16 and over
  • This is a one year course for students interested in enrolling in the vocational training program
  • Classes are offered in the mornings and evenings
  • Courses include: model, art expression, art history, color documentary, illustration, drawing, and perspective

Vocational Education & Technical Training

This three-year course gives students the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to find employment in the arts industry. Students can choose from one of three disciplines: visual arts, graphic design, and animation. The visual arts curriculum is as follows:

Year 1:
  • Multidisciplinary year, where students take courses in all three disciplines, alongside a core curriculum
  • Core curriculum includes: model, writing, volume, perspective, Khmer art, art history, color/painting/illustration and photo/video.
Year 2
  • VAAS StudentStudents choose their specialization of visual art, graphic design, or animation.
  • Common Core: illustration, communication, photoshop, character design, layout, art history, photography, video, color technique, model structure, English
  • Visual Art Specialization: Art Expression
Year 3
  • Students complete a two month intership related to their specialty between year 2 and 3
  • First trimester: students follow specialized lessons on skills required for their chosen discipline. Research also begins at this time.
  • Trimester 2 & 3: working with a staff mentor, students complete their own personal projects.

Students who finish a course in the visual art discipline have the skills required to become professional artists, live painters, gallery owners, and more. Past graduates have gone on to open galleries in Battambang, travel to France for art openings, and work as live painters for our social enterprise Phare, The Cambodian Circus in Siem Reap.