The goal of the Master of Fine Arts Program in Printmaking is to prepare students to be professional artists and to teach art at the college level. The program thoroughly grounds the student in a broad range of traditional, contemporary, and innovative techniques and encourages students to formulate and articulate their philosophical and personal concepts and translate them into visual ideas. The program offers a mix of intensive studio experience with critical and theoretical dialogue. The program acquaints students with the rich and diverse world of multicultural art and its formative impact on the contemporary art scene.
The MFA student in Printmaking acquires a clear understanding of the discipline. The curriculum includes aesthetic, critical, cultural, historical, and professional issues. MFA students are expected to have technical expertise in woodcut, intaglio, lithography, photo silkscreen, and digital prints. The graduate Printmaking classes act as a forum where ideas and technical aspects of the student projects are developed and critiqued.
Graduate Printmaking students meet for 6 contact hours each week for 3 credits. The meeting time allows for group activities such as critiques, visiting artist talks, and reviews of student work, as well as one-on-one meetings with the professor. Students have the opportunity each semester to work with two full-time faculty members and have their work critiqued by visiting artists.
A private studio space with after-hours and weekend access is provided for each MFA student. Students have the opportunity to exhibit their work in solo and group shows in the Fine Art Building Exhibition space, Haggerty Administration Building, Sojourner Truth Library, and the faculty Selects Group exhibition in the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art.
The final and most significant experience for the MFA degree is the thesis project, which is conceived and executed in the final two semesters of study. The student creates a project or a cohesive body of work that utilizes printmaking ideas and/or techniques and is usually thematic. There is no specific format, particular process, or material required. It is important that the project represent the articulation of a personal vision.
Students select three full-time faculty for a thesis advisory committee. Committee members meet with the student throughout the two semesters to give input and critique the work. Students also write a thesis statement on the development and contemporary relevance of their work. Also, students submit 25 images (JPEGS) on CD or 25 slides that document their final thesis exhibition. The final project is exhibited in the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at the end of their program.
The MFA degree is a two-year course of study. The program requires the student to complete a total of 60 credit hours, with a studio concentration of 48 credits in the printmaking program. Additional curriculum requirements include 12 credits of Liberal Arts/Art History/Theory of which 3 credits are in Graduate Seminar and 3 credits are in Critical Dialogues. A portion of studio credit may be taken in Selected Topics, as well as specific programmatic offerings such as Internship to College Teaching. The printmaking faculty member serving as the graduate coordinator in the area will advise graduate students regarding various course options and related opportunities.
Application to the program is completed online and requires 20 digital images, a written statement, resume, transcript, and two letters of recommendation. An interview is conducted over the phone or in person. Students are expected to demonstrate a technical proficiency, possess a desire and or ability to work with contemporary, cultural, and critical issues, and be focused on translating ideas into images. Students are required to take a course in each area of printmaking to gain a firm understanding of all processes, and expected to develop proficiency in one or more of the areas of silkscreen, intaglio, lithography, relief and/or digital printing.