The MFA at Memphis College of Art offers a highly critical two-year, studio-intensive program with the goal of developing artistic practices that contribute significantly to contemporary culture. This program offers students the opportunity to expand the boundaries of artmaking and assists them in finding their own particular artistic expression. The interdisciplinary program offers the opportunity to focus on methods that are most appropriate to the individual students. This may include traditional studio practice, digital technologies or a multidisciplinary course of study. A critical dialogue will be developed between the graduate advisors and the students investigating the questions: What are the ideas most essential to express in the work and what are the most effective methods of expression? Through seminars and discussion, students are encouraged to consider the social, cultural and physical context of their work as central to its interpretation.
Students support and enhance their studio practice with coursework in art history, theory and criticism. The program consists of structures coursework and independent studio practice in consultation with the Graduate Director and graduate advisors. The second year culminates in the MFA thesis exhibition, oral defense of the work and a written thesis document. Students are assisted at all stages of this process with regular meetings with faculty, visiting artists and writing mentors. Graduate advisors are selected from the Memphis College of Art faculty and local independent artists. They are an intentionally diverse group, offering opinions and perspectives from a variety of view-points and artistic motivations.
Study is possible in traditional and non-traditional studio practice, including but not limited to painting, drawing, sculpture, book arts, photography, printmaking, fibers, ceramics, installation, animation, public interventions, performance, video, other digital media or an individually tailored program of interdisciplinary study. Students are encouraged to explore a variety of media to find the most successful and efficient methods of expressing their ideas. Combinations of media are encouraged, as is collaboration with other graduate students where appropriate.