SpillToBuilt reacted to latenightlatte in MFA 2020 Freak Out Forum
I had a really positive experience at Rutgers. The interview request went out the 2nd week of February.
The day was sort of framed around a campus tour and seemed largely designed to make current grad students, and potential cohort, available to talk to (at least fairly) privately. That was really nice. The interview itself was a lot more like a friendly studio visit than some sort of defense of the work. If I remember correctly they gave me space to talk about the work, their own responses to it, and if/how I was considering their reads to it. From there it was mostly talking about artists we like / things we've been thinking about/ and some stuff around media theory I am/was interested in. I felt like I was given space to speak freely and be pretty vulnerable but they also didn't expect me to lead the conversation the entire time.
Of the interviews it was one of, if not, my favorite. I left it with a strong desire to get back to work and make more shit.
I know some folks skyped in, and it's pretty clear they're not a school that's going to hold that against you. The faculty seemed very conscious of the cost of grad school / economic outlook of being a practicing artist but if you're in the area or can make the trip I'd really encourage going.
As a school it's rich for space, but maybe not so much some other resources. Personally that doesn't bother (granted I'm mostly a painter), I've generally made due with whatever tools I've had around. I've always felt like I was running out of space and it seemed like that wouldn't be the case there.
SpillToBuilt reacted to atb in MFA 2020 Freak Out Forum
Hey. I'm Akeylah. I'd like to trade experiences and knowledge with everyone. Anyone. It'd be nice to make friends as well!
I'm a sculpture lady. You can find my work at aiwellington.com.
I applied to five schools:
University of Arkansas
University of Michigan
Ohio State University
Virginia Commonwealth University
Yale (why not?)
I got accepted into OSU and am just curious about word from other schools.
SpillToBuilt got a reaction from SocialKonstruct in Yale Painting MFA Send HELp!
I was scrolling through old topics out of curiosity, and I came across a post by someone who visited Yale a few years ago for an open house. They said that the MFA faculty said they don’t care if you check that representative work box and that they were unsure why they still had it there. So if this is accurate, it should be a non-issue for you.
SpillToBuilt reacted to Eric from America in MFA 2020 Freak Out Forum
Yeah, sure, I remember it like it was yesterday! VCU applications were due Jan 15, I sent mine in on Jan 13. They contacted me by email Feb 6 to say they wanted me to interview. My interview was Monday Feb 11 at 10:30 in the morning over Skype, with the department chair, the department grad director, and a current 2nd year grad student. They emailed me an acceptance letter on Feb 19. I visited Richmond the weekend of March 16 and 17 and visited with VCUarts (met more faculty, met more current students, sat in on a class, etc.) on Monday, March 18 to help make a decision. I had some great options, so I had a lot to consider. I had until April 15 to accept their offer.
Thanks for asking. I hope that helps.
SpillToBuilt reacted to Rtwoneday in MFA 2020 Freak Out Forum
God the idea of another application is overwhelming, but thank you, it's absolutely worth checking out.
Yeah, I think you said you had your interview already too, but it was very casual, very chill, only asked me about 3 questions. 20 minute interview.
SpillToBuilt reacted to Cupcake89 in Practical MFA Application Advice!
Hi all, I spent two years researching and visiting programs in order to find the right MFA, and I got into my top choice and I’m super excited to start this fall! I applied to five programs and was accepted, and offered a teaching position and full tuition remission, at three. I picked up some helpful advice along the way and I thought I’d share.
My disclaimers are, 1. Obviously this is my opinion, and others might feel differently. 2. I’m enrolled though I don’t actually start school until September. My perspective on my choice could very well change after a year of grad school!
Here's my advice:
Visit the school I scored big points with future advisors by visiting schools the year before I planned to apply. (ie. visited in 2014, applied in 2015) They remembered my name when calling back for interviews, and knew I was serious about their program. I also saw a highly ranked program that was a complete shit show in person, and was grateful I didn’t waste my time applying there.
Look for advisors, not highly ranked programs Your advisor will have a huge impact on your experience during school and after. Whether the program is highly ranked according to US News and World Report will have much less bearing on your success. Those rankings are notoriously inaccurate and meaningless anyways. Find an advisor you don’t mind having dinner with, and who seems like they have enough interest in your work to give you the time of day once you’re a student.
Recommendations matter more than essays I asked a potential advisor during a visit how much the essays mattered, and his response was, “We don’t read as much as we should”. Yikes. I still worked super hard on my essays, but per his advice, worked harder to get recommendations from important names in his field. He also said that the name/reputation of the recommender matters more than how glowing their opinion of you might be. (ie. Big name > person who knows you super well)
**Note!** You’re going to need to send your recommenders near-final drafts of your essay and portfolio in order to get a good letter, and then to give them at least a month to write your letters. So start your applications a few months before the due date for best results.
Play to your strengths I had this wacky idea that I had done enough printmaking in undergrad, and should pursue a grad degree in one of my other areas of interest. I started emailing professors of sculpture about their programs and kept having my emails forwarded to the print professors. Finally I was given the advice that you can explore all you want once you get in (if you choose a program without rigid departmental divisions) but you need to put your best foot forward to get in at all.
IMHO, Don’t Pay for an MFA I've heard this from several artists with MFAs, though I also know lots of fantastic artists who did take out large loans to get their degree and felt it was worth it. For me, in an uncertain job market, I find debt to be too large of a liability to be worth a degree that brings no guarantee of employability. There are funded MFAs out there – the trick is to look for universities that keep programs small enough to give each grad student a teaching job. There are also scholarships at private schools (Stanford!).
Don’t obsess over this forum I visited grad café a few times during my search and definitely got some helpful stuff here. The level of anxiety on the forum in general though was… unhelpful to say the least. I referenced it during the early stages of choosing schools and then intentionally stayed away from the wanton freaking out.
I hope this was helpful! Good luck!!
SpillToBuilt reacted to GreenPainter in low residencies?
Hi Ren, Thank you for the thoughtful response. This will be very useful for folks visiting this board in the future.
I was also accepted into the MassArt summer residency instead of Provincetown...kind of a bummer that they are not doing the Provincetown program this year. The 3.5 week format was a good fit for me. In any event, congrats on getting into MICA...I wish you all the best in your decision. I plan to attend MICA this summer and hope to see you there. I am really looking forward to the experience.
One other program for folks to seriously consider is SVA Applied Art...the faculty pulled out all the stops when interviewing me...David Ross is super cool (look him up on TED talks). I'll probably regret declining, but the expense and first year requirement to spend seven weeks in residency was a bit much for me.
I am typing on my IPhone with a single digit, so i'm gonna abreviate my closing. Thanks again for the thoughtful reply and wish you all the best, k
SpillToBuilt reacted to juilletmercredi in What piece(s) of advice would you give to new TAs?
I also have to disagree with NicholasCage's comment. 90-95 percent of academic institutions in the United States are teaching-focused institutions; therefore, most of us will end up there. Your teaching skills are going to be an important part of the hiring process at those places. Plus, even research-intensive institutions would rather have a professor who can connect well with students AND is a great researcher than a professor who is a terrible teacher (unless that second research has mad money).
1. Don't spend an inordinate amount of hours preparing...well, anything for class. Learn to limit your prep time. Part of that is because the students are going to ignore a lot of it anyway, but most of it is because you need to learn balance early in your career. For example, I have a tendency to do line edits on students' papers, so I try to limit myself to editing only the first page to a page and a half and then add a comment like "You have errors like this throughout your paper; please proofread and fix."
2. Related to #1, learn to wing it. I create slides for my lectures but I no longer write extensive notes. I actually find I lecture better when I don't have notes, because then I'm more free-form. And I don't just mean talking extemporaneously - I mean switching gears when your students look bored or aren't getting it. As you get more experience this will become easier.
3. Create an organizational system for grading. Buy folders or binders or trays or whatever you want to organize 1) graded papers 2) to-be-graded papers for different classes. This way you won't have paper all over the apartment, which drove me absolutely nuts. You also will be better able to keep up with assignments, lowering the risk of losing one. If you have a choice, absolutely collect everything electronically through the course management system. Forget all that paper.
4. Totally agree with not assuming that upper-level students know how to write properly. If you are at an elite university, do not assume that your students are automatically good at whatever it is you're teaching them. I was kind of shocked my first semester TAing at the quality of work I got from students at my elite university - I went to a not-elite place and assumed that the students at the elite place would be simply amazing, since the students at my not-elite place were great. And they are amazing...in different ways...in the typical way that college students are amazing in their ingenuity and creativity (both for good and evil). But they're not substantially smarter or better than students from other, less elite institutions. They're just richer and better prepared (on average).
A few years ago my younger sister asked me to help her with a paper that was very similar to a paper I was currently grading for a class very similar to the one she was taking at her regional public college, to which she commuted from home. My family is blue-collar; she went to a regular public high school and was a slightly above-average student. Her paper was better written than MOST of the students' papers in my class.
5. If you are TAing for a professor and it gets down to 2 weeks before the class starts and you haven't heard from them, contact them yourself. Most times you will get an apologetic "Oh yeah, I'm teaching a class!" If you get a brush-off equivalent to "Mmm, I'll think about it in two weeks," prepare for an interesting semester.
I think the most important to remember is similar to what hashslinger said. Remember that we were the nerds in high school and college - we showed up shiny and excited to learn. Particularly if you are teaching an intro class, your students will not be as excited as you, and some of them will never get excited. They may be taking it because it's an easy GE requirement, or they need some extra credits, or they heard it was an easy A. Perhaps 10% of your class will decide to major in the field; maybe another 10-20% will not but will be genuinely interested. The rest will be some varying levels of "whatever." Visualize that 20-30% when you are preparing lectures, but realize that not even close to everyone is in that area and some people will be grubbing for grades.
Oh, also, don't be afraid to indulge in geekery, as long as you don't go down the rabbit hole too deeply. One of the things that has reached my students is how geeked and enthusiastic I am about my interest area. Even when they think I'm silly and uncool, they still appreciate my passion, and in some of them it has led to really productive curiosity.
ALSO. I lurk on the "In the Classroom" threads on Chronicle of Higher Education's forum. There are lots of experienced professors there and they have AWESOME advice (and really funny stories).
SpillToBuilt reacted to TheRealHankHill in MFA 2020 Freak Out Forum
What up people. I was accepted to the University of Maryland's MFA program last go around and have been there for the better part of 1 semester.
$18,000 total stipend with fellowship, TUITION IS FREE!!! Cool folks in the cohort right now, 10 total for all three years.
this part of the united states sucks ass, but also that could just be my perspective. You need a car if u wanna hit up Baltimore...DC seems hella stiff. Rent is about 650-1000 a month out here
As a brown dude from Texas I'm real disappointed with the lack of diversity in the program, it's just me n another grad out of 10 who are POC. Also I've had some wack interactions with 2 faculty, that said there are some dope ass faculty and humans here.
That said...if youre committed to ur studio practice and have a good self care routine, you'll do good out here. Feel free to reach out if u have any questions
SpillToBuilt got a reaction from Meaou in MFA 2019 Freak Out Forum
That’s a lot of money and totally a personal call. If you do wait for next year, definitely consider applying to fully/well-funded programs. But also weigh whether you want to go through another application process/if you really want to get started. Personally, I had no interest in going into debt for an MFA, so I only applied to a well funded program. I think it is somewhat crazy to go into a ton of debt for an MFA—it’s not like we are going to be raking in the dough afterwards.
SpillToBuilt got a reaction from tee_lemon in MFA 2019 Freak Out Forum
Personally, I would go with the free school unless their program seems super bad, which I would doubt since why would you apply there in the first place? Then again, if the debt-burden school is in an area you plan to stay and build a career in, then you do have a tough decision ahead of you. Of course, this depends on the amount of debt... $20k or so is manageable to me if the program is that much better. Any higher and I would have to consider whether it is really worth it. Just my two cents. Good luck.
SpillToBuilt reacted to Pallavi.Daga in MFA 2019 Freak Out Forum
Hey, thanks for your input.
I just looked at some people applying for Graphic Design at Parsons and this was the only course I found on their website and was wondering about the same. I had initially thought of applying to it since I'm an undergraduate in Architecture and only have work experience regarding graphic design but then MFA seemed better for me and I'm lucky to have recieved a few offers from the same. I also wanted to clear my perception, that it was a technical program to develop one's portfolio for professional/further master's career.
This clears my confusion. Also, thanks for the edit!
SpillToBuilt got a reaction from Pallavi.Daga in MFA 2019 Freak Out Forum
?? It is an associates degree. It shouldn’t even be an option if you are applying for MFA programs. While I don’t know that program specifically, it is probably all intro courses to Adobe programs, drawing, color theory, and other fundamentals. It being an AAS instead of AFA means it is likely more technical than fine art driven.
Edit: Also, that program is now called Communication Design (still an AAS).