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  1. Hi there, After many years of considering applying to an MFA in Visual Art, I've come to the conclusion that I would rather return for an MA in Art History. I am carefully thinking all of this through because my educational path has been long and confusing due to naivete and lack of quality advice. For instance, when I first considered returning to school after earning a minor in the Arts, a teacher informed me that I could not earn a second bachelors of arts after earning one degree already (in English). Following that direction, I enrolled in a studio program that did not include any art history courses. I went on into a Post-Bac program that also did not emphasize art history, though I've taken a couple of art theory courses between both programs, and a couple art history courses to fulfill my minor. Throughout this time, I had many long discussions with professors who gave a lot of haphazard advice on how to shape my educational path in order to prepare for entrance into an MFA program. If only I could have steered my younger self. I'd like to say that I'm not bitter, but I sort of am. My original objective was to work in academia after earning an MFA, but after finishing my post-bac, I decided to enter the workforce full time and pay off some loans. This turned into many more years due to an illness in the family, and also my hesitation to spend more money without some solid guidance. Finally, I've connected with people who are well equipped to advise me on my next steps, and I am much more savvy in my ability to navigate this situation. I'm still considering a role in academia (if I am so lucky), and also positions within a museum setting. Luckily, almost all of my jobs have been within an art setting though not related to curation. I spend a good deal of personal time researching and writing. The magic is still there whenever I enter into a museum, and I run-walk around like a kid at a candy factory. I've also maintained my artist practice, listen to podcasts, and read about art on an ongoing basis, so I know this isn't a passing passion. I know taking more art history courses is essential for me to gain entrance and succeed in an Art History Masters program, though I feel confident that I can also leverage my studio art background in my application. I will follow the basic canon of any BFA program, with a focus on Contemporary and American art. I am giving myself two years to take courses, reorient myself to academia, research programs and grants/funding, and cultivate my network for support and recommendations. I am also looking for a job within a university so I can take courses for free - I've worked within educational institutes for five years and assume that will make my application a bit more competitive. I am also going to apply for a volunteer position within the curatorial department at a nearby visual art museum (I wish I had done this sooner). As soon as I am more set on a few programs, I will reach out to their faculty and current grad students. I am also beginning to research various organizations and networks. Lastly, I have a big pile of books in art history and the humanities I am slowing working through. I am excited to take more art history courses, though I am not psyched about the price since I've made so many misinformed choices in the past and foolishly accrued debt through the process. Are there any suggestions based on what I've shared thus far? I'll be digging into past conversation threads and posting more, but am so eager to connect with others on this journey. Please let me know if you see gaps in my thinking or if there are other suggestions for paying for the prerequisites. Any advice is appreciated!
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