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  1. I wasn't sure where to turn for opinions on this and remembered grad cafe, hopefully y'all can give some opinions or advice. This is going to be a doozy so bear with me and please try to be diplomatic (as I am too). I'm a 32 year old whose had a very committed (but not "successful") fine arts practice for the past 10 years and am beginning an MFA in the Fall in the USA. I've lived mostly in south america and europe (I'm American) so I never had the chance to "establish" myself in an art market though look alright on paper. Looking to take my practice to the next level and transition to NYC after school with more confidence, connections and work that is polished. I dreamed of a big-name school (Yale, Columbia, Rutgers) but accepted at a big state school which is known for having a decent arts program but isn't that common to hear of in the "where did you go to school" conversations. However, upon being connected with my cohort I see most of them are finishing their BFA degrees or are only a year or two out. Most of my friends who are in MFA programs are in cohorts with 28-35 year olds, I really expected to have a cohort with lived experience (ie, diverse experiences outside of school). When I think about all of the experiences and work done in a decade, who I was at 20 vs now professionally and personally, its hard to discredit what time provides. To be honest, the work being produced is that of undergraduates--because they still are. Not that its a serious barometer of quality but these are BFA students from small state schools that don't have particularly good arts programs to begin with--these aren't art school BFAs. Although everyone enters MFA with serious goals and commitment, I hesitate to be in a peer group with weak work and students who are just entering a world I've been in for a little bit. I expected a few younger peers, but the fact that my whole cohort is in this category has me nervous. Although it is the right time for me in my own practice to go to school, I am considering leaving this program and reapplying next year to try again at my "dream schools" since I was a bit rushed and not as prepared/strong as I could've been. Do you have a similar story that ended well (or terribly?). Is this something new that is more common in COVID-times? Being critical of higher education I admit I view younger cohorts as being a red flag in terms of extorting tuition etc, especially at a school like this one which has few notable alumni/fac. I am going to school to give 100% to my practice and focus on creating community, refining my work, etc and tbh I want the opportunities that come from a really strong cohort and incredible peers. Did peers matter in your experience or am i putting too much value there? NOTE: Please know although I'm being candid here, in person I take extreme discretion, respect and care in how I speak with and treat others--this isn't a "toxic student" situation, this is a "do I belong here" situation. It's extremely uncomfortable to express this concern which is why I'm turning to the internet though many of my friends seemed equally surprised by this cohort--clearly I feel like an asshole for feeling as I do, but I need opinions on how much my cohort should weigh on this decision.
  2. Hello! I've recently accepted an offer from the University at Buffalo for their MFA in Studio Art program. Anyone else accept any grad offers from UB? I'd love to get connected!
  3. IrisR

    MFA over 50

    This is my second round applying and after the NY Portfolio Review I will be changing my application approach. It was quite an eye opener. How many fellow MFA applicants are over 50? Have you been told Universities are concerned that they don't know how to handle mature students? Worried you are to stuck in your ways and not fit into their programs? How did you convince them that you are the kind of students they desire?
  4. Has anyone heard back from Columbia for painting mfa?
  5. Hi I just applied to 2020 Yale painting MFA program. I forgot to check in the box for the representative work on my portfolio. Does anyone know if this would affect my application in any way? + Is is possible to apply to the same program to fix this issue? Please send help :(
  6. Hi I applied to the Yale mfa painting program just now, but i forgot to check the box for my representative image on my portfolio. Would this affect my application? +is it possible for me to apply again on the same program just to fix this problem? So desperate right now:(
  7. Hi Everyone, I am new to this site so please forgive me if I am ignoring any seemingly obvious protocol. I graduated from a reputable design school in NYC with a BFA in apparel design back in 2014. I have been working professionally as a menswear designer for the last four years, however I've slowly come to realize this is not what I want to spend the rest of my life doing. When I was in high school I wanted to pursue a degree in fine art but was dissuaded by my parents with the old "you'll never make any money" argument. In the last year I have developed an intense interest in art. Completely unlike the interest I had when I was younger. I found myself diving into theory, learning and reading about all sorts of artists I was not familiar with. It has been such a joy to rediscover my passion for art this way. I have also spent the last 6 months painting figurative and portrait work under a professional artist. I feel deeply that this is what I want to dedicate the rest of my working life to. This has lead me to begin researching MFA programs. I'm still not sure if an MFA is right for me. In the design and fashion world there is this perception that the art world looks straight down its nose at designers therefore I'm worried certain systemic prejudice may work against me while applying to programs. Does anyone have insight into the academic art world's perception of designers pursuing art careers? I've never met anyone who has made a move like this so I do not know if this notion is totally in my head or if there is an existing hierarchy of industries. I am hoping to use this forum as a place for advice as I do not know any working artists or other people who are interested in art in general, so I thank you in advance for reading and responding! Thanks - Jack
  8. Congratulation to all of you who have been accepted into your MFA program. My MFA journey will continue in Florence Italy. What are the things you are doing now to prepare you for the next 2-3 years? How do you go about your thesis research?
  9. This is my second round of applying for an MFA in painting. Last round I was offered 3 Post-Baccalaureate. I decided against a Post-Baccalaureate as it would cost me a year and money I rather spend towards an MFA. As a serious artist I will not stop making art because I was not accepted in an MFA program. My portfolio organically will improve and change as time passes. My questions is how many MFA program have you applied to and who offered you an Post-Baccalaureate? Did you decide to take them up on it? If not why not? After finishing your Post-Baccalaureate year did that university accept you into their MFA program? Mica, PAFA, LCAD and Tyler offered me Post-Baccalaureate
  10. Does anyone know anything about the program at University of North Texas? I've heard some surprisingly good things and would love to get some more information.
  11. IrisR

    MFA in Germany

    Has anyone researched German University MFA programs? I have been on many of their website but can't find information on how to apply for their MFA programs.
  12. Hi all! I graduated in '16 with a Bachelors in Science in Business and IT. When I was first looking at schools, I was interested in pursuing an art degree but my immigrant parents heavily influenced my decision to pursue a technical/business degree. Long story short, my grades were barely high enough to graduate. After graduation, I miraculously landed a job with a large software company and relocated cities. After some time, I moved to New York ( a city I always wanted to live in) and began painting while still working my job remotely. The experience of being surrounded by like minded indivuduals, galleries, and culture in NY has really changed my life. I have always drawn and written but never had the opportunity to pursue visual arts because I went to an engineering school. I've been painting intensely, teaching myself the technical aspects of drawing and painting, studying art history, going to gallery openings, sketching, trying new mediums, and working on building my portfolio. Since I live in NY, I've been lucky to get opportunities to work for art galleries and to assist painters. I have an evident natural talent (my mom and uncle both used to be a figurative painters in Russia). But, I feel very much an amateur and my natural talent is just not enough. I crave to get a comprehensive arts education, network with other artists, learn how to properly draw & paint, and get on-going critique. There is so much to learn and I want to become a master of my craft. I want to eventually get my MFA and either teach or become an artist (I know it's sounds like a pipe dream but I can't help but dream). I've never felt so passionate about anything as I do about painting, drawing, and expressing myself creatively. I really can't imagine doing anything else and I wanted to dedicate my life to the arts. I've contemplating getting a second BFA degree but then I discovered that there are post baccalaureate certifications in fine arts. And it seems to be perfect for someone like me! So the question is: - What are some notable post bacc art programs? (MICA and SAIC come to mind, but are there others? Preferably in NY?) - Should I consider getting a BFA? - Should I continue doing what I'm doing and just apply to residencies instead? I've also been learning Illustrator and digital arts. I was thinking maybe I can design in Illustrator from home to supplement my income and do some technical writing on the side. Basically, I'm 25 and I really don't want to spend anymore time doing IT work that I have no future in (even though it pays considerably well). Thoughts, opinions, comments, and suggestions extremely welcome!!!! Thank you!
  13. IrisR


    Is anyone here a graduate student at Laguna? Would you mind telling me more about the MFA painting program?
  14. I am looking into 2018 MFA programs here in the US and Europe. I keep reading that Germany does not have the same art programs as the US. Is anyone aware of a German MFA in painting or inter discipline studio studies? I have a dual citizen ship which would allow me to study here in the US or in Europe. Thanks Iris
  15. Hello, I know the forum doesn't have much activity during this time of the year, however I am getting all my things together early/researching as much as I can due to my limitation of not being able to travel. I'm planning on applying this upcoming fall to a few different programs, mainly with a painting focus. My question is for those of you who were accepted last year and have had a semester at your program can you give more insight? Getting most up to date information is important, rather than reading from experiences from lets say 2012. I'm interested in hearing everyones opinions, but the schools I'm interested in are: Hunter Yale Iowa Rutgers SUNY Purchase Tyler Minnesota Portland State Cheers!
  16. Hi everyone, first off I apologize if this is not the right place for this topic or if it has already been discussed. I'm literally brand new, made the account today. A little about myself, I graduated from my undergrad this past december from Appalachian State University, a small school in the mountains of North Carolina. I moved to Albuquerque NM to take a year off and build new work in solitude. My plan is to apply for a graduate program in painting this upcoming cycle. I am a little overwhelmed with all the options, and need some advice on how to REALLY research a program besides reading through each program's website and sending emails. I am really looking for a school that gives their students the direct attention we deserve for committing so much time and effort into a unpredictable business. I really do want to go to a school with a good reputation, but that's not my primary motivation, however, there is something to be said from having a good reputation. A lot of my work comes from my interest in literature and philosophy, which ends up having a lot of representational abstraction. Any help would be wonderful! If any of this sounds good to you let's stay in touch!
  17. I rescheduled my mfa interview with SFAI. It is in a little over a week. Researching what to expect, I found a thread that said this (rescheduling or canceling) is a "horrible idea unless you want a rejection letter"..!? Can anyone comment on this? Anyone reschedule and get accepted?
  18. Hey Guys, I remember being in undergrad and sometimes feeling so distant from my peers because I was an international student. Well, here I am again on this voyage about to feel even weirder, this time as a grad student. I thought that we should have a space where we could be able to share experiences, answer questions, give advice, or just a space where you say what makes you feel ok about yourself. Good luck everyone! Disclaimer: I worked with International Services during my undergrad but this does not make me an immigration official. Although I can give my opinion on certain situations based on past experience, I recommend contacting your school directly about these questions.
  19. Hello artists, I am now officially narrowing down my list of MFA programs, with a focus on painting/drawing. It is VERY important for me to get funding, and it is somewhat important that I like the location (my partner will be moving with me, and we both do not want NYC or Chicago). Adding to the list of complications, I'd really love to find a 3 year program. So far, most of my favorite choices on the list are 2 year programs. Does anyone know of 3 year programs that I might be missing? Or, if you know of any strong painting programs (that have good funding) to add to my list below, please write suggestions! So far, I'm looking at: U Michigan (2 yr) U Penn (2 yr) VCU (This is a high reach) (2 yr) University of Tennessee Knoxville (3 yr) University of Minnesota- Twin Cities (3 yr) UMass Amherst (Interdisciplinary) (3 yr) UC Irvine (3 yr) Thank you!!!
  20. I"m torn between the two programs, I have to decide in a couple of days. I've heard some good things about Brooklyn College, but only by word of mouth. I'm having difficulty finding out any concrete information about what positives Brooklyn College offers besides the obvious like being in Brooklyn and affordable tuition. As for NYSS I feel it's a very specific niche that it appeals to . . . I do feel that I am in that niche but perhaps not where I want to go with my painting.
  21. I applied to University of Oregon and University of Washington for MFA in Painting and Drawing. I also applied to Arizona State and University of New Mexico. My top 2 picks are UO and UW, but I am torn between the two. UO is the average 3 year painting and drawing program and UW is a 2 year program. UO has printmaking which I LOVE! UW does not:( but it is 2 years instead of 3! Neither program looks to have much in the figurative style which is my concern. My work is all figure:) Any advice or personal point of view?
  22. Hi all, I am a first year MFA Student at Illinois State University in the Painting program. Unfortunately, since arriving at ISU I have come to see that the program is lacking in several ways and that sticking around for three years is not going to be OK with me. I'm in the process of re-applying but my profs are not able to write me recs because of conflict of interest ... Anyone have any suggestions as to how to present this/ explain my leaving to potential programs? Also, any ideas of potential programs to look at? I'm looking for programs that offer partial if not full fnding and stipends, as well as being located in or around large metropolitan areas. Any input would be welcome. THANX
  23. Hello All! I'm planning to apply to several MFA painting/drawing programs for 2012. Needless to say, I'm quite terrified since the admission rates seem so dismal! I plan to apply to several of the selective schools like VCU, Yale, OSU, MICA, etc. However, does anyone have any recommendations for some good MFA painting programs that might be less selective (hence more likely to get accepted)? It would make me feel better to have some "safety" schools as well. Also, how heavily weighted is the resume in the application? I graduated with my BFA a little over a year ago and I have been making work to build my portfolio, but I can't say I have a terribly impressive resume when it comes to shows, etc. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
  24. I have a 2.2 gpa and i was wondering should i even waste my money applying to graduate school. My undergraduate professors encourage me to apply, but the application fees are going to add up. Most professors say it would be a crime for me not to go to grad. I hated undergraduate because i focused on my artistic courses and i would stay in the studio for hours, hence the sucky gpa. I would like for my focus to be painting and ceramics. In terms of art, i have over a 3.0 within my major. I've entered my paintings into competitions and I've won awards in my state, so i was thinking maybe that would look good on my cv. If i decide to go, i want to use public transportation so i was thinking a big city....but i have student loans and housing is ridiculous in NYC. Or even any school that seems as if it would "fit" with my work. Well here's my portfolio, take a look and let me know if you think i should, at least, try. http://ttportfolio.tumblr.com
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