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Hello all you creative and interesting art people and MFA hopefuls out there!

 

I decided to kick off the 2022 MFA application season forum, this morning, October 3rd. I saw another one that had some "Post-COVID Era" kinda title, and for some reason it was posted WAY back in July. I started this thread in keeping with the traditional "MFA XXXX Freak Out Forum" format. And our world is CERTAINLY not "post-COVID," by any stretch.

(I also wanted to steer it away from that person who started it because I noticed that poster created last year's thread as well, and that poster is not applying to any MFA programs at all. I don't know why he keeps posting MFA Freak Out Forum threads??? It's kind of weird. I noticed that this non-MFA applicant also seems to be trying to control the MFA conversation this year as he attempted to monopolize and belittle people last year. I'm hoping people post on this thread, instead).

 

Anyway, keeping things POSITIVE!!!!!

 

WHERE IS EVERYONE APPLYING?

WHERE ARE YOU COMING FROM?

WHERE DID YOU GET YOUR B.A., B.F.A., etc?

WHAT KIND OF ART DO YOU CREATE?

WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE WITH AN MFA?

 

Here we are. SO... LET'S... GO!!!

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Today I got acceptances from Ohio State-call & Illinois (Urbana Champaign)-email, funded 3 yr programs, hoping for more good news here soon! 

This isn't specifically directed at anyone because I've seen like three different people ask for this same thing already, but I just want to say that none of us have made our personal names and info p

Okay I am just now seeing this and want to vouch for the person posting about Bard, they are not lying. I too am technically still enrolled at Bard (you can check back when I posted in the thread from

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Hello everyone, back here again from last year (repost from the old forum). Third time applying and I'm happy to see there are printmakers here this year (last year there were so few). I'm applying to much larger batch of schools with a mix of fully funded and more prestigious opportunities. Also maybe considering go towards a Fiber/Material Studies program since I've been playing with unconventional materials recently. If anyone has any fibers programs you think would be awesome please let me know!

My list this year are:

Cranbrook

UW Madison Wisconsin

U of Tennessee - Knoxville

U Mass Amherst

VCU

Maine College of Art

Tyler School of Art

RISD

Glasgow School of Art

Rutgers

I'd love to hear where everyone is applying to!

I can answer any questions about the printmaking program or application process for SAIC, SMFA at Tufts, MECA, or SUNY purchase as I was accepted to all of them last year.

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Hell yeah! I am HERE to keep this printmaking takeover train going @slickjaketheruler! I work primarily in lithography, screenprinting, and relief. been putting a lot of energy into translating print into sculpture and animation atm. I'm only financially capable of applying to programs that will fully-fund me with a stipend for assistantships. I've also been battling a lot lately with whether or not I should bother applying to 2-year programs, since I feel like it just isn't enough time. Interested to hear your thoughts on that. 

I'd love to hear about the financial aid that was offered to you at SAIC, SMFA at Tufts, MECA, and SUNY purchase. UW Madison, U of Tennessee - Knoxville, UMass Amherst, VCU, and Rutgers are also on my list, so I'd also love to hear about what interests you in each of those programs.

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49 minutes ago, AncientQuail said:

Hell yeah! I am HERE to keep this printmaking takeover train going @slickjaketheruler! I work primarily in lithography, screenprinting, and relief. been putting a lot of energy into translating print into sculpture and animation atm. I'm only financially capable of applying to programs that will fully-fund me with a stipend for assistantships. I've also been battling a lot lately with whether or not I should bother applying to 2-year programs, since I feel like it just isn't enough time. Interested to hear your thoughts on that. 

I'd love to hear about the financial aid that was offered to you at SAIC, SMFA at Tufts, MECA, and SUNY purchase. UW Madison, U of Tennessee - Knoxville, UMass Amherst, VCU, and Rutgers are also on my list, so I'd also love to hear about what interests you in each of those programs.

Totally can give you the scoop on those 4 I applied to. 
 

SAIC gave me 35% tuition remission with the opportunity to appeal for an additional 20%. I loved their program because you could learn any skill you wanted, and the print faculty were really awesome. I decided the debt wasn’t worth it for me, and the anxiety of having to pay it off each day throughout the program would be awful.

SMFA gave me 18,000 a year off, which I petitioned up to 25,000 off with a moving stipend. I declined this school based off of the faculty and print program itself. It felt more concerned with the conceptual nature of printmaking (which I do love to talk about) but my interviewers had no interest in the narrative aspect of my work.

MECA gave me the best deal, at 18,000 per year off that increased to close to 25,000 a year off with TA position. I’d be paying close to 7,000 a year for the program (which is not bad). I declined and will be reapplying again this year since I’ve paid off a bunch of other debts.

Purchase gave me nothing because it was a waitlist offer. :(

I’ll be applying to VCU because I am already located in Richmond. Their program is painting and print focused, with room for lots of experimentation. If you are pretty solid on wanting to have a print department, I’d steer away just because it is very interdisciplinary focused. You’d probably find yourself talking about painting more than printmaking. But Richmond itself is a very DIY city with an art scene that is very informed by the people in the city (Studio Two Three, Candela Books and Gallery, Ada Gallery, and Eden Airlines are some of the notable art spaces).

As for the other programs, I’m hoping to meet with faculty soon to really dive into the programs.

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21 minutes ago, slickjaketheruler said:

Totally can give you the scoop on those 4 I applied to. 
 

SAIC gave me 35% tuition remission with the opportunity to appeal for an additional 20%. I loved their program because you could learn any skill you wanted, and the print faculty were really awesome. I decided the debt wasn’t worth it for me, and the anxiety of having to pay it off each day throughout the program would be awful.

SMFA gave me 18,000 a year off, which I petitioned up to 25,000 off with a moving stipend. I declined this school based off of the faculty and print program itself. It felt more concerned with the conceptual nature of printmaking (which I do love to talk about) but my interviewers had no interest in the narrative aspect of my work.

MECA gave me the best deal, at 18,000 per year off that increased to close to 25,000 a year off with TA position. I’d be paying close to 7,000 a year for the program (which is not bad). I declined and will be reapplying again this year since I’ve paid off a bunch of other debts.

Purchase gave me nothing because it was a waitlist offer. :(

I’ll be applying to VCU because I am already located in Richmond. Their program is painting and print focused, with room for lots of experimentation. If you are pretty solid on wanting to have a print department, I’d steer away just because it is very interdisciplinary focused. You’d probably find yourself talking about painting more than printmaking. But Richmond itself is a very DIY city with an art scene that is very informed by the people in the city (Studio Two Three, Candela Books and Gallery, Ada Gallery, and Eden Airlines are some of the notable art spaces).

As for the other programs, I’m hoping to meet with faculty soon to really dive into the programs.

thanks so much for this quick and detailed response! what you mentioned about conceptual programs vs. narrative art making is something I've been thinking about a lot as I go through this process. My work is pretty representational and also involves a lot of storytelling, which is what turned me away from UCLA (on top of the cost of living in California).  

I'm not surprised to hear that about VCU, but I did have my hopes because I saw that someone on their faculty is Tamarind trained?

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16 minutes ago, AncientQuail said:

thanks so much for this quick and detailed response! what you mentioned about conceptual programs vs. narrative art making is something I've been thinking about a lot as I go through this process. My work is pretty representational and also involves a lot of storytelling, which is what turned me away from UCLA (on top of the cost of living in California).  

I'm not surprised to hear that about VCU, but I did have my hopes because I saw that someone on their faculty is Tamarind trained?

I know they have Holly Morrison there who is an etching artist. I’m not sure if she is tamarind trained.

who are you talking about there? Also I’d love to see some of your work!

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Hello everyone. I am also back again.

Applied for the first time two years ago. Was accepted to Bard (Painting) and Rutgers. Turned down Rutgers' offer and accepted Bard's (a decision I have come to regret).  

Bard sort of turned into a mess (for me) so I'm now applying to other programs. I'm still deciding on a final list, but this is where I'm at right now:

(these are in no particular order)

-Northwestern University 

-University of Chicago

-Yale University 

-Stanford University 

-maybe Rutgers 

Hoping for the best this time around. 

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Hi everyone, back again too 🙃

I was accepted last year to BU (sculpture) and Tyler (sculpture) but accepted an offer from UMass Amherst due to the unbeatable financial package. Sadly I already withdrew from the program because it was embarrassingly uncompetitive/uninspired. I had a really wonderful experience with Boston University and have been in contact with them, but they do not accept January transfers so I will be reapplying. I am currently working on a new portfolio for them and hoping to up my 80% scholarship offer from last year-- but have decided to apply to a few other schools to keep it interesting. 

I am anticipating applying to:

Boston University -- painting and sculpture 

Tyler -- painting

Yale -- painting 

Rutgers

 

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48 minutes ago, katfude5 said:

Hi everyone, back again too 🙃

I was accepted last year to BU (sculpture) and Tyler (sculpture) but accepted an offer from UMass Amherst due to the unbeatable financial package. Sadly I already withdrew from the program because it was embarrassingly uncompetitive/uninspired. I had a really wonderful experience with Boston University and have been in contact with them, but they do not accept January transfers so I will be reapplying. I am currently working on a new portfolio for them and hoping to up my 80% scholarship offer from last year-- but have decided to apply to a few other schools to keep it interesting. 

I am anticipating applying to:

Boston University -- painting and sculpture 

Tyler -- painting

Yale -- painting 

Rutgers

 

Hi @katfude! I'm so sorry to hear about your negative experience at UMass Amherst. Do you think you could tell me a bit more about it? What you've said is making me feel like maybe I shouldn't apply after all. 

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1 hour ago, slickjaketheruler said:

I know they have Holly Morrison there who is an etching artist. I’m not sure if she is tamarind trained.

who are you talking about there? Also I’d love to see some of your work!

I'd love to see your work as well! I just DMed you~ Cara Benedetto is the person I was referencing. Her bio here says she studied at Tamarind, but I also see now that she's only an assistant professor -- does that mean she doesn't work with MFAs?

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11 minutes ago, AncientQuail said:

I'd love to see your work as well! I just DMed you~ Cara Benedetto is the person I was referencing. Her bio here says she studied at Tamarind, but I also see now that she's only an assistant professor -- does that mean she doesn't work with MFAs?

I think Cara does work with the MFA’s. The program at VCU is not medium specific though, so lots of times the students will have other department faculty on their committee. Honestly, to get a really good sense of the work they do, I’d look through the MFA thesis exhibitions on issuu. I have some linked below. 
 

https://issuu.com/vcuarts/docs/vcuarts_2018_mfathesiscatalog_pages

https://issuu.com/vcuarts/docs/vcuarts_2017_mfa_graduate_thesis_ex/165

They have really wonderful gallery spaces for showing work during the program as well.

 

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1 hour ago, AncientQuail said:

Hi @katfude! I'm so sorry to hear about your negative experience at UMass Amherst. Do you think you could tell me a bit more about it? What you've said is making me feel like maybe I shouldn't apply after all. 

Sure thing--

In general the wheels just seemed to be falling off the bus of the entire program with major failures of leadership (3/6 other incoming students wanted to leave for their own reasons, and the upperclassman filed grievances with the union last year), but I personally felt like it was not the right fit for me artistically so I will speak more to that.. I am a very dedicated studio artist who just wants to make and play and experiment and talk about art and look at art and read when I feel like it but not all the time. I worked in a library for 7 years so I am not anti-reading, I just don't want to spend more time reading than making. The program was so rigid and filled with dumb rules and protocols so no one was making art in their studio or talking about it. It was such an uninspiring environment and downright boring. I took MFA classes in my undergrad at PAFA and just knew that UMass was not taking art making seriously. 

My perspective comes from being a teacher and a student at the same time. MFA's were supposed to shadow an instructor as a TA but they did not have enough money to hire them, so first year incoming MFA's were asked to teach undergraduate level classes right away. The MFA's were frustrated that we were only compensated for 10 hrs a week despite spending upwards of 20hrs to prepare to teach/grade papers/learn new material etc. which cut into our own education. The syllabus that I was given to teach was unproductively rigid, even though it was labeled as a studio class. There was no art making for almost a month and a half, and the poor kids were only allowed to write essays and give power point presentations based on the unnecessarily large amounts of readings they were assigned. Then when they finally would have been able to make, the projects were super strict and there was no room for them to develop their personal voice or experiment in any way. They were not shown contemporary artists because the school thought that they would copy them???????? There were rules on how to send emails. Rules on how to keep a sketchbook. Rules and rules and rules and rules and rules and more rules. I was personally quite frustrated because the professor who designed the syllabus has a practice that is all about disability advocation, but when myself and several of the students in the class with learning disabilities were overwhelmed by imbalance of reading to making, they pretty much just said screw you this is a research institution so we read more than we make art here (which is not true.. so many really wonderful making based programs fall within research institutions...).

MFA's do not have their own studio classes, so I spent the entire time adding and dropping classes just trying to find any that would not be a giant waste of time. 12 hours of my week were spent in state school level undergraduate art classes being shown youtube videos on how to draw. I kept walking into classes and having the professor say things like, "you already know how to paint, what are you doing in this class??" even though it was the only class listed as a masters level painting class but when I walked in it was filled with freshman undergraduates. There was also a really funny dynamic where you had to plan everything that you were going to make in the first week of the semester so they were really against experimenting and following your artistic urges. There did not seem to be any trust that anyone had any motivation to be there unless you had written a contract and preplanned your projects in advanced.. very different from my undergraduate experience.

Just not a good fit for me, and I apologize for being so scattered-- I have a lot of opinions on this place and would be happy to answer any other questions that you have!

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5 hours ago, katfude5 said:

MFA's do not have their own studio classes, so I spent the entire time adding and dropping classes just trying to find any that would not be a giant waste of time. 12 hours of my week were spent in state school level undergraduate art classes being shown youtube videos on how to draw. I kept walking into classes and having the professor say things like, "you already know how to paint, what are you doing in this class??" even though it was the only class listed as a masters level painting class but when I walked in it was filled with freshman undergraduates.

In my MFA program, we don’t even take studio classes. The majority of the credits are independent study, with the general sentiment being that you should already know how to make the work/learn any necessary new skills on your own. Is that not the norm?

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34 minutes ago, SpillToBuilt said:

In my MFA program, we don’t even take studio classes. The majority of the credits are independent study, with the general sentiment being that you should already know how to make the work/learn any necessary new skills on your own. Is that not the norm?

I’m not sure what’s normal actually— the private art schools I am familiar with have had masters level studio classes, though I can see how all independent studies would be equally helpful! Independent studies at UMass were available, but incoming students were not given enough time to meet all of the faculty in order to find someone who had an opening in their schedule to sponsor your IS. Many professors were too busy to do so, which made it a bit of a scramble. Also I heard that a lot of independent studies were equally as micromanaged and had to be super preplanned instead of letting students develop and grow and change and find new interests to guide their explorations throughout the semester. Either way, I personally was not happy with that format.. 

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Hi everyone - I applied two years ago in 2019, went to the program but decided to take a leave last fall due to covid. It ended up leading me to think about withdrawing from the school and reapply, as my practice has essentially gone through an entire change in the main medium. 

one question i have regarding this re-applying situation is the recommendation letters - during the one year in my old program i've met great professors/artists who I hope to ask letters of recommendations from, but will there be conflicts of interest etc? I've heard from a friend that it might not be the best move, but if i persist i should not be asking those full-time professors, maybe only part-times ones. 

I saw @katfude5 and @Pickle95 are kinda in the same situation of applying again... wondering what are your plans/thoughts? greatly appreciated! 

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53 minutes ago, xu6ing said:

Hi everyone - I applied two years ago in 2019, went to the program but decided to take a leave last fall due to covid. It ended up leading me to think about withdrawing from the school and reapply, as my practice has essentially gone through an entire change in the main medium. 

one question i have regarding this re-applying situation is the recommendation letters - during the one year in my old program i've met great professors/artists who I hope to ask letters of recommendations from, but will there be conflicts of interest etc? I've heard from a friend that it might not be the best move, but if i persist i should not be asking those full-time professors, maybe only part-times ones. 

I saw @katfude5 and @Pickle95 are kinda in the same situation of applying again... wondering what are your plans/thoughts? greatly appreciated! 

Yikes, that’s a really good point— I was only at my program for 2 weeks so I’m not in such a sticky situation. I would imagine though that this is honestly a really common thing due to the pandemic. I’m not sure it would be viewed as political of a move as it would before the pandemic and everyone leaving their programs temporarily. Perhaps if you reach out to your professors and are really honest about needing to transfer due to the medium change, they might understand more. I’m not sure though, I would love to hear what everyone thinks about this situation. 

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2 hours ago, xu6ing said:

Hi everyone - I applied two years ago in 2019, went to the program but decided to take a leave last fall due to covid. It ended up leading me to think about withdrawing from the school and reapply, as my practice has essentially gone through an entire change in the main medium. 

one question i have regarding this re-applying situation is the recommendation letters - during the one year in my old program i've met great professors/artists who I hope to ask letters of recommendations from, but will there be conflicts of interest etc? I've heard from a friend that it might not be the best move, but if i persist i should not be asking those full-time professors, maybe only part-times ones. 

I saw @katfude5 and @Pickle95 are kinda in the same situation of applying again... wondering what are your plans/thoughts? greatly appreciated! 

Personally, I believe that they should as people be understanding of your situation (if they don’t, that looks bad on them).

I’d ask your intended references how they feel about it. They might have more insight as to whether that would be considered a conflict of interest or not. Some advice I learned last year from applying, is that we can’t feel intimidated to ask these schools for what we need. If it is a conflict of interest, the professor should be able to tell you whether or not they can write a letter for you or not. I’d ask them sooner than later.

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Hello!

I am applying to the following schools below. I am a painter/sculptor that is out of undergrad for 6 years and ready to go back to school! Studied biology as my major and have worked in environmental testing to pay the bills while maintaining an art practice. So excited to finally delve deep into my practice and meet like minded people!

  • Yale
  • UCLA
  • Rutgers
  • UNT (University of North Texas - Local Option)
  • SMU (Southern Methodist University - Local Option)
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@xu6ing My situation isn't identical, but the topic of asking for letters of rec (again) has definitely crossed my mind. I will echo what everyone else has already said and say that your former professors should be more than understanding. I only participated in my program for a few months, but I do remember when I first started and things were very bad, re: covid, our co-chairs subtly mentioned that if anyone was considering other options and needed letters they would be more than happy to help. Obviously this won't be the same for everyone, but I bring this up because, in my opinion, professors should want whats best for the student, and if that means transferring programs I'd hope that they'd understand. 

Anyway, I think someone else also mentioned this, but they do have the option to say yes or no. Nonetheless, good luck! I'm feeling a bit stressed about letters of rec as well, so I sympathize! 

Edited by Pickle95
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Jumping in from the other forum!

 

This is my first year applying and my list of schools is changing constantly.

I think I know what I want and then as I get going with the process everything upends itself and I’m rethinking my choices 

 

Anyone have work to share? The best way to see mine is my Instagram @kateflake

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Hello everyone, I’m also jumping in from the other forum! I’m hoping to apply this round, if I can get a more succinct portfolio together, in time. I have a BFA in drawing/printmaking and I’m looking mostly at MFA printmaking programs. I wish there were more programs out there for drawing, truthfully, but printmaking has such a rich history and community, and I know it will push me out of my comfort zone, more than drawing or painting would.

I was waitlisted for RISD printmaking in 2019, so it’s still my top contender, but I’m also looking at:

Rutgers

MICA

SUNY New Paltz

Tyler

VCU

SAIC

Cranbrook

Yale

UW

and Syracuse

If I’m honest, I’m picky about location and definitely worried about financials. I’d prefer to stay East Coast (I live in Upstate NY), but also open to change.

My biggest hurdle right now is not having access to a print studio/press! Portfolio is obviously the biggest aspect of the app process and I definitely need to get some fresh work done, but time is not on my side, so we will see.

Edited by Brittany0Kay
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On 10/10/2021 at 4:01 AM, kaflake said:

Jumping in from the other forum!

 

This is my first year applying and my list of schools is changing constantly.

I think I know what I want and then as I get going with the process everything upends itself and I’m rethinking my choices 

 

Anyone have work to share? The best way to see mine is my Instagram @kateflake

Just followed your IG! I completely relate to your struggle with schools, I can never determine quite what my priorities are: Cost? Duration? Location? Credentials? I think I’ve zeroed in on trying to focus on the program itself... what will be the best fit for the direction my work is going and how will the resources available propel me forward? It’s all so hard, though, truly!

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Does anyone have any resources for successful artist statements? I've been fine tuning the same statement for months now, but have rewritten it so many times it looks like a blob of words at this point. It would be so helpful to read successful statements that other people have written to get into competitive schools, but I'm at a loss of how to find them.

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19 hours ago, katfude5 said:

Does anyone have any resources for successful artist statements? I've been fine tuning the same statement for months now, but have rewritten it so many times it looks like a blob of words at this point. It would be so helpful to read successful statements that other people have written to get into competitive schools, but I'm at a loss of how to find them.

Look up artists you like and other successful artists—read their statements and see how they talk about their work. Figure out where you fit in and whose work you align with, then go from there. 
 

You could also look up alumni from your choice schools and find their statements. This is easy enough since most artists have their artist statement on their website, not that this is totally necessary though. 

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