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I think it'd be helpful to write up information on programs we're already familiar with, either because we know people there right now, or went there for undergrad, whatever. I'll start off with Yale. And let's try to keep the information reliable. Feel free to make corrections.

The School

Yale's departments are totally independent. Each has its own faculty, crits, studio spaces, even exhibition spaces in some cases. students socialize interdepartmentally to a degree, but it varies, and they don't seem to have a lot of interaction regarding their work across dept's. I'm not very familiar with graphic design or photo so i'll be limiting my comments to painting and sculpture mostly.


painting studios i'd say are on average 150 sq ft. they're all in one building and are private.

sculpture studios vary in size, probably 300-900 sq ft. and are also private. some of them are huge but they're all really luxe. sculpture is in a new building that opened within the last 3 years.

the digital media center (DMCA) is fully stocked, there are tutorials on just about anything that you can take for free independent of classes. the woodshop looked pretty great too. the arts library is, of course, amazing.


Classes for grad students are all pass/fail as far as I know. All students in the art school are required to take two classes outside of the school during their two years. Usually they take undergrad classes (film studies, comp lit, art history, etc.) Auditing is fair game too. There are a few required classes (critical approaches) but not many.

It's not uncommon for someone like a painter to take (say) an undergrad video class or sculpture class if they want to branch out or work with a faculty member in a different department from their own. this seems to be encouraged. classes are not a big deal in terms of work load, each student's independent studio work takes priority.


I don't know much about financial aid besides that it's need-blind. I do know that a lot of the art school's money is tied up as prize money, so that might be something to consider (a lot of them are substantial like $10k-25k) and i have the impression that people who need them, get them. there are many of them. there are some travel grants too.

Second years get to TA for undergrad classes as well.


Painting runs weekly crits called pit crits (they're held in a pit in the painting dept). these are comparatively informal with 2-3 students presenting work per crit. some faculty members will be there as well as a few visiting critics or whatever. each person gets about 40 minutes, the student describes what she/he is aiming for and the discussion generally will focus on that statement in relation to the work. students defer to the faculty on comments except a few remarks here and there. the focus of pit crits is on first years.

Then there are midterm and final reviews, which are more formal with the entire faculty present. These run the whole day for two days at a time. They're also open to the public.

Sculpture crits are also once a week, and open to the public, they focus on only one student per week and go for two hours (give or take). They are more formal than pit crits in terms of attendance, who goes, etc. Generally the person whose work is being critiqued says nothing for the first half, while everyone else describes what they think the work is about. I'd say this is a major pedagogical distinction between painting and sculpture. This kind of critique is more generous with work that's difficult to summarize or with students who may not yet know what exactly the work they're making is "about". Students take as active a role as the professors.

Midterm and final reviews follow the same structure, just with more visiting critics/artists.



Anna Betbeze: young, painting alum

Daniel Bozhkov: an occasional presence, articulate almost to the point of being poetic in crits, his own work is really experimental and reflects his open-minded approach, he works at skowhegan and columbia too. also works in the sculpture dept.

Rochelle Feinstein: not afraid to call people out

Peter Halley: he's leaving this year! something to keep in mind. he's very smart, and seems to demand cogent arguments from his students

Clint Jukkala: the director of undergrad studies

Marie Lorenz: a sculpture dept alum

Sam Messer: a very large presence and influence in the dept, he makes portraits and likes big universal "themes" but also simple representational painting, suspects a lot of formalist abstract work to be "decoration". rather romantically oriented.

Robert Reed: he's been there since albers taught at yale. he is a larger presence in the undergrad department. his own work is abstract, it seems to be his comfort zone, but he likes work that is driven by very personal interests.

Rob Storr: articulate, smart, anti-polemical. you can't pull anything on him. seems to be divisive among students however.

Jeffrey Stuker: very into theory


Daniel Bozhkov: see painting, he's actually a visiting critic not a faculty member like the others, but he's a recurring presence so..

Daphne Fitzpatrick: Laid back, not as rigorous. I heard she was leaving this year.

Michael Queenland: New this year

Jessica Stockholder: Very open-minded, articulate, lays all her cards on the table. Loves quirky/expressive craft-based work. But she's not prejudiced towards one way of working over another. She will often comment on students' relationship to the gallery space (which is not surprising given her own work).

What kind of work is encouraged

The school as a whole generally believes that art emerges from practical experience and not from ideas or theories exclusively. Students are expected to work hard and be pretty disciplined.

Painting students actually work in all media (a lot of video, some sculpture), and it seems that many of the first years are challenged to change how they think about their work. I've heard that minority students are encouraged to make identity-based work. Nevertheless the faculty really likes painting, and probably half of the students paint exclusively.

Sculpture is basically a meaningless term in the sculpture department. Students do all kinds of things, performance, photography, video, installation. Though the primary faculty members don't work as much in video and performance, Jessica will usually accommodate students who do by getting appropriate visiting critics/artists. Students tend to go for a more generalist DIY approach.

see previous theses: http://art.yale.edu/Gallery



Painting takes 21 or 22 students per year, they interview 75ish and according to that article, there were 618 applications to painting in 2009. The painting dept. is very committed to diversity. i think that you generally compete within your race and gender group once you get past the initial cuts, which are conducted blindly.

Painting requires its interviewees to ship their work to New Haven. Prospective candidates interview with two faculty members and two first years (which change obviously).

Sculpture has 10 students per year. about 30 interview, 248 apps in 2009 (per the article). They keep gender ratios even, so I assume you compete within your gender category. They pay attention to geographic diversity a lot. I don't know how they rank other factors.

Sculpture has its candidates present work that they've completed since applying. Most if not all of the faculty and first year class participates in each interview. I don't know how much say the students have but I'd at least think that they affect the general hype surrounding certain applicants and that they would help set priorities (high or low) regarding things like racial/lgbt diversity.

Applicants are notified if they have an interview in early Feb. and interviews take place in late March.

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Gah, this makes me wish I had applied to the sculpture dept again this year...instead of photo. I would say that my portfolio is split 50/50 with photo/performance (and other things). Most of my photo isn't dealing with photography as much as it is documenting something ephemeral.

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