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Planning to apply MFA. need advise on portfolio and schools


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Hi All,


I am returning to painting and planning to apply for MFA in near future. My recent paintings are here: http://www.eunkyeangji.com


What do you think? What do MFA programs look for in portfolio? How can I improve my odd?


I am looking for schools that offer good scholarships. Which schools should I apply for?


Going back to academy is - agitating. Thank you for all help.


I got my BFA from San Jose State University with GPA 3.65 in 2005.



Edited by jwalche
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Jwalche, I don't know what Andi is talking about concerning us being unhelpful. I find this foum, especially thes visual arts section, to be incredibly helpful and pretty much a safe haven for me during this stressful period of my life.

Are there any areas in particular that you're looking for? There's a great thread that lists schools with great funding. I'm on my phone right now, but when I get home tonight ill try to post something more helpful or pm you.

Edited by ArsenicYellow
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... Don't expect people here to tell you anything about your work/odds/etc. It's a competition on here, don't give yourself away as fresh fish so early.

I have no idea why someone would say this.

Just browsing in general, you'll find several examples of responses to requests for advice about work/odds/etc. In fact, it's quite amazing the trouble/effort many people here invest in the attempt assist others.

Heck, two threads below this one is another titled "2013 Applicant: Post Your Work" followed by 13 pages of responses! Also, some people PM their replies. These would not not show up as part of those 13 pages.

Edited by inthrutheoutdoor
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If you can get to a library and access digital magazine archives, there have been some great articles written about mfa programs (1-3 yrs ago, or even 5-10 yrs), in Frieze, Artforum, Art in America, etc. It would at least give you a sense of the ideology associated with the programs (and trends & changes)  and see what you connect with. Possibly just as a jumping off point for your research. good luck. 

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Been scanning this post a bit... Trying to think of a good response. But in the end I am just going to wing it...

First off, by and large, I really think that people are genuine, thoughtful and happy for their peers achievements.

Group shows are designed to exhibit commonalities (or polarities) in artists' work. They are curated in a very purposeful manner.

The conversations and investments we all make in work is the reason that institutions and universities exist regardless of the concentration. Of course there is competition, there is always that; but I'm not going to go all Tanya Harding on you. Competition is not always negative. We've just come to associate it with a certain type of cut throat Capitalism.

So looking at your site I would suggest you focus on elaborating on your statement of purpose. I found the first paragraph to be vague.

Questions to consider:

Why do certain experiences become stale? How do they become that way? Where does satisfaction begin and end?

Aesthetic intuition. I would like to hear more on that. What makes it yours? I think you might be best served here if you wrote freely on what exactly began a specific work and how you got from stroke A to Stroke X, Y and Z.

What artists influence your work? What artists or specific works do you like? Which do you not? I see you studied art history so I know you must think about this. Your work also references many styles and movements in art history. Why? And you have a BFA so you've been asked to think critically about your process and mark making. You are having a much deeper conversation than your statement is leading the reader and viewer to believe.

I believe thinking and perhaps including elements of this in your personal statement will help you inform viewers to have a richer and deeper appreciation of your work.

I hope this helps.

Edited by e.lewin
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I've found that New American Paintings can help give you a decent idea what programs are doing. Try finding a couple of the most recent MFA candidate issues, and see if there are any painters whose work or statements catch your attention. Perhaps the schools they went to are worth checking out.


Of course, it's not a terribly in-depth sample of the current MFA scene, since each issue only has like, what, 40 artists? But they attempt to try and keep a fairly diverse selection of artists, and the format is really nice for easy research- 3 works, a statement, CV, headshot, and email/website.

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