Funding your MFA program
Generous support packages of graduate teaching assistantships–which include salaries and tuition remission, as well as fellowships and grants—are available to incoming and continuing graduate students in painting and drawing.
The painting and drawing artist program brings four to six diverse and well-known artists and professionals in the field each year to give a public lecture and individual graduate critiques, and most often, an informal question and answer session.
A unique and significant asset to the graduate program in painting and drawing are the private studios in the Visual Arts Building, designed by Steven Holl. Open in the fall of 2016, these graduate studios are state of the art, private 200 square foot painting studios all with windows. The building is an exceptional tool for the advancement of work while in the program. A large common critique area hosts a weekly workshop and creative exchange within the program. Exhibition spaces and studio shops are all in close proximity within the building.
Graduate painting and drawing workshop
The workshop is the core of the graduate program. The class is team taught by one to two faculty and Grant Wood Fellows on a rotational basis. Visiting artists occasionally sit in, contributing fresh perspectives. This gives the student automatic exposure to several different faculty in a year's time. Class meets each Wednesday evening for viewing and critique of students work. This provides the opportunity to become familiar with the work being produced at all levels of the program, to interact through critical dialogue, and to develop a sense of community among peers. The workshop faculty also meets individually with students in their studios for private critiques.
Each semester two consecutive days are designated for a midterm review. All faculty in painting and drawing meet as a group with each student in the workshop critique area to give feedback on current work. This review is required of all students in the program every term. These reviews provide all area faculty the opportunity to see and comment on students' work, and students to become familiar with the entire faculty. Serving as a kind of 'progress report,' the review gives constructive feedback, which may help provide direction for the remainder of the term.
Twenty graduate painting and drawing students participate in a three year MFA program of intensive studio work in the complex, rigorous and ever changing practice of painting and drawing. Emphasis is placed on individual growth through experimentation and transformation, both materially and conceptually. The program encourages collaboration and community among graduate students that foster lifelong professional relationships. Six regular faculty members, visiting faculty and a Grant Wood Fellow teach drawing and painting classes at all levels. The current faculty is diverse and exhibits regularly and widely, nationally and internationally. The School of Art and Art History was the first in the nation to hire artists as teachers, based on their professional record.