In our master of fine arts (M.F.A.) degree program, you will study with each member of our faculty, themselves active professionals, and experience individual and group critiques, professional seminars, and the invaluable resource that is our prestigious visiting artists program. We encourage you to take advantage of the community of artists you will be immersed in and explore such disciplines as ceramics, metals, printmaking, sculpture, or photography to enhance your growth.
Our mission is to provide you with the resources and support you need to develop your artistic talents and to understand the forces that drive creative endeavors in today’s increasingly interconnected world. With our internationally known faculty, visiting artists, and speakers, we offer you a wide perspective on the creative process and what it means to be an artist. The resources we offer include studios that far exceed what many universities provide as well as global programs that include classes in Europe and other key locations in the United States. Our creative classes are complimented by the richness offered by an outstanding and diverse university environment. The painting classes are medium to small in size, with plenty of individual attention but also with respect for the freedom that each student needs to find his or her creative voice.
The long history of our painting program demonstrates a steady and deep commitment to painting, a discipline that is as relevant now as ever. The “blank canvas” is both a hurdle and a tabula rasa—perhaps not a blank slate, but a clean slate. If artists today can learn to channel their creative energies effectively, the possibilities for meaningful expression can be enormous. The dichotomies between traditional and contemporary or figurative and non-representational have imploded, and what remains is strong, self-motivated, individual work.
The young artists in our painting program represent the global possibilities of what painting can be, whether it embraces tradition or not, whether it be interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary. Our program is designed to give you a working knowledge of the history of your practice, as well as knowledge of contemporary critical thinking in your field. We recognize that our students are self-driven individuals whose artworks are a testament to the faith they have in their own abilities and the trust they have in the creative process itself.