Studio Art MFA

Painting • Sculpture • New Media • Printmaking

Philosophy

The Studio Art (MFA) program supports diverse forms of specialized research within a common environment of artistic production and critique. Guided by specialists in a variety of traditional and experimental forms, each MFA candidate develops a body of work in the context of expansive discussions about art's aesthetic, social, economic and political dimensions. Specialization through thesis research prepares students to work in contemporary fields of art wherein medium-specific histories present secondary (though important) concerns within a broader exploration of art's evolving functions and forms.

Program faculty members are all working artists, exhibiting and presenting in regional, national and international settings.

The MFA degree prepares students for participation in a broad range of professional contexts, from gallery exhibition and art commission, to curating, publication or activism. Our graduates often also seek teaching positions in post-secondary College and University settings, and typically accrue some teaching experience to this end by serving as instructors in our undergraduate programs.

Students in the Studio Art MFA program (Painting, Sculpture, New Media, Printmaking) benefit from a unique range of possible collaborators and advisors across the University. Historically, students have developed connections within the College of Fine and Applied Arts through coursework in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, or Theater, or across the campus through study in such areas as Gender and Women’s Studies, Media and Cinema Studies, History, or English/Creative Writing.

The twin cities of Champaign-Urbana present many opportunities for creative cultural production; larger urban centers (Chicago, Indianapolis, and St. Louis) are only two and a half hours away, offering destinations for galleries, exhibitions, symposia, and professional connections.

See the exhibition catalog for the 2016 MFA graduates.

Meet some of our current MFA students.

Resources

The School of Art+Design provides personal studio space for each MFA student and 24-hour access to the School's many production facilities that include installation and critique spaces, woodshops, workshops for ceramics, plaster, and metalworking, comprehensive computer and digital output labs, and an extensive equipment checkout system. We also offer the archives of the Krannert Art Museum and the collection of the Ricker Library of Architecture and Art.

Core Faculty

Conrad Bakker – alternative economies of art production and distribution, thing theory
Stephen Cartwright – sculpture, mapping and performative self-quantification
Ryan Griffis – experimental geography, political ecology, aesthetics of the regional, collaboration, documentary media 
Ben Grosser - software, networks, social media, surveillance, computer vision, computational agency
Kevin Hamilton – interactive media, telepresence, research methodologies, history of technology
Patrick Earl Hammie – painting, figuration, self-portraiture, race, gender and identity
Laurie Hogin – painting, neuroscience, landscape and ideology, color, desire, materialism, narrative
Chris Kienke - painting, media aesthetics
Emmy Lingscheit - printmaking, post-natural world, systems
Melissa Pokorny – sculpture, landscape and memory, collecting, nature/culture, magic
Joel Ross – narrative, photography, sculpture. text/image, nationalism, identity, legality
Deke Weaver – narrative, performance, animality, myth, ecology, storytelling

Meet more of our faculty

Requirements

We offer a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in Painting, Sculpture and New Media. In this program, students work under the supervision of faculty from three different graduate areas (Painting, Sculpture and New Media) to develop bodies of work in a variety of media and disciplines. The degree requires at least 64 graduate credit hours over three years of residence, culminating in a thesis project that includes an exhibition component (participation in the MFA exhibition in the Krannert Art Museum) as well as a written component.

Funding

Many of our MFA students are funded, and we have teaching opportunities available. Funding is made possible by Graduate Assistantship appointments and by awarding students with grants and fellowships, given out by the School of Art + Design, and by the University of Illinois Graduate College. Our Graduate Assistantships are 9 month appointments, require 10 hours of service per week, include a total stipend of $8,140.50 (for the academic year), and come with a full tuition waiver, and a partial campus fee waiver (leaving about $500 per semester for the student to pay). This waiver package alone has an estimated value of $29,000. Tuition for in-state graduate students is $6,708 per semester, and for out-of-state graduate students $13,826. Campus fees amount to $1,920 per semester.

Application

Fall admittance only. The deadline for Fall 2017 admissions is January 9, 2017. Get more information and apply to the MFA program online.