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April 5, 2016

School Watch reports from Maryland Institute of Contemporary Art in Baltimore and Goldsmiths in London

Art & Education
(1) Group critique with Joyce Anitagrace and Artist-in-Residence Claude Wampler. Photo: Doohyun Yoon. (2) Group critique with Edward Sanchez. Courtesy of the artist. (3) Curatorial Practice students meet with artist Renée Stout. Photo: Betty Gonzales. (4) Beatriz Acevedo. (5) Josephine Baan, Woman Up, 2015. MFA FA exhibition 2015. Photo: Rebecca Lennon.*

Outside the Art World’s Regimes: The MFA at Maryland Institute College of Art
By Owen Duffy
Within the context of any city, art embodies a Janus-faced means. It can uplift, engage, and provoke progressive discourse, while also being a convenient path to gentrification. MICA’s MFA in Curatorial Practice (CP)—the first curatorial MFA in the United States—rigorously prepares its students to accomplish the former while being all too mindful of the latter. The program’s current director, George Ciscle, started CP in 2011 after retiring from The Contemporary, a roving contemporary art museum he founded in Baltimore in 1989, and which he popularized after co-organizing Fred Wilson’s Mining the Museum project in 1992–1993. Through CP, Ciscle hoped to augment MICA’s efforts to have a “relationship outside of itself.” Ciscle blithely admits he is not training his students to become the next curator at MoMA (“not that they are not qualified to be,” he punctuated this statement). Rather, the idea of localized engagement takes precedence. [read more]

Beyond the Critique: Goldsmiths College
By Legacy Russell
It’s been a while since I traveled to New Cross, having completed a Master in Research (MRes) in Visual Culture at Goldsmiths in 2013. With the sprawl of this inimitable city, it’s never a quick journey to travel to the different corners of it, making the notion of “arrival” a much-anticipated one—the day-to-day punctuated by frequent trips via public transport. After working for many years in the trenches of the art world, I decided I was ready to hit pause and give graduate school a go, applying to only two schools—NYU and Goldsmiths. Both institutions have long kept one another company in the top global rankings for their varied visual culture departments, often prompting a merry-go-round in appearances of respective faculty members on either side of the proverbial pond. Having never been to the United Kingdom, and without the funds to make the trip to see Goldsmiths College myself, I did the next best thing and reached out to the professors there whom I admire, writing them each letters explaining why studying with them was of interest to me. Each professor responded thoughtfully with timely thanks, consideration, and recommendation; one in particular asked for my address. A few weeks later an envelope arrived: inside was a small stack of comic books—original art objects stemming from this professor’s creative practice—ready for my perusal. The following fall I arrived in London to begin my degree. [read more] 

 

School Watch presents distilled perspectives on degree programs in the arts, with interviews, critical texts and editorial exposés on MFAs, Masters, Doctorates and certificate programs in fine arts, art history, curatorial, cultural and film studies, and other related areas of specialty.

 

*Image above: (1) Mount Royal School group critique with student Joyce Anitagrace and Artist-in-Residence Claude Wampler. Photo: Doohyun Yoon. (2) Mount Royal School group critique with work by student Edward Sanchez. Courtesy of the artist. (3) Curatorial Practice students meet with artist Renée Stout to discuss her exhibition Tales of a Conjure Woman at the American University Museum. Photo: Betty Gonzales. (4) Beatriz Acevedo’s work in the seminar room. Photo: Beatriz Acevedo. (5) Josephine Baan, Woman Up, 2015. MFA FA exhibition 2015. Photo: Rebecca Lennon.

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