October 16, 2013

Master of Fine Arts: Fiber and Material Studies

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Liz Ensz, First There is a Mountain, 2013. Photo by Tony Favarula.

Students pursuing a Masters in Fine Arts in Fiber and Materials Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) are exposed to a unique breadth and depth of both studio and theoretical practices, studying historical and modern modes of production.

Led by renowned faculty who are also active practitioners in their fields, students learn a vast range of textile construction, surface techniques, and processes, including: weaving, print, dye, stitch, soft sculpture, felting, knitting, crochet, spinning, collage, and embellishment.

Our studios feature analog and digital equipment, and students engage in thinking and working with hand processes while incorporating cutting-edge, digital technologies and computer-assisted approaches to making.

Within the rigorous academic and studio environments, MFA students are provided with abundant resources, equipment, and specialized staff that are trained to assist and instruct Fiber and Materials Studies students:

– Industrial and portable sewing machines
– Computerized embroidery machine
– Serger
– Knitting machines
– Floor looms [4 to 16 harness]
– TC-1 and TC-2 Digital Jacquard Looms
– Fully equipped dye and printing facility
– Heat transfer press
– Printing tables
– Computer lab
– Feltmaking equipment
– Smart lecture/critique space
– Individual graduate studios
– Table looms
– Screen printing
– Printers
– Textile Resource Center, including study collection of ethnographic textiles, journal collections, videos, library, and data base
– Subject Librarian at the Flaxman Library
– MDID—Fiber Collection

MFA students also have full access to the Art Institute of Chicago and its exhibitions and collections, accompanied by the expansive resources offered by Chicago’s myriad art galleries, venues, and ever-growing communities of working artists.

Applications are due January 10, 2014.

For more information contact Graduate Admissions at [email protected].

To apply, visit

About the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
A leader in educating artists, designers, and scholars since 1866, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) offers nationally accredited undergraduate and graduate degrees and post-baccalaureate programs to more than 3,200 students from around the globe. SAIC also provides adults, high school students, and children with the opportunity to flourish in a variety of courses, workshops, certificate programs, and camps through its Continuing Studies program. Located in the heart of Chicago, SAIC has an educational philosophy built upon an interdisciplinary approach to art and design, giving students unparalleled opportunities to develop their creative and critical abilities, while working with renowned faculty who include many of the leading practitioners in their fields. SAIC’s resources include the Art Institute of Chicago and its new Modern Wing; numerous special collections and programming venues provide students with exceptional exhibitions, screenings, lectures, and performances. For more information, please visit


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