November 26, 2019

MFA in Illustration & Visual Culture program

Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis

Illustration: Shannon Levin.

Applications are open for the Sam Fox School’s MFA in Illustration & Visual Culture program at Washington University in St. Louis. The curriculum combines studio practice in illustration with material culture studies. This two-year residential program prepares graduates to work as author-artists of graphic novels and picture books, professors, critical writers, and curators.

The MFA-IVC program is built on the expertise of the School’s illustration and design faculty, and the vast resources of Washington University, a tier-one research institution.

Apply now.

Scholarships & Financial Aid
The Sam Fox School offers a variety of generous financial assistance opportunities to students, based on a combination of need and merit. 100% of MFA-IVC students receive financial support. Through the new Sam Fox Ambassadors Graduate Fellowship Program, an additional 10 full-tuition scholarships will be awarded each year across our graduate programs. All students are eligible for paid teaching, technical, or research assistantships.

MFA-IVC studios are located in the Roxanne H. Frank Design Studio in Anabeth and John Weil Hall. Designed by KieranTimberlake, the brand-new 82,000-square-foot facility includes the Caleres Fabrication Lab and loft-style studios, installation, and workspaces with abundant natural light. Students have numerous places to gather, relax, and collaborate, including the Kuehner Court, with a two-story, living green wall, and the Weil Hall Commons, which features an ambitious installation by alum Anne Schaefer (BFA01).

A primary campus resource for MFA-IVC students is the D.B. Dowd Modern Graphic History Library, a preeminent site for studying the history and culture of American illustration. Focusing on 20th century illustration, the collection includes artists' working materials and sketches as well as original artwork from books, magazines, and advertising.

Students will also have access to an expansive, integrated printmaking suite, home to the Dubinsky Printmaking Studio, Island Press, and the Nancy Spirtas Kranzberg Studio for the Illustrated Book, which accommodates letterpress techniques, screenprinting, lithography, risograph printing, etching, collagraphy, and illustrated books.

After a major expansion, the School's Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum reopened this fall with the exhibition Ai Weiwei: Bare Life and a Q&A with the artist. The Museum's world-class permanent collection includes works from Dürer and Rembrandt to Barbara Kruger, Ed Ruscha, Jenny Holzer, and Trenton Doyle Hancock.

Additonal resources
Creative Technology Media Lab, Lighting Studio, Whitaker Learning Lab, Textile Studio, Wood + Metal Shops, Harvey Media Center, Kranzberg Art & Architecture Library

Sam Fox School faculty specialize in children’s books, editorial illustration, cultural theory, graphic novels, zines, typography, and social practice: John Hendrix (chair), Chrissi Cowhey, D.B. Dowd, Jonathan Hanahan, Audra Hubbell, Heidi Kolk, Shreyas R Krishnan, Skye Lacerte, Penina Acayo Laker, Rebecca Leffell Koren, Frank Oros, Jeff Pike, and Dan Zettwoch. Fall visitors include Chris Buzelli, Kevin Huizenga, Ed Kinsella, and Vesper Stamper.

Taylor Yocom, graduate recruitment specialist: tayloryocom [​at​]

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