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Announcement
November 25, 2020

Call for applications & virtual open house: MFA in Art Photography

Syracuse University

Allison DeBritz, After the Babies Were Born, 2020. Digital photograph, 33 x 22 inches.

Conversation with prominent alumni and virtual open house: December 5, 2pm
Register here

The faculty at Syracuse University’s art photography program has built a dynamic program that appreciates the ways in which photography as a contemporary art has transformed in the past two decades. The dramatic expansion of the parameters of photographic practices and increasingly global nature of the contemporary art world necessitates an educational environment that prepares students for entirely new challenges and opportunities. Our MFA students are offered access to professional residencies in Los Angeles and Berlin; interdisciplinary courses that braid diverse ideas and practices; state-of-the-art equipment and media production studios; and significant investments in curriculum and facilities to ensure students are able to pursue their creative passions.

We are acutely aware of the financial burdens of graduate education and have generous tuition discounts, scholarships, and teaching positions available. Graduate students admitted to the program benefit from substantial financial assistance and can receive up to 20,000 USD per year of study. Many of our students also receive teaching assistantships and hourly paid positions.

Our faculty (Yasser Aggour, Doug DuBois, Laura Heyman, and Susannah Sayler) is a diverse group of working artists who have a comprehensive knowledge of contemporary photography and are experienced in documentary, video, conceptual, and performance art, as well as curatorial practices. Together with our students, we have created an academic environment that is intellectually rigorous yet supportive. Recent graduates of the program have participated in numerous exhibitions and received awards, residencies, and academic appointments, including a Guggenheim fellowship and a MacArthur “genius” grant.

Students benefit from our close partnership with Light Work, housed on the Syracuse campus. As one of the world’s leading photo institutes, Light Work organizes exhibitions, residencies, lectures, and workshops and publishes Contact Sheet. Our graduate students are granted membership access to one of the nation’s leading photo production facilities and on any given day may be working alongside major international artists. Light Work is an invaluable intellectual, professional, and technical resource unique to Syracuse University.

Between the contemporary programing at Light Work and our visiting artist program, our students receive mentoring from some of the art world’s leading artists and curators. Recent visitors include Collier Schorr, Farah Al Qasimi, Rahim Fortune, Jason Fulford, William Camargo, Danielle Bowman, Deana Lawson, Dana Lixenberg, Laurel Ptak, Zora Murff, Ryan MacNamara, Zoe Strauss, Leigh Ledare, Carrie Mae Weems, Elinor Carucci, Penelope Umbrico, Susan Meiselas, Alec Soth, Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa, Cauleen Smith, Shimon Attie, Denise Markonish, Sam Falls, Arnold Kemp, An-My Lê, Justine Kurland, Jesse Darling, Liz Cohen, Kelly Reichardt and Kim Bourus, among others.

In addition to artist studios and access to a full range of media production equipment and facilities, MFA candidates have the opportunity to visit and participate in exhibitions at a number of internationally recognized venues, including the Everson Museum, Syracuse University Art Museum, and Urban Video Project.

Alumni: La Toya Ruby Frazier (MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellow); Rose Marie Cromwell (Vice, Harper’s Magazine, Calvin Klein, FADER, MACK first book finalist ), David Politzer (Cabinet, Eyebeam, El Paso Museum of Art, Assistant Professor of Photography and Digital Media at University of Houston); Widline Cadet (The New Yorker, Time Magazine, FOAM, NYFA Fellow, Studio Museum in Harlem artist in residence), Shawn Records (Vice, NYT Magazine, MOCP, Portland Art Museum, Jen Beckman), Nydia Blas (Over the Influence, Los Angeles, CA, Paris Photo, The New York Times, Vogue, Dazed and Confused, Lensculture, Assistant Professor of Art & Visual Culture at Spelman College ), Courtney Asztalos (Fort Wayne Museum of Art, The Front, New Orleans, Meinblau, Berlin, Post, LA, The New Yorker, Paper Journal, Der Greif, New York Times), D’Angelo Lovell Williams (Higher Pictures Generation, The Mint Museum, Yale University Art Gallery, W magazine, Out Magazine, New York Times Magazine, Strange Fire Collective, The Ones We Love, Vice)

Applications are now online. The final deadline for fall 2021 admission to our MFA program is February 1, 2021.

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