April 1, 2021

Call for applications: Low-Residency MFA

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Betelhem Makonnen, Selfing Studies 06 (___), 2019.

The Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts (Low-Res MFA) program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) is designed for the 21st century artist whose work and life demand both a rigorous engagement with an artistic community as well as flexibility, fluidity, and a self-directed approach. SAIC's Low-Res MFA program is open to artists, writers, educators, curators, and historians.

An individualized three-year plan of study integrates studio work with art history, theory, and poetics. The program is organized into three topic-driven themes to investigate the philosophy of art: attention, sensation, and perception.

Supported by faculty based at SAIC and a roster of renowned visiting artists, students spend spring and fall semesters taking classes online and working remotely from a home studio. While off campus, each student is paired with a mentor located within their geographical area.

During the summer, students and faculty participate in weekly colloquia, seminars, studio visits, critiques, and professional practice courses. Study culminates in a major thesis project with both exhibited and written components. The application deadline for fall 2021 is April 15. Apply now.

Core Faculty
Gregg Bordowitz, Director / Lee Blalock, Assistant Director / Kelly Kaczynski, Graduate Coordinator / John Neff, Graduate Coordinator / Giovanni Aloi / D. Denenge Duyst-Akpem / Tyler Coburn / Dana DeGuilio / Corrine Fitzpatrick / Gordon Hall / Judd Morrissey / Nathanaël / Pamela Sneed / Andrea Ray / Hamza Walker / More TBA

2021 Visiting Artists and Scholars
Aram Han Sifuentes / Sowon Kwon / Kameelah Janan Rasheed / Patric McCoy / Glenn Ligon / Pamela Sneed / Tourmaline / More TBA

Dr. Eugenia Cheng / Fred Moten

Low-Residency Commencement Speaker and Visiting Poet
Cathy Park Hong

About the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
For more than 150 years, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has been a leader in educating the world’s most influential artists, designers, and scholars. Located in downtown Chicago with a fine arts graduate program consistently ranking among the top programs in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, SAIC provides an interdisciplinary approach to art and design as well as world-class resources, including the Art Institute of Chicago museum, on-campus galleries, and state-of-the-art facilities. SAIC’s undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate students have the freedom to take risks and create the bold ideas that transform Chicago and the world—as seen through notable alumni and faculty such as Michelle Grabner, David Sedaris, Elizabeth Murray, Richard Hunt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Cynthia Rowley, Nick Cave, Jeff Koons, and LeRoy Neiman. For more information, please visit

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