December 6, 2021

Applications and funding for MFA in Department of Art

Cornell University College of Architecture, Art, and Planning (AAP)

Erika Germain, Ever-Patterned Collapsing Grid, 2021. oil on canvas, 6 x 18 feet. Photo: Bill Staffeld, AAP.

Kirk Henriques and Stephanie Syjuco. Photo: Bill Staffeld, AAP.

Cannupa Hanska Luger. Photo: Bill Staffeld, AAP.

Christine McDonald. Photo: Bill Staffeld, AAP.

Erin Miller. Photo: Bill Staffeld, AAP.

MFA group show critique. Photo: Bill Staffeld, AAP.

The Department of Art at Cornell AAP invites applications for our generously funded Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program, due January 7, 2022. At Cornell, the study of art is about expanding imaginaries and building critical, creative practices for making objects, spaces, and experiences that reflect intellectual judgment, philosophical understanding, historical knowledge, ethical principles, and a meaningful engagement with contemporary life.

Our two-year MFA program is intensive, intimate, and part of a diverse community that supports interdisciplinary and medium-specific practices augmented by access to fields of study across the university. The college generously provides each MFA student with a private studio, access to state-of-the-art fabrication labs and shops, an annual fully-funded international travel experience, and financial support that includes generous tuition remission and guaranteed paid graduate assistantships that help cover additional costs of attendance throughout the program.

The MFA program's flexible curriculum is designed to accommodate the needs of individual students. Each semester includes nine credits of independent studio work, electives, and an intensive three-credit graduate seminar that addresses a range of contemporary art practices and their cultural contexts, enabling students to develop skills specific to making as well as those necessary for a critical apprehension of self and the collective condition.

Faculty mentorship
Throughout the program, each MFA student works with a three-member advisory committee that meets regularly for constructive, critical review and guidance toward degree completion. The advisory committee supports a student's work and development from multiple perspectives and so includes graduate faculty from the department of art, and can include graduate faculty from across the university.

In addition to faculty who have dedicated many years to providing support and mentorship to graduate students at AAP, as of this year, the department welcomes new faculty chair Paul Ramírez Jonas and new assistant professor Leeza Meksin. To further expand possibilities for catalyzing engagement and change with art practice, the department is currently recruiting top artists for newly established tenure-track faculty positions as part of the college's recently announced social impact searches.

Visiting artists
Graduate students also have the opportunity to schedule studio visits with the many different practicing artists who visit the department each year to give public artist talks to the AAP community. This includes the biannual appointment of the prestigious Teiger Mentor in the Arts. Each semester, the Teiger Mentor appointment brings a prominent working artist to the department to shape or lead the intimate graduate seminar, mentor students in their studios on a regular basis, and critique graduate student work in the college's galleries. The current Teiger Mentor in the Arts is Miatta Kawinzi; Emily Jacir will hold the position in spring 2022.

Cornell AAP offers four galleries, two housed in the department of art, where students are invited to install solo and group exhibitions throughout each semester. In addition to individual studios, graduate students also have access to well-equipped labs and fabrication shops that support production across media. Resources include equipment rental for digital photography/video and a digital print lab, a darkroom, two printmaking studios that support everything from lithography to risography, a digital fabrication lab (CNC machines, laser cutters, and 3D printers), an analog shop for wood and metal (table saws, band saws, sanders, welders, kilns), and more.

A final group exhibition opportunity at a chosen gallery in New York City, fully supported by the department and college, is offered at the end of each academic year.

Application information
To apply, please visit Cornell University Graduate Admissions and submit by January 7, 2022. Please visit AAP's Graduate Admissions page or reach out to the AAP Admissions team for more information about the application process.

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