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Announcement
October 20, 2021

MFA in Art and Media

NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi Campus

Image courtesy of NYUAD

New York University Abu Dhabi (NYU Abu Dhabi) has opened applications for its two-year Master of Fine Arts in Art and Media (MFA). Applications are open until January 15, 2022. The first of its kind in the region, the MFA offers an individualized curriculum that is responsive to artistic, technological, economic, and societal shifts and needs. Its studio-focused integrated coursework bridges disciplinary skills and diverse bodies of knowledge.

The program is structured to ensure that students develop advanced research skills for visual and academic investigations in contemporary art and theory. Coursework and academic requirements are designed to foster the development of students who can think and create in novel and interdisciplinary ways.

Program Director Tarek Al-Ghoussein said: “The fact that this program is the first of its kind, in this region, is truly exciting. We are able to connect our grad students with a thriving art scene in the Emirates through exhibitions, one-on-one critiques with key players in the art world, and more. The small ratio of students to faculty means the students’ art practices are strongly invested in.”

Throughout the program, students will have access to local stakeholders and institutions, including guest critics and speakers from Warehouse 421, Department of Culture, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah Art Foundation, Art Jameel and AlSerkal Avenue, as well as local artists, and many more.

The MFA at NYU Abu Dhabi aims to strengthen the artist’s individual art practice as well as their relationships with critical theory and relevant discourse. Students are positioned to push their practices to the next level given the support of their peer community and professors, as well as their exposure to other visiting artists and art professionals who provide studio visits, lectures, and critiques.

The program leverages Abu Dhabi’s location as a transnational and transcultural hub for the exchange of western and eastern traditions in the arts and culture. The MFA is uniquely positioned to create new discourses in the field by virtue of its geographic location and student body. Students from vastly different cultures, beliefs, and orientations gather here to create new visions of what Abu Dhabi, the Emirates, the Arabian Gulf, and the wider region are and can be. This is supported directly by the flows of NYU’s global network and Abu Dhabi’s proximity to point east of traditionally western-centric art discourses.

MFAs are often required to teach at the university level, and this program offers a teaching apprenticeship program to students who are interested in entering academia. The curricular structure is modeled on the MFA program at NYU New York but is also responsive to the cultural traditions and heritage of the United Arab Emirates, along with its burgeoning place as a global art hub.

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