January 6, 2022

MFA program

Columbia College Chicago

Sabrina Pastard, Wraith, 2021. Photo: Jonathan Castillo.

The Master of Fine Arts program at Columbia College Chicago will prepare you to be a professional working artist. You’ll sharpen your art practice while gaining professional skills related to the business of fine art practice. Guided individual studio practice alongside weekly critique examining your work and the work of others forms the core of the degree experience.

Beyond this, what makes our program unique is the fact that one-third of the courses in our degree are focused on professional practices. For example, in addition to taking courses taught by artists about the professional skills needed to thrive within the field, our students also take several courses in the Business and Entrepreneurship department at Columbia learning about contracts, project management, intellectual property, business, and legal concerns that are critical for practicing artists to understand. Students also take a unique-to-the-field graduate seminar: Teaching Methods and Pedagogies, which provides a foundation in how to approach the practice of teaching arts to others. We want you to have options in how you structure your career, so we have designed the program with your professional success in mind.

The program is based in Chicago: an affordable, socially aware, culturally engaged, creative hub where artists push boundaries and make important, innovative contributions to the field. As a working artist, your success will depend on your network, and at Columbia, we will help you plan and initiate your own professional strategy for launching a career in the arts.

Working with award-winning faculty, you will create a professional body of artwork while demonstrating mastery of materials and techniques and participating in critiques of your work and the work of others. As mentors, your faculty members are here to provide insights about managing your professional studio practice, negotiating the complex demands of being an artist, and making a living in the constantly changing contemporary art field. Throughout the program, you will meet regularly with visiting artists, curators, and scholars. The program culminates in a gallery exhibition for graduating MFA students.

Graduate faculty include: Adam Brooks, Paul Catanese, Marc Fischer, Joan Giroux, Taylor Hokanson, Duncan MacKenzie, Mel Potter, and Niki Nolin.

For more information please visit here.

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