December 22, 2021

Art + Social Practice MFA presents fall issue of Social Forms of Art (SoFA) Journal

Portland State University

Cover: Social Forms of Art Journal: Conversations on Everything, fall 2021. Photo: Ralph Hopkins, from “Ralph’s Red Hot Beach Party,” Queens, NY, 1997. Design: Laura Glazer.

“I would love to have that integration of classroom space, studio space, and library space all in one. And that might be like a completely difficult thing to realize, but I think that I always want the library everywhere.” Elsa Loftis, “Touch the Things, Make the Sounds; Laura Glazer with Elsa Loftis." Published in Conversations on Everything: fall 2021.

The Social Forms of Art (SoFA) Journal is an online co-authored publication which documents and contextualizes socially engaged art and its related fields and disciplines. In each issue of the journal, PSU Art + Social Practice MFA students interview people they have selected who are engaging with communities, institutions, and the public. The journal offers critique, commentary, and context about the active and expanding field of socially engaged art.

In the fall 2021 issue of the SoFA Journal, students in the MFA program approach their interviews from various creative backgrounds and training, including: photography, design, dance, illustration, textiles, set design, publishing, curation, theater, herbalism, and cultural organizing. The interviews explore the social component of these various disciplines, and spotlight the elements that necessitate people, interactions, and collaborative contributions. The focus is shifted from individual artworks to the broader process and practice of collaborative work.

The current issue includes discussions with a scientist on his far reaching approach to mycology, a jazz professor on healing, a neighbor on her domestic art collection, a Ukranian immigrant on his transition to living in Portland, Oregon, the president of the Bing Crosby Fan Club on what it means to be invested, a librarian with a vision for collaborative learning, and much more. Read the issue here.

SoFA Journal
The SoFA Journal is made possible by a team of collaborators and creatives including: current students, alumni, and faculty including Harrell Fletcher, Lisa Jarrett, and Sarah Mirk. Immense gratitude is extended for all the support, time, and interest from our ever growing list of current and past collaborators and contributors.

Past issues of the SoFA Journal are additionally archived in The Art & Social Practice Archive: a new initiative housed in the PSU Library Special Collections. It is the first public archive of ephemera related to art and social practice. Students can participate and contribute to the growing collection as part of their program experience.

Art and Social Practice MFA
Recently included in Artsy’s list of The Top 15 Art Programs in America, PSU’s generously funded Art and Social Practice MFA is a three-year, flexible residency (online or in-person) program combining individual practice, group work, community partnerships, and experiential learning with diverse faculty and an array of visiting artists lectures via the program’s weekly Conversation Series. A wide range of practices including curation, writing, performance, conceptual art, video, design, and visual/studio art are encouraged within a socially engaged framework. Blending critical and professional practice, alternative pedagogy, collaborative social engagement, and transdisciplinary exploration produces an immersive educational environment for students interested in working as socially engaged artists.

The MFA program is accepting applications until January 14, 2022 at midnight PST. You can apply here.

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