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September 20, 2022

Q&A with MFA candidate Kait Gallaugher

Maine College of Art & Design

Kait Gallaugher, Fabric Chain, 2022.

(First-year MFA candidate Kait Gallaugher shares inspiration, insight, and a behind-the-scenes look at life in the Portland-based program. Gallaugher participated in the College’s eight-week summer intensive during June and July 2022.)

Tell us about your work and approach.
Before the summer, I focused much of my studio practice on bolstering my conceptual ideas with research, and really developing the ideas behind the work. However, as soon as the intensive began I set the intention to make first and think later, following my intuition in a way that I had never done before. This gave me the freedom to play and interpret my own decisions and their meanings once the work was “finished.” Going into the fall semester, I am finding the middle ground between research based and intuitive art in a way that feels very generative.

Why did you choose to pursue your MFA at Maine College of Art & Design?
Maine College of Art & Design celebrates interdisciplinary studio practices in a way that immediately caught my attention. As someone who likes to bounce around and work in a variety of media, I appreciated the total support from faculty and access to any and all facilities that could help me work the way I wanted to.

What surprised you most about the program when you started?
I was really surprised by the number of studio visits I had the opportunity to participate in with both faculty and visiting artists. Every week of the summer intensive I met with at least one faculty member along with professionals working in different facets of the art world, giving me the chance to vocalize ideas in new ways and receive feedback in real time.

How would you describe your time during this year's eight-week summer intensive?
There is a joke around the MFA program that when asked to describe the summer intensive, we cannot help but use the word intense. This summer was a whirlwind of making, experimenting, and playing with new ideas. I made pieces more quickly than I ever had before, and truly surprised myself with my own abilities.

What stands out to you most about that time?
The people who make up the MFA program at Maine College of Art & Design are some of the most generous I have ever met. There is always someone around to help you think through an idea, answer your questions, or even physically lend a hand. Throughout classes and critiques everyone engaged with whatever I had made in a critical, yet genuinely caring way.

What advice do you wish you had when deciding on an MFA program?
I would have advised myself to be less stressed about the entire application process. There are so many resources designed to help you succeed at every step of the way as well as so many people who just want you to do well and help in any way they can.

About Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art at Maine College of Art & Design
Supported by renowned local, national, and international faculty, visiting artists and carefully selected graduate advisors, the MFA in Studio Art curriculum emphasizes the intersection of production, individual research, and critical analysis. Students choose either a Low or Full Residency option. MECA&D’s Full Residency MFA provides 24/7 access to private studios and staffed fabrication facilities where students work alongside peers and with local faculty. Among the first programs in the country, MECA&D’s low residency MFA combines intense periods of on-campus instruction with the freedom and independence of working from any home location, anywhere in the world.

Full tuition scholarship deadline: Friday, January 20, 2023 - An interview with faculty members guaranteed for applications completed by this deadline. / Priority application deadline: Friday, February 24, 2023 / Rolling admissions: Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, as space permits.

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