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Announcement
October 18, 2022

MFA in Studio Art

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

Keith Obadike + Mendi Obadike, Harmonies + Difference Tones, 2022. Installation view, Cornell Biennial.

View of Vital Fluid. Courtesy of Giselle Hobbs and Cornell AAP.

David Nasca, Supernature. Installation view.

Sofia Starling, Continuous Painting, 2019.

Sasha Phyars-Burgess and Jerry Lim.

View of Or High Water, Safe Gallery, New York City.

View of Or High Water, Safe Gallery, New York City.

The Department of Art at Cornell AAP invites applications to our generously funded Master of Fine Arts program, due January 15, 2023. An informative virtual open house featuring department faculty and current graduate students is set for November 3 at 6pm. Learn more and register to attend.

AAP's MFA program is built on connections between students and faculty in the art department and across the university who come together in a rigorous, supportive, and inclusive environment where all ideas are met with respect and all forms of critical and creative practices are encouraged. Cornell's unique interdisciplinary model for graduate study, combined with medium-specific skill development, lays a foundation for collaborative, experimental, and radical rethinking of what art making can be. Based in Ithaca, New York, with an additional New York City exhibition and international travel opportunities built into the curriculum, art students at Cornell have access to world-class facilities including fabrication shops, labs, darkrooms, and exhibition spaces for both group and solo shows. Private studios, undergoing a full renovation, are provided for each artist entering the program.

Mentorship
MFA students at Cornell begin the two-year program with a rigorous investigation of their studio practice that includes ongoing visits from full-time faculty and visiting artists. Critical conversations help guide and cultivate the creative process. By the end of the first year, students form a supportive graduate committee of trusted faculty mentors who foster growth through intellectual curiosity and camaraderie.

Every semester, graduate students dedicate about half of their time to independent studio practice and participate in a graduate seminar, a cornerstone of the program. The seminar, led by a prominent working artist such as this semester's Teiger Mentor Emilio Rojas and next semester's Teiger Mentor Wells Chandler, is a space for deep critical engagement, for asking questions, and challenging assumptions.

In addition to Assistant Professor Leeza Meksin taking on the position of Director of Graduate Studies this year, the department welcomed new social-justice-focused faculty including Associate Professor and AAP Associate Dean for Diversity and Equity Jen Delos Reyes, Assistant Professors Oscar Rene Cornejo and Oasa DuVerney, and Professor Keith Obadike.

Career preparation
Many students come to Cornell with an interest in developing a critical and creative practice they can both sustain and share with others through teaching. In addition to nearly full tuition remission, each graduate student is guaranteed a teaching assistantship every semester, for a total of four different classes over the course of the program.

MFA students also take a professional practice course that focuses on writing artist statements, cultivating our community through field trips, and the collaborative curation of a group show in NYC at the end of the spring semester—an unmatched opportunity to expand viewership, make connections, and learn about the generosity and vulnerability that goes into preparing a public exhibition.

Because of the importance of learning directly from art world experience, graduate students are also provided a fully funded opportunity to visit artists and creatives in the cultural center of Mexico City every spring.

Application information
Please apply at Cornell University graduate admissions (deadline January 15), and join us for a virtual open house at 6pm EDT on Thursday, November 3, when prospective students can ask questions and hear more about the program's offerings (register here to attend the Zoom session), or visit AAP's art graduate admissions page for more information.

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