Related
Announcement
January 20, 2023

Art Department launches Image Text MFA

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

Courtesy Department of Art at Cornell AAP. Photo: Anson Wigner, AAP.*

Photos: Courtesy of ITI.*

Photo: Anson Wigner, AAP.*

Photos: Courtesy of ITI.*

The Art Department at Cornell AAP has launched a unique, low-residency Master of Fine Arts in Image Text that creates new possibilities for creative practice and dialogue at the intersection of the visual and literary arts.

The Image Text MFA is a 25-month program that begins with the first of three intensive summer sessions in Ithaca, offering access to exceptional resources and faculty drawn from a community of internationally recognized artists and writers. Students in the program then pursue independent remote study in close consultation with faculty advisors throughout the regular academic year and participate in immersive international field courses in locations such as London, Berlin, and Mexico City. Applications for July 2023 enrollment are now open.

"In the fluid landscape created by digital media platforms and the explosion of small press publishing, it seems only logical that questions of aesthetics, narrative, documentary testimony, and fictional invention be addressed within the language-and-image world that we already inhabit," said founding faculty codirectors Nicholas Muellner (primarily a photographer) and Catherine Taylor (primarily a writer), who both join the art department this semester.

Muellner and Taylor founded the Image Text Ithaca (ITI) initiative in 2014 at Ithaca College as a series of artist workshops that brought together artists and scholars working across image and text, with notable participants such as Bruno Ceschel, Jason Fulford, John Keene, LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, Lucas Blalock, and Claudia Rankine. The initiative grew to include an MFA in Image Text and the ITI Press. When Ithaca College phased out the Image Text MFA in 2021, conversations to establish a comparable program were initiated by former Art Department Chair Michael Ashkin who saw the value in offering alternatives to conventional creative practice and exhibition to art students at Cornell. The recent launch is made possible by a generous seed fund gift from Cornell alums Deborah Goodman Davis '85 and Gerald Davis (BArch '84), both longtime supporters of the college and the arts at the university.

"With this program, the art department can provide more options for how to be an artist in the world," says Art Department Chair Paul Ramírez Jonas, who has led the collaborative effort to establish the new Image Text MFA at Cornell following Ashkin's tenure as chair. "Given its core commitment to both making and thinking alongside highly original artists and robust facilities and technologies, AAP is a perfect setting."

The Image Text MFA is the only program of its kind in its field(s) and is designed to build an inclusive community of working artists and writers at AAP who seek intellectual, emotional, and political engagement with the world through creative production and exhibition.

"In the past two decades, there has been an explosion of books and publications by individual artists, writers, and independent publishers," added Ramírez Jonas. "These interdisciplinary and often experimental publications create a new platform for the circulation of ideas, transforming a section of the art world where participants have a great degree of agency, collaborations abound, and communities are created and supported."

"We are thrilled to join a college and university with such an outstanding reputation, and a department where collaborative scholarship and creative practice in social justice and equity align well with our own interests and commitments, as well as the core values and driving intent of the program," said Muellner and Taylor.

Virtual information sessions will be held January 16–28. All prospective students are invited to register to attend via Zoom. The first-round deadline for program applications is February 15. The second-round deadline is March 15. Please visit the Image Text MFA page to learn more.

*Images above: [1] A Cornell student examines prints in the new Risograph studio in the Department of Art at Cornell AAP. Photo: Anson Wigner, AAP. [2] ITI, formerly at Ithaca College, offered experimental workshops, symposia, an MFA program, and the ITI Press. Photos: Courtesy of ITI. [3] A run of prints produced in the new Risograph studio in the Department of Art at Cornell AAP. Photo: Anson Wigner, AAP. [4] ITI, formerly at Ithaca College, offered experimental workshops, symposia, an MFA program, and the ITI Press. Photos: Courtesy of ITI.

Thank you!

An email with a confirmation link has been sent to the email address you entered. To complete your subscription, click this link.