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mfa programs (my experience and philosophy)

updated thu 7 aug 03


LaShawnda Crowe on wed 6 aug 03

I am not primarily a ceramics person more of a metal
and fabric sculpture, but I am in the middle of an MFA
program. And cost aside it is quite worth it. In
this past year (I have 1-1.5 to go), I've learned more
about what I do and do not want to do with my artwork,
grown more in 8 months than in the previous 3 years,
because during this time it was about me and only me
in the studio. My program is set-up where you work
with at least 2 advisors per semester. This
relationships have been crucial and key to my growth
as I have had nearly daily contact with my advisors
and meet with them weekly for at least one hour.

As three of my advisors are notable in their field,
they have provided me invaluable understanding,
direction and knowledge for the business side of the
art world, as well as challenged me to be a better

Sometimes this has been brutal, but always honest,
needed and definetly constructive. If nothing else, I
have created an "art family" here that will go with me
where ever I go after graduation. I think more than
anything these relationships (students and faculty)
are probably the goldmine of my program, as before I
spent nearly 2 years in a creative vacumm and artistic
isolation as I worked a full-time job and attended art
school in the evening.

If you are interested in school then I say go for it.
I started by getting about 20-30 catalogs from
programs around the country. Looking at their faculty
members and students work and then after narrowing
down to 7 (5 where on the east coast) I took a
vacation and visited a different school. Quickly that
eliminated at least 2 and let me get a good idea
whether or not the place was for me. Some schools
that I thought were tops were out the door

Ultimately, this gives you the time and resources to
focus solely and specifically on you and the
development of your art. That is a rare opportunity as
many know, so if you can take the opportunity to
splurge on your artistic self, then I say do it.

Good luck and hope this helps.

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