The MFA program provides two years of advanced education and creative development in the student’s chosen area of research. The curriculum consists of a a series of seminars and concentrated studio work. These are supported by critical dialogue among students, faculty, visiting artists, lectures and conferences. Students are required to complete the following courses: four semesters of independent studio practice, four semesters of graduate seminars, one seminar on contemporary issues, and one seminar on graduate research and writing. After the completion of the above, students prepare for their final support paper and individual thesis exhibition which is examined through oral defense.
Studio Practice I-IV: Directed individual research in the form of studio projects supervised by a committee comprised of a principal advisor and two or three faculty members.
Graduate Seminar I-IV: This series of courses provides a foundation for MFA students to develop critical vocabulary and creative research models in contemporary art production. These seminars provide a forum for peer critique and critical discussion with students, faculty, visiting artists, curators and other arts professionals. These courses are taught by a roster of graduate faculty who each bring their expertise to focus a range of subjects relevant to contemporary art practice. Over the course of the two-year program students will cover the following subjects: collectives and collaboration; alternative art practices; pedagogy; professional practice; exhibitions and curating. This course is taken in each of the four semesters.
Seminar on Contemporary Issues: This course covers current issues in contemporary art and critical theory. Through presentations, reflective papers, and the establishment of a research archive, students develop an individual dialogue with contemporary theory that is pertinent to their studio practice.
Graduate Research Seminar: This seminar is based on research methodologies and writing strategies that enable students to gain proficiency with advanced level research and writing.
Thesis: The thesis consists of an exhibition of a body of original creative works within the MFA candidate’s area of studio research. The thesis is planned and executed in conjunction with the candidate’s advisory committee. This final exhibition is regarded as the equivalent of the scholarly thesis of an academic discipline, and is examined by an oral defense conducted through a committee of internal and external examiners. The MFA candidate will also prepare a substantial research paper that acts as a support document for the thesis exhibition.
MFA Group Shows
In addition to the final thesis show, all MFA students have the opportunity to participate in events at the Art Gallery of Windsor and other venues thus giving students an opportunity to exhibit work in a prominent public gallery and gain experience working alongside curatorial and exhibition staff.