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Thread: Photography Schools/MFA

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Photography Schools/MFA

    I'm not sure if this is the right place to start the thread..

    I'm finishing up my BFA with hon. at Elam School of Fine Arts in New Zealand and i'm looking to do my masters (fine arts) overseas.

    First I would be looking into Australia. but would really like to be studying in America.

    So far i've just had a look at a few places online- SVA NY (apparently amy stein teaches part time?), UCLA, UCIrvine (my old tutor Joyce Campbell taught there. and a recent friend told me its free?), Yale (long stretch. but i read Crewdson is teaching there). That's the main lot i've looked at plus a school in Helsinki, Finland - Taik which seems to have a pretty good rep.

    Can anyone recommend any schools? know what the standard of work is like over there? i'm not sure how my work would stand up against everyone else who'd apply.

  2. #2
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: Photography Schools/MFA

    Frank Goehlke currently teaches at the University of Arizona in Tucson. I understand he was brought in to establish a large format presence in the photo program. The UA also has the Center for Creative Photography.
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  3. #3

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    Re: Photography Schools/MFA

    Parsons, but it is really late for this year.

  4. #4
    Gilbert Plantinga
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    Re: Photography Schools/MFA

    Rhode Island School of Design (Henry Horenstein)
    Bard - ICP (Stephen Shore)
    Parsons - The New School (currently embroiled in controversy over restructuring)
    RIT
    Cal Arts
    The Art Institute of Chicago

  5. #5

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    Re: Photography Schools/MFA

    IIRC there was a long thread about this same subject a while back- do a search and I think you'll find a lot more information. There are two schools offering MFAs in photography in my town- Rochester Institute of Technology and the Visual Studies Workshop. I have some experience with both of them, but have never been part of either of their MFA programs.

  6. #6
    Richard M. Coda
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    Re: Photography Schools/MFA

    Be careful... the Kool-Aid is tempting to youngsters.

    Let me ask you something. Unless you want to teach others how to drink the Kool-Aid, what do you need an MFA for? What will you learn (at great cost) that you couldn't learn elsewhere for less or no cost?

    I would suspect that most of the people who hang out here do NOT have MFAs. Personally, I haven't seen much from anyone with an MFA that I liked or thought was good.
    Photographs by Richard M. Coda
    my blog
    Primordial: 2010 - Photographs of the Arizona Monsoon
    "Speak softly and carry an 8x10"
    "I shoot a HYBRID - Arca/Canham 11x14"

  7. #7
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: Photography Schools/MFA

    I'll bite. I have an MFA and don't regret the investment. Is it necessary? Of course not-there are legions of successful artists out there without MFA's. BUT, it gave me some real quality time to concentrate on and think about my personal work without commercial pressures and it gave me the credentials I needed to teach (allowed me to teach at two of the best universities out there-University of New Mexico and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago) and some credibility with agencies that give out grants.

    I wouldn't advise anyone to go deeply in debt to get one, but it can be worthwhile.

    FWIW the institution that ranks post graduate art schools has ranked UNM and SAIC as the top two photography MFA programs for many years.

    BTW I had an an Australian teaching assistant once at SAIC. For a unique cultural experience I took her to the Outback. She said "what the hell does this have to do with Australia!"
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 67
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  8. #8
    Richard M. Coda
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    Re: Photography Schools/MFA

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Gittings View Post
    I'll bite. I have an MFA and ...
    Kirk, no disrespect was meant to you. You are not included in the group I am referring to... the new crop of "deadpan" photographers, many of whom may have never shot film or black & white. Deadpan used to be funny (Bob Newhart, maybe Stephen Wright)... as these MFA types have commandeered the term (or had it applied to them) it is now depressing. I just wrote a piece on my blog about these MFA types not having "FUN" with photography. Constantly trying to do something (a project) that is un-interesting or change the world.
    Photographs by Richard M. Coda
    my blog
    Primordial: 2010 - Photographs of the Arizona Monsoon
    "Speak softly and carry an 8x10"
    "I shoot a HYBRID - Arca/Canham 11x14"

  9. #9
    bdkphoto
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    Re: Photography Schools/MFA

    I'll suggest ICP, Parsons, and SVA. New York is a fantastic place to study, any of these programs will have great faculty, access, and courses taught by the best in the business. The secondary benefit is NY itself and the opportunities outside the classroom as well.

    I think very highly of my colleagues who teach here (I teach at ICP, my friend Thomas is the chair of the photography at Parsons) - all of them are successful professional photographers as well as having a deep understanding of the art of photography. I think each program provides a great balance of art and professional coursework, the difference in the programs are subtle-- in general ICP leans more toward documentary, and "concerned" photography, Parsons leans a bit toward the fashion industry.

  10. #10

    Re: Photography Schools/MFA

    i hear great things about ICP in general. was at nyph this weekend and met a bunch of folks coming out of there.. some with very interesting work and all with great skills..
    Ektachrome 64 x wishes and Tech Pan Dreams

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