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Thread: Photography Schools/MFA

  1. #81
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: Photography Schools/MFA

    This sure seems like something you should address to them. It is their ballgame and their ball.

    Let me share some experience. I don't have an undergraduate degree in art and that prevented me from applying to some graduate art programs. I had a strong portfolio and exhibition record. Some would not have considered me at all without an art degree. Some would have let me in but required me to do some makeup work. So be it. It is their program and they can set the rules as they like. Some programs like UNM appreciate people of diverse backgrounds and prefer a student body of art graduates and people with other backgrounds. They believe that mix creates a richer community for art making. That is the kind of program I believe in and I went to (UNM and then the University of Calgary). Photography in particular is a very social art. If I didn't have an art degree now I would go to a program that appreciated that fact. Where I teach part-time now The School of the Art Institute of Chicago is one of those schools.

    As per Dr. Colberg and Soth (who I also believe does not have a graduate art degree-but I could be wrong). They have made up for that lack of a graduate degree in art through their life's work. Few people reach that kind of academic recognition without going through the program and such people make faculties very interesting and stronger IMO. When I was at UNM Beaumont Newhall ran the PHD program in Photo History. He did not have a PHD, but no one would argue his qualifications. There are quire a few low residency graduate programs out there now and more to come. I'm sure one of them might suite you better.
    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"

  2. #82
    Jedi Knight
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    Re: Photography Schools/MFA

    @culprit

    What I said is that Im in the middle of the road of getting my BFA(equivalent, I study in Brazil). I have been in college for 2 years but I need 2 more years to complete my undergraduate. And I think this MFA is limited, so, by the time I get my BFA this program will probably be gone.

  3. #83

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    Re: Photography Schools/MFA

    As per Dr. Colberg and Soth (who I also believe does not have a graduate art degree-but I could be wrong). They have made up for that lack of a graduate degree in art through their life's work.
    Well, that's sort of my point, isn't it? Why not let your applicants prove themselves through their own merits, instead of requiring a specific sheet of paper?

    There are quire a few low residency graduate programs out there now and more to come. I'm sure one of them might suite you better.
    No thanks - based on the work I've seen, I'm of the opinion that "low residency" programs are a waste of time, but that's really for another discussion. I was just making some observations.

  4. #84

    Re: Photography Schools/MFA

    Actually to clarify, the Hartford Photo MFA program will entertain applications from any candidates with BA, BFA, or BS...or their equivalent (depending on their home country). This requirement is due to the fact that all MFA programs at accredited Universities must be sure that the the students enrolled have the correct prior degrees in order to be able to offer them an MFA in a 60 credit program.

    In terms of faculty I see no reason why a member should have an MFA rather than some other degree, and or be distinguished in their field......I do not believe that all other teachers in MFA programs held MFA degrees in order to be teachers in the program(ie. Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind, Jerome Liebling, Minor White, etc) and many others who have taught in MFA programs in the past) though the shift since the 1980's has been towards hiring individuals with MFA degrees.

  5. #85

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    Re: Photography Schools/MFA

    Quote Originally Posted by robert lyons View Post
    Actually to clarify, the Hartford Photo MFA program will entertain applications from any candidates with BA, BFA, or BS...or their equivalent (depending on their home country). This requirement is due to the fact that all MFA programs at accredited Universities must be sure that the the students enrolled have the correct prior degrees in order to be able to offer them an MFA in a 60 credit program.

    In terms of faculty I see no reason why a member should have an MFA rather than some other degree, and or be distinguished in their field......I do not believe that all other teachers in MFA programs held MFA degrees in order to be teachers in the program(ie. Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind, Jerome Liebling, Minor White, etc) and many others who have taught in MFA programs in the past) though the shift since the 1980's has been towards hiring individuals with MFA degrees.
    I stand corrected, thank you, Prof. Lyons. I should also clarify that yours is the first low residency MFA program I have seen that is worth considering - those are some serious heavy hitters you have in your faculty lineup. I am very interested in seeing where you will go with this, and wish you all the best.

  6. #86

    Re: Photography Schools/MFA

    Culprit, thanks........it is just Robert Lyons, I do not like the titles much. In terms of response to the new program it has been quite amazing....and I am looking forward to our first class this summer........

  7. #87
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: Photography Schools/MFA

    To me it is potentially a great program for some people, such as working adults with established careers, women with children etc. and (though I teach pt at SAIC) have found myself suggesting to numerous people that they should look into it. I went to a grad school out of country in my 30's with two small children and it was a huge effort and sacrifice (and a great experience too). A well known faculty is of course a huge, huge plus, but it is the design of the program that is so intriguing. It makes pursing an MFA a viable alternative for many people who simply cannot carve out 2-3 years away full-time at an art school.
    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. #88

    Re: Photography Schools/MFA

    I'm not sure of the dynamics of these things - you want to do an mfa and be in with students who are the best, not those who are kind of ok and could afford it. I know a guy who got into sva but couldnt afford it - then hes up for the taylor wessing portrait prize.

    Who do you want to be in the class learning with - him or his replacement ?

    Somewhere with good light, a decent scholarship and a bit of support sounds good to me.

  9. #89

    Re: Photography Schools/MFA

    I wanted to update this thread a bit......and report on our initial summer start. Indeed we had a terrific start.....the faculty this first summer included Doug Dubois, Joerg Colberg, Alec Soth Robert Lyons, and Lois Connor...a great group. Add in that we had a wonderful group of students, representing 4 or more countries (depending on how they represent themselves). Currently we are gearing up for our fall session, in NYC next month. The website is being updated to reflect our enrolled students and in the news section there ae photos of the summer gathering.....the priority deadline for application for 2011 is January 15, 2011.

    best regards,
    Robert Lyons

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