MFA: Fine Arts (Low-Residency in Boston) Courses

Major Studio (Required)
Close dialog between students and faculty is the core of the program. During residencies, students meet with Major Studio faculty at least twice a week for critique and discussion. Frequent visiting artists from multiple disciplines join the discussion and visit studios for one-on-one consultation.

Graduate Seminar (Required)
This multi-disciplinary Graduate Seminar is a hybrid form—combining theoretical inquiry and studio practice. The intent is to bring together a group of graduate students, who undertake an in-depth exploration of a specific concept through a diversity of voices and lenses. Students engage in collaborative processes, discussion, project making, and critique, and forge connections between a multiplicity of ideas and tactics. Critical thinking and studio practice are integrated as the work is articulated and situated. Collective dialogue increases empathy and awareness of the diversity of our personal and social realities. Topics are drawn from a diversity of sources including art and cultural theory, art curatorial critique, and artists' statements and interviews. Concepts have included the changing contingencies of ‘place in space' and the new paradigms of ‘relationship' in an increasingly global, immaterial and multi-sited culture.

Independent Study
Working with a personally selected, locally based faculty-mentor, students develop work that is critically informed and self-directed.

Thesis Preparation I and II
During the second year of the program students work with their faculty-mentor to develop a body of focused work in preparation for the final Thesis Exhibition.

Thesis Document I and II (Online)
Focuses on the thesis proposal and preparation of a written thesis document. Students work on an individual basis with the instructor and with their cohort to draft successive iterations of the thesis document.

Art after Modernism (Online)
The range of approaches and interpretations of the meaning and purpose of contemporary art has expanded to levels never before seen. How do we make sense of this seemingly chaotic landscape where often directly conflicting interpretations of art making coexist? This course introduces major issues in contemporary art and criticism that help negotiate the relationship between art making and global art worlds. It takes a critical and historiographic perspective on major social/aesthetic problems such as expression, abstraction, identity politics, globalization, relational aesthetics, conceptualism, and the ideology of consumerism. Major artists, movements, and themes in contemporary art are introduced, including geometric and gestural abstraction, conceptual art, institutional critique, earth art, political intervention, feminism and art, neo-expressionism, postmodernism, video, performance, and installation art. Emphasis is on how our understanding of the history of art since the 1960s is continually being reframed by critical debate.

Benchmark (Online)
This course focuses upon critical writings and their relationship to contemporary art practice. It builds a critical awareness of one's own studio practice and that of one's peers. In addition, it seeks to increase understanding of responses to important contemporary events and exhibitions. Various parts of the art world system are explored—museums, galleries, the art press, art schools, collectors, grant-makers, and of course, artists themselves. Readings, writing assignments, interviews, and on-line discussions help evaluate artists' imperatives and investigate the experiences of critics, curators, and arts professional with the belief that consciousness of here roles and interrelationships is essential to establishing artists' agency, avoiding the pitfalls of art's commoditization, and creating "change for the better"—in all its subjective interpretations.