MFA, MFA not, MFA, MFA not…

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If you’re picking the petals off daisies, trying to determine whether grad school in art is worthwhile, here’s what contributors Doug Witmer and Rob Matthews had to say on the subject, in answer to Roberta’s call for opinions:

Matthews writes:

I was once told “you only need to go to art school long enough to know you no longer need to be in art school” (image, top, one of Matthews’s “Dumbest Man over Knoxville” series, reviewed in post).

Witmer writes:

First off, I had an “ok” grad school experience. I feel like my work definitely developed and I met some truly great and inspiring folks, both fellow students and advisors. Some I keep in touch with, some I don’t.

I tell people considering an MFA to think of it as one-stop shopping where you spend a few years buying time, studio space and a captive audience, some of whom will give you a percentage of useful feedback. Petty scraps, politics, and other weirdness-you-can’t-predict (like the time I was told by a visiting critic in all sincerity that getting into drugs…”or just a drug-of-choice”…would be a good move for my work) will be included in the price and is unfortunately unavoidable (image right, Witmer’s “Refrain,” which Roberta said back in January “echoes the church’s pipe organ and stately columns with a rhythmic, up-down array of skinny, black rectangles in procession”).

You do need an MFA to teach at certain schools. But there are also other ways to get time, studio space, and useful feedback.

[Editors: Any more comments on whether an MFA is worthwhile? Email us (below).]

 

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