More MFA advice

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Post from Colette Copeland

I spent almost a decade trying to get my MFA–work, relocation, and children all interfered. As a result, I had the pleasure/or not of experiencing many different programs at multiple institutions. I agree with many of the posted viewpoints (previous viewpoints on MFA posted here, here and here) such as time for intensive studio work, developing contacts, etc… (image, untitled video still from Copeland)

Two additional points:

1. In a time when public funding has been eliminated, graduate school may be

the last place where artists are paid to make work through fellowship and

assistantship programs.

2. Graduate school offers artists a supportive community with

which to receive critical feedback on their work. (Most artists I know lament

the lack of community, yearning for those ‘dreaded’ crit days)

Disclaimer: As with anything, there are good and bad programs. My advice to my undergrads is to always wait a few years before applying to grad school. Usually school is appreciated much more after grinding away in the real work world. I also advise them to do their homework. Just because a school has a good reputation, doesn’t mean that it is right for the individual.

–Philadelphia artist Colette Copeland, a regular artblog contributor, is curator for “Death Bizarre,” a show opening Sept. 12 at Almanac Gallery in Hoboken, New Jersey. More on that later.

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