The Master of Fine Arts in Visual Art program at Vermont College of Fine Arts allows students to earn a 60-credit MFA degree over a period of two years through a combination of ten-day, on-campus residencies followed by six-month semesters of self-designed studio practice. Students work from their home studios in the context of the communities in which they live, work, and make art.
Since 1991, the MFA in Visual Art program has based its educational success on the principle of individualized learning. In the program, students complete a series of interdisciplinary writing projects with a faculty member and pursue their studio work with a local artist chosen in collaboration with the program. This system encourages artists to develop their own mentor system and determine educational values and expectations according to self-initiated ideas of progress and professionalism.
The MFA in Visual Art program is a vibrant local, national, and international community of artists and critical thinkers. The program’s precedent-setting pedagogy is based on the understanding that art does not exist in a void but within a social context, and that process is part of the product. Students and faculty return twice a year to the Vermont College campus to interact in a dynamic academic environment that is student-centered and supports a broad diversity of artistic practices and cultural work. The program offers a high level of critical and creative discourse to a wide range of students, empowering them to create and sustain vital and generative practices that value their own experience and situation, and challenge received notions of success.