Twice each year, students and faculty gather on the Vermont College campus for stimulating, intensive ten-day residencies. It is during this remarkable period that interactions between existing and new artistic concerns and communities are formed. Students present their critical and studio practices to each other, to faculty, and to visitors while planning their next non-residential period of study. By combining different levels of interaction and evaluation, affinities and ideas are generated at a remarkable rate.
While on campus, the faculty acts as the organizing community behind the immense amount of residency activity—presentation, evaluation, provocative thinking, and learning. Critiques, lectures, advancement meetings, and student presentations provide a level of contact between faculty and students that serves as the foundation of each student’s individual planning and development. Because the faculty as a whole directs the program, this ongoing contact creates a broad, general understanding of each student’s process in an integrated and democratic manner.
In order to provide a thorough and consistent understanding of a candidate’s progress throughout the program, faculty and students engage in numerous critiques during each residency. The exhibition installations provide an arena of constant discussion and dissemination of ideas. Here, one-on-one or in groups, faculty, visiting artist/lecturers, and graduating students conduct formal and informal critiques. In addition, spontaneously organized critiques arise from students’ own affinities and desires, creating many self-initiated contexts for dialogue and growth.
See Non-Residency Term.
VISITING ARTISTS AND LECTURES
Internationally recognized artists and critics visit the residencies to present their own work as examples of methods and processes that may be new to students. Visitors also respond to specific issues suggested by student work and the social and cultural milieu that surrounds it in individual and group critiques. Art historians, critics, writers, and practitioners give evening presentations on a diverse assortment of topics, including art history, critical theory, cultural studies, philosophy, and sociology of art, to inform the visual culture research and studio practices of every student. An important feature of the MFA in Visual Art program is that these visitors also give critiques of student work to extend the ideas shared in public into the struggles and decisions of the individual student. For each residency, one visiting artist/critic attends the entire ten days of activities. In addition to presenting their own work, he or she plays an invaluable part in guiding critiques that inform each student’s studio progress within the program.
All non-graduating students participate in a group exhibition during the residency. This extensive installation serves as the focal point for discussions relating to the development of their future work. In situating actual work in the context of their larger ongoing artistic process (presented through slides and other visual materials), students are encouraged to reinvent professional models for the presentation and distribution of their work. Meanwhile, ongoing individual and group critiques of exhibited work act as the foundation of future student inquiry and progress.
Each graduating student presents a one-person exhibition in the College Hall Gallery on the Vermont College campus as a culminating project. This exhibition demonstrates the transformative nature of the program in measurable terms. It is also the point of departure for students to integrate what they have learned in the program with their ongoing post-graduate artistic concerns.
- January 25-February 3, 2013
- July 25-August 3, 2013
REQUIREMENTS FOR GRADUATION
To earn the MFA in Visual Art degree, a student must:
successfully complete four semesters in the program—or five in the case of students with conditional admission or a special degree plan—for a total of at least 60 graduate credits for those on a four-semester plan or 75 for those on a five-semester plan
demonstrate mastery of artistic accomplishment, both aesthetic and technical, in self-selected media
demonstrate substantive knowledge of visual culture and an understanding of methodology for doing historical research
demonstrate a clear understanding of various criteria for making critical judgments about art based on its relationship to visual culture, art history, and the social context
present a one-person exhibition of works of art
Final approval for granting the MFA in Visual Art degree is made by the Board of Trustees with the consent of the faculty.