The M.F.A. program offered by the Division of Art at SMU is a two-year program that prepares artists for professional careers as cultural producers. Students who earn the M.F.A. in Art develop a substantial body of work of high quality and have a clear intellectual grasp of the broad contexts, historical and current, within which they and their work function. The degree is an intensive period of focused study, terminating with the M.F.A. qualifying exhibition.
SMU offers up to six full fellowships each year supplemented by teaching assistantships. Funds are also available for supplies and travel. This generous bulwark of support is offered to aid students in the development of their art practice so that they can begin their careers unencumbered by debt.
The M.F.A. program is interdisciplinary so that students are free to explore a wide range of materials, processes and histories. Each year, the most competitive, ambitious and thoughtful artists are admitted - regardless of medium.
In addition to a core faculty with rigorous practices of their own, SMU's Division of Art hosts an ongoing series of lectures and panels by an exciting group of artists, critics and curators. This series of discursive events is not only a crucial part of the graduate and undergraduate curriculum, it also provides a space for the Dallas community to engage with art and ideas.
Visitors have included:
Bill Arning, Dore Ashton, Julie Ault, Yael Bartana, Walead Beshty, Gregg Bordowitz, David Diao, Nicole Eisenman, Theaster Gates, K8 Hardy, Alfredo Jaar, Guillermo Kuitca, Jill Magid, Ute Meta Bauer, Thomas Nozkowski, Paul Pfeiffer, R.H. Quaytman, Walid Raad, Michael Smith, Eve Sussman, Nato Thompson, and John Yau.
The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex offers an exciting array of world-class institutions and collections, including the Dallas Museum of Art, the Nasher Sculpture Center, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the Kimbell Art Museum and The Rachofsky House.
Each year a series of programs are offered off campus, including the Taos seminars, a week-long retreat at the SMU campus in Taos, N.M. These intensive sessions are run by faculty along with a visiting artist or scholar. Recent visitors have included Renée Green, Lucy Lippard and Rhea Anastas. SMU also offers a New York Colloquium, during which students spend two weeks of winter break exploring museums and galleries.
Finally, at the end of the two-year M.F.A. program, one student from the graduating class is selected for a residency in New York, which includes a studio and stipend to further their work and research within the context of a major art center.