MICA's new MFA in Curatorial Practice will prepare students to take a responsible approach to the expanding role curators play in creating a vibrant cultural life in the 21st century's global society. Designed to forge connections among art, artists, and the community, the program's collaborative and individual curatorial projects allow students to explore new methods of exhibition presentation-thinking outside of traditional models and training to create relevant, timely and accessible exhibitions for their audiences. New models will include considering the surrounding community or history of the venue as inspiration when organizing exhibitions. This innovative graduate program is the first MFA in Curatorial Practice in the United States.
Combining intensive liberal arts seminars with ongoing discourse between mentors and peers, the curriculum will complement the program's contemporary vision of exhibition practice and audience engagement with active hands-on experience. Graduates of the program will be creative thinkers committed to working in an interactive, collaborative process, and will emerge with an understanding of the complex and evolving role curators can play within cultural institutions, galleries, the marketplace, and their communities.
Students in this two-year, 60-credit, full-time program will:
- Gain a grounding in art history, theory, and criticism, as well as a historical perspective on curatorial practice, including the ethics and politics of the art world;
- Obtain significant insight into issues relevant to the practice through a stimulating roster of visiting artists, curators, and critics;
- Study the process and working methods of exhibition creation, as well as the role and responsibilities of curators;
- Explore writing skills specific to exhibition practice, including catalogue essays and entries, and interpretive materials such as wall text and promotional brochure copy;
- Collaboratively research, propose, plan, and execute a major exhibition with fellow students during the first year;
- Conceive and complete a self-directed thesis project during the second year with a partnering venue, organization, or community;
- Form enduring relationships with artists and the regional arts community through MICA's longstanding partnerships with arts venues, educational institutions, and neighborhood organizations;
- Benefit from a program shaped by the outstanding work of George Ciscle, MICA's Curator-in-Residence and creator of the College's groundbreaking Exhibition Development Seminar.