Graduate Programs

Curatorial Practice (MFA)

The first M.F.A. of its kind in the country, MICA's M.F.A. in Curatorial Practice prepares students to expand the role of curators--engaging audiences more effectively by proposing alternative models of exhibition-making, institution-building, and social justice through art.

MICA's M.F.A. in Curatorial Practice offers a hands-on curriculum that balances collaboration and socially engaged practices with academic research in history and theory. By creating real-world collaborative and individual exhibitions, our students raise awareness, bridge societal gaps, and catalyze exchanges across various disciplines, both inside and outside the art world.

Program Overview

Graduates of the program will be cultural leaders committed to working in an interactive, inclusive process, and will emerge with a deep understanding of the complex and evolving role curators can play within cultural institutions, galleries, the art market, 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 catalog 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.

Who Should Apply

This program enrolls students with diverse backgrounds from all over the world, including liberal arts and science graduates, designers, writers, and artists - as well as working professionals in education, social work, or arts and nonprofit management who wish to engage in advanced research and explore the role of a curator.

Successful candidates also have a commitment to sharing multicultural and global perspectives with diverse audiences; the ability to work collaboratively with artists and community representatives; experience with or knowledge of contemporary exhibition practices and audience engagement; an understanding of the changes in the art world in the 21st century; and a broad range of multidisciplinary skills.

Busy exhibition space with colorful walls and activities.
A group of people sitting in a circle around a circle of guns placed on the ground.
Exhibition with various works of art.
Exhibition wall labeled "LAND/TRUST" with a large hanging piece of art in the background.
Busy exhibition space with colorful walls and activities.

Everything Must Go

Curatorial Practice M.F.A.

Artist
Curatorial Practice class of 2019
Date
2018
Medium
First-Year Practicum Exhibition at SpaceCamp
Credit

Image courtesy of the artists.

A group of people sitting in a circle around a circle of guns placed on the ground.

The Gun Show

Curatorial Practice M.F.A.

Artist
Liz Faust
Date
2017
Medium
Thesis Exhibition at UMBC's Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture
Credit

Image courtesy of the artists.

Exhibition with various works of art.

Blackbird

Curatoral Practice M.F.A.

Artist
Alexis Dixon
Date
2018
Medium
Thesis Exhibition at Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute and Cultural Center
Credit

Image courtesy of the artists.

Exhibition wall labeled "LAND/TRUST" with a large hanging piece of art in the background.

LAND/TRUST

Curatorial Practice M.F.A.

Artist
Curatorial Practice class of 2019
Date
2018
Medium
First-Year Practicum Exhibition at Meyerhoff Gallery
Credit

Image courtesy of the artists.

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Practicum Projects

Real-World Experience

Students in the M.F.A. in Curatorial Practice program collectively research, propose and plan a solo, group or thematic exhibition which includes regional, national and international artists. Click the link below to view past projects.