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MFA at SUNY New Paltz offers new multi-disciplinary options and photography concentration

SUNY New Paltz’s Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program now offers students the ability to work in multiple media and disciplines, while preserving the option to concentrate in a single area.

The MFA will also offer a brand-new concentration in Photography and Related Media, the first and only residential graduate program in photography available in the Hudson Valley and surrounding region.

“The redesign of our MFA allows our students and the Art Department the flexibility to react to emerging fields and to explore multi- and interdisciplinary art making, while also adding a new concentration in Photography to an already robust list of studio areas,” said Jeni Mokren, dean of the School of Fine & Performing Arts. “We’re excited to see how this flexibility unfolds in the work produced by our graduate students, from work that focuses in a specific studio/media, to works that blur boundaries and cross traditions.”

The MFA program at New Paltz, which maintains the largest enrollment of graduate studio art majors in the SUNY system, has historically offered five separate graduate degrees focusing on specific disciplines: ceramics, sculpture, painting, printmaking, and the internationally renowned Metal Program.

The redesigned MFA preserves these focused options, but now also allows students to design a multi-disciplinary curriculum, giving students added flexibility and control over their development into visual arts professionals, and helping them prepare for success in fields that that increasingly demand skills working with technology and in multiple media.

All full-time and part-time MFA students have access to state-of-the-art facilities, exhibition spaces in the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, and the MakerBot Innovation Center and Digital Fabrication Lab, which house 3D printers, scanners, laser cutters and a large format CNC router.

Students are eligible to receive significant financial support in the form of the MFA Scholarship, which is awarded to all out-of-state and international students, allowing them to pay the equivalent of in-state tuition rates.

A number of graduate teaching assistantships are available, which provide tuition remission and a stipend. Approximately 90 percent of MFA students receive an assistantship during their study.

Photography and Related Media concentration
The Photography and Related Media MFA concentration is a 60-credit hour, two-year track culminating in a thesis exhibition in the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art. The curriculum builds on the College’s robust undergraduate program in photography, and balances studio work with critical dialogue around issues of photography and visual culture.

“Never before has the production and circulation of images played such an important role in the world, and our new MFA concentration is ideally positioned for those who wish to think deeply and creatively about this dynamic,” said Graduate Coordinator Matthew Friday.

Students have access to newly renovated photography studio spaces and an extensive inventory of cameras, lighting tools and other photographic equipment. The facilities include individual studios, digital labs equipped with Imacon scanners and large-format printers, a black-and-white darkroom and a lighting studio.

The Photography and Related Media MFA is led by three exceptional, full-time faculty (Francois Deschamps, Andrea Frank and Nadia Sablin), who are published artists and international exhibitors with extensive records of involvement as creators and mentors in the contemporary art world.

Visit the School of Fine & Performing Arts at SUNY New Paltz to learn more.