The MFA in Studio with a concentration in Sculpture encourages students to think and work as professional artists. The sculpture curriculum is flexible, allowing students to discover and pursue individual interests in depth, while continuing to acquire and refine technical skills chosen from the broad diversity of contemporary sculptural media.
The program offers a range of courses in traditional sculpture media and encourages the innovative use of techniques and materials as well as experimentation in performance, installation, new media and other three-dimensional formats.
The program emphasizes individual tutorials, group seminars, and critiques to provide a variety of settings for the development and exchange of ideas relevant to contemporary sculpture and the arts in general. The broad graduate curriculum includes courses in contemporary art history and criticism, theory, and pedagogy. In the final two semesters of study, students focus on completing and defending a cohesive body of work, usually in the form of a thesis exhibition and a supporting thesis paper.
A strong component of the graduate program involves assistantships in either studio work or in teaching undergraduate level courses. During the first two years students are mentored by faculty as teaching assistants in undergraduate sculpture courses. They apply this experience through monitoring open studio hours in the sculpture lab, during which they are not only responsible for health and safety oversight, but also are encouraged to assist undergraduates with problem solving, concept development, and technique. During the third year Graduate students are encouraged to teach either 3D Design or beginning level sculpture classes. These experiences in conjunction with the acquisition of professional skills such as resume writing, job application skills and self-promotion prepare the student with the tools to be a professional artist once their studies are complete.
Students gain the experience of organizing events and marketing through their involvement with the student organization, the Edgewood Sculpture Forum, which coordinates field trips and workshops, invites visiting artists, and manages and conducts fundraising through the annual Holiday Iron Pour, celebrating its 40th anniversary in December 2011.