2022-2023 Graduate Academic Catalog

College of Art and Design

Welcome MFA Candidates,

What makes the Lesley University College of Art and Design unique? Our two Masters in Fine Arts programs, the full residency MFA in Photography and Integrated Media and MFA in Visual Arts Low-Residency, merge craft, concept, context, personality, and professional priority. Our curriculum incorporates rigorous studio practice, with critical and cultural exposure, which infuses traditional knowledge and skill with the professional power to influence, in a mercurial world.

In creating our Masters in Fine Art Degrees, our task was to build a community of passionate artist-scholars with a powerful work ethic, who would exemplify the value of play and its relationship to learning. Students who explore and experiment in the process of creating can better engage in a critical dialogue with like-minded souls. The College of Art and Design proves a collaborative adventure and invents new models for MFA programs.

Integrating creative work and artistic vision into daily life, our Low-Residency program, the MFA in Visual Arts, provides structure to complete your graduate degree while living in your community, thus integrating your art making within your diverse schedules and needs as adults. Once each semester, an intensive ten-day residency at the Lesley campus ignites conversation and critique. After, you return home and continue your work off-site. Dedicated to helping artists excel in their body of work, mentors and artists unite to craft a course of study that nurtures each artist’s individual point of view while providing the analytical tools necessary for vibrant cultural dialogue.

The interdisciplinary focus of the MFA in Visual Arts Low-Residency program evokes exploration as students explore integration of a variety of visual arts media over a sustained exploration of the cultural context. The MFA in Visual Arts provides students with the educational environment in which to develop the tools and expertise to refine their individual vision. Students advance their study of art history, culture and critical thinking through the rigorous academic exposure. Students increase awareness of how their work relates to contemporary audiences and increasingly global themes. The MFA broadens knowledge of visual arts as a profession by offering seminars in professional development, including gallery approaches, grant and proposal preparation, commissions, and media presentation skills.

Our esteemed MFA in Photography and Integrated Media program at the College of Art and Design was created to emphasize craft and concept driven photography with emphasis on rigorous studio practice, art and cultural context, critical and professional studies, and the fluid integration of contemporary media within traditional and alternative photographic practice. This was predicated upon the philosophy that photography is no longer a single entity but is unique among the visual arts in its ability to successfully merge established and contemporary technologies investigating the art of making impressions with light. It is, more than any other form of visual expression, an ideal nexus of art and culture. Our recent thesis catalogues have featured projects in alternative processes, artist's books, video, installation, performance, music, chemistry, digital imaging, photo integrated sculpture, and fine arts such as ceramics, painting, and drawing.

Students have access to state of the art digital technologies as well as alternative, historical, and integrated media related resources. Traditional media finds new life in the hands of 21st century visual communicators and artists. A major component of the MFA in Photography program is our Visiting Artist / Scholars integration with Graduate Studio Seminar, as the program fully integrates these outstanding guests as a key component of the learning experience. Recent, current, and future Visiting Artist / Scholars include Dan Estabrook, Vicki Goldberg, Keith Carter, Luis Gonzalez Palma, Lyle Rexer, Susan Bright, Roy Flukinger, Holly Roberts, Matt Saunders, David Hilliard, John Stilgoe, Deborah Luster, Andy Grundberg, Merry Foresta, Alison Nördstrom, Elinor Carucci, Sebastião Salgado, Jose Falconi, Mark Dion, and Lucy Soutter.

Both Masters in Fine Art programs at the Lesley University College of Art and Design were developed on the premise that artistic media reside in a state of flux. Thus its identity is forming now, as we speak, by young contemporary artists cognitively defining its future. What makes us unique? You. As you move through this program, your deeply personal body of work will become synonymous with media integration and innovation.

Amy Deines

Dean, College of Art and Design