Time, place and circumstances finally came together with my artwork and I applied for an MFA program at SFAI and got in. It’s funny- this will be my second Masters, following two undergraduate degrees (History of Religions, Fine Art, MA in Integrated Arts Education). I feel like things have been building in different directions for years, but that this formed a wide base to support my work.
My work and mind may have been ready the past couple of years for an MFA program, but I couldn’t consider it until my daughter was old enough for full-time school. The realization that I would be able to do it this year hit me four days before the deadline. Still, everything came together and I was able to get the application in on time and I received the acceptance letter on Friday.
I spent my art undergraduate period experimenting: trying new mediums, trying mediums I had a proficiency with in new and challenging ways, making up new processes and combinations of mediums… just expanding in every direction with less focus on product. I approached it intending to learn, not network and create a body of work. I knew a lot of people who focused on those things even in undergrad, stuck with what they did well and just honed it.
While many coming into a MFA program may want and need to spend their first year at least experimenting, that’s the last thing I’m concerned about. My challenge is not about pushing my boundaries. My challenge is to get the recent art history and conceptual background more filled in, and to deepen, hone and connect my work. I look forward to having a circle of peers and mentors to discuss and exchange and learn with. I just don’t get enough of that now. My mind needs stimulation, and it’s much better if it is in person. I also look forward to be inside the SF art community rather than on the edge of it (I’ve shown more in the NYC area than here).
Despite knowing that I want and professionally need the MFA experience, I also intend to guard against falling too far into the rabbit hole. Something that I value very much is connecting non-art-experts to artwork. I see too much work created by artists who are only communicating with other art experts and I don’t want to become that artist. I feel like the best work will reach everyone on some level. It should be at the minimum visually interesting, should reach a lay-person, but an art-expert should be able to get other levels of meaning out of it too. That’s my ideal. I am excited to be part of a dialog of art colleagues and the intesity and depth that comes with that, but I know I must keep talking to strangers and friends to keep my art genuine.