Printmedia: Graduate Overview
While acknowledging the rich history and tradition of print, the Printmedia department at SAIC expands the definition and engagement of contemporary print. With an emphasis on material exploration, the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program encourages discourse with the aesthetics, applications, and distributive opportunities of printmedia and related fields.
Graduate students in SAIC’s Department of Printmedia engage issues of contemporary art by employing a wide variety of printing techniques and developing technologies and media. They work across disciplines to create prints, artists’ books, three-dimensional objects, installations, new media, and time arts. The Printmedia department’s fundamental philosophy is interdisciplinary with a focus on experimentation and the processes of research and discovery necessary to bring ideas from conception to fruition.
The Printmedia department’s distinguished faculty are accomplished artists who expand the notions of print. They are engaged in contemporary theoretical debates and are committed to building a diverse, exciting environment for the exchange and production of cultural objects, images, and ideas.
The cornerstone of SAIC’s graduate studio program is its focus on tutorially guided studio practice. Each semester, in addition to selecting from graduate advisors in the department, students can select from more than 100 graduate faculty advisors at SAIC, representing myriad disciplines, approaches, and intellectual positions. Ultimately, it is the student’s work that drives the choice of advisor, and both disciplinary and interdisciplinary work is supported and advanced.
All graduate students in the Department of Printmedia are eligible for one teaching assistantship per semester during their first year, and two during their second year where they assist faculty in the classroom. Teaching Assistantship A (teaching a class yourself) positions are also available each semester where two second-year graduate students co-teach an intro-level printmaking class.
The Department of Printmedia hosts a number of visiting artists, critics, and scholars for lectures, critiques, and collaborations, providing opportunities for students to engage in a community beyond SAIC. The department also organizes annual graduate noontime lectures in which students present their studio research to faculty and students from all disciplines.
Critique Week, one of the principle means of assessment each semester, is a week-long schedule of critiques during which classes are suspended and the entire faculty and invited visiting artists and designers assemble into panels that conduct intensive studio critiques with all studio and writing graduate students.
Fall semester critiques are organized by department, with panels representing the discipline. They provide you an opportunity to have your work evaluated by the department, look at your work from a disciplinary point of view, and reinforce the expectations for your graduate study.
Spring semester critiques are interdisciplinary, with panel members of faculty, visiting artists, and peers from across SAIC departments. Interdisciplinary critiques in the spring semesters allow for a broader range of responses to the work, and are intended to assess the success of your work for a more general, yet highly informed, Studio critiques are required of every full-time graduate student pursuing an MFA in Studio or Writing degree. Typically, SAIC graduate students have at least four critique panels throughout their studies at SAIC, augmenting biweekly tutorials with their graduate advisors.
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