Sculpture: Graduate Overview
SAIC's Sculpture department offers one of the largest, most comprehensive, and diverse programs of its kind in the country. The department is situated at the defining edge of contemporary practice and discourse, focusing its broad offerings through four curricular themes: Permanence and Ephemerality—exploring the properties of materiality and matter; Public Practice—engaging in various forms of public artmaking; Space and Place—site-based practice, including installation, and locative media; and Systems—focusing on the intersections between nature, culture, and the human body.
The Sculpture program offers an extensive array of resources to support the development of experimental work in all media associated with modeling, carving, fabrication, mold making and casting, new media, emerging technologies, installation, and interdisciplinary work.
The Sculpture department's distinguished faculty members are nationally and internationally renowned artists, fully involved in the exploration and re-examination of the field. They are well versed in contemporary theoretical debates and committed to building a diverse, exciting environment for the exchange of ideas and the production of culture. Graduate students are encouraged to consider their art-making process as an interdisciplinary practice. The department encourages an active rethinking of sculpture by its students—the department's Knowledge Lab (KLab), for example, is a living laboratory with an innovative, green, and sustainable focus. Recently, students explored organic processes and environmental sustainability and built a local food system, growing greens in the SAIC sculpture courtyard.
The Sculpture program sponsors visiting artist presentations and critiques and a weekly noon lecture and discussion series by both practicing artists and current graduate students.
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, you will select from more than 100 graduate faculty advisors at SAIC, representing a myriad of 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. Faculty from the academic programs in Art History, Arts Administration and Policy, Art Education, and Visual and Critical Studies also serve as graduate advisors, providing yet more expertise in support of SAIC Graduate Projects.
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, audience.
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.
Interested in learning more?
Continue to explore the Sculpture department websiteto learn more about our curricular offerings, faculty, students, alumni, and more or visit the Master of Fine Arts in Studio degree program for detailed information or schedule a tour.