Registration deadline:
Sunday, October 16 2016 (11:59 p.m.)

Link to all registration forms


See details below for further information about registering to participate in an MFA thesis presentation.

Eligibility FAQ

  1. Who is eligible to participate in the graduate thesis presentations?

    MFA in Studio and MFA in Writing students graduating Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017, or have 6 or fewer credits to complete in Summer 2017.

  2. What are the presentation requirements for my degree?

    MFA in Studio students completing MFA in Studio programs are required to present a final project in the FVNMAS Festival, IMPACT Performance Festival, or MFA Show to complete their thesis requirement. As an alternative, a presentation in a public venue outside of SAIC may also fulfill the thesis requirement with prior approval from the Dean of Graduate Studies.

    MFA in Writing students completing the MFA in Writing degree are NOT required to present a final project in the FVNMAS Festival, IMPACT Performance Festival, or MFA Show to complete their thesis requirement. MFAW students planning to participate in the MFA Show or Time Arts events are required to complete at least 6 studio credits by the end of the third semester AND to advise with a studio faculty member in their final semester.

    MFA in Studio and MFA in Writing students may participate in either the FVNMAS Festival or IMPACT Performance Festival or MFA Show. Students are not permitted to participate in more than one of these three thesis presentation options.

  3. How will my eligibility be confirmed?

    Eligibility to participate will be subject to a credit check after the add/drop period has ended. We highly recommend that you check your credit status with the registrar in advance, before the add/drop period to confirm that your transcript is accurate, and that your credits are in order.

Art School Considerations

Art School Considerations Checklist [PDF]
Important information on health, safety, and legal details to consider when creating works for the SAIC community.


Low-Res MFA Thesis Presentations


Low-Res MFA Thesis Exhibition
July 14-30, 2017 Sullivan Galleries, 33 S. State St., 7th floor
Exhibition Opening Reception: July 13

Low-Res MFA Screenings, Readings, and Performances 
July date and location to be finalized in conversation with participating artists

To facilitate this process, a Curatorial Team has been assembled to work in collaboration with the SAIC Department of Exhibitions and Exhibition Studies.

Low-Res Thesis Presentations Curatorial Team [PDF]

Registration Deadline: Thursday, February 9
Graduating students may register for either the Exhibition or the Screenings/Readings/Performances. In keeping with the SAIC policy for our MFA presentations, graduating students will only be able to participate in one of these options.

Registration Form

Initial Proposal Forms
Students are asked to submit a preliminary proposal to the Curatorial Team by: Friday, February 24. Please submit a proposal for the presentation format that corresponds to your registration. Forms can be downloaded as writeable PDFs below:

Thesis Exhibition 2017 Initial Proposal Form [PDF]

Screenings, Reading, and Performances 2017 Initial Proposal Form [PDF]

Note: Final proposals will be due on May 1

If you would like sample proposals or have other questions on these forms, please feel free to contact Graduate Curatorial Assistant, Adia Sykes, asykes@saic.edu.

Overall Timeline
February 9: Registration deadline
February 24: Preliminary Proposal deadline
March/April: Skype studio visits with Curatorial Team
May 1: Final Proposal deadline
April/May: Follow-up Skype studio visits with Curatorial Team
June 1: Exhibition space assignments given to participating artists
June 10: Deadline for Media Center requests and website materials

Summer Residency

Week 1: Installation planning, curatorial meetings, and mandatory installation information meeting in Sullivan Galleries
Weeks 2-3: Exhibition installation
Week 4: Final gallery preparations by Department of Exhibitions staff
July 13: Exhibition opening reception
July 14-30: Exhibition open to public
Week 5: Screening, Readings, and Performances
Week 6: Graduation and reception, last day of Exhibition
July 31-Aug. 2: Exhibition de-installation 

Note: Specific dates to be determined in the Spring

Questions? Contact Graduate Curatorial Assistant, Adia Sykes, asykes@saic.edu, or Andrew Falkowski, Low-Res Department Liasion, afalkowski@saic.edu


2017 Spring MFA Thesis Presentation Options


Film, Video, New Media, Animation, and Sound (FVNMAS) Festival

The Festival will be held on May 8, 10, 11, 12, 2017
Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State Street

FVNMAS Festival is a four-day event featuring the work of graduating MFA and BFA students, coordinated by faculty from the departments of FVNMA and Sound and with the support of the Department of Exhibitions and Exhibition Studies.


IMPACT Performance Festival

May 6 and 7, 2017
Performance Space, 280 S. Columbus Dr., room 012

IMPACT Performance Festival is a two-day event coordinated by a team of SAIC Performance alumni with the support of faculty and the Department of Exhibitions and Exhibition Studies.

Rehearsal dates and times
Rehearsals will take place in April and May, dates and times TBA.

All rehearsals will be held in the Performance Space, 280 S. Columbus, Room 012.

IMPACT Performance Festival participants may schedule extra rehearsal time through the Performance Department, if needed, and as the 012 performance space schedule allows.

Questions? Contact Trevor Martin: tmartin@saic.edu


MFA Show

April 29–May 17, 2017
Sullivan Galleries, 33 S. State St., 7th floor

Preview reception: Friday, April 28, 5:00–7:00 p.m.
Public reception: Friday, April 28, 7:00–9:00 p.m.
Exhibition hours: Monday–Saturday, 11:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.

The MFA Show is a two and a half-week exhibition coordinated by curatorial teams in collaboration with the participating artists, and with the support of the Department of Exhibitions and Exhibition Studies.

MFA Show Curatorial Teams 2017 [PDF]

MFA Show: Important dates and overall timeline 2017 [PDF]

MFA Show FAQ [PDF]

2016 Guest Curator Lecture Series

Daniel Fuller—Guest Curator Talk, September 26, 4:30 p.m.
Valerie Cassel Oliver—Guest Curator Talk, November 7, 4:30 p.m.
Julie Rodrigues Widholm—Guest Curator Talk, November 28, 4:30 p.m.

All talks held at the SAIC Sullivan Galleries, 33. S. State St., 7th floor.

Reserving Media Center equipment for the show
If you need video projectors, media players, monitors, computers, etc. for the exhibition:

Required installation informational meeting
Friday, April 14, 2017 4:30 p.m.
Sullivan Galleries, 33 S. State St., 7th floor

Exhibition loan agreements will be due at this meeting. Loan agreements will be emailed in advance to participants as an attachment.

Installation and deinstallation dates

April 15–18: "Dirty" installation
Please note that any artwork installed during this time could be damaged by dust, paint splatter, or construction debris.

April 19–23: "Clean" installation
During this time artwork can be installed, therefore no construction, painting, or sanding will be permitted in order to protect the works in the space.

May 18–21: Deinstallation
All participants are asked to remove artwork from Sullivan Galleries by 9:00 p.m. on May 21. Deinstallation before May 18 is not permitted.

Questions? Contact Gabe Wilson, iwilso2@saic.edu.


MFAW Readings

MFAW Graduate Reading
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
SAIC Ballroom, 112 S. Michigan Ave.

Reception: 4:30–5:30 p.m.
Program: 5:30–7:30 p.m.

Reading Events are coordinated by the Department of Writing.

Questions? Contact Amber Da: ada@saic.edu