The nitty gritty. The Fall Semester of the Studio MFA.

Now, I actually started this in the Spring, as I recovered from my bike accident. I had plenty of time to explore things, set up parameters, goals, and ingredients of the process. I’ve not only posted a lot as I figured out how to organize my education, I also made quite a bit of progress on my areas of study. A complete list of those posts is here.

I haven’t been in an art school based MFA, so I only know what I’ve heard from others or what I decide are things I want from a graduate fine arts degree.

I want: focused studio time, in-depth study/research, feedback from peers and peers+, mentorship from artists further along in their practice & careers, getting plugged into my local arts community and the networking that comes with that.

I set up a plan.

I’ve now changed the name from Ex-MFA to Studio MFA. More to the point, I think.

Summing it up below, it is four loose semesters

(= set; ✎ = in progress; ☛ = adjustments TBD).

I’m also adding in hours I think I’ll dedicate each week. Last night I asked an MFA grad from California College of the Arts how much time she spent on her MFA while in that program. She basically said: all the time. Below I’ve included my best guess on hours I’ll shoot for. I’ve added in some additional schedule items (#6 & #7) that feed into my studio practice and are a part of my life, so that I can keep these in mind & schedule accordingly. (This morning, I’m applying for a show at a respected Bay Area space, and I’m also in the process of setting up a studio shop so that I can sell art & fund my work. -mrk, edited 9/18/2015.)

  1. research/writing: ✓ I made 3 areas of focused study ☛ leave room for 1 additional subject. 15 hrs/week
  2. critique: ✓ I set up a monthly crit group with peer artists ☛ schedule bi-weekly studio visits. 2 hrs/week.
  3. mentorship: ✎ meet with an established artist 3 times in semester with weekly phone/email communication, compensate for time. 4 hrs/month (←???)
  4. events: ✓ Determine local free lectures, shows, and also online classes as needed. 3 hrs/week
  5. in-studio art practice: ✎ Maintain art practice, increase dedicated hours. 25 hrs/week
  6. activities: ✎ life activities that relate to the content of my work. 10 hrs/week (ed. 9/18)
  7. studio maintenance: applications, updating website, social media posts (other than blog), managing studio shop. 7 hrs/week. (ed.9/18)

Total: about 60 hours per week.

I’m totally guessing on that. I’ll keep track next week then revise.

So, it’s coming along! In a post or two, I’ll list the events I’m attending this Fall. There are so many resources in the Bay Area! Thank you, SFAI, CCA, Mills, UC Berkeley, and Stanford for amazing free lectures!!!

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a little something from studio work yesterday. ~maritza ruiz-kim, collage, 2015