vince pitelka on wed 21 nov 01
> Of course you don't see MFA's bashing themselves Vince!!, its kind of
> like being a member of the country club. If you belong its fine, if yo=
> don't or can't qualify "tuff nuggies".
No, Kathy, that's not it at all. The reality is that most people who hav=
been through an MFA realize how much it has changed their lives for the
better. To suggest a "country club" mentality is of course completely
absurd. It is inevitable that those who have completed an MFA will feel
something in common, just as any group of people who have run some specif=
gauntlet will feel a commonality. No surprise there. But you make it so=
like those who have MFAs are looking down their noses at those who done, =
that is ridiculous, of course.
> Every field has it's rites of passage ,,,and a degree is necessary to
> access the field. I speak from experience in this regard, for I have
> taken two master's degrees=85... neither one of them is in fine art. I
> guess I find it ironic that a degree in education , with a fairly heavy
> emphasis on teaching and curriculum development , as well as a 25 year
> history as a potter doesn't give me some entitlement to access an MFA
> program directly.
Actually, it does. If you have applied unsuccessfully, then you have
applied to the wrong programs. Many MFA programs admit people primarily =
the basis of portfolio, as long as they do have at least an undergraduate
degree. Sometimes they are required to take some additional art history =
other coursework, but that is perfectly reasonable.
> I am aware that this is true in most of the professions=85..and I know
> that there is a need for some mechanism to screen applicants. What I
> find very difficult to comprehend is the insistence on a BFA as the acc=
> code to an MFA program. Perhaps this is a Canadian phenomenon, and I
> honestly have not explored programs in other countries.
Apparently so. It is not the case in many MFA programs in the U.S.
Usually, universities in the U.S. which require the BFA degree are
second-rate places which are overloaded with applicants and do not have t=
time to do rigorous screening, so they use the BFA as primary filter.
> Just my take on why the bashing occurs=85=85=85
I do not think that is why the bashing occurs at all. In some case the
bashing is just sour grapes from people who wish they had completed an MF=
and never got around to it. In some cases it is from people who think th=
an MFA degree is all about intellectual posturing, which is of course
completely ridiculous. In some cases it is from people who just do not
believe in the whole concept of learning about pottery in higher educatio=
which is also completely ridiculous. Sorry to be so grumpy about this, b=
I cannot believe that any serious potter would resent the idea of people
studying the fine points of utilitarian pottery in higher education. We =
benefit from those studies.
Best wishes -
Appalachian Center for Crafts
Tennessee Technological University
1560 Craft Center Drive, Smithville TN 37166
Home - email@example.com
Work - firstname.lastname@example.org
615/597-6801 ext. 111, fax 615/597-6803
Kathy McDonald on wed 21 nov 01
"Every six months or so there is a round of MFA-bashing on Clayart. It
always perplexes me. You don't find many people out there with MFAs in
clay who are bashing the MFA in clay. There are always a few who went
through it when they were too young or were not fully committed, and
made poor use of the opportunity, and sometimes they are unwilling to
take the responsibility for their own failure, and choose to blame the
school, the degree, the teachers, everyone but themselves. Their
rhetoric is empty."
Of course you don't see MFA's bashing themselves Vince!!, its kind of
like being a member of the country club. If you belong its fine, if you
don't or can't qualify "tuff nuggies". =20
Every field has it's rites of passage ,,,and a degree is necessary to
access the field. I speak from experience in this regard, for I have
taken two master's degrees=85... neither one of them is in fine art. I
guess I find it ironic that a degree in education , with a fairly heavy
emphasis on teaching and curriculum development , as well as a 25 year
history as a potter doesn't give me some entitlement to access an MFA
program directly. =20
At the present point in my life , it is highly unlikely that I will
embark on another degree . However, should I endeavor to do so , I
would likely be faced with beginning right at the beginning , taking
courses that are probably not relevant or somewhat repetitions just to
meet the basic entry requirements for entry.
I am aware that this is true in most of the professions=85..and I know
that there is a need for some mechanism to screen applicants. What I
very difficult to comprehend is the insistence on a BFA as the access
code to an MFA program. Perhaps this is a Canadian phenomenon, and I
honestly have not explored programs in other countries.
I am long past feeling inadequate because I don't have that piece of
paper=85life's way too short=85.I have the respect of a group of =
are MFA's..others are old hippie potters) and this is what really
Many people who are excellent clay artists have a lot of training in
other areas that is very applicable to clay and to art in general, they
get weeded out. I know a lawyer can't practice law without a law
degree=85but most university law faculties will entertain some advanced
credit for other training that is relevant.
Just my take on why the bashing occurs=85=85=85
Kathy McDonald (sorry bout the website folks just in process of moving
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Dannon Rhudy on wed 21 nov 01
..... What I
>very difficult to comprehend is the insistence on a BFA as the access
>code to an MFA program.....
It may well be a Canadian phenomenon. Here it is not a pre-
requisite, or not an insurmountable one. I did not have a
BFA, but a BA in art. I was not refused access on that account.
Also, your long history as a potter may well stand you in good
stead, if you wish to pursue an MFA. Lots of U.S. schools look
at experience as well as credentials when accepting students.