Why do your MFA at Concordia?

Concordia’s Faculty of Fine Arts has a longstanding international reputation for excellence. Its vibrant creative and intellectual culture fosters cutting-edge practice, research and scholarship. The MFA in Studio Arts is a disciplinary program positioned within a pluralist theoretical framework. During the first two years of the program, students combine seminar courses with independent, supervised studio practice. Seminars focus on thematic and special topics. Theoretical concepts are introduced to provide a philosophical context to the historical, social and cultural ramifications of fibres and material practices and the position they occupy within contemporary art practices. Students integrate this knowledge as they explore the intersections of interdisciplinary work and pursue their artistic development. Studio practice emphasizes technical investigation and experimentation.

The third year is devoted to studio practice and production. Students prepare an advanced body of work and present a concluding solo exhibition and defence.

The MFA program offers alternative learning approaches to standard studio classes and academic offerings to exceptional students. Opportunities include:

Students have access to state-of-the-art facilities equipped with:

  • Brightly lit, well-ventilated, individual studio spaces
  • Fibres structures studio with weaving and knitting equipment
  • Printing and dyeing studio with ventilated wax room
  • Darkroom facilities
  • Paper-making studio
  • Computer lab with custom textile software
  • Industrial and electronic sewing machines
  • Digital knitting machine
  • AVL Dobby loom – 24 harness
  • Two  Mimaki textile printers for printing on cotton, silk and synthetic fabrics
  • Digital Jacquard loom
  • Digital embroidery machine

Faculty members and graduate students have pioneered new processes, creative communities and diverse prototypes. Innovation and interdisciplinarity in artistic practice and presentation lie at the heart of teaching and research programs. Like other Fine Arts departments, Studio Arts offers a rigorous, stimulating and supportive learning environment.

Studio Arts programs emphasize experimentation, collaboration and diversity. They value critical inquiry and the investigation of social, cultural and intellectual issues. Students interact regularly with faculty in their area of concentration and also with faculty in other fine arts disciplines whose expertise and research interests may be of particular benefit to them.

The department has two research chairs:

The Faculty’s art, design and performance laboratories are modern, well-equipped facilities run by experienced technical staff. Depending on their research, graduate students may be able to take advantage of the facilities offered at the Faculty’s four research centres, including including the Hexagram Centre for Research-Creation in Media Arts and Technologies, Canada’s largest arts and design based new media lab. Hexagram was established by Concordia and the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and is recognized for its multidisciplinary research in new media art, design and interactive performance and technologies.

The MFA program has two sites within the VA Building for the exhibition and dissemination of graduate work. On the main floor, the MFA Gallery hosts thesis and other exhibitions presented by the students of the program in all media. The downstairs gallery allows for experimentation and making public research or works in progress. In addition, the Faculty of Fine Arts Gallery (FOFA Gallery) in the EV Building  and the Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery in the Library Building regularly exhibit the work of MFA students.

The student experience is further enhanced by the Studio Arts Visiting Artist Program (SAVAP) including the Conversations in Contemporary Art series. Distinguished artists who have been invited to address students include:   Ghada Amer, Diane Borsato, Ed Pien, Germaine Koh, Emily Hermant, Raphaëlle De Groot, Jana Sterbak, Damian Moppett, Anna Gaskell, Michel de Broin, Samuel Roy-Bois and Margaret Haines.

MFA graduates work as professional artists and have the necessary skills and experience to fulfill multiple roles within contemporary art practice and scholarship: teachers at the post-secondary level, curators and researchers.

Concordia is located in the heart of Montreal and MFA students benefit from easy access to museums, galleries and the city’s vibrant artistic community.

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