MFA Fine Arts

The MFA Fine Arts Program at Otis College of Art and Design is open, inclusive, and interdisciplinary. We are looking for advanced artists who are engaged and committed to exploring an art practice in its various forms, traditions, and contexts. We value interdisciplinary critical dialogue and lifelong learning within our close-knit community. Outside of rigid divisions and subdivisions, students are free to pursue a medium-specific practice - or not. Our elective course offerings in the field of Art + Social Practice present opportunities for students to engage in cross-cultural research and culturally syncretic forms of meaning-making and problem-solving.  

Artists in our program are simultaneously supported and challenged. The balance of group critiques, rigorous academic coursework, and one-on-one studio visits with faculty fosters the development of sustained interdisciplinary practices.

In Critique, students acquire a critical understanding of their work and how to locate it within critical cultural debates through generous group conversations. Weekly individual studio meetings with faculty offer one-on-one conversations on work in progress, ideas, readings, or plans. Critical inquiry into various histories, methodologies, and frames of thought structures our Theory and Art History seminars. Our Visiting Artist Lecture Series brings distinguished artists, curators, and thinkers into close dialogue with students. Studies culminate in a written thesis and final MFA exhibition.

MFA students have 24-hour access to work in their individual studios located at the graduate campus in Culver City. Project Rooms provide additional space for installations. Annual Open Studios, the Mid-residency show, as well as the final Thesis shows in the Bolsky gallery offer ample exhibition opportunities over the course of the two-year program. Students have full access to the state-of-the-art wood and metal shops, video, photo, printmaking, and ceramics labs, the library, as well as the galleries on the Elaine and Bram Goldsmith campus located in Westchester, a short drive from the graduate studios. 

Past residencies have included Anderson Ranch, Colorado; Fundacion Sebastian, Mexico City; Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Arts Paris-Cergy, France. MFA students have the opportunity to participate in national and international study courses, including New York City; Venice Biennale, Italy; Documenta, Germany; Sculpture Projects, Germany.


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Elena Rosa

In a high-ceilinged warehouse in Culver City's burgeoning arts district, students have individual skylighted studios. Working with distinguished practicing artist faculty members, they develop a “personal vision” that has been filtered through history, gender, sexuality, culture and politics.They acquire the necessary technical and theoretical resources to develop an understanding of the demands of a professional practice. The program promotes strong interaction and critical dialogue among all participants, encouraging students to converse in the language of art. Students produce work that reflects their ideas, needs and ambitions, as well as the challenges of the artistic environment and contemporary issues and concerns.

Students and faculty alike help determine the direction of the program. Through student exchanges with the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam, students gain a broader context. At the same time, the intimate community reflects the real working of the multilayered and diverse art, design and literary worlds, removing the walls between faculty and students.

Graduate students are accepted for admission in fall term. Spring admission is on a space-available basis only and arrangements must be made with the Graduate Chair. All named scholarships are awarded by the graduate faculty according to admissions ranking. They do not require a separate application; all accepted applicants are automatically considered. For information on how to apply for other forms of financial aid please contact admissions. Completed MFA application forms and required supporting documents must be on file at the Admissions Office by January 15 for the Fall Semester or November 1 for the Spring Semester.

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MFA Fine Arts now offers an area of emphasis focused on the field of Social Practice. Learn more.