Department of Art Offers New M.F.A. in Visual Arts

By Stephanie Wejbe, Student Intern of CHASS College Computing

Visual Arts MFA Graduate ProgramThe Department of Art announced the college's first M.F.A in Visual Arts and expects to admit students to its new graduate program for the 2004-05 academic year. The program's primary goal is to provide a context for research and production of contemporary art at the highest level. The M.F.A in Visual Art is interdisciplinary in nature and students can draw on the resources of other departments on campus, including the UCR/California Museum of Photography.

The program offers graduate students opportunities in digital imaging and photography and also includes creative work in video works, or any visual medium. In addition, a brand new sculpture program is offered as well as opportunities specializing in painting and digital media.

Prospective students can expect excellent facilities to complete their work and a small, focused environment consisting of seven faculty. The M.F.A is a three-year program and is expected to have a maximum of twelve students, with four the first year to initially establish the program. The core of the program is independent creative work done in consultation with faculty.

The program's non-specific medium acts as one of its unique aspects since it does not require a medium specification. Amir Zaki, Assistant Professor in Art, emphasizing in Digital Media and Photography said, "We are looking for interesting graduate students, regardless of medium."

UCR is the last campus to establish a graduate art program within the UC system. The new program greatly benefits those students who have been seeking and awaiting such a program, which has been long overdue and unavailable at the UCR campus.

Zaki believes the program will impact students in their future academic and professional goals stating, "Hopefully, it will become a place to experiment with their ideas, faculty, and excellent facilities and will lead them to foster those principles as professional artists."

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