Critical & Curatorial Concentration

UCIrvine, Claire Trevor School of the Arts

M.F.A. in The Department of Art with a Concentration in Critical and Curatorial Studies

Aims and Objectives

The new M.F.A. Concentration in Critical and Curatorial Studies recruits and educates graduate students to pursue a career in the fields of curatorial practice, art criticism and public programming.  Upon completion of this three-year program, the student will be well versed in debates that define art and visual culture from modernism to the present, capable of conceiving new models of contemporary exhibition and criticism, and trained to execute professional, innovative projects in the field.  With Professor Juli Carson as the University Art Gallery Director, the Gallery will be prominently featured in the curriculum, serving as a ‘laboratory’ for cultural research conducted by the Critical and Curatorial students and faculty.

 

The Concentration’s curriculum is interdisciplinary, taught and administered by a Core Faculty selected from Department of Art and Visual Studies.  The intensive collaboration between Visual Studies and Department of Art is consistent with the objective of entering graduates into the specialized field of visual art, where they will work with various museum programs, art galleries, publications, and archives.  The Critical and Curatorial curriculum and resulting degree combine aspects of M.A. and M.F.A. training, reflecting the Concentration's location in the School of the Arts and its partnership with the School of Humanities.

 

Undergraduate preparation for admission

 

Undergraduates must have a B.A. or a B.F.A. from an accredited college/university in the humanities or fine arts.  Overall G.P.A. should be 3.0, with a minimum of three undergraduate art history and/or art theory courses completed.  Should the applicant not have the art history requirement upon admission, he/she must take these courses on route to the M.F.A.  In addition to the official application to the M.F.A. program, Critical and Curatorial applicants must include (in lieu of portfolio): a letter of intent, a writing sample, and a proposed project. Please label: ATTN Critical Curatorial Concentration.  Application Deadline is March 1 for following Fall.

Go To Application Process

 

Program of Study

Specific Fields of Emphasis

 

Students may choose from one of the following emphases for their M.F.A. Thesis: Exhibition, Public Programming, Art Criticism.  In addition, a hybrid emphasis of these three areas is an option upon approval by the Thesis Advisor.  Should students choose to emphasize one of these fields for their thesis project, courses in all three categories must still be taken on route to the degree.

 

Unit Requirements

 

As with the current M.F.A. in Department of Art, the proposed Concentration requires 108 units to matriculate to degree with no less than 12 units per quarter.  Of the 20 minimum combined elective units, to be taken in either Department of Art or Visual Studies, the candidate must take at least 8 in Visual Studies.  In addition, students are encouraged to select additional elective course work from any section of the Department or University including approved upper-division undergraduate courses.  The third year is structured so that students can work independently with their advisor to produce their final project in the form of exhibition/public program/art criticism.

 

Thesis

 

The student completes his/her course of study with a written M.F.A. thesis that accompanies their final project.  It is a publishable text submitted to the library.

 

Advising

 

Professor Carson will advise the students.  In the first year, the student is advised to identify a critical mass of faculty to begin his/her research.  In the second year, the student works intensively with the identified group of faculty, and by the end of that year commitments from select faculty are made to form the final thesis committee.  In the third year, students work intensively with their thesis committee on the production of their final project.  The thesis committee consists of no more than 5 members, one of which must be from Visual Studies.  The Concentration's Director is the Thesis Advisor (i.e. chair) of that committee.

 

Sample Study Plan

 

The asterisks indicate requirements for the Curatorial students, open also to general M.F.A. students in Department of Art .   
New, required Concentration Courses are in bold.  Existing M.F.A. Courses are in regular type.

  Year One: FALL

  Art 210: 1st Year Grad Seminar (4 units)

  Art 230: Grad Group Critique (4 units)

  Art 280A: Intro to Exhibition System (4 units)*

  WINTER

  Art 250: Directed Reading & Research (4 units)

  Art 280: Contemporary Exhibition Systems (4 units)

  One course selected from the School of the Arts or
  the School of Humanities (4 units)

  SPRING

  Art 215: Interdisciplinary Studies in Art & Culture (4 units) -or- 
  Art 251: Special Topics Seminar (4 units)

  Art 240: Interdisciplinary Projects (4 units)

  One course selected from the School of the Arts or
  the School of Humanities (4 units)

  Year Two: FALL 

  Art 230: Graduate Group Critique (4 units)

  Art 250:  Directed Reading & Research (4 units)

  One course selected from the School of the Arts or
  the School of Humanities (4 units)

  WINTER 

  Art 215: Interdisciplinary Studies in Art & Culture (4 units)

  Art 280: Contemporary Exhibition Systems (4 units)*

  One course selected from the School of the Arts or
  the School of Humanities (4 units)

  SPRING 

  Art 215: Interdisciplinary Studies in Art & Culture (4 units) -or-
  Art 251: Special Topics Seminar (4 units)

  Art 240: Interdisciplinary Projects (4 units)

  One course selected from the School of the Arts or
  the School of Humanities (4 units)

  Year Three: FALL 

  Art 230: Graduate Group Critique (4 units)

  Art 262: Graduate Thesis Independent Study (4 units)

  Art 264: Critical & Curatorial Thesis Exhibition (4 units)

  WINTER 

  Art 215: Interdisciplinary Studies in Art & Culture (4 units)

  Art 262: Graduate Thesis Independent Study (4 units)

  One course selected from the School of the Arts or
  the School of Humanities (4 units)

  SPRING 

  Art 240: Interdisciplinary Projects (4 units)

  Art 262: Graduate Thesis Independent Study (4 units)

  One course selected from the School of the Arts or
  the School of Humanities (4 units)

Core Faculty, Department of Art

 

Juli Carson Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Professor, Modern and Contemporary Art History
Director, Critical and Curatorial Concentration
Director, University Art Gallery

 

Rhea Anastas Ph.D. Graduate Center, The City University of New York
Associate Professor of Art, Twentieth Century Experimentalism in the Visual Arts,
Contemporary Art, Critical Theory and Cultural Theory

 

Kevin Appel M.F.A. University of California, Los Angeles
Professor, Painting

 

Ulysses Jenkins M.F.A. Otis College of Art, Los Angeles
Professor, Intermedia-Video/Performance Art

 

Daniel Joseph Martinez B.F.A. California Institute of the Arts
Bren Professor, Post Studio/ New Genres/ Sculpture/ Photography/ Installation / Public Interventions

 

Jennifer Pastor M.F.A. University of California, Los Angeles
Professor, Sculpture

 

Litia Perta Ph.D. Dept. of Rhetoric, UC Berkeley
Assistant Professor, Arts Writing

 

Bruce Yonemoto M.F.A. Otis Art Institute
Professor, Video, Multimedia, Film Theory

 

Core Faculty, Visual Studies/Humanities:

 

Bridget R. Cooks Ph.D. University of Rochester
Assistant Professor, Art History

 

Bliss Cua Lim Ph.D. New York University
Associate Professor, Film and Media Studies
Director, Ph.D. Program in Visual Studies

 

Catherine Liu Ph.D. City University of New York Graduate School and Center
Professor, Film and Media Studies; Comparative Literature
Director of the Humanities Center

 

James Nisbet Ph.D. Stanford University
Assistant Professor, Modern and Contemporary Art

 

Cecile Whiting Ph.D. Stanford University
Professor and Chair of Art History