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March 28, 2024

Clark launching new visual arts masters program

Photo | Timothy Doyle Clark University, Worcester

Clark University in Worcester is launching a new masters of fine arts program in visual arts that will provide artists with the opportunity to showcase their work at one of the state’s most prominent museums. 

The program, launched through the university’s School of Professional Studies, will be a two-year program that concludes with the opportunity to participate in a thesis show hosted at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams. 

The low-residency program is an attempt to provide a bridge between the world of academia and museums, according to a Clark press release issued on Wednesday. Low-residency programs involve a mix of distance and on-campus learning.

“What distinguishes our low-residency program is that it’s very critique-based instead of being studio-based,” Ben Sloat, visual artist and director of the MFA program, said in the press release. “People grow creatively and intellectually in a critique-based experience because they’re getting meaningful feedback from a range of diverse professional voices within a rigorous arts community. It’s like a shot in the arm for their creative practice.”

The four-semester program will conclude with a residency where students will present professional artists talks, defend their theses, and participate in a thesis show at the museum. Students have the option of starting the program in either January or June.

The program will also allow artists to receive feedback on their work from Clark professors and guest faculty who are art professionals. The university hopes this new program will complement their current visual and performing arts programs.

“I’m delighted by all that I’ve learned about this exciting new degree program and the opportunity to find synergies between the undergraduate program in studio art and the low-residency MFA,” Toby Sisson, associate professor and director of the department’s undergraduate Studio Arts Program, said in the release. “I’m especially excited for an increase in the number of guest artists, speakers, and critics to visit our campus.

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