About the MFA
The MFA program is a 3-year program, and encourages advanced aesthetic and conceptual development through self-directed exploration. Professional dialogue, discussion and critical thinking are at the core of this program. Independent studio work is balanced with intensive investigation of critical, conceptual, and historical issues. Graduate students receive critiques from Sculpture Area and School of Art faculty, as well as from visiting artists.
Graduate students are encouraged to work in an interdisciplinary manner; student work within the graduate sculpture program varies widely by both material and subject matter. Graduate students each take 5 credits of the Graduate Sculpture Seminar for their first four semesters. This course has two parts: independent self-directed studio work and participation in a seminar class aimed at placing this work in a critical, conceptual, and historical context. All course work including elective and art history requirements are completed in the first two years. The third year of the MFA program is devoted solely to the development of the thesis exhibition.
Currently all admitted Sculpture MFA students receive 1/4 time assistantships including a tuition waiver, and a monthly stipend. As part of their assistantship duties MFA students teach or assist one class each semester and are assigned responsibility for other departmental duties. Sculpture MFA students are integral to the function of the department and are intimately involved in its success.
The University of Tennessee Art Department has a very active visiting artist program. In particular the Sculpture Club brings 3 – 5 visiting sculptors to campus each year to give lectures, critique student work, and give workshops. Sculpture MFA students are strongly encouraged to utilize these resources.
The UT Sculpture area has excellent facilities including, a large metal shop, foundry, woodshop (shared with architecture), and a digital media lab equipped with digital video, sound, and photography software and equipment. Each graduate sculpture student has his/her own studio space in the Art and Architecture building, within the sculpture facilities. In addition, graduate students share a larger collective workspace and an installation space in The School of Art Metron Annex, a short distance from the Art and Architecture Building.
Sculpture grad students are encouraged to show their work regularly. There are opportunities to show work in the Art and Architecture building, in other locations on campus, and in the greater Knoxville area. All UT Art students have the opportunity to show at Gallery 1010, the School of Art student gallery, located in Downtown Knoxville. The Sculpture Club also sponsors group shows and arranges exchange exhibitions with other universities in the region.
In order to become a candidate in a degree program, the applicant must be admitted by the Graduate School upon the recommendation of the School of Art. Both the Graduate School and the School of Art have specific requirements and application procedures which must be satisfied by the application.