Master of Fine Arts
by Dr. Alpesh Kantilal Patel
Over the last decade, Miami has cemented its reputation as an important center of contemporary art production. There are world-class museums, not-for-profit art spaces, and private collections here; and a lively dialogue concerning artistic practice among artists, curators, and critics who live in the greater Miami Dade area. Florida International University aims to produce artists who can contribute to both this local discourse as well as the international contemporary art world. The Master in Fine Arts in Visual Arts has a â€œpost-studioâ€? approach to artistic practice, but we do not jettison medium specificity all together. Students situate their practice in the context of the larger histories of various media while also getting a rigorous introduction to critical theory. Students in the program have a lot of interaction with those in the curatorial practice track of the MFA program, too. Indeed, the creation of the latter was at least partially to acknowledge the fact that many artists often curate. Candidates for the MFA in Visual Arts typically complete the 60-credit program over 3 years but can graduate in 2 years with faculty approval. Students generally take three courses each term: an art history course, an independent tutorial, and a graduate seminar. For more detailed information about course requirements, please visit art.fiu.edu/academics/graduate/student-handbook/; and for more information regarding artists, critics, and curators who have recently visited us, visit art.fiu.edu/ academics/visiting-artists.
Alpesh Kantilal Patel Assistant Professor, Contemporary Art and Theory and Director of the MFA Program in Visual Arts email@example.com
FIU MFA CATALOG Leandra Arvazzetti Program: MFA in Visual Arts Expected date of graduation: 2015 Prior Education: BFA (FAU) Media: Industrial Materials and Textiles “I want to have the opportunity to teach at the university level.”
FIU MFA CATALOG Tuana Birol Program: MFA in Visual Arts Expected date of graduation: 2016 Prior Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration (Bosphorous University, Istanbul); 2-year certificate degree in Textile and Fashion Design (L’Institut Superieur des Arts Appliques, Paris) Media: Oil paintings, acrylics, ink, and ceramics. “I have always been fascinated by art and always wanted to pursue it. However, at the time of my studies, art was not considered to be ‘acceptable’ by the society we lived in. My father did not allow me to study art, and, so, my life took a diﬀerent direction. After a diﬃcult period of marriage-divorce and the bringing up of my son who is now 15 years old, I now have the possibility of following my heart and my dream. I took a radical decision to leave Turkey to be able to be part of the MFA program. I feel that at 45, my ambitions in life have taken a diﬀerent dimension. My sole wish is to learn and to fulfill my need to be surrounded by art and artists and to expand my knowledge and to feel more complete. Moving to Miami has been extremely beneficial for me, I feel I am surrounded by a free, artistic atmosphere and find myself visiting galleries and exhibitions and exchanging ideas with a variety of people, which, I find, is very fulfilling.”
Birds on a chair, Oil on canvas, 80X60 cm, 2010
Flowers in abstract 1, Acrylic and Ink on Canvas, 50X50 cm, 2014
Search For Freedom, Oil on canvas, 70X90 cm, 2011
FIU MFA CATALOG Javier Cuarezma Program: MFA in Visual Arts Expected date of graduation: 2017 Prior Education: BA in Art (FIU) Media: Film photography; charcoal and graphite on paper
â€œI pursued an MFA in Visual Arts for a couple of reasons, one being that I want to pursue a career as a college professor in the arts. I believe this to be my main goal once I graduate the program. Aside from being a college professor I also want to take my art to the next level....I want to expand my knowledge of what I know and hopefully add my own to the art community, and this degree is going to give me the necessary guidance and tools to make my goals a reality.â€?
FIU MFA CATALOG Jonatas DaSilva (Jonatas Chimen) Program: MFA in Visual Arts Expected date of graduation: 2016 Prior Education: BA in Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies (University of Wisconsin-Madison) Media: Painting, sculpture, and performance
â€œI have been doing art since a very early age, and while I always knew that I wanted to be a working artist, I also wished to not close any doors for a potential academic career. I believe that an MFA makes an artist more wellrounded, credible, and better prepared to face a world where art is increasingly seen as an interdisciplinary activity. As I often engage and publish my academic research on Iberian and Latin American issues, having an MFA allows me to have a more intellectual approach to my art, with fellow academicians, and with an educated audience, as the MFA is an artist's terminal degree.â€?
FIU MFA CATALOG Lorna Ruth Galloway Program: MFA in Visual Arts Expected Year of Graduation: 2016 Prior education: BFA (Florida Atlantic University) Medium: Silkscreen
“During my previous experience working in the art department at Palm Beach State College and teaching workshops at the Jaﬀe Center for Book Arts, I realized I want to teach at the university level. I specifically came to FIU because I did not want to choose a concentration. I've enjoyed trying new media, things that I never expected to work with, like video, and look forward to being pushed more in the future....Every week there is something free going on in the community where you can expand on your education. FIU has...allowed us to become involved in ways we wouldn't have been able to, otherwise, in our arts community.”
FIU MFA CATALOG Diana Margarita Garcia Program: MFA in Visual Arts Expected date of graduation: 2017 Prior education: BFA in Drawing/Minor in Art History (New World School of the Arts) Media: charcoal and pencil
“I really expect to gain the knowledge and inspiration that I've been looking forward to from FIU's MFA program. I feel that by surrounding myself with a strong faculty and other talented peers, I will overcome issues that have been staggering my practice....Born in Mexico and raised in a Cuban household, I've always been able to appreciate the vibrant culture in Miami. Its landscapes, people, and ‘cafecitos,’ will continue to stimulate the process behind my work.”
FIU MFA CATALOG Hazel Gil-Salazar Program: MFA in Visual Arts Expected date of graduation: 2018 Prior education: BFA in Painting (University of Costa Rica); Licentiate in Fine Arts in Painting (University of Costa Rica), Masters in Education (Framingham University) Media: Photography and painting
â€œFIU is a valuable platform to become involved in professional exchange, the pursue of a greater significance in one's artistic production, and the development of excellence in our methods, processes and technical abilities. As a lifelong learner/teacher I want to engage with new emerging and technological media and gain the ability to connect visually and socially in our global environment....Miami is now a center for the arts, a vibrant city that welcomes innovation and global exchange. The place to grow and become a proactive artist.â€?
FIU MFA CATALOG Victor Rafael Golden Jr Program: MFA in Visual Arts Expected date of graduation: 2016 Prior education: BFA (FIU) Media: Photography “The reason that I’m presently pursuing a MFA in Visual Arts is...to continue to develop and refine my work as a studio artist in photography and the arts, as well as being able to teach at the University level....[My hope] is to create and open the way for what will undoubtedly be the ‘New Thinking’ in the Art World. Publishing my work is one of the driving forces that I have as an artist. I see a future filled with abundant opportunities, [in both] academia [and] my studio work, which I hope will impact not only the people of Miami but the world’s future generations. I grew up in New York City, and I came here in 1988 with a dream. There’s an energy in Miami that is alive, young and vibrant....[E]veryone from throughout the world wants to be here. I love living and working in this city. When I travel throughout the world, people talk of how they long to visit Miami. Who wouldn't want to study here?”
FIU MFA CATALOG Michael Gray Program: MFA in Visual Arts Expected date of graduation: 2018 Prior education: BFA (Art Institute of Miami) Media: graphite, ink, acrylic, and oil â€œArt has been a part of my life since I can remember. It has gotten me through high school and undergraduate studies and it has gotten me into FIU. It would be a mistake to not take my talents as far as I can....I expect a better understanding of my own visual work and a better understanding of art as a topic of study. I also expect the opportunity to explore new mediums and techniques within the MFA program....Miami has such a rich and diverse culture that I feel I would get a better all around experience in dealing with many cultures, styles and art techniques.â€?
FIU MFA CATALOG Roma Ingrid James Program: MFA in Visual Arts Expected date of graduation: 2017 Prior education: BFA (Art Institute of Miami) Media: acrylic and chalk
â€œMy reason for continuing on for my MFA is driven by my desire to learn all that I can possibly learn about art and art history, that would advance my knowledge and take it to a higher lever as a professional Visual Artist. I am a resident of Miami and enjoyed my experience continuing my education at FIU to gain my BFA in Visual Arts, and reached that goal on December, 17th, 2013. The in-state tuition is a great benefit and added to the many, many reasons I choose to continue my education at FIU this Fall.â€?
FIU MFA CATALOG Inga Karelina Program: MFA in Visual Arts Expected date of graduation: 2016 Prior education: Graphic Arts and Print Making (Moscow State University of Printing Arts) Media: Oil on canvas; acrylic on paper or canvas
â€œI decided to pursue a MFA in Visual Arts to improve my ability to critically analyze my artwork and artwork in general. I also desired to gain a deeper understanding of the true meaning of the contemporary art world. Through this program I want to establish a closer connection between myself and the art community. I knew this program would only help me on my journey to becom[ing] a professional painter.â€?
FIU MFA CATALOG Yasmin Khalaf Program: MFA in Visual Arts Expected date of graduation: 2015 Prior education: BFA (FIU) Media: painting, drawing, mixed media
“My expectation in FIU’s MFA program in Visual Arts is to learn, grow, and push the boundaries of what it means for me to be an artist.”
FIU MFA CATALOG Susan Maas Program: MFA in Visual Arts Expected date of graduation: 2017 Prior education: AAS in Fashion Design (Harper College), BA in Business (Northeastern Illinois University), BFA (FIU), PostBaccalaureate Certificate in Fine Arts (Maryland Institute College of Art, with concentration on painting and printmaking (San Diego State College) Medium: sculpture (wood, stone, fiber, found objects)
“After I retired from the military, I took some painting and metal-smithing classes, and since my children were older and I was no longer working and traveling, I decided to continue my formal education in the arts....FIU’s MFA program is growing and reaching out to the local community, which is an exciting prospect. Being part of the growth and change is beneficial for everyone involved....Miami has a more international art community than a lot of cities, which allows us, as students, to be more globally aware and to be exposed to a broad range of perspectives and ideas.”
FIU MFA CATALOG Daniel Marosi Program: MFA in Visual Arts Expected date of graduation: 2017 Prior education: BFA (The University of Akron) Media: oil painting, drawing
â€œI developed my art practice to a level where additional historical study and peer group critique seemed appropriate....I expect to gain a deeper understanding of my work in relation to contemporary art discourse....Miami is an intersection of shifting cultures and identities. This fragility andunpredictability supply an endless source of subject matter for examination.â€?
FIU MFA CATALOG Guido Mena Program: MFA in Visual Arts Expected date of graduation: 2017 Prior education: BFA in Communications Design (Pratt Institute) Medium: painting
“I expect to develop new skills in critical thinking as applied to art theory and art history....to develop new practices in painting while exploring diﬀerent mediums, and [to] apply these new tools to my art practice.”
FIU MFA CATALOG Kimberly Moore Program: MFA in Visual Arts Expected date of graduation: 2017 (part-time) Prior education: BA (Bard College) Media: painting (oil, acrylic, fresco), ceramics, mixed media
â€œI decided to pursue a MFA in the visual arts both to improve and develop my practice, and to give me the opportunity/capability to teach at the university level.â€?
FIU MFA CATALOG Kristin Oâ€™Neill Program: MFA in Visual Arts Expected date of graduation: 2015 Prior education: AA (Florida Keys Community College), BFA (University of Tampa) Media: mixed
FIU MFA CATALOG Sterling Rook Program: MFA in Visual Arts Expected date of graduation: 2019 (part-time) Prior education: BFA (FIU) Media: painting “I love to make art, so why not get better? I expect to hone my skills and gain some insight.”
FIU MFA CATALOG Ivan Santiago Program: MFA in Visual Arts Expected date of graduation: 2016 (part-time) Prior education: BFA (FIU) Media: photography, video â€œI wanted to exchange ideas with other artists in our community. I felt that by sharing my point of view, I could learn some new things about myself....[FIU] has been a fantastic environment for experimentation and change....I have traveled all over this country and think [Miami] as hybrid and futuristic of a town as it gets. Miami is my home; I don't know if I could make work that would be as personal ifit wasn't done here.â€?