The painting department works to maintain a sense of painting as a language that simultaneously upholds tradition and seeks innovation. Painting from observation, formal structure, narrative content and painting as a means of individual expression are qualities that are valued. Students work both figuratively and abstractly. The program is structured to emphasize individual studio work that is assessed through one on one and group critiques.
Both BFA students and MFA students share a building where all have their own studios. Professors’ studios are in a building next door. There is an intense ethos towards studio practice that makes for a stimulating work environment.
MFA Painting Program
The MFA program in painting at Indiana University was ranked 9th nationally by US News and World Reports in 2008. The MFA in Painting is a two-year degree and requires students to enroll in 15 credit hours per semester. Students plan their course of study in consultation with one of two faculty advisors. The majority of course work is focused in painting and can be supplemented with graduate drawing and anatomy courses. While study in other studio fields is not required, painting students are also able to explore related areas such as sculpture, photography, or printmaking, and to interact with a variety of fine arts faculty, visiting artists and critics. Similarly, students have the opportunity to enroll in art history courses to augment their studio work and increase their awareness of the medium. The graduate painting program supports approximately 20 students; one in twelve applicants are admitted to the program. There is no personal interview involved in the admission process. The MFA program in painting at Indiana University was ranked 9th nationally by US News and World Reports in 2008.
The aim of the graduate painting program is the development of painters who are intelligent, aware, articulate, serious and able artists. Students work independently in their own studios and consult with the graduate painting faculty individually and in larger group critiques to discuss the progress of their work. The painting faculty work in several distinct directions and emphasize that no single look or style of painting become “official” at Indiana University. Students are strongly encouraged to develop their own approaches and interests.