MFA Exhibitions & Thesis-School of Art - Carnegie Mellon University

MFA Exhibitions & Thesis

Each spring, graduate students exhibit their work either in an off-campus show for first and second year students, or a culmintaing MFA Thesis Exhibition at CMU's Miller Gallery for graduating third year candidates.

MFA 1st & 2nd Year Exhibition

Students determine the venue, structure, and local parters they would like to work with to host this annual exhibition of new work. Aince 2011 students have been working in off-campus pop-up venues and local artist-run spaces like The Mine Factory, and have presented group shows in collaboration with peers such as the School of the Art Institute Chicago to present new works in both Pittsburgh and Chicago. Between 2000 and 2010 first and second year students collaborated with Future Tenant Gallery (managed by students in CMU's Masters of Arts Management program) to showcase their work in FT's downtown gallery or unique off-campus location. Often a guest curator from Pittsburgh is invited to do studio crits and select recent work from graduate students for inclusion. Graduate students are deeply involved in developing the show's concept and any related programming.

MFA Thesis Exhibition

A culminating exhibition of work is presented at CMU's Miller Gallery plus a written thesis is required of all students in the spring semester of their third year. The graduating class as a group determines the MFA thesis exhibition title, concept and design. However, works on display represent each individual's progression through the program, and are not curated as a thematic whole. Elements of risk and experimentation are present throughout the three-year graduate program, and the unpredictability of the final result is what makes the process challenging and exciting. What you see in the gallery is more propositional than conclusive. The aim of the thesis paper is to historically, socially and theoretically contextualize a student's work. Ideally, the thesis will be built upon numerous writings that have been generated during MFA integrative, academic and writing seminars. The written thesis documents and informs the development and resolution of each student's artistic practice during the MFA program.

Past MFA 1st & 2nd Year Exhibitions

Past MFA Thesis Exhibitions