University of California San Diego (UCSD)
Call for applications: Visual Arts MFA & PhD programs
Priority deadline: November 26, 2014
Final deadline: December 3, 2014
The UC San Diego Department of Visual Arts is one of the country’s leading centers for research in contemporary art practice, history, and theory. Widely recognized for its unique concentration of faculty concerned with the production, criticism, and analysis of contemporary art, our department is also recognized as a nexus for innovative research that bridges artistic practice with forms of intellectual inquiry and creative production across the humanities and sciences. We work on issues of art and public space, exhibitions, environmental interventions, and urban pedagogy, exploring new frameworks for cultural practice in the spaces, social networks, and media pathways through which people communicate, collaborate, and build communities.
The Department of Visual Arts is one of the few art departments in the country to offer both an MFA and a PhD program, making it especially well suited to students who wish to work across the boundaries of theory, history and practice. As artists, curators, critics, and historians are brought into close proximity and dialogue, diverse domains of practice are synergized in novel forms of research and production. New forms of engagement, organization, and presentation emerge across institutional, environmental, and urban contexts.
Our Master of Fine Arts program prepares students for the hybrid forms of cultural practice that are emerging in a changing world—a changing ecology of contemporary art production, scientific research, communication technology, and social and institutional space. Areas of interest include cinema, film, and media; critical design; digital media; nano/bio/neuro-technologies; painting and drawing; participatory and collaborative practice; performance; public culture, architecture, and urban practice; sculpture, objects, and installation; and theory/text. We prepare students for engagement with diverse publics, in sites that may involve the street or the marketplace as much as the museum. Just as our students go on to become significant figures in contemporary art and criticism, they go on to invent entirely new forms of cultural practice and analysis—forms that are barely visible to us today.
The PhD program in Art History, Theory, and Criticism at UC San Diego offers a distinct alternative to existing PhD programs in art history. The program’s unique curriculum places art objects and practices at the center of inquiry, even as it encourages examination of the larger historical, cultural, social, intellectual, and theoretical frameworks within which the category “art” has been contextualized in the most recent developments in the discipline. Students select one of the following concentrations in their first year of study: Ancient Art, Medieval Art, Renaissance Art, Early Modern Art, Modern Art (19th and 20th centuries), Contemporary Art, Media Studies (film, video, photograph, digital media), Meso-American Art, or Art Practice. The Art Practice concentration is designed specifically for artists with a strong interest in history, theory, and new research methodologies.