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  1. #1
    matthew001's Avatar
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    graduate programs concentrating on alt. processes

    I'm looking into graduate programs in the united states so I can work on alternative processes. Does anyone know who/where I should look?
    Sincerely,
    Matthew


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  2. #2
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    I got an MFA from the folks at this tiny school many years ago. It looks like they are still advertising B&W lab and alt process lab. http://art.osu.edu/photography

  3. #3
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Very few programs offer it explicitly. There are schools where you can practice them if you want, but if you go in saying that you want to do alt process as your primary focus you've probably put the kiss of death on your application without a mindblowing portfolio AND artist statement. Look into RISD, SAIC, University of Delaware, MassArt in Boston, maybe UNM or Arizona (although I think UNM is a touchy department to belong to because it's somewhat polarized politically - that may have changed in the last few years since I was considering grad schools), and SCAD in Savannah (double-check that they are fully accredited before you apply - I also remember some issue with that when I was looking). I'm sure others will chime in with additional options - you may well be better off going to some smaller schools that don't have the major reputations, and might be more flexible with supporting what YOU want to do.

    That said, do YOU know what you want to do with this degree? Are you looking to get the MFA to teach, or are you treating the program as a highly focused two year artist residency program? Or do you have other expectations of it? You need to have a very clear set of goals for it and understand what you will and won't get out of it or you'll not get what you wanted, have a wretched experience, and feel like you wasted two years of your life (and probably very well actually will have). Career prospects for MFAs who are not already working artists are about on par with someone with a B.A. in English - the English Lit major can ask you if you'd like fries with that in grammatically perfect English, and the MFA can paint you a lovely painting of those fries.

  4. #4
    matthew001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera View Post

    That said, do YOU know what you want to do with this degree?
    I'm hoping to find professors who support my erge to learn about all photographic processes. As of right now I cannot say what my intentions are for the future. I want to be a photographer. Teaching may be an option later in my life.

    Also,
    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera View Post
    Career prospects for MFAs who are not already working artists
    I'm not really sure what it means when you say working artist?
    Showing/selling or just producing? I'm still an undergrad so my exposure to the photo-world is limited to local exhibits and what I learn from my professors. I do plan to travel in the future (summer). I have one year remaining as an undergrad -- what is suggested to prepare me as a working artist?
    Last edited by matthew001; 02-23-2012 at 12:04 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Sincerely,
    Matthew


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  5. #5
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    A working artist: someone who earns enough money from selling their art to support themselves primarily on their artistic endeavors. There are of course varying degrees of "support oneself"- to one person, that may mean making enough money to keep themselves in canned tuna fish, saltines and a rented room in someone's basement. To another, it may mean home and car ownership and an annual vacation overseas. I'd define it as from somewhere a bit north of the poverty line on up to Damien Hirst.

    I think the time to be learning about alternative processes is NOW while you're still an undergrad. If you don't have that where you are, I'd suggest taking some seminars and workshops after you graduate while you spend some time developing the ideas you've formed as an undergrad. Then when you have a coherent idea you want to refine, go to an MFA program. That's what an MFA is for - giving you an intense period to explore, focus and refine an idea or method or technique. Bear in mind the pace of an MFA program - it is non-stop work, work, work. Much more intense than your BFA. Alt-processes are somewhere between slow and glacial- you might be able to execute a thesis in them, but you won't have time to do your daily work in them (let alone budget), where you might well be expected to have 20 finished images (finished in the sense of containing a defensible concept, not necessarily finished in terms of presentation) every week.

  6. #6
    Klainmeister's Avatar
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    Look up Christopher James at the Art Institute of Boston. He's currently a professor and director of the MFA group and deals heavily in alt processes.
    K.S. Klain

  7. #7
    matthew001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klainmeister View Post
    Look up Christopher James at the Art Institute of Boston. He's currently a professor and director of the MFA group and deals heavily in alt processes.
    I have his book: The book of Alternative Photographic Processes
    I will look into AI of boston. Thanks!
    Sincerely,
    Matthew


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  8. #8

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    If you like a technical approach, then look at RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology). It will give you a great technical foundation. There is also Visual Studies Workshop and Maine Media Workshops which have not been mentioned.

  9. #9
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    At the most recent PHSNE Photographica show and sale I helped my friend price 8 to 10 brass lenses for the table. Many of the people who looked and some who bought were students at AIB (Art Institute of Boston). They do indeed have a strong program in alt. processes. Luckily, my friend has a soft spot for students. His prices were, shall we say, flexible when he found out that the buyer was s student. I feel very good that we may have advanced the cause of "retrograde progress", at least in Boston.

  10. #10
    nsurit's Avatar
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    Yes, Christopher James is the man. He has just started an MFA program in alternative processes. He is a wonderful instructer. I know a good number of his students and if you have an interest in alt processes, you would do well to be associated with this fine group of artists.

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