Integrating new artistic and technical approaches to printmaking with the great historical traditions of the medium, the MFA program encourages individual artistic growth through the exploration of printed multiples. Exposure to critical insights from faculty, visiting artists and print-world professionals leads to advanced personal work responsive to the issues defining the field. Mastery of intaglio, lithography, screenprint, relief, photo and digital methods – with special emphasis on one area – ensures confidence in the professional arena. MFA candidates in Printmaking also have the opportunity to design and teach a fully accredited course during Wintersession of their second year.
The 14 first- and second-year MFA candidates enrolled in Printmaking are deeply engaged in personal artistic exploration and work closely with faculty and curators at the RISD Museum, who offer ready access to original works of art along with historic context and expertise. Grad students also become part of the larger community of artists pursuing advanced-level work and appreciate the many opportunities RISD affords for cross-disciplinary collaboration.
Graduate students work in individual studios in RISD’s Fletcher Building, an interdisciplinary space designed to promote discourse with peers in other fine arts graduate programs, and also make use of the department’s core facilities in Benson Hall, where they work side-by-side with approximately 36 Printmaking undergraduates. Facilities include an intaglio editioning studio, a woodshop, a computer lab and spaces for student exhibitions and group critiques. In addition, Printmaking majors share a screenprinting facility and large-scale intaglio and lithography presses with graduate students in Textiles.
Saman Sajasi MFA 2013
Paloma Barhaugh Bordas MFA 2013
Kevin Frances MFA 2013
Justin Sorensen MFA 2013
Genevieve Lowe MFA 2013
Amber Heaton MFA 2012
Cole Swavely MFA 2013
“The compression and refinement that occur while working an idea into a matrix for printing can encourage clarity and insight. In addition to exploration in the studio, our students study prints with faculty and visiting artists, learning how and why they were made and how they work in the world. Innovation and new technologies have been a constant since the development of print technology in third century China. The prints we make and the ones we research in our museum and beyond collect and transmit ideas about where we come from, who we think we are, and what our future might be.”
During two years in residence at RISD, graduate students undertake a serious investigation of the broad range of possibilities presented by contemporary printmaking. In addition, they are encouraged to extend their professional experience through off-campus internships during Wintersession and over the summer.
In the final semester, degree candidates focus on a creating a comprehensive body of work under the guidance of a thesis committee. All MFA candidates produce a written thesis book and participate in the RISD’s Graduate Thesis Exhibition, a large-scale public show held in the Rhode Island Convention Center.
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