Hannah Foster working on a painting

Terrell Smith in a ceramics class

Kurtis Kujawski with a self-portrait

Sara Sanders in front of her multi-media art piece

Students and art faculty at the 2016 BFA Exhibit (From left to right: Sara Sanders, Professor James Shrosbree, Kurtis Kujawski, Professor Gyan Shrosbree, Julia Larson, Christopher Smith, Dominic Rabalais, and Terrell Smith)

Four undergraduate art majors from MUM were recently accepted into multiple MFA programs with full and partial scholarships. “These programs are incredibly competitive,” said Gyan Shrosbree, assistant professor of art. “This year we had all four of our applying students accepted to several programs each.”

Hannah Foster has received a full scholarship for the MFA program in painting at Pennsylvania State University. Terrell Smith has received the prestigious Iowa Arts Fellowship, which provides a full tuition scholarship and a generous stipend. He will attend the MFA in painting program at the University of Iowa.

Kurtis Kujawski will attend the MFA program in ceramics at the Chicago Art Institute this fall with a partial scholarship. Sara Sanders received scholarships to several top institutions for the fall of 2017, including Cranbrook Academy of Art, California College of the Arts, and Pacific Northwest College of Art. She has deferred entrance until the fall of 2018.

Depending on a student’s schedule of study and choice, MUM’s BFA program can include the BFA Graduate School Preparation track, which provides the additional studio time to prepare for graduate school.

The application process to MFA programs is very time-consuming—students are required to write essays and create an online portfolio of their work with professional photographs. Most students are focused on their studio work in the middle of their senior year, when graduate school applications are due, and simply don’t have the time to complete the applications.

“Students need time to establish the foundation needed to go forward in the art world,” said Kurtis Kujawski. “The extra time thus assisted my acceptance into graduate school.”

The art faculty also help students choose the MFA programs that best fit their individual needs. Students take workshops in photography and receive coaching in interviews, writing essays, and assistance with the entire application process to up to ten different schools. “Even if students don’t apply for graduate school, they will be ready for a career as an artist,” said Professor Shrosbree. “It’s good practice for any other applications, such as residencies, grants, and shows.”

“We are trying to help the students develop a sustainable studio practice that encourages a healthy lifestyle,” said Professor Shrosbree. “Transcendental Meditation is one of the things that we feel supports the students’ ability to sustain a studio practice and hopefully enjoy a life with an active studio.”

The success of these students also encourages current art students to stay for the extra semester and apply for graduate school.