The University of Alaska Fairbanks BFA in Painting is a strong component of our studio foundations program and an art discipline that students can focus their undergraduate concentration within. Students in the program are encouraged to develop foundational technical skills in acrylic, oil, encaustic, watercolor, and mixed media. Strong emphasis is also placed upon students developing their own aesthetic voices and points-of-view, and also developing the critical and conceptual abilities to clearly communicate those ideas with peer artists and larger public audiences. The BFA process culminates with a thesis solo exhibition accompanied by a written thesis paper which should clearly support the exhibition and the ideas and approaches examined in the exhibition’s body of work.
The BFA painting program facilities include dedicated space set aside for each student in the program to be able to work on multiple pieces throughout the semester, as well as standard tools to create work such as drills, saws, clamps, gesso, and other materials commonly associated with making work. This also includes a computer with Adobe Creative Suite programs (Photoshop, InDesign, etc.) and a large flat screen TV monitor to view artwork, video, and other digital resources to assist in research and the generation of new work.
The MFA in painting emphasizes the development of contemporary studio painting practice. Some of the conceptual areas that students can explore is the interpretation and reinterpretation of imagery of the North, specifically within Circumpolar regions, cultural and regional identity issues, and the nexus between art and circumpolar science. At the University of Alaska Fairbanks we closely collaborate with our colleagues in the sciences to create new methods or approaches to build on these ways to connect these areas in a meaningful interdisciplinary manner, e.g. art and anthropology, art and geology, art and neuroscience connections, etc. The MFA process culminates with a substantial thesis solo exhibition accompanied by a written thesis paper that should clearly support the exhibition and the ideas and approaches examined in the exhibition’s body of work. In addition a public presentation of the thesis work is also required.
The program uses facilities located in the Graduate Studio Building, where the all graduate students have allocated individual spaces to create their work. Students also have access to all other Art Dept. studios and tools as needed, such as the main Painting Studio, Sculpture Studio.