MFA Painting Programs in Oregon

Apr 09, 2019

For any Oregon students looking for a graduate degree in painting, there are several art colleges to help further studies. Each program is unique and allows students to collaborate with peers and professionals in the art industry.

In Oregon, there are a few art schools that offer different types of MFA programs with focuses on painting. Some of these schools encourage students to step out of their comfort zone and work on other mediums, while others allow them to stay focused in painting alone. No matter what students choose, they will most likely find a program that fits their art needs.

Colleges in Oregon That Offer MFA Painting Programs

University of Oregon

Located in Eugene, the University of Oregon has an MFA art program that offers students a variety of different mediums to work with, including painting, drawing, printmaking, ceramics, photography, and sculpture. The program prepares students for an engaged art practice with a wide range of faculty members, all of which are professional artists. This roughly 90-credit program takes three years to complete. With cohorts limited to 30, graduate students have the chance to form a close community where they are able to work with peers and faculty members, along with gallery directors and some professional artists. A studio space and a wide selection of art equipment is provided for every student, so that they can successfully complete their projects.

Portland State University

At Portland State University, the MFA in studio practice encourages students not only to paint, but allows them to also experiment with other art forms as well. This program is full-residency and it takes three years to complete, which includes 90 credits total, divided up among different areas of study. Along with creating art, students also get to meet with visiting artists, attend seminars, and collaborate with peers both on projects and in critiques. There are multiple gallery spaces for students to show off their work as well. Toward the end of their third year, students get to work with an adviser in order to produce their own solo exhibit in these galleries.

Pacific Northwest College of Art

The visual studies MFA at PNCA in Portland is a mentor-based program that challenges students to take unique approaches when it comes to visual art. This program takes about two years to complete. Students can choose to focus on one specific discipline, including painting, photography, printmaking, or sculpture. In addition to the one-on-one structure that students get with mentors, students are also able to interact with local instructors, writers, and curators. Students also have the chance to attend lectures, seminars, and exhibition opportunities in order to help further their studies.

Oregon College of Art and Craft

At the Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland, students can select an MFA in craft with a focus on critical studio practice. In this advanced craft studies program, students are able to try new techniques and approaches toward their art projects. It is important for individuals to utilize their problem-solving skills to successfully complete each assignment. It is a 60-credit program that features seminars and electives as well as a variety of courses, such as studio practice and cross media studies. A majority of the program is dedicated to studio work, and students are expected to continually work on their skills. Throughout the program, students get to regularly meet with a committee to assess their growth.

Program Admittance Requirements

Most MFA programs in painting and in any other art-related field require a portfolio to be considered. This can usually be submitted with the application, and the amount of work that needs to be included may vary from one college to another. Some colleges require an essay, statement, or resume in addition to the portfolio, so these should all be prepared prior to completing the application.

A bachelor's transcript should also be submitted with the application. This should be in an art-related field as well. All the colleges listed also require an application fee in order to apply.

There a few notable graduate options in Oregon for those interested in painting. An MFA can be time-consuming and may take a lot of work, but it will help artists grow in the end, and will give them quality pieces to add to their portfolio.


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