Presented as a counterpoint to our biennial MFA NOW exhibition, MFA NEVER considers artists that took the non-degree path. This juried exhibition creates visibility for artists who have found a life and practice in the visual arts outside of the academic machine.
The goal of the MFA Never project is to create room for dialogue around alternatives to the MFA route, especially in thinking about how higher education can be exclusive in terms of financial viability, and in representing artists of color, queer artists, "outsider" artists etc.
Selected from over 180 submissions, the 25 artists chosen for this exhibition represent a diversity of mediums, background, age, identity, and reasons for not pursuing advanced degrees in art.
Donna Anderson Kam
Melissa Louise Bolger
Art for a Democratic Society
Joel Daniel Phillips
Ron Moultrie Saunders
MFA Never Exhibition Images
More about MFA NEVER:
For the past four years, Root Division has dedicated one month of our exhibitions programs to a juried exhibition of current Bay Area MFA Candidates in an exhibition and archive project called MFA Now. This project will continue at Root Division biennially with the next presentation in February 2017. This year we wanted to do something a little different, and join in the national dialogue around valuation of advanced art degrees.
This February, we're opting to highlight the many talented and successful artists who have opted out of the degree route for one reason or another, in a counterpoint juried exhibition called MFA Never. MFA Never was conceptualized by Rhiannon Evans MacFadyen, to create opportunity for underrepresented artists, those who are unaffiliated with alumni networks, and may have not had the debut opportunity offered by the MFA Thesis exhibition. MacFadyen is the founder of A Simple Collective, a contemporary arts organization dedicated to, "access, equality, ingenuity, creativity, and independence."
Every artist who submitted to MFA NEVER will be featured in the MFA NEVER archive catalogue. The book includes information about each contributing artist and a compilation of essays by Root Division staff, and the panel of exhibition jurors, serving to unpack some of the issues surrounding decisions to not pursue higher education. Copies of the catalogue will be available to purchase for $20.
MFA Never is free, open to the public, and includes a Creative Station - all ages art activities hosted in our classroom during the 2nd Saturday opening reception.