CVPA - Graduate Programs - Artisanry Overview

graduate program CVPA Artisanry


The Department of Artisanry in the College of Visual and Performing Arts comprises a network of studios, including Ceramics, Textile Design/Fiber Arts, and Jewelry/Metals. The curriculum has its origin in the well-known Program in Artisanry (PIA) founded at Boston University in 1975 and, previously part of the Swain School of Design. While creative activity in Artisanry speaks in a language common to all the disciplines of contemporary visual art, the Artisanry curriculum emphasizes vigorous material exploration and disciplined technique, bonded with a sophisticated aesthetic, as the basis of innovative design and personal expression. Students are challenged to examine uniquely made objects and their changing role in contemporary contexts through studies of traditional forms and intensive exploration of new formats, materials, and processes of building. Our program is founded on the belief that studio practice exists in a strong alliance with history and theory. Artisanry MFA students pursue their creative investigations in a vigorous and demanding environment where faculty and students critique, discuss, and debate issues inherent in proposed projects.

In addition to intensive training within a specific discipline, students are encouraged to cross boundaries, and pursue their project goals through the many rich layers and possibilities of integrated media projects. Artisanry's integrated media approach reflects a commitment to exploring the changing relationships between artistic disciplines and diverse cultural structures, a testament to our belief that mature vision can be expressed in many different materials and formats. Students engaged in integrated media projects are encouraged to examine concepts of shelter, community, and environment, develop holistic visions, and consider sustainable solutions, such as the use of recycled and other alternative materials. Integrated media projects are developed within site-specific, installation, and performative formats, as well as such formats as community service arts projects, activist art, and environmental art project initiatives.

All options within the Artisanry program seek to develop highly creative artists and designers who have a strong sense of their own originality and vision, as well as a sensitivity to the cultural and environmental demands of contemporary society. Our graduates become craft artists with interests ranging from public art, object making, to social/environmental problem solving. They also become teachers, design consultants, and owners of design/build businesses.

To apply applicants submit materials to the Office of Graduate Studies. To complete your application, a portfolio of 20 images of recent work must be submitted to For more detailed information go to Portfolio Requirements.

For further detail see the Graduate Catalog.

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