Studio courses are important first steps as students begin the academic journey. “The whole educational pathway of SMFA students is about taking the next risk,” said Greg Mahoney, the school’s assistant director of studio operations and educational technology. “The studio experience gives them the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in an investigation of what they don’t know—and to come out on the other side, having created something new and meaningful.” Here’s what that looks like in just a few of the disciplines available to SMFA students.
The welding studios, which have been described as a “research lab in the form of an industrial metalworking shop,” offer students the chance to safely experiment with how the craft can be used within the context of conceptual art.
Here students learn about paper by making it from scratch.
For instance, in Professor of the Practice Michelle Samour’s class Properties of Pulp, students use different plant materials to create paper they can transform into three-dimensional works of art.
The work in the print studio includes everything from lithography to intaglio (etching and engraving) to woodcut printing. These courses often intersect with those of other studios, like papermaking just next door. “My philosophy is that they’re not just learning etching and later on they will make something brilliant,” said studio manager William Peters Scott, professor of the practice. “No, they make something brilliant now, adding tools and skills as they need them. That’s how they learn.”
Media Arts STUDIO
The media arts studios offer students technology including digital 4K cameras, a green screen, sound recording gear, editing stations, and virtual reality equipment. The movable gallery walls, projectors, and screens encourage experimentation with cinema and video installations.
Students in the fabrication studio work with wood and metal. “From canvas stretchers to installations and large-scale sculpture, as long as it doesn’t involve fire or sparks we can build it here,” said studio manager April Franklin.
(Photograph by Anna Miller and Lucas Roy)