Inner conversations have a powerful impact on the emotional well-being and motivation of the individual. Becoming aware of exactly what people are saying to themselves can help people understand why they react the way they do to events and people in their lives. Wenyi Zhen’s thesis project uses a mobile application to help people monitor and [...]

Tianrui Zhang’s thesis work focuses on the social-cultural identity of the citizens living in the Chinese community where he grew up, through an illustration showing what has happened socially, culturally, and personally during the past few decades. It describes the lives our citizens have left behind, and yet in many ways, are still living with [...]

Wanting to be a writer and a comic artist as a child, Jo Yeh found illustration marries these two impulses and promises me a more conceptual approach to narrative by first visualizing, and then representing the metaphors proposed in her stories. Yeh specializes in narrative and story-based illustrations as an illustrator, but also, her skills in [...]

Luisa Rivera is a figurative painter and illustrator, with a strong focus on narrative images. A majority of her work is done with water-based paints, such as acrylic, watercolor, gouache and ink. Usually, she uses paper as a substrate, but also employs other materials such as cardboard and wood, depending on the project. Paper cutting [...]

Gabriel Zhang is a Singapore/Boston/Minneapolis-based photographer. Although Zhang began as a graphic designer, the focus of her work soon developed more toward photography, as she explored new ways of creating a sensual image—the conceptual frame and focus of the work. Since Zhang has been focused on this passion, which revolves around the creation images that [...]

Jingchi Lu’s work has circled around seeking out and expressing the problems of the young girl in modern society. With the rapid developments of world economies and technologies, modern young girls’ thought and behaviors have radically changed. Her project will look at young girls aged 15-22 years old, and their complex social, personal and fashion [...]

“The deepest problems of modern life derive from the claim of the individual to preserve the autonomy and individuality of his existence in the face of overwhelming social forces, of historical heritage, of external culture, and of the technique of life.” The frantic pace and energy is manifested in the lights, signs, laws, advertisements, roads, [...]

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  • April
  • 30
  • 2015

Installation for the 2015 MFA Thesis Exhibition started today, make sure to check it out Friday May 15th from 6-9pm! Here Ellie Gagner, a sculptor, describes her practice: As a sculptor of many sorts of objects that combine cast glass, shaped and cast metal, and carved wood, I have always been curious about how things [...]

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  • April
  • 28
  • 2015

Over the next 3 weeks, we will be featuring each one of our 2015 MFA graduates and their thesis projects! Starting off the run is illustrator and animator, Mengqian Chen. Learn more about Chen’s project below and for more of her work, check out her website. Illustration has long been considered a flat two-dimensional art [...]

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  • April
  • 26
  • 2015

For more than 25 years, the Walker Art Center and AIGA Minnesota have collaborated to bring leading design practitioners to the Twin Cities for the annual Insights Design Lecture Series and number of our graduate design students were able to attend this March. The Walker has an amazing line up of designers that came to share the thinking, [...]

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  • April
  • 17
  • 2015

Julie Benda’s site specific and participatory installation, On a String, is on display at the Library Gallery on MCAD’s main campus, running March 25- April 18.  The installation consists of 100 paper garlands cut from hand-printed papers she made in the studio. The garlands, which Benda calls “heartstrings”, investigate the intentions and rituals used to brace or [...]

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  • April
  • 16
  • 2015

MFA mentor and faculty member, Katherine Turczan was featured in Episode #603 of MN Original and her photograph of writer Marlon James was featured in the New York Times. Known for her moving portraits taken in Ukraine, MN Original follows as Turczan turns her attention toward landscapes with her project titled Line, documenting scenes along the Green Line [...]

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  • April
  • 16
  • 2015

MFA alum and MCAD adjunct faculty, Ed Charbonneau and his studio mate Jeremy Szopinski worked with Hastings High School art students and their teacher to paint and design the school’s new mural. The mural is an abstracted representation of the Mississippi, St. Croix, and Vermillion rivers located in Hastings, MN. The mural resides in an atrium [...]

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  • April
  • 16
  • 2015

MFA Mentor, Luis Fitch, recently spoke at the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis about Ink, a series presented by Creative Mornings. One of the most esteemed and sought after Latino artist, designer and creative director, Luis Fitch has lead award-winning branding efforts for top 500 fortune companies including: PepsiCo, General Mills, Frito-Lay, Best Buy, Nike, [...]

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  • March
  • 27
  • 2015

  MFA Painting and Drawing mentor, Erik Benson’s show Night Moves is currently on display at the Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts in Fond du Lac, WI. The paintings in Night Moves emerge from odd fragments and skewed glances of the urban landscape. They are rooted in the familiar even pedestrian imagery one often [...]

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  • March
  • 27
  • 2015

MFA candidate Essma Imady grew up in Damascus, Syria. She left to study art in the United States in 2011, a time when Syria was brimming with anticipation. It is now so destitute of hope that families are opting to try and escape in small fishing boats that they hope will carry them across the [...]

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  • March
  • 19
  • 2015

The Twin Cities has a strong, interlaced, creative community with a wealth of talented comic creators. It is easy to see this area becoming to the Midwest what Brooklyn is to the East Coast or Portland is the the West. To nurture this creative haven, John Bivens(Comic arts ’16) and his wife Mallory Harrelson hosted [...]

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  • March
  • 16
  • 2015

Experience the journey the Hmong took from Southeast Asia to their new homeland in Minnesota four decades ago at the opening of the new History Center exhibit “We Are Hmong Minnesota,” on view March 7 to November 29. Celebrate the contributions of this vital and active community with music and dance performances, displays, fashion, games, [...]

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  • March
  • 13
  • 2015

Fourteen MFA candidates had a pop-up exhibition, This Must Be The Place, in the Northrup King Building last weekend. The exhibition explored drawing and painting works on diverse surfaces that includes paper, panel, canvas, and a few items you might not immediately think of as drawing or painting material. Participants included: Julie Benda, Anna Biedenbender, Allison Brown, Bradley Neil Cook, Liza Dorsey, Preston Drum, Rachel [...]

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  • March
  • 13
  • 2015

Body and Machine: An Exhibition of Kinetic and Interactive Art is an exhibition of work that addresses the relationship between the human body and machines. For this show, artists from five states were invited to submit everything from the hand-cranked to the computer controlled. This exhibition is made possible by Make it Move, an organization devoted [...]

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  • March
  • 11
  • 2015

Thanks to Mr. Kiji for giving MFA program studio visits! Mr. Kiji was born in Japan and raised in New York City. Kiji was formally trained in the Tibetan Buddhist Thangka painting as well as earning a degree in Industrial Design from the Rhode Island School of Design. He currently keeps himself inspired though a [...]

Thanks to Rafael Medina for taking the time to do studio visits and a lecture with MCAD’s graduate students. Rafael Medina is currently design director at Siegel+Gale and was previously senior designer for Paula Scher at Pentagram, among many other professional experiences before he attended graduate school at Cranbrook Academy of Art. For more information about Rafael Medina, [...]

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  • February
  • 27
  • 2015

Recap of the WonderWomen fashion show! Organized and curated by Kelsey Bosch (MFA ’16) and MCAD Professor Frenchy Lunning at the University of Minnesota Department of Art & Katherine E. Nash Gallery. WonderWomen is a group exhibition of work by women artists inspired or influenced by comics, animation or popular culture, and related screenings of work [...]

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  • February
  • 25
  • 2015

Timothy Hamilton(sculpture ’15)’s If You Cling To Me, I’ll Clang To You, features a large-scale kinetic installation along side his prints and drawings.  In Hamilton’s installation work systems are given physical form, building a landscape structure that highlights the relationship between map and territory, reminiscent of their origins as purely human inventions. These landscapes subtly contract and [...]

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  • February
  • 25
  • 2015

Rachel Jennings (painting and drawing ’16) was recently interviewed by ForgetGood. Visit here for more information!

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  • February
  • 14
  • 2015

Last week, we had the extraordinary opportunity to spend time with visiting writer Hrag Vartanian, who gave a talk at Burnett Gallery and also met in a roundtable seminar with the MFA program at Whittier Studios. Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic, the world’s leading art blogazine. He writes and lectures about contemporary art, performance, multiculturalism, politics, the internet, literature, [...]

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  • February
  • 10
  • 2015

Coming from varied backgrounds, fields of study and interests, all 6 of these artists utilize photography in uniquely varied approaches. An undeniable sense of the exploration of identity and place can be felt throughout these works Whether thinking of place as a jumping point for the fascination that it can inspire, or through an approach [...]

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  • February
  • 4
  • 2015

Since the year 2005 North Carolina native and MFA candidate, Preston Drum has been painting on old photographs, junk mail, and scraps of paper. These works, referred to as POSTCARD paintings, primarily because of their size and shape have assumed many forms including portraiture, landscape and still life. Through this image making process, Preston has wrestled [...]

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  • February
  • 3
  • 2015

Last week, spring 2015 Graduate candidates each presented their Thesis and Exhibition Project Proposals to the MCAD community for consideration and response in lieu of the upcoming MCAD MFA Thesis Exhibition. There will be more works presented at the upcoming MCAD MFA Thesis Exhibition in May 2015. The class of 2015 candidates are: Mengqian ‘Dream’ Chen, Illustration [...]

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  • February
  • 3
  • 2015

Nicholas Rivers, drawing and painting ’16, currently has an exhibition, The Catalog, in Library Gallery at MCAD. The show is on display now through February 7th with a closing reception on Friday, February 6th, noon to 2pm. “The Catalog is an installation utilizing Library Card Catalog Cards. The MCAD Library has been giving these cards away. My work as a visual artist focuses [...]

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  • January
  • 30
  • 2015

Luisa Rivera’s (Illustration ’15) work was featured in the Global Section for Variety Magazine. The story is about Costa Rica trying to get a into the runaway production from Hollywood. To see more of Luisa’s work: http://www.luisarivera.cl/ For more articles from Variety: Variety Magazine

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  • January
  • 20
  • 2015

Culture have been long understood as being part of an economy in producing material goods and services, also social relations. And consumer goods has always been reflective of the social fabric of a community / society. This November at Artinformal, Mervy Pueblo creates a situation with appropriated local material goods, to address identity politics through [...]

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  • January
  • 17
  • 2015

MCAD MFA alumnus Kyle Harabedian (comic art 2013) recently completed a privately commissioned, large-scale mural. The client was interested in creating a unique and fun family portrait and contacted Kyle after seeing his work online. The composition is inspired by a famous 1952 photograph of a theater audience taken at the premiere of the film [...]

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  • January
  • 14
  • 2015

The Bell Museum Resident Artist Research Project offers artists an exclusive opportunity to engage with University researchers and scientific collections while exploring the application of art as a medium for interpreting science in the public realm. MCAD MFA alumni Sreekishen (Sree) Nair (Sculpture ’14) is selected for Resident Artist for the Fall of 2015. Sreekishen (Sree) Nair is a visual artist [...]

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  • December
  • 29
  • 2014

43 MCAD MFA graduate students have rocked the night! The 4th Open Studio Night featured the class of 2015 and 2016 with a wide range of majors, including animation, comics, drawing and painting, filmmaking, graphic design, illustration, installation, photography, performance, printmaking, paper and book-making, and sculpture. The MFA program sincerely appreciates your participating and support. [...]

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  • December
  • 16
  • 2014

Residents of the Twin Cities won’t have to go far to see the fabulous work of Greta McLain ’12, MFA. McLain is behind the gorgeous new art on the Franklin Avenue Lightrail bridge as well as several murals around Minneapolis. Her upcoming projects include painting a mural on Folwell School. Check out McLain’s blog to keep up [...]

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  • December
  • 15
  • 2014

Born in California, Matthew Brandt received his BFA from the Cooper Union in New York and his MFA from UCLA. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles. Brandt’s first solo museum exhibition, sticky/dusty/wet, was recently on view at the Columbus Museum of Art and has now traveled to the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art. [...]

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  • December
  • 11
  • 2014

American photographer, Liz Deschenes, recently hosted a two-hour class about her work at MCAD and gave critiques on undergrad and graduate students’ work. For more information, please visit: http://www.miguelabreugallery.com/LizDeschenes.htm http://whitney.org/Exhibitions/2012Biennial/LizDeschenes http://bombmagazine.org/article/6428/liz-deschenes

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  • December
  • 10
  • 2014

Just two days away! The MCAD MFA 4th Annual Open Studio Night 2014 will be happening this Friday. The evening will include live student performances, music throughout the evening, and light refreshments.The public is invited to explore this creative oasis and meet the visual artists in their studio environments. Guests are encouraged to discuss the [...]

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  • December
  • 10
  • 2014

This year, Open Studio Night has a little something special in store for our visitors: a raffle! Buy a ticket (or few) and be entered to win either a unique piece of art from someone in the MCAD MFA program or a donation of their time and services. All proceeds will be going to make [...]

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  • December
  • 5
  • 2014

Luisa Rivera is an illustrator who explores the boundaries between illustration and fine arts, and she creates work that reconnects “aspects of our existence that we are forgetting”. Recently, Rivera had a solo exhibition, things behind the sun, in Library Gallery at MCAD. Please enjoy the photos of the reception, and visit her website for more [...]

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  • December
  • 5
  • 2014

Forty-three artists and designers are forging the new face of contemporary art and design, investigating new approaches to their creative practices, and doing this in an environment that nurtures innovation, ambition, and dynamism across disciplines such as animation, comics, drawing and painting, filmmaking, graphic design, illustration, installation, photography, performance, printmaking, paper and book-making, and sculpture. [...]

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  • November
  • 29
  • 2014

AIGA Minnesota recently held its premier event and the largest regional design conference, Design Camp, this October at a lodge in northern Minnesota. This event sets the standard for design conferences across the country. MFA students trekked north for the three-day conference that included an atypical conference structure, mixing indoor and outdoor activities with both [...]

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  • November
  • 24
  • 2014

A photograph by MCAD MFA alumni Xuancheng Zhang (Graphic Design ’14) is on display in the Evergreen Association of Fine Arts’ (EAFA) 39th Annual Open Juried Exhibition. EAFA is an association that seeks to promote public appreciation in creative art, assist with charitable projects, and help provide art education. EAFA 39th Annual Open Juried Show On view through [...]

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  • November
  • 20
  • 2014

Congratulations to our second-year student, Luisa Rivera (Illustration ‘ 15). Luisa Rivera’s painting Wolf Moon was selected as a winner in Latin American Illustration 3 competition. The competition was created by AI-AP, a website dedicated to annual competitions, juried image collections, and events. “Wolf Moon is a diptych I created as a personal work. As an overall concept, I created a scene [...]

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  • November
  • 18
  • 2014

Thanks to WorkArt Fellows  from Germany to give MFA program studio visits on Monday, November 3rd, also touring our facilities as part of a WorkART Fellows visit organized by the Center for German and European Studies at the University of Minnesota. About the WorkART Fellowship Program: “Piloted in 2011, the WorkART Fellowship Program provides opportunities for undergraduate and graduate [...]

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  • November
  • 13
  • 2014

As the nights grow longer, spooks and specters, spirits and saints return to join the living. This MFA exhibition features work from a variety of disciplines inspired by the spooky and spiritual sides of the season. https://www.facebook.com/events/307620729444886/

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  • November
  • 13
  • 2014

Current MFA candidate Bradley Cook, Print Paper Book 16’, recently presented his new work, Fragments, in his critique class. “My goal as an artist is to provide the viewer with new ways to experience familiar environments. I utilize dimension and perspective alluding to parallel realities and the possibility of alternative perceptions. In these fleeting interactions, [...]

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  • November
  • 11
  • 2014

Recently, MFA students attended an exhibition opening, Tokyo Type Directors Club Exhibition, at Concordia University in Saint Paul. “The Tokyo Type Directors Club is one of the most prestigious organizations in the fields of typography and graphic design. Its annual competition is a touchstone for the world’s leading art directors, designers and typographic masters. Unique among [...]

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  • November
  • 10
  • 2014

We are pleased to announce that Timothy Hamilton (Sculpture and Printmaking, ’15) was recently featured as a visiting artist at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Invited to lecture to undergraduate students, Hamilton also installed a new work in their gallery “A Clean, Poorly Lighted Space” and took some time for studio visits with selected students. Hamilton [...]

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  • November
  • 6
  • 2014

2015 MFA Thesis Exhibition

2015 MFA Thesis Exhibition

MFA Thesis Exhibition Catalog

MFA PROGRAM OVERVIEW VIDEO

Student Profile Videos

MFA Print Portfolio