MFA in Studio Art


Moore’s low-residency MFA in Studio Art emphasizes rigorous and immersive study in fine art studio practice and challenges the artist to confront both practical and philosophical concerns facing artists today. Critical dialogue with faculty, visiting artists/critics and other graduate candidates are key components within group and individual critiques, seminars, lecture courses and in independent graduate tutorials.

The program encourages artists to work across a variety of media, forms and techniques by providing candidates access to all of Moore’s facilities including, but not limited to, painting, photography, printmaking, ceramics, video, digital fabrication, metals, and textiles.


Art today is boundless – the skills of image-making, the crafting of material into new forms, the framing of ideas and focal points, the research that exceeds the limits of disciplines, the gestures that make experiences and objects beautiful, the poetics that capture and then release such complexities – and it is exhilarating. And yet so many aspects of how it is taught, where it takes place, and who facilitates it remain stuck and bounded.

I was drawn to art because I want to undo that stasis in the world and in the imagination through crafting, formulating and even answering challenging questions. Doing that as part of a unique learning community at Moore is one of the ways I have chosen to go about that. In many ways that makes running a graduate department much like an art project – assembling the people, framing the ideas, transforming the raw material. In terms of people, we have hired some of the most thoughtful and talented people in the city and nation to work in this program as faculty, we’ve created partnerships with public art organizations in Philly and artist residencies beyond the city limits, and found ways to bring additional thinkers, organizers and artists together with our candidates through symposia and visiting critics. But one crucial element of this project remains in flux – keeping us agile and dynamic - and that is you, the potential candidates, who have to decide if Moore is right for them.

Deciding to go to graduate school is bound up with many of life’s most challenging questions: what is a graduate education worth; am I ready for the intensity of school after years away from school; what will happen to my other responsibilities and commitments when I am in class all day; what will I do after school; what art worlds do I want to be a part of; how should I navigate concepts like ‘the creative economy’; is my work serious enough; am I committed enough?

Making art today is, similarly, bound up with many of life’s most challenging questions: What can art do; what audiences should I address; what are the limits of art; can art save lives; what is contemporary; what is universal; what is useful; what is pleasurable; what is ethical?

At Moore we will do a great deal of growing, asking, making, learning and asking together – I look forward to it and to working with you and your questions.

In Tandem,

Daniel Tucker, Assistant Professor & Graduate Program Director Social & Studio Practices department