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.


  • MFA in Studio Art Class of 2013 - 90% are employed with 8 of 10 graduates, or 80% holding positions in their field of study. Importantly, one year after graduation, the majority of MFA alumni appear to be maintaining active private studio practices as well
  • See what our alumni have been up to at Alumni Accomplishments
  • Daniel Tucker, Graduate Program Manager, Social & Studio Practice, has been awarded a grant from the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage to curate an upcoming exhibition and event series.

  • Read about Daniel Tucker in the February 27, 2015 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Daniel was a contributing artist for Greg Sholette’s “Imaginary Archive” installation at UPenn’s Institute for Contemporary Art’s Traces in the Dark exhibition in Philadelphia from February 4 - March 22 with an opening reception on February 4.  Daniel was a panelist on “Ethics of Social Practice” at the College Art Association (CAA) in New York on February 12.  On March 21, Daniel will be a panelist on “Community-Based Practice” and a mentor to young authors through the Oklahoma Art Writing & Curatorial Fellowship at Oklahoma City Museum of Art in Oklahoma City.  Daniel will also be a workshop leader at Open Engagement conference in Pittsburgh, PA in April.
  • Recent guest critics for our end of term critiques have included Anthony Romero, Mark Boswell, John Muse, Zoe Cohen, Eileen Neff and Kate Stewart.
  • Moore’s Studio Conversations series has recently hosted visitors such as Janet Echelman, Nato Thompson, Zoe Strauss, Liam Gillick, and Tom Marioni to name only a few. The ongoing series features leading artists, curators and critics discussing artistic issues and practice across media and international boundaries. The conversations are intended to address the emerging globalization and internationalization of the fine arts and what this means in the 21st century. For more information on this series visit our Studio Conversations archive. 
  • As part of the MFA in Studio Arts program, the second fall term requires work with an external mentor who meets with the student on at least three occasions for regular discussion, studio visits and feedback. Past artists serving as external mentors have included: (2010) Janice Smith, Gillian Jagger, Mathew Clay Robinson, Virginia Maksymowicz; (2011) Frederick Herr, Amy Walsh, Sharon Louden; (2012) Janet Echelman, Stacy Levy, Meggan Bridge, Robert Mars, Sharon Louden, Lisa Sylvester, Kate Stewart, Amy Walsh, Lisa Sylvester, Scot White; (2013) Judith Schaecter, Margery Amdur, Chris Klapper; (2014) Jeanne Jaffe, Meridith Grimsley, Margery Amdur, Kate Stewart.



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