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Oct. 22, 2021


Application deadline February 1, 2021

The UNLV Department of Art invites self-directed artists and designers to apply for the Fall 2021 MFA Program in Art. The three-year Master of Fine Arts (MFA) is studio-based and research-focused with an emphasis on interdisciplinarity, community engagement, and professional development. Each MFA student is provided with studio space. Graduate Assistantships in teaching, research, and professional development financially support and advance students who have rare opportunities to engage in cutting-edge research, contribute to the development of curriculum, manage studios and shops, and work alongside community members, local organizations, and other departments on campus. Awarded assistantship packages include tuition waivers and stipends. As the culmination of the program, each MFA candidate produces a public graduation thesis project.

Through academic and public programming, the Department of Art collaborates with UNLV’s Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art, a network of campus galleries, and The College of Fine Arts. The College of Fine Arts boldly launches visionaries not only in art and design, but also in dance, film, theater, set design, entertainment design, music, and architecture. Graduate students have the opportunity to work with a diverse art/art history faculty whose work engages a variety of media, including site-based installation, sculpture, ceramics, photography, painting, drawing, printmaking, performance, intermedia, graphic design, and digital art. The Department regularly presents visiting speakers and hosts artists-in-residence.

Las Vegas is becoming a center for inventive, resourceful, transformative art and design practice. One of the most affordable big cities in the US, it is a cultural crossroads and dynamic metropolitan region, home to 1.5 million people. Of note in the area: Area 51, The Believer Festival, The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, Double Negative, Hoover Dam, Meow Wolf, The Neon Museum, Seven Magic Mountains. Beyond the spectacle of the Las Vegas Strip, the surrounding desert landscape is jaw-dropping; it is an easy drive to Red Rock National Conservation Area, Valley of Fire State Park, and Gold Butte National Monument which includes cultural sites sacred to the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians and the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe. The Grand Canyon, California and the coast are also easy day or weekend trips. 

Like other cities around the world, Las Vegas has been impacted by COVID-19. UNLV is working hard to monitor COVID-19 trends, follow state and federal guidelines, work together as a community, and maintain the community's ongoing health and well-being. At this point, the University is taking a hybrid approach to instruction, with some courses taught remotely and some courses taught in-person, though this could change. Plans for Fall 2021 are still in development. For more on the Department’s safety procedures and scheduling due to COVID-19, please visit this link. 

Our campus community cares deeply about the social justice and Black Lives Matter movements for change, and as a campus that prides itself on the diversity of our population, UNLV aims to be at the forefront of efforts to increase access and opportunity for individuals of color and others traditionally underrepresented in higher education. 

The Las Vegas arts and culture communities, the UNLV College of Fine Arts, and the Department of Art have been creative, resilient, resourceful, and generous, working to support one another, collaborate, and express empathy and ingenuity in momentous times.

Founded in 1957, UNLV is a public degree-granting institution of approximately 30,000 students and 3,500 faculty and staff that is recognized as “very high research activity” by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. UNLV is located on a 332-acre campus near the Las Vegas Strip. It has earned the title of one of the most diverse universities for undergraduates by U.S. News & World Report.  

The Department of Art strives to create a model for professional development in all areas of the arts, design, and relevant histories, to teach the diversity of culture and identity in the US and its democratic values, and to prepare graduates for success in competitive and evolving communities through access to cutting-edge fabrication equipment, new critical and creative contexts, and opportunities for exhibition, publication, discussion, and critique linked with partners in Las Vegas and beyond.

Please join us on December 10 at 4PM PT for a Graduate College/Department of Art Virtual Information Session to learn more about the MFA program and how to apply. Register here.

Applications available on the UNLV Graduate College website. The application for admission, annual application for graduate assistantship, 3 letters of recommendation and transcripts should be sent directly to the Graduate College by February 1, 2021. Additionally, the following application materials are required by the Department of Art: 

Department of Art MFA Application Supplemental Materials

To be considered for admission to the program, applicants must submit for approval items 1-3 as a single PDF: 

1) A written statement of intent (500-800 words). The statement of intent should describe the philosophy, motivations and objectives of your artistic research and discuss how the UNLV MFA Art Program and faculty, University community,  and time making art in Las Vegas will help you further your academic and career goals.   

2) Portfolio of 20 recent work samples which represent your strongest work from the past three years, with an emphasis on work from the past twelve months. Please submit high-quality images (jpeg files max dimension of 1024 px @ 72 dpi, up to 5MB each). We recommend submitting no more than 1-2 large images per page for ideal viewing. Under each image: title, medium, dimensions, date, and a 30-word max description, as applicable, for each work. Time-based or interactive media: please submit as a link (website link, vimeo or youtube channel link) and note that we will review up to 15 minutes of time-based work per applicant. Include title, media details, password for password protected videos, date, and a 35-word max synopsis, as applicable, for each work. 

3) Curriculum Vitae/Resume with relevant experience and education. 

4) Label PDF: first name_last name_2021.pdf  ie. J_Chavez_MFA_2021.pdf 

These materials should be emailed to Wendy Kveck at art.gradcoord@unlv.edu with the subject heading “Fall 2021 MFA Art Application” no later than February 1, 2021. 

Please direct questions to Wendy Kveck at art.gradcoord@unlv.edu

Please find more detailed information about the Department of Art here: https://www.unlv.edu/art

And the MFA program here: https://www.unlv.edu/degree/mfa-art. 

Selection criteria for graduate students include:

  • Potential for dynamic growth and leadership within the Department of Art, the College of Fine Arts, and the UNLV and Las Vegas communities; 

  • Artistic excellence: the work demonstrates exceptional research and skill in its execution; 

  • Content of the work: the artist presents a unique perspective and ambitious, creative exploration into formal and conceptual relationships within the work and a consideration of historical/ contemporary social, political, or cultural context. The artist poses interesting questions and transforms ideas into new forms that are productive, exciting and promising of future work; 

  • Professional experience. 

See the College Art Association’s guidelines on how to write an Artist’s Resume here.

Visit the MFA Curatorial Project Vegas Institute for Contemporary Engagement here: unlvmfa.art 

Social Media Links: Facebook. and @unlvtheear on Instagram