UNLV MFA ART Call for Applications for Fall 2022

Create Vegas MFA Art Flyer
Oct. 13, 2021

Application deadline February 1, 2022


The UNLV Department of Art invites self-directed artists and designers to apply for the Fall 2022 MFA Program in Art. We are seeking applications that present unique perspectives, rigorous artistic skill and research, the potential for dynamic growth and expansive explorations of medium, form and content from artists who want to participate in the dialogues and creation of new knowledge within contemporary art.

The MFA Experience
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 private studio space with 24-hour access. Throughout the program students conduct practice-based and text-based research, presenting their work in studio visits, exhibitions, MFA Open Studios, and group critique with faculty, peers, visiting artists, curators, scholars, and community members. By the end of the program, each MFA candidate will achieve a critical awareness of their work within a broad and diverse context of contemporary culture, art, design, history and theory, culminating in a solo public graduation thesis project at the Donna Beam Gallery their final semester. Our MFA Art alumni exhibit, curate, write, teach, and work in leadership roles in cultural institutions and as small business owners. 

Graduate Assistantships
Applicants may apply for Graduate Assistantships in teaching, research, and professional development which 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. Assistantship packages include tuition waivers, substantial stipends, and healthcare insurance. 

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. Students gain valuable professional development and work experience while connecting with community partners through Graduate Internships. 

Las Vegas
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: The Neon Museum, The Black Mountain Institute, Rogers Art Loft, Area 51, Meow Wolf, The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, Michael Heizer’s Double Negative and City, Hoover Dam, and 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, Los Angeles, and the coast are also easy day or weekend trips. 

The Department of Art & UNLV
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.

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.  

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.

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. Vaccinations will be required for all UNLV faculty, staff, and students  as condition of Spring 2022 employment and registration. For more on the university’s vaccination and safety requirements in response to COVID-19, please visit this link. 

How to Apply
Applications are 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, 2022. 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, the 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_year.pdf  ie. J_Chavez_MFA_2022.pdf 

These materials should be emailed to Wendy Kveck at art.gradcoord@unlv.edu with the subject heading “Fall 2022 MFA Art Application” no later than February 1, 2022. 

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

November 15, Virtual Information Session 6-7PM
Learn more and RSVP: tinyurl.com/mfa1115
December 3, In-Person Information Session 5:30-6:30PM followed by MFA Open Studios where potential applicants can visit the studios and meet the current cohort. 
Learn more and RSVP: tinyurl.com/mfa1203

Important Links:

UNLV MFA Art program
UNLV Department of Art
UNLV Graduate College
UNLV Graduate College Admissions
What is a Graduate Assistantship and how to apply
Financial Resources
Museums and Galleries
Visiting Artist Lecture Series and Artists-in-Residence
COVID-19 Updates
UNLV Land Acknowledgement Statement 


To see recent MFA work and learn about Fall 2021 MFA Open Studios, visit the MFA Curatorial Project Vegas Institute for Contemporary Engagement: unlvmfa.art 


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