MFA: Master of Fine Arts

In recent years Houston Baptist University is experiencing a marvelous resurrection of a liberal arts focus and a subsequent growth in the fine arts.  Since 2006, the HBU Department of Visual Art has enjoyed a flurry of creative research activity and meteoric growth while the leadership at HBU has supported a significant increase in resources for the School of Fine Art.  The senior director of the Department of Visual Art, Mr. Michael Collins, a well-recognized artist and teacher, has shepherded the transformation of HBU’s fledgling Department of Art into a world-class School of Art. We also have a new Artist-in-Residence program for our finest full-time faculty, and our Visiting Artist program allows exceptional artists to work in our studios, interact with and teach our students, and form a creative synergy in the Department of Visual Art.

The Artist-In-Residency program has three Artists in Residence, Michael CollinsJim Edwards and James Busby. In addition the program has a fine Gallery directed and curated by Jim Edwards, former co-curator of the Pop Exhibition at the Menil Museum and well known expert on Art of the American West and specifically Texas Art. Our lead senior faculty in the Department of Visual Arts is well recognized as award winning all participating in large numbers of invitational museum and top gallery exhibitions around the world. This experience in both the studio and also teaching excellence in the studio classroom favorably places our new MFA program as an excellent Christian alternative to larger programs in our nation, which have lost the focus of quality in many of the traditional areas of studio research.

Our MFA program offers focused study in Painting, Drawing, Printmaking, Ceramics, and Sculpture and also is supported by graduate classes in Gallery and Museum Practices. The learning objectives and outcomes for the Master of Fine Arts student include the student’s acquisition of graduate-level technical proficiency in their studio disciplines.  Additionally, the MFA student will obtain expertise about the contemporary art world, eras of art history and about gallery and museum practices.  Outcomes will include the ability to understand the creative process, develop their own artistic styles, and create art that is reflective of social and spiritual enlightenment.

Each graduate accepted is offered a studio space on campus and the chance at teaching assistantships as well as full scholarships for study in the MFA program. With both BFA and MFA programs the Department of Visual Art at HBU is housed in a very impressive new state of the Art 44,000 square foot facility, which possesses fully equipped labs in printmaking, painting, drawing, ceramics, and sculpture as well as working studios for its full time art faculty.  This fusion of artist’s faculty members making art on campus fosters a closer creative community and an opportunity for graduates to fully engage their faculty team.

Accepted graduates in the MFA program will be offered creative and teaching assistantship opportunities in Germany where our university participates in the Artz Net Werk project in Hilmsen Germany. Graduates will have professional exhibition opportunities in Germany allowing them to have this unprecedented opportunity to create and exhibit their work in Europe while in the MFA program. Our fine Visiting Artist for sculpture and ceramics Hans Molzberger is a well-known German artist and aids in our creative activities in Germany.  This opportunity for summer work and teaching abroad is yet another unique feature of our MFA program.  The professional relationships, which this direct process of cultural immersion provides often opens new thinking and creative growth for professional and student artists alike.

In the final analysis our Christian philosophic base along with our on campus lead fine art graduate faculty marks the new MFA program at HBU as a special environment for any MFA applicant seeking a critical and caring environment to complete their professional fine art training. Our creative and sharing environment between faculty and student alike along with our study and exhibition abroad program in Germany offers a unique possibility for developing the Professional skills needed for any artist seeking a life in the professional Fine Arts realm.

The Program:

The HBU Master of Fine Arts (MFA) is a Christian-based, two-year studio program with specialization in the areas of two-dimensional studies (painting, drawing, printmaking) and three-dimensional studies (sculpture, ceramics). The program is housed in a brand new, world-class building with 5 state of the art classroom lab spaces and 18 student studios. The MFA is a terminal degree and the primary goal of graduate education in the visual arts is professional excellence!