MFA: Master of Fine Arts

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). MFA candidates accepted into the program are offered a studio space, teaching assistant experience as well as scholarships for study.

The Department of Visual Art, School of Fine Arts, is housed in the University Academic Center, a 44,000 square-feet, state-of-the-art 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 faculty members making art on campus fosters a closer creative community and an opportunity for graduates to fully engage with their faculty team.

The senior director of Art Programs and artist-in-residence, Mr. Michael Collins, is a well-recognized artist and teacher who has shepherded the development of the Master of Fine Arts program since its inception in 2011. Exhibiting on the national and international level, Mr. Collins provides MFA graduate students creative inspiration, as well as practical experience, in building a professional career.

Artist/curator-in-residence, Jim Edwards, directs rotating exhibits by senior regional artists in our 1,100-square-feet Contemporary Art Gallery. Mr. Edwards is the former co-curator of the Pop Exhibition at the Menil Collection, Houston, and is a well-known expert on Art of the American West, and specifically, Texas Art.

Kathy Bilyeu serves as Coordinator of the Studio Arts Program, School of Fine Art. A painter and printmaker, Ms. Bilyeu is also director of the 1,000-square-feet Fine Arts Museum. Both the Contemporary Art Gallery and the Fine Arts Museum allow MFA candidates to examine aspects of art history as well as contemporary art production in these dedicated spaces within the University Academic Center.

Additional art faculty members include Esther Delaquis-Baidoo, printmaking and painting, Hans Molzberger, ceramics and sculpture, and Joel Stanulonis, drawing and painting.

Our department chair, Tiffany Bergeron, is a printmaker and teaches art history, both online and in the classroom, as well as studio courses to our undergraduate BA/BFA candidates.

A number of excellent art adjuncts further enrich the program with their teaching, studio visits and exhibition schedules. Outside art professionals in many technical areas are invited to campus to conduct MFA Workshops on a rotating basis.

Our 60-hour MFA curriculum offers focused study in Painting, Drawing, Printmaking, Ceramics and Sculpture. In addition to studio courses, graduate seminars in “Writing In the Arts,” “Gallery and Museum Practices” and “Thesis/Portfolio Development,” as well as a sequential set of four art history courses, examining artists and related developments from the mid-1800s to the present day, complete the MFA curriculum.

The learning objectives and outcomes for the Master of Fine Arts student include the student’s acquisition of graduate-level technical proficiency in his or her studio disciplines. Outcomes include the ability to understand the creative process, the development of their own artistic styles, and creation of art that is reflective of social and spiritual enlightenment.

In all, our MFA program is 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. The graduate program at HBU is a special environment for any MFA applicant seeking a critical and caring environment to complete professional fine art training. Our creative and sharing environment between faculty and student alike offers a unique possibility for developing the skills needed for any artist seeking a life in the professional, Fine Arts realm.