Wilson MFA Program: A Student’s Perspective

In passing through Wilson College campus during the month of July, you probably saw the usual Frisbee golfers and wedding guests perusing the lawn, prospies and admins zipping from one air-conditioned building to the next. Less explicably, you may have spotted individuals wandering around with motley frames, large rolls of plastic film, and bags of cut grass. Or perhaps someone swinging from a branch, crawling across the auditorium floor or spinning alone on a classroom table. Introducing the first class of Wilson’s two-year MFA in Choreography and Visual Arts!

After several years of envisioning what such an interdisciplinary MFA might look like and how Wilson College could host such a program in a mutually enhancing relationship, it finally launched its inaugural residential intensive this summer. The stellar faculty brought together manifested a desire to include somatic awareness, new media, mindfulness, and a spacious trans-disciplinary approach to art making, well grounded in today’s complex art scenes. 

Six artist students came on board, leaping into the unknown territory that a first-year run inevitably is, despite all the experience and planning that goes into it. Distinctions between visual and performing artists quickly blurred: classes were taken together and a fertile cross-pollination of concepts and practices soon opened new doors for each of us.

A program does not really exist until students and faculty come together and begin making their magic, which this month truly was. I was particularly touched by each person’s willingness to consider novelty in human interactions as much as in art-making. Days unfolded with feedback and readjustments, everyone working together to clarify the direction of the program as well as orient our own artwork. With the necessary deconstruction of everyone’s assumptions, it was a creative month in every way possible: generous and generative. I’m thrilled.

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