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MFA/apprenticeship programs

The discussion on this thread has reminded me of the similar quandry of
those who are interested in printmaking.The Tamarind Lithographic Program
was created
to provide an apprenticeship type program to train master printers.  Many
of the same arguments were given, and can still be made, for a complete
emersion in the craft of printing lithographs by hand from plate and stone.
The student in this kind of program is extremely well trained in the path
to "Master Printer"  Most MFA programs will never aproach that level of
training.  The more typical MFA program in printmaking will provide good
training and usually good facilities but in a Liberal Arts Context, and
that is a big "but".  Printmaking in the U.S. reflects the American
philosophy of "do it yourself", and the idea that the creative process
extends from concept throughout the various stages of creation. I believe
that this idea of total control of the creative process is  one of the
rationales behind the MFA programs in Book Arts as well.  The liberal arts
programs (should ) stress the system of systems.  In doing this the subject
area is educating far beyond the subject.  (This is fortunate because many
of my students end up as highly sought after carpenters, set builders,
costume designers, etc.)
I was discouraged from pursuing an MFA but persisted.  I feel that my
education really began at that level.  I am also fortunate because many
states have passed laws requiring a 60 hr. graduate degree, in studio
techniques that means a MFA ( in the US).  I would not trade my education
for anything.  I have reccomended the Tamarind  program, and know many who
trained there.  It , and other apprenticeship programs like it, are for
some, ideal, for others not so good.  Cheerfully sent from the midst of
stacks of final projects waiting to be graded-- Charlie J.

Artist/Teacher, and musician, who loves carving wood and making prints
from copper, stone and  wood and drawing and clawhammer
banjo,fiddle,mandolin, and flamenco guitar, and...

Charles D. Jones
Art Department
Box 13001 SFA station
Stephen F.Austin St.Univ.
Nacogdoches, Texas 75961

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