Frequently Asked Questions | Department of Art & Performing Arts

Frequently Asked Questions

Emphasis will be on student-centric learning. Projects, submissions, and critiques as opposed to closed examinations will be the means of assessment. Assessment of work and research material is structured to enhance creative development to the fullest potential of the individual student. The assessments will provide an indication of  the guidance required and serve to monitor the student’s progress. The core courses will be subjected to formative and subsequently summative assessments. The electives will be for the most part formatively assessed in order to identify special strengths and interests and to guide future individual development.

Interdisciplinary collaborations in affiliation with students/ faculty of other departments or schools within or outside the University would be encouraged.

Graduates from this program will go on to practice as artists, whose manifestation of ideas and their production is a valuable part of a culturally rich society. Their practice will be informed by current social and political discourses, and nurtured by a global outlook as well as a familiarity with local histories and knowledge.

Art graduates will be equipped to undertake commissions, to direct and manage community arts initiatives and projects.

The creative arts sector, through taking on significant roles in museums, theatre, film, crafts, and art galleries, offers a wide scope in terms of a range of opportunities in self-employment and employment within these fields.

The areas of art education, art therapy and community art projects offer more socially and educationally focused careers. Arts administration and management would give an alternative perspective to Art graduates.

The artistic flair of Fine Art graduates is well recognized in roles where the visual image is paramount, such as in advertising and marketing, exhibition design, publishing and illustrating businesses.

Art is also often a solitary pursuit. The graduate should also have a good idea of how to motivate him/herself and research ideas, materials and equipment. It can take time to establish oneself as an artist, and students would learn to acquire qualities such as patience, tenacity, and singularity of purpose while building up credible bodies of work.

(a) Knowledge and Understanding

Students will, at the end of the MFA program be expected to have a thorough knowledge of Contemporary Fine Art practice. They will be equipped to critically appraise both traditional as well as contemporary approaches to art in order to resolve technical, aesthetic and conceptual issues. They would develop a self-critical approach to their work as well as to current cultural production, and a deep understanding of the relationship between theory and practice, which would enable them to better evaluate their synergy. They would gain proficiency in communicating their ideas to their intended audience using the visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field. The development of their cognitive and thinking skills would enable them to undertake independent and sustained research and analysis of history, theory and practice. They would be in a position to approach visual art as an intellectual and experimental practice that is rooted in a specific time and place.

(b) Practical Skills

The MFA graduates would be capable of producing a substantial and confident body of work suitable for pursuing further research in their chosen field. They would gain experience in utilizing and integrating numerous creative platforms in making their work meaningful. They will have the ability to make work of a high professional standard, with in-depth application, grasp and perception of their specialization and with an advanced level of individual responsibility towards creative, technical and organizational skills. The students will have the intellectual capacity to research, plan, design, fabricate, and complete work using a variety of processes and settings.

(c) Management and communication skills

Students will learn to work with a high level of responsibility towards themselves and others, especially when working with communities outside of the art field. They would be in a position to understand and be sensitive to their ethos and beliefs. They will learn to respond to problems by autonomously amalgamating data and communicating the information positively in order to find solutions. They will learn to successfully work within groups towards set goals. Through the community projects and collaborative practices that they will be introduced to, they will develop the ability to motivate others, negotiate outcomes in professional and academic situations and work towards creating change.

Guidance in the practical aspects of art-making will be offered in the individual studios and the workshops. The central strategy would be studio-based teaching and learning with emphasis on personal contact with faculty and peers. Studio related work can be executed outside the physical environs of the studio, in workshops and facilities outside the campus. Studio spaces  are meant primarily for experimentation, execution and finishing of artworks and informal peer- assisted learning.

Related contextual studies integrated with the development of studio practice will be taught through the seminar courses and additional guest lectures, workshops, visits to eminent artists’ studios, excursions, and study tours.

The minimum entry qualifications for the MFA programme are:

A BFA degree or equivalent qualifications. Applicants must also have a portfolio of work demonstrating the necessary skills and aptitude. Applications from international students with relevant qualifications are welcomed.

Candidates from related creative fields such as Communication/ Design/ Architecture/ Liberal Arts etc. is considered on the basis of their portfolio, aptitude, approach, and performance during the interview.

Candidates from other backgrounds are considered on the same basis.

A student having a diploma in an equivalent stream may also be admitted on merit for a Masters degree program.

He/she shall have to complete extra credits over and above the required number of Credits. These courses may be taken from art theory, courses being offered each semester.

These credits can be taken concurrently with the MFA program and may be completed within the two year period or an extra semester may be taken to complete the above.

The candidate's portfolio will be assessed on the basis of a propensity for experimentation, material understanding. In the interview, the prospective students must display conceptual clarity and an ability to articulate their ideas. Since the focus of the program is on research, experimentation and on cultivating innovative art practices, candidates need to display a capacity to take their creative development to newer levels. They need to display a disposition to deepen, broaden and accelerate their growth as professionals. Drawing upon expert artistic, theoretical and technical support provided at SNU, they are expected to display a high level of commitment to the programme.

The candidates will have to submit (on line/hard copy) applications that can be downloaded from the University web-site.

The completed application form will have to be supported by:

1)   A statement of intent (500 words) in English or any Indian language

2)   Curriculum Vitae

3) 20 images of a minimum of 5-7 works.

Based on the application and a review of the documentation of work, a shortlist will be drawn up by the faculty. Shortlisted applicants will be invited for an interview with work samples.

As it is likely that theory would be taught mostly in English, applicants lacking an adequate knowledge of the language will have to take an extra course in reading, writing and comprehension.

Induction courses to acquaint students with various media (hardware and software) will be conducted by the respective technicians of the wood, metal, ceramic and digital media workshops and occasionally by the faculty.

Each course may be linked to the various labs that the Department of Art will have to offer.

1.   Photography and Digital Printing

2.   Video

3.   Sound

4.   Wood

5.   Metal

 (If, say, a student with no initial experience of photography wishes to develop those skills then he/she can take up hours at the Photography lab independently. They will be no credit given for time spent in learning a skill at the lab).

The MFA at SNU emphasizes praxis. Theory and practice are given equal importance. The students are given studios, project rooms and well-equipped workshops for hands-on work. The theory component has courses where they are expected to participate in seminars which involve the student or faculty-led presentations followed by discussions. They would provide opportunities for formal and informal dialogue and would direct communication skills and critical thinking towards developing a discursive approach to art-making. Students are required to present their work within the context of the seminar, studio and project-room critiques to a group of peers, faculty as well as the invited faculty of relevant departments.