Beginning at RISD in fall 2022, a new MFA program in Illustration will invite students to reflect on their role as influential social actors—both within the profession and in the world. Emphasizing critical perspectives, artistic voice and visual literacy in the public realm, the two-year program looks toward the future of illustration and offers an opportunity for experienced visual communicators to turn their creative practice to the good of society and transformation of the field.
“The development of personal vision and approaches to practice equips illustrators to engage with critical social issues and contribute to the greater good,” says Illustration Department Head Eric Telfort 05 IL. Students in the program will take on increasingly complex projects oriented around critical issues in illustration theory and practice, with elective courses across the college supporting core seminars and studios—all together encouraging students to engage in focused, personally meaningful study.
The experience culminates in a final thesis project that builds on work completed throughout the program. In completing the thesis, degree candidates will explore ideas, methods and modes of expression that suit their goals as socially engaged artists and communicators.
Informed by RISD’s overall mission and values, the Illustration MFA is based on a set of core beliefs about illustration practice and advanced study in the field. Faculty in the program proactively promote these values through teaching, mentorship and practice within studio and classroom spaces that are safe, inclusive and positive for all students.
“In launching this program,” Telfort says, “we look forward to empowering the next generation of visual communicators to push the field in positive new directions.”
Visit risd.edu for additional details, info sessions and to learn how to apply.