MFA in Art Writing call for applications

MFA in Art Writing call for applications

School of Visual Arts (SVA)

Art Writing faculty member Emmanuel Iduma. Photo: Cindy Steiler.

December 4, 2017
MFA in Art Writing call for applications

Early decision deadline February 1, 2018
School of Visual Arts (SVA)
MFA Art Writing
132 West 21 Street
New York, NY 10010

Art Writing faculty member Emmanuel Iduma on his teaching:

“For the first writing practicum in the MFA Art Writing Program, I foreground the question of what good writing about art is, and can become. The weekly seminars culminate in readings and exercises that probe the forms in which writers write, and the milieu in which their writing takes place. In the class, criticism is considered a genre of literature, and inclined towards traditions of writing that privilege lucidity over jargon. My goal is to assist the students to cultivate a personal voice and to pay serious attention to the craft of writing, without giving up intellectual rigor.

The course is designed to clarify and strengthen the critical eye and voice of the students—to sharpen their way of seeing and their way of telling. Each week, whether discussing a piece of writing or responding to an artwork, I encourage them to think of the trinity formed among a writer, a reader, and a work of art, and to write with conviction.

I am honored to facilitate these conversations in the SVA classroom, since my approach to craft was honed during my time as a student there.

I have recently been awarded a 2017 Creative Capital | Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant to develop short profiles of Nigerian artists in Nigeria and the United States. The language of visual art, in the way I approach it, is framed by its relationship to a historical dilemma. My urgent work is to consider the historical predicament of Nigeria as a postcolonial nation, through the vision of artists, for whom the nation as a concept is suspect, and who find facetious any expression of collective identity.

It is to contemporaneity I hope my work is indebted: to art writing that converses with time as circular, rather than linear. I sense that the cogency of my work will have to do with how it relates to the lives that enter mine. Often I recall the story of a little girl who, when asked by her mother to put herself in the position of others, responded, ‘But if I put myself in their position, where do they go?’ To occupy my position in full, while making space for those I write about to occupy theirs as well. These ideas resolve in the image, in the magical and imaginative endeavor of artists and the process of art making.”

MFA program in Art Writing
The MFA program in Art Writing at the School of Visual Arts in New York is now accepting applications for the Fall 2018 term. Generous departmental scholarships, as well as other forms of assistance, are available for successful applicants. Contact us at, or T (212) 592 2408 for further information or to set up an appointment. The early decision deadline is February 1, 2018.

In addition to our exceptional core faculty—David Levi Strauss (Chair), Nancy Princenthal, Jennifer Krasinski, Emmanuel Iduma, Dejan Lukic, Charles Stein, Debra Bricker Balken, Kaelen Wilson-Goldie, Siddhartha Mitter, and Lynne Tillman—we invite many other writers, critics, philosophers, editors, artists, and art historians in each year to give lectures and meet with our students individually and in small groups.

To see sample programs, faculty bios, news, the online journal Degree Critical, recordings of our popular lecture series, and admissions procedures, go to

Contact: T +(212) 592 2408 / artcrit [​at​] / artwriting [​at​]

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School of Visual Arts (SVA)
December 4, 2017

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