I will say that one of the critiques that I have of the MFA program that I am currently working on is that we seem to be confined by medium. My graduate ceramics professor sent out an email last spring stating that we were only allowed to work with clay in ceramics class, not in sculpture class or drawing class. While this attitude is most likely created by squabbles within the art department, I do find it vexing. Shouldn't the student's development as an artist be the primary goal, especially in the graduate program? Isn't this goal far more important than the development of skills in particular mediums, especially because, as graduate students, shouldn't we already have a fairly large skill set?
As artists, isn't it key that we not pigeonhole ourselves into a particular skill set? (Of course, my graduate ceramics professor is also always telling me not to label myself as a ceramic artist, not to limit myself like that. She also lead a class last summer on mixed media, encouraging us to combine our ceramics with other media. I just don't get it.)
One of the things that I think is really valuable about this MFA experience is it is helping me to develop my personal philosophy as an artist. I'm starting to look at the skills that I have in various art media as tools that I am able to use to make what ever vision that I have for my artwork a reality. While I prefer to use some skills more than others, just like I pull out some physical tools to use on my artwork more than others, all of these are important and valuable.
I don't know. I guess it would just be nice to feel that I was being encouraged to create and explore, not fulfill a certain number of assignments.
So, there's my gripe. I hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving. I am thankful for this opportunity to attend graduate school, by the way ;)