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dreamingtree
10-08-2006, 06:33 PM
I wonder if you guys could give me your opinion on this. I am in the process of finishing up my BFA in Illustration (FINALLY!!!:clap:). I am looking into graduate programs in Illustration and one of the programs I found was the Academy of Art, and they even have an online program. Is there anyone here who is currently in this type of program? I know that the Academy of Art is a great school for Illustration and that is probably the only reason I am considering their online program. There are definitely some things that you would miss, in doing their program, like the interaction between artists and seeing how others approach their work, and getting good critiques on your work. I have a good resource of artists where I live that we all meet together two to three times a week and work from models and I would definitely keep doing that. But I don't know. Has anyone enrolled in their online programs, or looked into them here? And what does everyone else think about a distance graduate degree program? Let me know what you think.

zheni
10-12-2006, 03:48 PM
Hi dreamingtree
kim (kimeart) shared her experience with AAU in the forum "so do we have some new folks in here?" I am also looking into AAU for my MFA (online). Still can't decide whether to take the plunge! Anyone else out there have opinions?
zheni

holidayhanson
10-17-2006, 10:06 PM
I have recently talked to a teacher who is in the AA Online MFA for sculpture...she thought it would be difficult getting feedback and doing crits online but she says it is a really great way!!! People who usually would be to timid to speak out in classes or to a persons face find it really easy to leave commets. You actually get much more feedback from all your classmates than you would in a traditional class. Students post lots of pictures of work in progress and it can save a lot of time. And really in this age most of our work will ultimatly be presented online anyway. I would go for it...free your time to do your work when you need to do it and "go to class" when you have the time.

Good luck,

eric

zheni
10-27-2006, 11:57 PM
That is very encouraging input. In forums like this we certainly experience that sense of freedom to express ourselves with like minded (or not!) people. I know this may sound superficial, but I wonder what people will think if I tell them I got my MFA online. I suppose if my work is good it won't matter. :rolleyes: Has the time come that legit online education can get respect?

dreamingtree
10-29-2006, 07:01 PM
I think we are getting to that point. With technology and all that is available there really isn't any reason we shouldn't be able to. Like I said, I don't think I would even consider an online program if they weren't already an outstanding institution. There is still the opportunity for networking with other students which I think is an important factor. I have really looked into this program at the Academy of Art and I really feel that it is a solid program. I am really excited to get started. I have one semester for my BFA and then a small break over the summer and then I will start at AAU. I think you make a valid point about what to tell people though if they ask about the program or where you got your degree. Even with a solid program and all the technology involved I think if you told people that you got your degree online, people would question it. That is understandable. I know plenty of artists who have done distance art MFA's and I don't think people are as leary of those as an online one would be. So I plan on saying if it comes up that it was a distance degree. I have a good friend who just finished his MFA from Marywood University as a distance program. He would go for several weeks during the summer and also a couple of weeks around december and the rest of the time it was all done through technology, faxing, scanning, digital photos, with class interaction. He got a really solid education doing it that way. His work is top notch too though, so he hasn't any problems getting work. So your work is also going to play a huge part in all of it.

Rose Queen
10-29-2006, 07:20 PM
...I know this may sound superficial, but I wonder what people will think if I tell them I got my MFA online.
I don't think the question is superficial at all, but I also think it depends on why you're pursuing an MFA. If you're going to be an artist, I don't think it makes much difference, especially since many artists have no formal training at all. If you're going to want to teach in academia, it might make a difference.

I suspect online and correspondence schools are used to this question, tho, so I would suggest you pose it to AA and see what kind of response you get.



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nicanfhilidh
10-30-2006, 07:46 PM
I'm in the process of applying to the online MFA program. The school has organized chats where you can ask questions and this came up. The answer is, you don't have to say you got your MFA online unless you want to. It's an MFA from AAU, period, and an MFA from AAU is pretty prestigious. Of course, some nosy people will ask but I would imagine if your work is good enough it won't be an issue very much. I agree that it's in academia that it's most likely to be an issue, but if the program continues to be as successful as it has been so far, then that prejudice may not hold too much longer. Other art colleges are following in AAU's wake here; Savannah College of Art and Design, for one, has several of their bachelor's programs online already.

zheni
11-09-2006, 02:31 PM
Well, after much deliberation, I finally applied to Academy of Art U. for my MFA. Now I am really excited to start in January. I hope it will be the best of both worlds: a good deal of interaction with professors and other artists, while spending a lot less time commuting and more time working in the studio. I need to get more computer savvy, too! Here I come 21st century...

nicanfhilidh
11-10-2006, 10:37 AM
Well, after much deliberation, I finally applied to Academy of Art U. for my MFA. Now I am really excited to start in January. I hope it will be the best of both worlds: a good deal of interaction with professors and other artists, while spending a lot less time commuting and more time working in the studio. I need to get more computer savvy, too! Here I come 21st century...

zheni, that's great. Have they officially accepted you? My admissions counselor is out of the office, and I am still waiting to hear. If I get accepted, I probably will not start until the summer semester due to some uncertainty about my husband's job.

zheni
11-14-2006, 11:42 PM
nicanfhilidh: No I haven't heard yet. I have to get my portfolio together, too. I need to find a good photographer to make a CD for me. Did you send yours? Maybe we'll meet again someday in a class!

nicanfhilidh
11-15-2006, 10:38 AM
nicanfhilidh: No I haven't heard yet. I have to get my portfolio together, too. I need to find a good photographer to make a CD for me. Did you send yours? Maybe we'll meet again someday in a class!

I've gotten everything in - took my photos myself and sent my CD along wiith my resume. I'm just waiting to hear back from my advisor. I'll keep an eye out for you in class. I hope to study Fine Art - Figurative Painting.

Coquette
11-15-2006, 01:05 PM
I have a question I hope you guys won't mind answering. I also considered Academy of Art's online program before deciding to attend California State. There were two factors in my decision. First CSU is only about 10-15 minutes away from where I live. But the main reason I chose CSU is the cost factor. I was floored when I saw the cost of attending AA. I know financial aid is available, but at $16,480 estimated cost per year, That is quite a chunk of change. Compare that to my local state college at around $4,000 per year. ($1,500 tuition and $500 Books and materials per semester, full time) I may still consider AA for my MFA later when I get to that point if I can justify the cost. That is why I am asking the questions....

(1) How do you feel about the high cost of attending AA, (2) what do you feel the most important benefits of attending AA are for you, and (3) how did that play out in your decision instead of attending a local university?

Thanks for any reply. I know that this might be a little personal for some here, but I am honestly trying to make good decisions for my future and don't mean to offend. I'm just looking for honest advice.

Consuelo

nicanfhilidh
11-15-2006, 01:35 PM
(1) How do you feel about the high cost of attending AA, (2) what do you feel the most important benefits of attending AA are for you, and (3) how did that play out in your decision instead of attending a local university?

Thanks for any reply. I know that this might be a little personal for some here, but I am honestly trying to make good decisions for my future and don't mean to offend. I'm just looking for honest advice.

I'm glad to talk about it.

(1) How do you feel about the high cost of attending AA?

Obviously, it's the least attractive factor, but looking at tuition costs for other private art schools, AAU is in fact highly competitive, especially the online courses. The one private art school in my city, SCAD, is actually a couple thousand dollars more per semester than AAU. There are two state university MFA programs within commuting distance for me, which would be much cheaper, but these programs do not offer what I need. In addition to that, if I attended a local school, I'd have additional childcare and commuting costs that would add up pretty big. In the end, I'm not sure how much of a cost advantage there would be.

(2) what do you feel the most important benefits of attending AA are for you?

They offer an MFA in Figurative Painting, with an emphasis on core capabilities and a traditional approach. This is the exact opposite of the program in which I earned my BFA, where I left school knowing a lot about concept and art history and next to nothing about how to paint, other than to pick up a brush and push it around on the canvas. In addition, AAU offers the MFA online, which perfectly suits my life situation right now (I am a stay-at-home-mother to a 10-month-old son.)

(3) how did that play out in your decision instead of attending a local university?

The closest local university does not teach technique and they are very focused on concept and what they term "contemporary issues." I do not care about someone else's definition of "contemporary issues;" I only want to become the best painter I can be, and then use those skills to say what I want to say. What AAU offers, and how they offer it, is perfect for what I am looking for, and for me it is worth the gamble to take out those student loans to help myself get to a higher level.

Coquette
11-15-2006, 02:10 PM
Dorothy,

Thank you for a quick and honest reply!!

I can see where child care and commuting cost can add up, plus the time away from a little one can be difficult especially when they are so young.

I can't say that I know what the main focus of CSU is since January will start my first semester there (although not my first time attending college). I think it is a valid point to know if the focus is technique or as you say "contemporary issues". But I understand that college credit transfers to AA, so if I see that my program is not meeting my needs, I may revisit the option to attend AA to complete my BFA.

I would prefer though that it was not so expensive. But then again, I should check the cost of attending a local private school here in California and then compare cost.

Thanks again for your reply!!

Consuelo

nicanfhilidh
11-15-2006, 03:06 PM
I think it is a valid point to know if the focus is technique or as you say "contemporary issues".

I just want to reiterate this for anyone who may be considering art school. It's the single biggest mistake I made when I was an undergrad: I assumed that any art school would teach me what I wanted to learn. Instead, I was told "painting is dead," laughed at for my interest in realist/representational art and steered away from fine art and into commercial art, all because I just couldn't get interested in conceptual art and installation work and the like. I swallowed what they told me, too. If I had to do it all over again, I would research every art school in the country to find out what exactly they teach and how they teach it.

Note: I'm not running down conceptual art and installation art. I like much of it. It's just that many art schools teach the conceptual as what art is, and neglect everything else as old-fashioned or invalid. If your focus is more traditional, then it's especially important to do your research as to what school you attend.

Coquette
11-15-2006, 04:02 PM
Wow...they actually told you that "Painting is Dead"!!

nicanfhilidh
11-15-2006, 06:05 PM
Wow...they actually told you that "Painting is Dead"!!

Yep - at least, the kind of painting I wanted to do. There were advanced students who were doing things like large-scale Ab-Ex influenced paintings, and students who constructed "environments" where paintings were part of it, and these students received support and were taken seriously. It's those who wanted to work in a more traditional manner who got the short end of the stick, and the reason given was that traditional painting is banal and everything has already been done, therefore dead and not worth wasting time on.

Coquette
11-16-2006, 11:11 AM
I went back over to CSU's website and read about my program and according to the site the program is a combination of traditional and contemporary methods. I thought I had read that before I applied. So I guess we will have to wait and see what the actual attitude is. I am very new to art so I can't say for sure what approach would be best for me. The classes I begin in January are foundation classes.

I do hope that everyone will keep posting about their experience with AA so that those of us who are sitting on the fence, so to speak, can decide if we might like to switch. It is always nice to have others going throught the same classes and experiences and to share with each other.

zheni
11-17-2006, 10:40 AM
+1!
I can second nicanfhilidh's points. In my case, the nearest state school is two hours away and is not at all geared to the married, older student with figurative painting as a main interest. An excellent top private school is a little closer, and it is also very conceptual. (I enjoy that, but i don't want to make weird costumes or computer-driven installations right now!) In addition, it would cost more than AAU and be less flexible, as full time study for the MFA is a requirement. With children, that is not an option for me.

I dread the cost of AAU, but I am taking a leap of faith that it will be worth it. I am also going to start out with two classes, so it might take longer, but the costs will be spread out. I will have to report back later to tell you if it is worth it!

It's CSU or online? If you are just starting out, I think it might be good to have the experience of the art classroom if you can. The energy and fun of a good class and teacher is special. :)

Coquette
11-17-2006, 01:28 PM
+1!

It's CSU or online? If you are just starting out, I think it might be good to have the experience of the art classroom if you can. The energy and fun of a good class and teacher is special. :)

Thank you for sharing your experience also! Please do let us know how it goes for you.

I am just starting out with college level art classes. I have taken workshops and adult education classes in oil painting, including some plein air classes and have been painting off and on my whole life. More seriously in the past three years. But there is plenty I don't know. I did complete an online program recently with Penn Foster in art that covered the basics. But I am still relatively new and there is lots and lots of stuff I don't know.

I already have a degree in music so I have my basic education classes down cold but no college credit art classes. Since I live in LA there are several options, but money was a factor in my final decision along with wanting some interaction with other artist.

Teachin2Learn
11-18-2006, 08:11 PM
Hi Gang,
I too am attending AAU online for my MFA in Graphic Design. In my field the difference in degrees means a huge gap in pay and position. Not to mention teaching on the college level is a huge bonus. (I teach now, but can only teach in programs that offer Associates Degrees) I found the admissions people to be awesome! Frankly, I've known of AAU for a long time now, and was excited to hear they had an online program in my field. I was unable and unwilling to attend school across the country in undergrad.
We should definately suggest starting a string for Students attending AAU online.....as a support group at the very least....or some bizarre online fraternity/sororiety(sp) without the hazing!!!!

Good luck with your education guys!

Teachin2Learn
11-18-2006, 08:12 PM
hi fellow AAU students :)

nicanfhilidh
11-18-2006, 08:17 PM
Hi Gang,
I too am attending AAU online for my MFA in Graphic Design. In my field the difference in degrees means a huge gap in pay and position. Not to mention teaching on the college level is a huge bonus. (I teach now, but can only teach in programs that offer Associates Degrees) I found the admissions people to be awesome! Frankly, I've known of AAU for a long time now, and was excited to hear they had an online program in my field. I was unable and unwilling to attend school across the country in undergrad.
We should definately suggest starting a string for Students attending AAU online.....as a support group at the very least....or some bizarre online fraternity/sororiety(sp) without the hazing!!!!


I'd be up for that ... provided they accept me. :eek:

Do you mind answering a few questions? Like - how many classes do you take a semester? Is the workload pretty heavy? Are you happy with how class interaction/critiquing/etc works? Anything else you'd like to comment on?

TIA!

Teachin2Learn
11-19-2006, 11:00 AM
Hello Gang,
I too am a new graduate student of the online MFA program that AAU offers. The school rocks, I have nothing bad to say. I teach at a college now, and even though times are tough and most colleges are starting to lower their standards to get the enrollment money (and that's true across the board even your ivy league schools), I still feel that AAU will be challenging and interesting. The admissions people were better than the people at my undergraduate school. If you have life experience or college credits it's very easy to get them dropped from the course load. I just have an overall good feeling about AAU :)

I hope you will enjoy your time there!

FreeAndBraveArtist
11-27-2006, 06:07 PM
Hi Teachin2Learn,
I am interested in applying to the Academy's online MFA program (in Illustration). I wanted to ask how your experience has been with the online learning. What have been some pros and cons of AAU's online courses?
Thanks.