Help me become a Fine Arts Professor, or else help me back away humbly.
December 31, 2006 12:57 AM   Subscribe

What can you tell me about excellent grad schools for the fine (visual!) arts in Eastern Canada... and about the job field for visual arts professors?

I've always wanted to do art, and to teach. I've read all the other threads on "I want to become a professor", and a few things stuck:

a) you need good grads
b) you need good papers
c) you need good recommendations
d) you need to be from a top-tier school.

Now, substitute "papers" or "shows", and it sounds about right. But is it really like that in the Fine Arts? Do you have more fine artists scrambling for professorships, as in English or history, or moving to Berlin to practice?

I can find next-to-nothing about ranking the various MFA programs, so short of the asking professors -- which I can't do for awhile because of certain logistic issues -- I have no idea how to get to that professorship.


1) Is it possible to attend a "top-tier" MFA school in Ontario and Quebec? (Yes, Concordia is good, but I have no idea how to stacks up to NSCAD for graduate studies, and I have no idea how NSCAD stacks up to Emily Carr, etc). I'd really prefer to take my MFA in Ontario or Quebec; barring that, the Maritimes are OK. Hiking out to BC isn't very appetizing, but if it's necessary, so be it. Heck, my dream job is probably at Concordia itself, as I adore Montreal.

2) And even if I do attend a top-tier MFA school, am I likely to get a job teaching at a university in some way, shape or form within 3-5 years of getting my MA?

3) What other key component am I missing in this equation?
posted by flibbertigibbet to Education (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Are you from Canada? I ask because "eastern Canada" is the Maritimes.

NSCAD has a better reputation than Emily Carr or OCAD. OCAD doesn't currently offer grad programs but will soon. (2008?) Many OCAD people who have MFAs went to York, which despite its bad undergrad reputation, is apparently worth considering. OCAD is a bit provincial, but is trying to become respectable, and actually has very respectable faculty -- lots of well-known professional artists.

There's also Guelph, Waterloo, Western, and Windsor in Ontario, and I believe UQAM has an MFA program, if you're bilingual.
posted by loiseau at 10:14 AM on December 31, 2006

Response by poster: Yup, pure Canadian. Only reason I put "Eastern" is because I'm originally a Prairie girl, and even though news anchors still call Ontario and Quebec "Central," a lot of people... well, don't.

I saw York's undergraduate work -- it's terrible, and I hold few hopes for their MFA program.

What about Concordia?
posted by flibbertigibbet at 1:08 PM on December 31, 2006

Not eastern, but ACAD (Alberta College of Art and Design) in Calgary is an excellent school. Also I know you said that you are not thrilled about going to BC, but Emily Carr is excellent, my sister attends and has nothing but great things to say about their programs, going there has really helped her network and get her foot in the door.

If you're dead set on staying east, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD University) is pretty good I hear, though I don't know a lot about it, sorry!
posted by bluehermit at 5:39 PM on December 31, 2006

Best answer: I suggest that you at least take some art education classes. I know art teachers that have their MFA and are very smart, teach great but some have no idea about current trends in art education.
I know that you are in Canada, but if you can get yourself to NYC in March for the National Art Education Association convention you will be greatly rewarded.
posted by nimsey lou at 10:38 AM on January 1, 2007

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