Graduate Studies in Painting

Katie Kahn, M.F.A., Yale University
Nina Rizzo, M.F.A., University of Texas, Austin
Frank Trankina, M.F.A., School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Description of Program:
Northern Illinois University’s painting program provides students with a thorough understanding of the theory and practice of painting. It asks that students approach this process with an open mind, a sense of inquiry, experimentation across media, and the willingness to take creative risks in the pursuit of originality and artistic freedom. Artistic independence is achieved through an understanding of the constantly shifting balance between form, content, and subject matter in the pluralistic realm of painting. Classroom work, individual and group critiques, field trips, and assigned reading develop critical thinking, the ability to challenge commonly held beliefs and advance new ideas, and a sense of belonging to the greater community. Our purpose is to give students a combined emphasis on the mastery of formal/visual language, knowledge of past and current painting issues, social and cultural awareness, and a deep attention to the role of creativity and imagination in art. We enable students to integrate theory with practice and to unify their artistic vision with varied professional goals.

Assistantships and Tuition Waivers: The NIU School of Art and Design offers opportunities for graduate student assistantships and graduate teaching assistantships assigned on a competitive basis, which include full tuition and a monthly stipend. Tuition waivers are also available.

Facilities: Individual studio spaces are provided for each student in the M.F.A. program, In addition to classroom spaces, the main art building houses a full woodworking studio and computer labs that are accessible to students.

Additional Resources: The Painting Area and School of Art and Design as a whole, hosts an impressive Visiting Artist and Scholars program. The School contains a large gallery space where professional artists and various student exhibitions are held. A medium size gallery space is designated for graduate student exhibitions. The NIU Art Museum is also present on campus and schedules an ongoing rotation of professional exhibitions and visiting artist events, often in conjunction with the School of Art and Design.

Admissions: The deadline for application to the NIU Graduate School for the School of Art and Design graduate program in studio arts is: February 1.

Application materials and additional information may be obtained from:

School of Art and Design Graduate Programs
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, Illinois 60115

How to Apply

Telephone: (815) 753‐0292
Fax: (815) 753‐7701


niu | school of art and design
jack arends building
dekalb, il 60115-2883