Saturday, May 10, 2014

5 Year Plan for Jesse Guess

My five year plan starts with graduating from SNC with my BFA degree.  I plan on getting my MFA degree from a college that offers assistanceships to it's students within the graduate program.  I am exploring the universities that are known for their teaching programs.  I would like to teach on the college level, and for this you need a Masters degree.  When considering a college for this plan I really like the idea of a 2 year program instead of a 3 year program.  I believe that having the ability to teach with a Masters degree is very important to my future and this also makes my own marketability much higher within the art world and would make me a more informed and well rounded person and artist.  I am really excited about the academic arena and the positive motivation it gives me through the college experiences with my classmates and professors.  Being back in school has given me new perspectives on life and my artwork.  These are some of the reasons I would like to  be a professor of art myself.  The first is the constant learning and inspiration that I get from being challenged as an artist and a professional.  The second is sustainability, and looking to the future I realize that you need to be as diverse as possible to make it in todays world.  There are many colleges and options for artists and teachers throughout the US and I want as many options going into the future as possible.  Thirdly, the monetary reason is also a strong draw for me.  Through my research I have found out what professors make yearly and that is plenty of money for me.  Also having the MFA will allow me to explore different options and colleges until I find the right fit for me.  I plan on traveling throughout the US and seeing what this country is all about.  I am going to take my home with me, and by this I mean a fifth-wheel trailer and truck, where I can bring my dog, motorcycle and art supplies.  I am a young, single man who has many options and not tied down to any particular place, so I plan on keeping my options open until life presents the best place for me.  I

I plan on placing myself in a place where I feel comfortable and inspired as an artist.  I plan on visiting several colleges to see if that place would be a good fit for me.  I don't really want to be in a large city but that won't stop me if need be.  I am deeply inspired by my surroundings and this is vital in my decision making process.  I would like to be in the mountains or near the ocean, as both of these settings are both inspirational and peaceful to me.  I know that I need to really hone in on what my voice as an artist is going to be.  To have a working, cohesive body of work is paramount to my success.  I believe that my artwork and vision can work anywhere I happen to be.  People everywhere like my artwork and my public works have become more and more popular, and sought after.  The college I choose should have a strong tie to the community and the Art Commission for that city or region.  There is good money in public works and I love painting large format murals that transform an area and bring people together in a way that only art can.

MFA options.
1. Stanford:
Application Requirements

Application requirements checklist:
• Application form: Completed online through the University Graduate Admissions website.
• Non-refundable fee of $125.  For information on eligibility for fee waivers please refer toGraduate Application Fee Waiver.
• Statement of Purpose (submitted as part of the application): Reasons for applying, preparation, specific study and research interests, future career plans, and any other information to elucidate background and potential as a scholar/teacher.
• Letters of Recommendation:  Three letters of recommendation are required from faculty members or others who are qualified to evaluate academic work and teaching potential.  Recommenders submit their letters through the online application system by the application deadline.
• Official Transcripts: Upload transcripts through application system. Please do not mail transcripts to the department.  Our department will only be asking students offered admission to submit official transcripts.  If you are offered admission, we willrequest that you provide two official transcripts in a timely manner.  Transcripts are required from all prior college level schools attended for at least one year.  A scanned copy of the official transcript is submitted as part of the online application.  Link to International Degree Information.

• Graduate Record Examination (GRE): We do not accept other tests in place of the GRE and this requirement can not be waived.  The subject test is NOT required.  Tests must have been taken in last five years, and are required of all applicants - no exceptions. The Stanford University score recipient number is 4704. Individual department code numbers are not used.  The department has no established absolute cutoff scores.

• TOEFL: IELTS not accepted.  Required for all international applicants (whose primary language is not English) sent via ETS.  To see if you need to provide this information, please check theExam Requirements for International Applicants.

 Portfolio:  In addition to the university application materials (above), applicants are required to submit a portfolio.  All applicants are expected to have a substantial body of work represented in their portfolio, which is the most important part of the application, and should give evidence of the applicant’s maturity, imagination and skill.  Your portfolio should be submitted through Slideroom, at Please follow the instructions on how to upload your portfolio (online tutorial provided).  You must submit 20 images, and a pdf of your image list. There is a $10 fee.

Please note - all submitted application materials will not be returned to applicant nor released to another institution, please keep a copy for your own record.  Re-applicants must submit new supporting documents and complete the online application as outlined above. Only prior official test scores can be reactivated.

For all mediums you must include a typed list identifying works by date, medium, size, title and other information as appropriate. Also include any special viewing information on this list. This should be submitted as a pdf file, along with your portfolio.
1) Still Images
Images should be sized at 1024 x 768 @ 72 DPI. 
Limit the total number of still images to 20.
2) Audio & VideoLimit the total time-based media selection to 10 minutes, cued to your preferred 5 minutes.


All applicants must have been awarded a B.A., B.F.A., or B.S. degree from an accredited university. It is expected that the applicant will have a strong background in art, such as an undergraduate degree or the equivalent in coursework in art practice or at least three years of independent art work and exhibitions. Exceptions can be made based on the faculty's interest in a candidate's experience and portfolio. In any case, applicants will be expected to have a substantial body of work represented in the portfolio.

The application review takes place between mid-February and mid-March; applicants are notified of their status by March 15th.  Students accepted to the program are admitted for the beginning of the following autumn quarter.  No applicants for mid-year entrance are considered.

Applicants who are chosen as finalists, typically a group of 12-15, will be required to travel to Stanford for an interview conducted by a faculty and student committee.  Should travel present a significant hardship, either financial or as the result of other extenuating circumstances, such as great distance, special arrangements can be made.  From this group of interviewees, up to five will be offered admission to our program.  You will be contacted via e-mail regarding your application status after the deadline; please do not contact the Department.

Information Session Dates 
 In the Fall, we hold several informational meetings so that we can familiarize you with the art practice program and answer any questions you might have. We understand that for many applicants a visit is not feasible, so please be assured that those applicants who we do meet are not privileged in the application process.

During the visit, you will meet with faculty members and current graduate students, and have a tour of the facilities. Prospective students should plan to be here for 2 1/2 hours. These visits may occur before the application or once you have applied, but must be scheduled in advance. 
Please note that we do not conduct interviews, nor do we view portfolios on such occasions. Visitors have the opportunity to see our studios. We do not  receive visitors in the winter quarter who are applying for admission to the following September term.  New dates are posted by the end of July each year, please return to our website to sign up then (visit this page to register). To cancel, please email Vanessa Bravo, within 24 hours of your appointment.

2. California College of Arts, San Francisco:

Application Requirements

  • Application ($70 nonrefundable fee required)
  • Portfolio ($10 SlideRoom nonrefundable fee required)
  • Personal essay
  • Résumé / Curriculum vitae
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • College transcripts
  • Interview


Applicants must complete and submit the application online. (Note: Due to the volume of applications received, CCA is unable to return any materials; please do not submit any hard copy artworks or writings.)

Personal Essay

A personal essay of 500 to 1,000 words must accompany the application. The essay should be a clear statement of your work within the context of contemporary artistic practice and why mastery level exploration is desired. While personal statements can range in content, it is often best to focus your statement to your particular area of interest and any critical influences on your work.


Applicants must submit their portfolio online by registering for aSlideRoom account specifically for CCA applicants. Once an account is registered, instructions on how to create the portfolio will be provided.
In addition to academic and professional work, applicants are encouraged to include examples of personal work. CCA faculty review portfolios submitted through SlideRoom. (Note: Supplemental portfolio materials sent separately to the Admissions Office are not accepted.)
The portfolio can include up to 15 still images (not to exceed 5 MB each), video, time-based, or interactive media (not to exceed 60 MB each).
Please note: Applicants who wish to submit video or time-based media must submit a five-minute sample reel that the review committee will watch in its entirety in SlideRoom. The five-minute sample reel should be labeled clearly with the title, date, running time, and description of the piece, or pieces, it contains.
Please keep in mind that once your portfolio has been uploaded and submitted to the college no further changes can be made. For technical issues with your portfolio, please email for assistance.


Interviews are by invitation only. Applicants who pass the preliminary faculty review will be invited to an on-campus interview during the Fine Arts Open Studio Day on Sunday, February 23, 2014. Notification will be sent by email in early February.
Applicants who are unable to attend the on-campus interview will be interviewed via Skype at a separate designated date and time.

Résumé / Curriculum Vitae

Please outline your educational and professional background and relevant experiences and activities, including community work.

Letters of Recommendation

Two letters of recommendation are required from an academic or professional source. No personal recommendations please. We use an electronic recommendation process, which ensures that we receive your recommendations in a timely fashion and it is convenient for your recommenders.
When submitting your electronic application, you can provide the email address for your recommenders. Your recommenders will receive the recommendation form electronically and then return it electronically to CCA.


Unofficial transcripts are used for review purposes. Applicants are required to upload their unofficial transcript as a PDF document with the online application form.
Accepted and enrolled applicants will submit the official sealed transcript of their undergraduate coursework to Graduate Admission by August 1, 2014.
Applicants who have taken graduate coursework are welcome to also send transcripts in support of their graduate application.
For international applicants, all transcripts must be in English or accompanied by a certified English translation of the original.
All admitted students who were still in the process of completing a bachelor's degree at the time of applying must send the final transcript before enrolling to verify completion of the bachelor’s degree, including official notation of date of graduation, no later than August 1, 2014.
Mail your official transcript to:
California College of the Arts
Enrollment Services Office -- Graduate Admissions
1111 Eighth Street
San Francisco CA 94107-2247

Additional Requirements for International Applicants

English proficiency exams must be completed prior to submitting the application. Official English proficiency exam scores (TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE) must be sent to the college directly from the testing agency. International applications will be considered incomplete, and not reviewed until proof of English proficiency has been received.

Submit approximately 20 images representative of your most recent work. The faculty is interested in what motivates or inspires each individual applicant, and looks for evidence of this in both the portfolio and the artist statement.

BFA applicants

Submit examples of personal work, not class assignments. We want to know what your interests are and how you represent them in your practice. Your work can be in any medium; we are interested in a variety of media integrations.

MFA applicants

Applicants who have passed the preliminary selection process will be notified in mid-February. At that time, candidates will be invited to visit CalArts in March for an interview and to meet faculty and students. The interview is required of invited candidates and is an important component of the final selection process. Video chat interviews can be arranged, however attending the interview in person is highly recommended.

Online Portfolio Submissions

Please use our online portfolio system to upload your portfolio with digital files. The system allows you to create a corresponding inventory of works, listing for each image the following information: title, date, medium, dimensions and notes. You may upload still images or video works.
Once your portfolio is uploaded, it can be viewed and rearranged until the final submission is made. No changes can be made following the final submission of your portfolio. Please be advised that CalArts is not able to view your work until the final submission is made and your payment is received. Be sure to submit your portfolio to the correct degree level and program. If you experience technical difficulties while uploading your portfolio, you may send an e-mail to for technical assistance.

4. University of Hawaii:
MFA applicants must have a BFA degree or equivalent, evidenced by 75 undergraduate semester credits in the field of art. This should include 12 credits of art history and a sound preparation in the studio specialization the student intends to pursue as designated on the application.

The Department acknowledges that some MFA applicants many not fit traditional criteria and will consider exceptional bachelor's degree recipients who exhibit relevant backgrounds, strong commitment, and distinct potential in the arts. Applicants with nontraditionally graded undergraduate or graduate transcripts must submit GRE scores and course performance report forms if the transcript contains 25 percent or more of the applicant's credit hours.

MFA application period is from October 1 to January 15 and admission is for the Fall semesters only. Completed applications and academic transcripts must be sent directly to the Graduate Division along with the application fee by January 15. Official transcripts must be sent directly from the academic institution of origin to the University of Hawaii's Graduate Division. Copies of transcripts, faxed, emailed or hand delivered will not be accepted. Incomplete applications for any reason will not be forwarded to the DAAH for review.
5. Chico State:


An undergraduate degree, equivalent to a BA degree in Art Studio from CSU Chico is required. No graduate credit is given to classes taken to make up any undergraduate deficiencies. Applicants must meet all University Graduate School admission requirements in addition to the requirements of The Department of Art & Art History.
On the approval of the Graduate Advisor and faculty of student's pattern area, up to 18.0 units of accredited graduate level work may be transferred from another institution towards this 60-unit program. Applicants holding an MA degree in Studio Art from an accredited institution may transfer and count towards the MFA up to 27 units from their previous degree program upon review and recommendation by the graduate advisor and the faculty members in the pattern area, and within the seven-year time limit. No course work from another degree program other than a masters in Studio Art may be applied towards the MFA requirements .
Please Note: Applicants are required to file two separate applications:
1. To the University Office of Graduate Studies. Applicants are encouraged to submit an ONLINE APPLICATION.
2. To the Department of Art & Art History the attached DEPARTMENT MFA APPLICATION form with all requested supporting material.


March 1st for Fall semester entry.
September 15th
 for Spring semester entry. 
The Department Application:The Department application packet must include the following materials:
1. A completed Department MFA application form.
2. A Resume
3. Transcripts (official or unofficial) from all institutions of higher learning attended. (The department transcript requirements are in addition to the official transcripts required in the application to the University. )
4. A Statement of Purpose. A written philosophical statement of intention (two pages, double spaced). This essay should include reasons for pursuing graduate study at CSU Chico. The essay should also describe the physical and thematic nature of the work contemplated and its relation to contemporary art issues. (The applicant's writing skills in the discipline will be evaluated using this writing sample).
5. Three letters of recommendation from individuals qualified to testify to the applicant's capabilities and readiness to enter graduate study in studio art. These letters may be included (in a signed sealed envelope) with the applicant's packet or are to be sent directly by the recommender to Graduate Coordinator the Department of Art & Art History, California State University, Chico, CA 95929-0820.
6. Creative work review (portfolio). Include no more than 20 JPEG images total. Save images at approximately 1024 pixels for the longest side. Label files: Last name_First name_Image number (e.g., Smith_Jane_01). Contain files in a folder accompanied by an image list as a PDF file. Image list should contain clear thumbnail images, title, medium, dimensions, and a date for each work in the portfolio.
7. Submit Department Application packet to:
Graduate Coordinator
Department of Art & Art History
California State University
Chico, CA 95929-0820
6. UNR:
The Master of Fine Arts program at the University of Nevada, Reno is an interdisciplinary professional degree that incorporates a comprehensive background in the fine arts, as well as advanced development in areas of studio specialization. The degree offers students advanced coursework in art history, critical theory and practiced criticism, combining studio and academic experience to provide students the opportunity to synthesize information at a higher level while engaging in original research and the development of a significant body of creative work.
The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree is the terminal degree in the Visual Arts and thus, equivalent to terminal degrees in other fields such as the Ph.D. and EdD. The MFA degree now is considered the national standard required criterion for students expecting to compete as professional artists and/or teach at the college level.
The Department of Art offers study in the areas of two- and three-dimensional art selected from but not limited to the following: ceramics, digital media, drawing, painting, performance, photography, printmaking, sculpture and video. The studio program is supported by a strong emphasis in the areas of contemporary art, theory and criticism.
The MFA degree program's interdisciplinary objective is to ensure that students are not bound by a single discipline or particular medium, providing the opportunity and encouragement to explore new possibilities in the search for the most effective visual format for the expression of their ideas. Students will be expected to re-define boundaries of traditional media and to incorporate materials from art history, theory, criticism, and other academic disciplines of their choice. Equal emphasis is placed upon the creation of artwork and its intellectual, conceptual, and social contexts.

Prospective Students

Prospective MFA students must present a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA from an accredited university, school or college. Test scores are not required.
Entrance to the program is determined via a review of a full application. Detailed attention will be given to portfolio materials. Department faculty will conduct the application and portfolio review. Students pursuing the Master of Fine Arts degree must satisfy all graduate school requirements and specific departmental requirements.
The degree requires 60 credit hours (three years of study). An MFA candidate must be enrolled as a full-time student (minimum nine credits per semester). Candidates must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA. The MFA program requires a public exhibition of a cohesive body of work after 30 credit hours to confirm the student's eligibility for advancement to MFA candidacy. At the conclusion of 60 credit hours, a public solo thesis exhibition created, curated, installed and publicized by the candidate must be presented. A formal written thesis and oral examination are required at the time of the thesis exhibition.

7. University of Washington:
Art & Studio (MFA) - Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Requirements and PrerequisitesBachelor of Fine Arts degree (studio art major) or equivalent bachelor's degree and experience. Minimum GPA of 3.0 required for the last two years of study; minimum GPA of 3.0 required for all studio art courses.
Additional InstructionsOnline application closes at 11:59pm on January 15. We cannot make exceptions to this deadline and faculty will not review incomplete applications.
GRE score report code, if applicable4854
Program Deadlines
AutumnJanuary 15
Deadline Info
Important Information for International Applicants
Intl Funding NoteInternational applicants are eligible for merit-based School of Art scholarships and assistantships. No additional application is required to be considered for these awards.
Additional Intl Info
International Applicant Deadlines
AutumnJanuary 15

Art & Studio (MFA) - Application Materials

"X" in tables below indicates step is required for:

Intl – International applicant
GNM – Graduate Non-matriculated applicant
Visiting – Visiting graduate applicant
US - United States citizen, Permanent Resident, or Immigrant applicant

Steps to complete electronically in the online application:

Steps specified by Art & Studio (MFA)
Submit Personal StatementXXX
Submit Resume or VitaeXXX
Designate RecommendationsXXX

Steps specified by The Graduate School
Select Your Graduate ProgramXXX
Review Requirements and DeadlinesXXX
Report Prior SchoolsXXX
Submit Unofficial TranscriptsXXX
Report English Proficiency Scores (Only required for non-native English speakers)XXX
Review Checklist of Application MaterialsXXX
Pay Fee and Submit ApplicationXXX

1. Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento
2. Nevada Museum of Art, Reno
3. Ashely Avery Gallery, South Lake Tahoe
4. Beatnik Gallery, Sacramento

I plan on teaching as a professor, and this will most likely be my primary source of income, but being the opportunist that I am, I will capitalize on opportunities when they present themselves.  I will join the local Art Commission wherever I happen to be living.  Working with the public and producing large scale community projects seems to have the strongest draw for me.  I would also like to help people with my art.  Whether it is dealing with at risk youth, or people who are sick and need an outlet for expression.  There is really good money in public art, but it is very competitive just for that reason.  Learning the application process and working with many different people is part of getting these jobs.  Learning to present myself and my art in the most professional manner is paramount to gaining a good reputation in the art community and having the vision and planning to make these projects actually happen by creating accurate bids for work that fall into the job criteria.  I am going to open my own graphics company and this will be a Nevada based company and will have an accompanying website.  The graphics company will be able to handle almost anything thrown at it in the form of work.  Painting murals, vehicles, motorcycles, public works, and any other type of custom artwork that could come my way.  I will be focusing in on things that motivate me and would provide a good money return as well as self satisfaction for me.

I am going to pursue outside lending for my artistic efforts.  Those might be grants or private in nature.  I will look within art world for money and patrons of the arts.

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