The Master of Fine Arts in Criticism & Curatorial Practice program offers graduate students an exceptional opportunity to explore and experiment with contemporary art, media and design through engagement with history, theory and criticism within curatorial practice.
OCAD University’s distinctive program focuses uniquely on the practices of curating and criticism, leading to the Master of Fine Arts degree. Our graduate faculty and adjunct faculty include practising curators and critics who bring deep intellectual and professional expertise to the studies of criticism and curatorial practice.
OCAD University’s reputation for excellence entices internationally renowned authorities to its annual Artist-in-Residence program, and assists students to establish programmatic internships in Canada and abroad.
The MFA in Criticism & Curatorial Practice is a full-time, 60-credit program normally completed within two academic years or five sequential semesters. With the Program Director’s approval, some part-time students may be admitted with a more flexible completion schedule.
The program comprises the following:
Five core seminars (critical theory, research methods, issues in exhibitions, critical writing, and issues in criticism and curatorial studies)
Two core practice and issues-based studio/seminars
An institutionally embedded theory and practice-based course,"Inside Curatorial Practice", which including a collaborative group exhibition
Two elective seminars or studios
Summer internship or study abroad
Thesis: curatorial exhibition and critical essay, or criticism thesis
Students entering the program will have an honours-equivalent four-year bachelor’s degree in studio art or design, or art history/visual culture, or a related discipline, and several years of practical experience. They will be interested in augmenting their existing knowledge base through a program of study that facilitates exploration of and experimentation with the full range of contemporary art and/or design curatorial and critical practices, and that provides the historical, theoretical and critical armature required.
The objectives of the MFA in Criticism and Curatorial Practice are:
to ensure that students acquire advanced research skills for visual and academic investigations in the areas of art, media, and design practice and critical theory;
to contribute to new knowledge in the areas of art, media, and design research methodologies in criticism and curatorial practices;
to promote the development of practices that facilitate sustainability, social responsibility, and diverse social and cultural perspectives;
to develop and advance curatorial and critical practices in design;
to promote contemporary art, media, and design practices within public contexts;
to contribute to the development of the field of Canadian art, media, and design criticism;
to contribute to the development of the field of curatorial practice in private and public galleries and museums and to independent curatorial practices.
Partnerships, internships and events at organizations such as the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Textile Museum, C Magazine, the Toronto Alliance of Art Critics, and various Toronto artist-run centres.
The Summer Internship, which is an approximately four-week placement with a gallery, museum, arts publication or other relevant cultural institution in Canada or abroad. The internship allows students to integrate the knowledge gleaned from first-year seminars with the practices of curating and criticism.
The annual Artist-in-Residence program, which brings internationally renowned artists, designers, curators and critics to OCAD U for a one-week residency during which they conduct seminars, attend studio critiques, and give a public lecture/presentation.