10 Reasons to Get Your MFA in Painting @ UARK

  1. ALL students in the M.F.A. Studio Art program receive full-financial support!  

    We are able to provide full assistantships to all of our MFAs which includes a full tuition waiver plus an annual stipend and Graduate Fellowship. For the 2018-2019 academic year every one of our MFA students received a total package of $19,000 of support per year on top of a tuition waiver!

  2. Advance your practice and learn new techniques!
    Students enter the program in one of 6 media areas—ceramics, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture. While it is expected that students will have a strong interest in their chosen medium, they are encouraged to explore other media and work across disciplines.

  3. World-class faculty!

    Our faculty come from a vast range of educational backgrounds! Our programs max out a three students per discipline, so MFAs can get a ton of quality time with their respective faculty! In addition to topical-seminars, students may request independent studies with faculty from any media area!

    Check out our Faculty page for a full-list of faculty.

  4. Small town, global mindset!

    University of Arkansas MFA students enjoy close proximity to the global art world through weekly visiting artists! Students gain insight through studio visits, lectures, and even meals with our visiting artists! 2017-2018 visiting artists in painting included Katherine Bradford, Molly Zuckerman-Hartung, Dana Frankfort, and Laylah Ali!

  5. Interested in teaching? We’ve got you covered!

    All MFA students who express a desire to teach are given the opportunity to work as teaching assistants during their first year. Second and third year students can apply to teach undergraduate classes as Instructor of Recod!

  6. Interested in curatorial experience? We got you there too!

    Our relationship with Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art affords numerous opportunities for internships. Our students have also frequently assisted with installation at 21C Museum Hotel, Bentonville. Students are also able to gain curatorial experience on the UA campus through the FNAR Gallery, sugAR Gallery, and the Sculpture Gallery!

  7. Spacious studios!

    All MFA students receive private studio spaces to which they have 24-hour access. Painting studios are located at One East, on the Fayetteville Town Square, or on campus at Stone House or the Sculpture Building. Painting studios range between 200-300 square feet!

  8. Facilities
    In addition to studio spaces, our MFAs have access to a huge range of media-specific facilities. Painting students particularly enjoy:

    vinyl cutter
    professional level documentation set-up
    full woodshop facilities
    painting-only priming and assembly stations

    See the UArk MFA Program page for a detailed list of facilities.

  9. Living in Northwest Arkansas, not what you might expect!

    HyperAllergic named NWA ‘America’s newest Art Pilgrimage!

    Located in the beautiful Arkansas Ozarks, Fayetteville frequently receives accolades as one of America’s best places to live, by such publications as Forbes, Kiplingers and Business Week. If you like outdoor recreation, the Ozarks are a hub for activities such as hiking, mountain bikingcanoeingfishing, and rock climbing.

    Being immersed in the Northwest Arkansas community is important to our mission as a School of Art. Graduate studios and sUgAR Gallery are located on Fayetteville’s downtown square and participate in Fayetteville’s enormously popular First Thursday events.

    Our proximity to Bentonville and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art affords numerous opportunities for student interaction.

    Additional art destinations in the area include: The Momentary (Crystal Bridges’ forthcoming contemporary venue), The Walker Arts Center, and 21C Museum Hotel, Bentonville.

  10. Travel and residency funding—need we say more?

    Numerous travel grants are provided to our students to attend summer opportunities including the UA Art in Rome program, the Vermont Studio Center residencies, Penland School of Crafts, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, Chautauqua Institute Visual Arts Program, the New York Studio School, and Mount Gretna School of Art.

    The School of Art awards four M.F.A. Project Grants each spring and fall semester, to support creative research and professional development.

    Additional grants to support graduate student travel to present their work are offered through the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences.


The deadline for application to the MFA program is January 15, 2019. We welcome interested students to either visit the department firsthand or to speak with the faculty about their interest in the program before applying. To request a visit to the department or for more information, please direct inquiries to Kristin Musgnug at kmusgnug@uark.edu.

Specific instructions on applying can be found on the School of Art's MFA Program page,

UA Faculty Published in 'New American Paintings'

Congratulations to UA Painting and Drawing faculty members, Marc Mitchell, and Dylan Dewitt who were selected for the most recent edition of New American Paintings: South (#136).

Spring 2019 Visiting Artists



Painters marked with asterisks.

Jan 24 - Amy Elkins


Jan 31 - Adam Welch


Feb 21- Barb Smith


Feb 28 - Santa Barraza *


March 14 - Micheal Yap


April 4 - Andrew Witkin


April 18 - Carrie Moyer *


April 25 - Emma Nishimura


Fall 2018 Wrap-Up, Visiting Artists

The University of Arkansas School of Art enjoyed an incredible line-up of visiting artists this semester! These esteemed creators spent time in the studio with our MFA students, giving lectures, having shows, and generally enriching the artistic community of NWA!

Painters marked with asterisks.

Aug 30 - Matty Davis


Alicia Eggert

Sept 6 - Alicia Eggert


Sept 20 - Jaimie Warren


Oct 4- Zach Feuer


Dana Frankfort

Dana Frankfort

Oct 11- Dana Frankfort *


Oct 18- Corin Hewitt


Nov 1 - Future Retrieval


Laylah Ali

Laylah Ali

Nov 9 - Laylah Ali *


Nov 15 - Jelili Atiku


Nov 29 - Matt Ducklo


Elise Raborg shortlisted for prestigious XL Catlin Art Prize

Congratulations to BFA candidate Elise Raborg on being shortlisted for the first ever XL Catlin Art Prize for her painting Home Again!

40 student artists were selected from over 700 submissions nationally. The 40 works will travel to exhibitions in San Francisco and Chicago this fall, and go on view at the New York Academy of Art in November. The first prize award will be chosen by Amy Sherald, New York Academy of Art Senior Critic Eric Fischl and Nicole Eisenman, and will win $10,000. Starting on August 12, the Prize launches an Audience Award via Instagram for the piece with the most likes, so follow @xlcatlinartprize to vote!

Hannah McBroom completes second Chautauqua residency

Another successful summer artist in residency! These three works by M.F.A. candidate Hannah McBroom were created during her residency at the Chautauqua Institution and chosen for the student exhibition!  #uarkart #chautauqua

Avery Teeter at the New York Studio School

BFA Painter, Avery Teeter, attended the New York Studio School's 2 week summer Painting Marathon with support from the UArk School of Art. She studied the human figure through oil painting with painter Joseph Santore.  While in the city she created multiple paintings focusing on composing the figure within the rectangle and careful consideration to color, shape, and proportion.

Hannah McBroom at Arsagas at the Depot

Have you been by Arsaga's at the Depot to see the great works of M.F.A. candidate Hannah McBroom? If not, go today and see her thoughtful paintings that explore how bodies can disclose identity, and at the same time, how identities do not fully belong to the individuals portrayed. #UARK #uarkart

Sam King

Stunning new work by School of Art Assistant Professor, Sam King. A preview, as these and others will be on display at Vol Walker Hall in a two-person collaborative exhibition with associate professor Carl Smith in August and September! #UARK #uarkart

Thomas Coffey at Mighty Tieton

Congrats to M.F.A. candidate Thomas Coffey who's work was recently accepted in the 9th Annual 10x10x10xTieton exhibition at Mighty Tieton! Coffey is especially excited that the show is in his home state of Washington, August 11 - October 7. #UARK #uarkart #MightyTieton

Jody Thompson at Arsagas Depot

A beautiful representation of the upcoming Jody Travis Thompson exhibition @arsagasdepot during the month of July! Don't miss the opening reception for this School of Art M.F.A candidate, Thursday July 5th, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. #UARK #uarkart #fayetteville #firstthursday

Banff Centre

School of Art faculty are embracing the summer to work on their own creations! Check out the work in progress by assistant professor and director of exhibitions, Marc Mitchell @BanffCentre residency! #UARK#uarkart #uarkartfaculty #banffcentre


The exhibition, Soul Of A Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, is coming to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in February! This exhibition is an outstanding showcase of the challenging work created by African-American artists throughout the late 20th century. The paintings, sculptures, murals, and photographs included in the exhibition highlight the civil rights movement, minimalism, figuration, and abstraction.

Previously on-view at the Tate Modern in London (Summer-Fall 2017), the exhibition features artists such as Romare Bearden, Noah Purifoy, Martin Puryear, Faith Ringgold, Betye Saar, Alma Thomas, Charles White, and William T. Williams