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Personal Statement for Transfer from one MFA Program to Another, Chinese Applicant

A dedicated student of the Fine Arts throughout my life, I was born and raised in China and came to the USA to study. As long as I can remember my central passion has been drawing and painting. Of course, drawing and painting is not generally seen as a career choice and my parents were no exception to the rule. Thus, I was first prepared at the college level for becoming a public functionary of some sort, earning my undergraduate degree in China in Public Management (2012). Next, I came to America and ended up spending two years at La Verne University earning my MBA with a special focus on Marketing (2014-2016). Most recently, I have been taking classes at XXXX College of Design at night.

I prepared my portfolio and was accepted into and have been studying in XXXX’s MFA program in the Figurative Track – after completing my MBA. However, as my knowledge of art has grown, I realized that for a contemporary artist, it is important to study in an interdisciplinary environment where different ideas and media serve to inspire and endorese each other. Thus, I hope to transfer to the MFA Program at XXXX so that, in addition to painting and drawing, I might also have the opportunity to absorb as much as I can from multi-media artists – peers as well as professors.

Some of my earliest memories are of drawing, the sheer pleasure that I experienced. My parents, however, insisted that I train for a ‘job’. Thus, I did not have the opportunity in China to study Art at the University level. For me, this would come only as a result of the liberating effects of America, building a new life more fully characterized by my inner creativity and drive as an artist, the person that I want to most fully become. My friend, a Chinese painter, suggested that I take classes at night at XXXX; and I have fallen very much in love with everything around me. I now have concrete hope that I have found my niche in life in the academic pursuit of artistic joy and beauty. My mentors at XXXX, Anne E.Saitzyk and Denis Wohlgemuth, have become my most salient guides, inspirations, and roles models. I appreciate how they have supported me emotionally as a student. Continuing to learn from them and the rest of the faculty at XXXX would be a profound honor.

I am convinced that the ArtCenter is the optimal intellectual and artistic environment to stimulate my creativity, with my own art welling up from my heart. I very much adore the multi-media focus of the ArtCenter. Thus, I have my heart set on attending and completing your unparalleled, cutting-edge program. I seek to incorporate elements from both Eastern and Western cultures and my unique personal experiences into my artwork. I hunger to advance my grasp on methodology as well as my creative processes.

With its location in Pasadena, close to Los Angles, one of the premier art hubs of the world, I will get great exposure to influential upstart galleries and institutions, all close by. I am convinced that such exposure will help me to develop a unique, artistic worldview and result in positive influences to the evolution of my own artwork. With the opportunity offered by your program to study abroad in places such as Berlin, Paris, Mexico City, and Cologne, I am sure to acquire advanced international perspective into my artwork.

I have participated in a XXXX SoCal MFA group exhibition and I could not be more geared up for the fullest immersion experience possible in Multi-media Art in Southern California. Central to my conviction is the fact that XXXX is a thoroughly interdisciplinary Fine Art program, with students studying film, video, photography, painting, sculpture, installation, performance and everything in between – all sharing a classroom. For me, exploration itself is what is most fundamental, learning from all of the creative people around me, seeking to become a bridge between Chinese and American Art, through multimedia exploration and cross-cultural sharing. I seek to most fully devote myself to the implementation of life experiences with the constant synthesis of new knowledge and Self-exploration of personal possibilities/means of self-reflecting in and through art. I want to have a share in the creation of works of art that induces introspection and invokes learning challenges, fully engaging with multimedia art that is powerful, speaks to the times, and carries with it a refreshing, redemptive message and humanitarian sensitivity.

I appreciate how conceptual art is fully interconnected with and an expression of philosophy – providing an intellectual foundation. My work will focus on designing pictorial spaces that use formal elements to present known and unknown stages - where present and past, reality and dream, memory and desire all intermingle: exploring multi-media metrologies to express my ideas in both 2D and 3D.

My background is diverse. I played basketball for more than ten years, first as a student and later as a professional. After my professional career ended, I studied Public Management and played for my College’s golf as well as basketball teams. I was also a member of model team, performing for our College’s big events.

I spent almost four years playing for Beijing Shougang Basketball Club as a professional basketball player and I learned a lot about competition, control, hand-eye coordination, determination; and a world of things that I feel will always continue to fortify me as an artist. In addition to continuing as a competitive athlete in college, I also organized various sports activities for the XXU Student Union Sports Ministry, realizing my leadership potential by helping to organize the first golf team at my university. Last but not least, I also participated in numerous community-development activities as a volunteer.

I thank you for considering my application to your MFA Program at XXXX.

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MFA Goal Statement Responses, Chinese Artist

It has long been my dream to become a professional artist ceaselessly exploring, interacting, and learning from others. Your MFA Program will provide me with the preparation that I need to achieve my fullest expression as an artist – my central goal. I want to work on the intersection of American and Chinese art, celebrating the symbiotic relationship between the two, overcoming language barriers and cultural differences, building networks among Chinese and American artists that help us to develop more sophisticated perspectives on art and better appreciate the beauty to be found by drawing from each other’s traditions.

I want to cultivate my identity as an artist so as to most fully implement life experiences gleaned from Self-exploration and reflection. As a result of completing your most exceptional MFA Program, I will learn to challenge my artistic energy in the most creative ways and directions possible. I see your diverse, cutting-edge faculty as ideal for preparing me to make my maximum contribution to both the art world and humanity writ large.

I especially appreciate the interdisciplinary focus and structure of XXXX, the way that you cultivate and reward diversity of opinion, with the atmosphere itself serving to foster boundary breaking creativity.  XXXX’s transcendence beyond a 2-dimensional discipline allows for self to challenge ideas and learn techniques to augment the subtlety of one’s expression. I have already studied at XXXX and I feel most at home, love the people, and find myself most excited by the directions taken in your program at the integration of art with the student’s inner world.

I could not have a more favorable impression of the faculty at XXXX, the one’s that I have gotten to know and based on the research that I have done. All internationally recognized artists and writers, I am also attracted to the fact that you have one of lowest student-to-faculty ratios among comparable MFA programs. I appreciate your annual rotation of internationally recognized artists, historians, and critics that will help me to understand the critical depth of social as it related to artistic criticism. I love the fact that the ArtCenter is fully global with students having the opportunity to get to know and learn from artists coming not just from all over Los Angeles, but Berlin, Cologne, Vancouver, etc. The possibility of spending some of my time studying abroad intrigues me greatly.

I am mesmerized by the diversity of the faculty - artists, critics, and theorists - all steeped in the historical, cultural, and political aspects that result in the creative processes that shape great works of art. It would be a special honor to study under XXXX, XXXX, XXXX and XXXX, all widely recognized multidisciplinary artists in multimedia and world-class masters in visual language. Similarly, under the tutelage of XXXX, XXXX, XXXX, and XXXX, I will have the optimal opportunity to find my own space and creative energy within the enormously diverse and complex world of contemporary art.

Heroines of Art

From the bold optical experiments of Bridget Riley to the calm photorealism of Vija Calmins, women around the world have and always be creating vital, varied work that totally belies the need for the category of ‘women artists’ at all.

And yet, many continue to make significantly less money than their male contemporaries. While this may be so, these powerhouse women stand at the forefront of the art world, whether dead or alive. Here are some of most important female artists, most of which are still working today.

Marlene Dumas

One of the most important figurative painters of our age, South Africa-born contemporary artist Marlene Dumas rarely paints from life. And yet, her paintings are full of the pains and shames of modern existence.

Reconsidering the long tradition of the female form and the nude in terms of our modern world of pornography and celebrity, her work often has a hauntingly bleak quality all of its own which has taken the audience by storm everywhere from the Venice Biennale to the Tate Modern in London and New York City’s Met Breuer.

Frida Kahlo

Born in 1907 in Coyoacán, Mexico, Frida Kahlo painted her first self-portrait Self-Portrait Wearing a Velvet Dressone year after being seriously injured in a streetcar accident.

Later in life, she was awarded the National Prize of Arts and Sciences by the Education Ministry.

Jenny Saville

Although reviewers have long seen her as ‘the female Freud‘ (Lucian not Sigmund), there is far more to Jenny Saville’s large-scale portraits of nude women than this very one-dimensional comparison.

There’s a violence in Saville’s work, taken from the extensive studies of plastic surgery and trauma that make up her often disturbing, borderline abstract sketches and drawings.

Since Charles Saatchi bought her entire postgraduate show, Saville has been considered a Young British Artist (an elite group of visual artists who studied, worked, and exhibited together in London in the late 1980s). Her work, however, also remains entirely unique and unlike that of her contemporaries.

Yayoi Kusama

One of the most idiosyncratic oeuvres in the history art, Yayoi Kusama has long created work that is totally unique, yet completely fitting to its time.

From her forays into abstract expressionism in the 1950s and 1960s, to her recent Infinity Mirrors (perfect for the selfie generation), Kusama has always reflected our world.

Her paintings are the best example of this. So beautifully surreal, and yet also paranoid and troubling, Kusama is one of the most beloved contemporary artists in history, and has the world clamoring to be a part of hers.

Julie Mehretu

Ethiopia-born painter Julie Mehretu’s work is so layered and so complex that the viewer could spend hours trying to unearth every detail on her chaotic yet completely purposeful canvases. 

Favoring a very unique form of Abstract Expressionism, Mehretu’s whimsical, whirlwind paintings are like a mix of a Kandinsky, a Pollock, and a Dada collage, with intricate details that move at the speed of light. Her work also exudes a stoic knowledge. In short, Mehretu’s works are like no others in the world of contemporary painting. This has made her one of the most successful woman painters of our time.

Bridget Riley

When viewed on a computer screen, Bridget Riley’s work may cause you pain, but seeing it in person allows the viewer to appreciate her true artistic genius.

The queen of Op Art, Riley’s work evokes visual sensations unlike no other art, with their abstract patterns that create intense optical illusions. Colors are created from the merging of black and white components. Her works seem to shiver, shimmer and pulsate.

Some have even said they lost their balance when confronted with one of her assemblages. Far from merely acting as a box of tricks, however, each painting is carefully planned, and deeply, theoretically, rigorously worked.

Vija Celmins

A master in the art of photo-realistic painting, Vija Celmins (born in Latvia, based in New York) fits her medium to her message perfectly. Using the highly-skilled technique of hyper-realism to portray the wonders of nature, vast oceans, and starry skies, the incredible detail of Celmins’ work is like an Ansel Adams photograph, exposing the dramatic and inherent beauty of stunning natural vistas.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

The child of Ghanaian parents and raised in the United Kingdom, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s work mostly focuses on incorporating black faces into the contemporary art canon. Noting that the only BME faces depicted throughout art history were those of servants, Yiadom-Boakye’s profound yet playful work portrays BME subjects in portrait paintings that are undeniably reminiscent of the works of the Old Masters to draw attention to the precise fact that these subjects have been missing from artists’ canvases for too long. She was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2012.

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Women Artists In Their Studios.

Maggi Hambling

British artist Maggi Hambling caused a stir upon erecting a provocative sculpture depicting Oscar Wilde outside of London’s Trafalgar Square. As one unsatisfied critic famously said: “hideous is too gentle a word to describe it.”

However, Maggi Hambling’s work as a painter is notably different from her sculptural pieces. It´s moving and inspired, her seascapes, for which the artist is perhaps most famous, are at once a beautiful and violent tribute to the power of water.

Toba Khedoori

The mixed-media paintings of Australian-born Iraqi artist Toba Khedoori invite the viewer to analyze their every detail and Khedoori paints in such a way that the viewer must stand incredibly close to the image, picking it apart for its minute complexities, but appreciating the overarching images it depicts. Khedoori’s work is both epic and intimate, bold and fragile, detailed and vague.

5 GREATEST Female Painters of All Time.