Pursuing an MFA degree

This is a field where an artist has to create his/her own scope where one should work with honesty and continuously to get success. The artist must be passionate about the work and should come forward himself.

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SANGITA SHRESTHA
Imagination, creativity, beauty and more are associated with art. Art helps to nourish the human spirit where it can be used to explore the world and beyond. The horizon of art is enormous and it cannot be limited to only one form.

Moreover, if you are one that aspires to be an artist, then the Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Kathmandu University (KU) and Tribhuvan University (TU) is the place to be. KU started the BFA programme in 2003, while TU has been offering it since 1977. However, Master’s degree in Fine Arts is available only at Tribhuvan University since 2009 (2066 BS) at the Central Department of Fine Arts, Kirtipur.

About the course
It took more than a decade for TU to provide Master’s degree in Fine Arts (MFA) where one can opt for subjects like Painting, Sculpture and Music as majors. “Those who have completed their BFA with majors as Painting, Sculpture and Music are eligible for the Master’s programme for the same,” informs Dr Seema Sharma Shah, Head of Central Department of Fine Arts.

Talking about Fine Arts, Dr Shah explains, “Every art that can be seen or listened to is fine arts where sculpture, painting, music, dance, drama and more art forms are the subjects that are included in Fine Arts.”

About the subject she shares, “Art is a practical subject where the students must have the capacity to do laborious work with sincerity.” Moreover, those who want to know their capabilities and ways to ensure a future being an artist should opt for MFA where the teacher identifies which stream the student is best at and how s/he can move on in the same direction, expresses Dr Shah.

However, Rajan Pant, a student of MFA IInd year at Central Department of Fine Arts shares, “The provision for MFA has been started very late where most of the students have already established themselves in the market. Moreover the MFA degree is just for the certificate where in our society only the degree proves one’s capability.”

Optimistic about the course
While in the situation, one getting something instead of nothing is always appreciable. Likewise, the MFA programme has created a hope for everyone which is believed to create some mark in society. About this Uma Shanker Shah, lecturer at Central Department of Fine Arts expresses, “The scenario of art exhibition is changing where now and then art exhibitions around the town are being organised where most of the exhibitions are from the first batch of MFA student who recently cleared their programme.”

Moreover, Sushma Shakya, a student of MFA Ist year at Central Department of Fine Arts says, “I completed my BFA in 2007 and the result of first batch students is good where I heard about the subject Print Making. Though in comparison to the global scenario, we are heading in a conventional way I still have the hope to gain the skills and explore in the same medium in the future.”

Charm and scope
Art being the reflection of society or a miniature of the world, it helps to give identity where artists are the pride of a nation. Meanwhile Pant opines, “This is a field where an artist has to create his/her own scope where one should work with honesty and continuously to get success. The artist must be passionate about the work and should come forward himself.”

As the MFA has been established, recently the department managed the pressure of students studying the subject by running the class in morning and day shift informs Dr Shah. She adds, “Currently there are altogether 120 students in the programme. The students can opt for careers like freelance artists, teachers and more. And more importantly artists are never unemployed where they can explore more work with their skill and work.”

Challenges
As the course is still new and taking baby steps, there are challenges of textbooks and resources. About this Shakya shares, “We don’t have much references on the Nepali art history and we are studying international artists more.” She adds, “As it is mostly practical-based subject the materials are a costly affairs. Even though one can involve in part time jobs even after Intermediate level it does not help in the development of art where students are seen suppressed by the burden and not being capable of working better and more.”

Accepting the fact Dr Shah explains, “Till now we don’t have much information on national artists. It’s a big obstacle that we are trying to manage where the students have to do their thesis on national artists where for coming generation it will be an advantage.”

Moreover, Shah adds, “The education system is not totally systematic where there is no proper appointment of teachers to run the programme. And only creating art never helps in the art scenario. There must be preservation of it as well for the development of art which is lacking in our country.”

Cost at TU
MFA (two years course): Around
Rs 14,000 per year

source: Shrestha, Sangita (2012),"Pursuing an MFA degree",The Himalayan Times,27 Nov 2012

2012-11-28 | EducateNepal

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