End of Semester Review

End of Semester Review

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At the end of every semester in the Photography MFA program, we have a review process. There are no consequences to the process grade-wise, but it is a chance to present your work in a professional manner and get some feedback from outside the program.

During your first year here, the reviews are “open”, which means the other students (or really anyone who wants to show up) can walk in and out of the 30-minute presentation. However, I am no longer in my first year, which means I get to have “outside reviewers” in addition to the faculty that are in the review.

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The first-year students only get faculty reviewers—faculty that they haven’t had during the semester. But the second and third-year students, in addition to the faculty members, get reviewers from outside the department and the school in general. For my review, I was given Peter Fitzpatrick (the chair of the program), Ross Sawyers, Natasha Egan (director of the Museum of Contemporary Photography), and Julie Rodrigues (curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art). It was a really nice conglomeration of reviewers. I really enjoy having curators in situations like this because it is a different way of thinking about art. It was somewhat nerve inducing for me as I was talking about my work in a new and different way. It seemed to go pretty well, probably the best review I have had, but this is probably because I finally figured out some things I was doing and was able to talk about those things in a way that made more sense.

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It was a long day of reviews as we had 18 students presenting. Lunch was served, and the outside reviewers were invited to that as well, so there was time for a bit of talking with them outside of the ‘review’ setting. After the reviews, we went out for a drink before splitting for the break. Unfortunately for me, the work doesn’t stop, and I am setting up shoots and getting ready to travel to make work. It is a never-ending process.