Drawing

Master of Arts /
Master of Fine Arts in Drawing

Designed for students whose creative practice is predominately rooted in drawing. Candidates for the program will be seeking new contexts and experiences for developing established/existing practices.

Drawing is understood as more than a support or preparation for other disciplines: it is considered the work. Each core workshop draws upon the individual investigations and questions arising and evolving in the studio as a starting point and provides the students with new contexts to rethink their work – to test out methods, materials and ideas.

The aim is to explore contemporary and emerging approaches to drawing alongside the continued acquisition and practice of academic skills. There is an expectation that students will explore a convergence rather than opposition of the two.

At PCA Students may choose either the 1-year MA Degree Track or the 2-year MFA (Terminal) Degree Track. The first year is common to both degree tracks with the exception of a spring semester Degree Project for MA candidates. MA students who choose to continue into the MFA would be required to complete the 3rd and 4th semesters and the MFA Thesis Project.

The program is designed with an emphasis on professional practice and research, and, for the MFA program, with a focus on the teaching of drawing, providing students with possibilities to further their work outside the context of the school. Students are taught how to apply ‘drawing’ in its many forms to unfamiliar and diverse situations, and are encouraged to invent projects that will continue beyond the scope of the MA/MFA.

Every student will take part in a form of collaboration where they will bring their drawing practice into dialogue/conversation/exchange with artists, designers and creative professionals from other fields. The collaborations are devised according to each student’s needs in order to challenge each individual and are expected to provoke potentially radically different departures for their work.

The program is open to any applicant who has successfully completed an undergraduate degree (BFA, BA, BSc, BID, BArch, etc.) with a studio component, or acquired basic technical skills (e.g., drawing) through other educational or professional experiences. (Applicants without a BFA are required to have at least two semesters of Art History. A portfolio will be required demonstrating a fine arts practice).

Please note: Applications for this program for 2017-18 are closed. The next available term is for 2018-2019.

Faculty

Véronique Devoldère

Véronique Devoldère

Chair of Fine Arts
chloe-briggs

Chloé Briggs

Chair of Foundation & Coordinator of Masters in Drawing
ninapaim

Nina Paim

Professor

MA Curriculum

Credits

One-Year Program

fall

Studio 1: Experimentation

Description

The aim of this course is to incite a radical re-thinking of established methods and approaches to drawing. The pace and content of this class is based on the individual needs and the group dynamic. New experiences are proposed and collaborative exercises are designed in response to areas of drawing practice that are identified as blocked, uninspired, and tired. Students will engage in a rigorous exploration of materials and supports, for example: exploiting their limits, inviting accident, testing both traditional and unorthodox material combinations and working methods. Students are expected to acquire a certain expertise in their chosen tools. The course will alternate between group exercises, field trips, guest lectures and workshops that encourage students to test the unknown with the aim to create unforeseen perspectives on previous work.

Masterclass series 1 (MDRA)

Description

The Masterclass series is taught by guest artists. Each session is 5 hours per week and the number of weeks per Masterclass varies between 7 and 8 weeks. In total there are 15 weeks per semester.

Drawing: Anatomy
Taught by experts in the field of anatomical research and artists who work from and with the body, students will be given master-classes in the study of the human and animal form. Outside the studio this course will also be based at the Musée d’Histoire de la Médecine [Museum of History of Medicine] and the Musée de l’Homme [Museum of Mankind], where students will draw on-site from the collections, returning with their studies to develop drawings from life in the studio.

Drawing and Actions
This course proposes to investigate processes using physical actions to generate drawings. Using all sensorial experiences and physical mechanisms to create a personal dialogue between gesture and mark making. The aim is to develop a certain consciousness of our body and to experience the act of drawing distanced from any object or objective. Through a series of practical workshops students will explore different “actions” and seek personal responses. The final outcome would be a proposal for one action to be performed by the students and their peers to create a specific drawing experience.

Research Seminar 1: Archive and Voice (MDRA)

Description

Through research visits, lectures by researchers, publishers and archivists, as well as engaged discussion with faculty and guests, students will develop a two-pronged research practice that privileges both hands-on engagement with relevant archives as well as the realization of first-person interviews. Each student’s research, either independent or inherent to his or her studio practice, will form the basis of a digital or analog archive that values an engagement with historical research practices alongside primary, interview-based research and exchange.

Masters Elective

Description

You may select electives from the course offerings below.

spring

Studio 2: Collaboration (MDRA)

Description

Students are offered the opportunity to work with practitioners from other fields as a way to discover new directions and possibilities for their drawing practice. The course begins as a series of practical and theoretical workshops where drawing and other practices are combined (for example: science, music, choreographic notation, writing). Students become familiar with ways in which drawing as a tool for collaboration has been explored. Once a personal area for collaborative work is identified, students are guided in the writing of a proposal for an ‘Artist who Draws in Residence’ at an institution or location in Paris relevant to their concerns as an artist.

Research Seminar 2: Post-Colonialism & Globalization (MDRA)

Description

Students will solidify their understanding of the key, current methodologies for Art History, and continue their work with archival and first-person research. With an emphasis on non-Western and Postcolonial practices and methodologies in Art History, students will develop a critical approach to urgent issues for the production and representation of drawing. Visits to exhibitions, as well as the study of recent exhibition history, as influenced by Post-colonialism and globalization will form the core of this semester.

MA Thesis

Description

Building on the research, critical thinking and writing skills developed in the first semester of the seminar, in the second semester, each student will be responsible for the production of a 20 to 40 page thesis paper and corresponding body of work, culminating in a public exhibition or conference. For their final paper, each student will be responsible for identifying an urgent, critical or current problematic, that may stand independently of the student’s studio practice. Rigorously researched and constructed, this paper will provide the platform for ongoing lines of investigation. Students should be versed in the critical voices and issues surrounding their own practice and develop the communication and research skills necessary to assert their own critical voice in regards to their evolving practice. Faculty and guest lectures will guide each student to a reading list appropriate to their research and final exhibition.

MA Degree Project

Description

With an emphasis on advanced research methodologies each student will be responsible for the production of a body of work, building a portfolio based on their artistic research, documenting process and their different projects culminating in a public exhibition or conference. For their final public presentation, each student will be responsible for identifying a theme, and/or problematic, based on the student’s studio practice. Rigorously researched and constructed, students will be encouraged to develop this body of work and will provide a platform for ongoing lines of investigation. This studio course is dedicated to research, process and the “making”. Students should be versed in the critical voices and issues surrounding their own practice and develop the communication and research skills necessary to assert their own critical voice in regards to their evolving practice.

Masters Elective

Description

You may select electives from the course offerings below.

Electives

Drawing Technology and Perception (MDRA)

Description

This elective considers the contribution of technology to the creative process with a focus on new media drawing techniques. Students will be introduced to an experimental hardware platform made of various plotters connected to a computer. In addition to practical experiments in both digital and analogue media, students will study the potential of information technology as a drawing tool, for example: when technology starts to ‘interfere’ between the gesture or the initial thought process of the artist and the material, random or procedural changes, interactions with the users or an observer linked to sensors. Students will begin to understand the concepts of robotics, and computer languages such as Arduino and processing which they will be encouraged to use in their work.

The second half of the course will apply programming knowledge to our perception tools. We will consider the drawing person as or as part of a drawing machine. Any signal can be used to trigger another one. A shifting parameter can change a routine. In the beginning students will find themselves confronted with two IF conditions : What IF drawing follows audible inputs? And IF the sound of the making is looped back into the process ?

Advanced Printmaking (MDRA)

Description

This course offers a series of workshops proposed by different artists and professional printmakers, addressing the Principles of the Multiple and the Development of the Multiple. In the first half, The Principles of the Multiple, students will consider how printmaking offers a vast field of research, experimentation, processes and outcomes that dwell in the possibility to produce multiple copies out of one. In the second half of the course, Development of the multiple, students will explore how to work and collaborate with a printmaker. Printmaking is the beautiful exchange between a master craftsman and an artist. This intense workshop aims to instruct how to maximize this collaborative experience through a complete overview of the different techniques involved in the creation of an « original » multiple. Students will address the different parameters inherent to this special world.

Overall Credits Total
30

MFA Curriculum

Credits

Year One

fall

Studio 1: Experimentation

Description

The aim of this course is to incite a radical re-thinking of established methods and approaches to drawing. The pace and content of this class is based on the individual needs and the group dynamic. New experiences are proposed and collaborative exercises are designed in response to areas of drawing practice that are identified as blocked, uninspired, and tired. Students will engage in a rigorous exploration of materials and supports, for example: exploiting their limits, inviting accident, testing both traditional and unorthodox material combinations and working methods. Students are expected to acquire a certain expertise in their chosen tools. The course will alternate between group exercises, field trips, guest lectures and workshops that encourage students to test the unknown with the aim to create unforeseen perspectives on previous work.

Masterclass series 1 (MDRA)

Description

The Masterclass series is taught by guest artists. Each session is 5 hours per week and the number of weeks per Masterclass varies between 7 and 8 weeks. In total there are 15 weeks per semester.

Drawing: Anatomy
Taught by experts in the field of anatomical research and artists who work from and with the body, students will be given master-classes in the study of the human and animal form. Outside the studio this course will also be based at the Musée d’Histoire de la Médecine [Museum of History of Medicine] and the Musée de l’Homme [Museum of Mankind], where students will draw on-site from the collections, returning with their studies to develop drawings from life in the studio.

Drawing and Actions
This course proposes to investigate processes using physical actions to generate drawings. Using all sensorial experiences and physical mechanisms to create a personal dialogue between gesture and mark making. The aim is to develop a certain consciousness of our body and to experience the act of drawing distanced from any object or objective. Through a series of practical workshops students will explore different “actions” and seek personal responses. The final outcome would be a proposal for one action to be performed by the students and their peers to create a specific drawing experience.

Research Seminar 1: Archive and Voice (MDRA)

Description

Through research visits, lectures by researchers, publishers and archivists, as well as engaged discussion with faculty and guests, students will develop a two-pronged research practice that privileges both hands-on engagement with relevant archives as well as the realization of first-person interviews. Each student’s research, either independent or inherent to his or her studio practice, will form the basis of a digital or analog archive that values an engagement with historical research practices alongside primary, interview-based research and exchange.

Masters Elective

Description

You may select electives from the course offerings below.

spring

Studio 2: Collaboration (MDRA)

Description

Students are offered the opportunity to work with practitioners from other fields as a way to discover new directions and possibilities for their drawing practice. The course begins as a series of practical and theoretical workshops where drawing and other practices are combined (for example: science, music, choreographic notation, writing). Students become familiar with ways in which drawing as a tool for collaboration has been explored. Once a personal area for collaborative work is identified, students are guided in the writing of a proposal for an ‘Artist who Draws in Residence’ at an institution or location in Paris relevant to their concerns as an artist.

Masterclass Series 2 (MDRA)

Description

The Masterclass series is a series of Masterclasses taught by guest artists. Each session is 5 hours per week and the number of weeks per Masterclass varies between 7 and 8 weeks. In total there are 15 weeks per semester.

Drawing: Natural Forms
This course is designed in collaboration with the ‘Ecole du Breuil’, the city of Paris’ school of horticulture. Students will receive tuition by experts in horticulture at the school as well as artist/teachers that specialize in drawing natural forms. They will have access to an extraordinary collection of plants, trees and flowers. Students will be encouraged to expand on their preliminary technical studies by exploring (through many approaches to drawing) the natural forms growing in our urban environment.

Calligraphy
This course alternates between an academic course in the history and contemporary use of calligraphy around the world and practical workshops taught by specialists. Students are encouraged to draw upon their own language(s) and personal writing to explore calligraphy as both writing and image.

Research Seminar 2: Post-Colonialism & Globalization (MDRA)

Description

Students will solidify their understanding of the key, current methodologies for Art History, and continue their work with archival and first-person research. With an emphasis on non-Western and Postcolonial practices and methodologies in Art History, students will develop a critical approach to urgent issues for the production and representation of drawing. Visits to exhibitions, as well as the study of recent exhibition history, as influenced by Post-colonialism and globalization will form the core of this semester.

Masters Elective

Description

You may select electives from the course offerings below.

Year Two

fall

Studio 3: Drawing in Art And Design Education (MDRA)

Description

This course is designed to offer both a current and historical overview of the teaching of drawing in art and design education, from: the academic approaches of the Beaux Arts, Modernist experiments with line, to studies of Child-Art. There is a specific focus on pedagogical research within the field of drawing in higher education. Students are encouraged to think directly about their position as an ‘artist who draws’ in relation to a role as a teacher and are asked to draw upon aspects of their work as starting points for potential teaching exercises. The language of pedagogical instruction is explored in depth, contextualized in educational theory and re-thought in relation to the particular nature of the act of drawing and experience of learning to draw. The course cumulates in an action research project, where an area of inquiry developed over the course of the year is put into practice with a group of students. The course is complemented by Educational Principles, a 3-credit course in the third semester that introduces general notions of pedagogy and assessment.

 

Masterclass Series 3 (MDRA)

Description

The Masterclass series is a series of Masterclasses taught by guest artists. Each session is 5 hours per week and the number of weeks per Masterclass varies between 7 and 8 weeks. In total there are 15 weeks per semester.

“In Situ” Line and Place
This course will encourage students to research a particular place, redefine the site and propose a response through their drawing practice. The investigation should question context, historical, sociological, political or environmental issues and equally challenge materials and scale. The instructor will propose a number of possible structures for students to engage in collaboration with partner institutions, artist studios, and public and private spaces to allow an in situ realization.

Drawing: Architectural Space
Designed as a series of on-site visits to historic Paris and architectural spaces recently built or under construction, this course is co-taught by architects and fine artists who bring different perspectives to the rendering of space. Methods for creating the illusion of depth on a 2-dimensional surface are explored as well as possibilities for student’s drawings to occupy space.

Research Seminar 3: Interstices, the Hybrid and Passeurs (MDRA)

Description

Recognizing the international crossroads that is modern and contemporary Paris, the course will draw on Homi Bhabha’s ideas of the “hybrid” and the “interstice,” the role of cultural “passeurs” (Serge Gruzinksi), and case studies of key moments of theoretical and aesthetic exchange between artists and thinkers in Paris and abroad. Sessions will also address the role of the critic, as well as the market (commercial galleries, auction houses, collectors) in this evolving context. The seminar will also consider the hybrid territories that emerge between drawing and writing. A range of writing techniques will be explored.

Educational Principles (MDRA)

Description

This seminar is offered in parallel to the studio course devoted to education. Students will be given an overview of historical and current pedagogical theory that is specific to the teaching or art and design. They will be asked to consider the role of diversity and culture on learning, as well the role of the teacher as decision maker and facilitator. Additionally, this course will introduce alternative approaches to building a learning environment, drawing upon recent experiments in art education that challenge the traditional structure of a ‘school’. Students will study: how to generate motivation, involvement and integration in respect to learner’s development and experience; the planning and design of learning activities for different levels of experience; how to write assessment procedures and appropriate feedback on performance, competence and knowledge.

 

spring

MFA Thesis

Description

Building on the research, critical thinking and writing skills developed in the first three semesters of the seminar, in the final semester, each student will be responsible for the production of a 40 to 60 page thesis paper and corresponding body of work, culminating in a public exhibition or conference. For their final paper, each student will be responsible for identifying an urgent, critical or current problematic, that may stand independently of the student’s studio practice. Rigorously researched and constructed, this paper will provide the platform for ongoing lines of investigation. Students should be versed in the critical voices and issues surrounding their own practice and develop the communication and research skills necessary to assert their own critical voice in regards to their evolving practice. Faculty and guest lectures will guide each student to a reading list appropriate to their research and final exhibition. For their final exhibition, the students will focus on creating a body of work and build a portfolio based on their artistic research, documenting process and their different projects. This is done under the guidance and support of an internal and external thesis committee.

MFA Degree Project

Description

With an emphasis on advanced research methodologies each student will be responsible for the production of a body of work, building a portfolio based on their artistic research, documenting process and their different projects culminating in a public exhibition or conference. For their final public presentation, each student will be responsible for identifying a theme, and/or problematic, based on the student’s studio practice. Rigorously researched and constructed, students will be encouraged to develop this body of work and will provide a platform for ongoing lines of investigation. This studio course is dedicated to research, process and the “making”, done under the guidance and support of an internal and external thesis committee. Students should be versed in the critical voices and issues surrounding their own practice and develop the communication and research skills necessary to assert their own critical voice in regards to their evolving practice. Faculty and guest lectures will guide each student to a reading list appropriate to their research and final exhibition.

Masters Elective

Description

You may select electives from the course offerings below.

Electives

Drawing Technology and Perception (MDRA)

Description

This elective considers the contribution of technology to the creative process with a focus on new media drawing techniques. Students will be introduced to an experimental hardware platform made of various plotters connected to a computer. In addition to practical experiments in both digital and analogue media, students will study the potential of information technology as a drawing tool, for example: when technology starts to ‘interfere’ between the gesture or the initial thought process of the artist and the material, random or procedural changes, interactions with the users or an observer linked to sensors. Students will begin to understand the concepts of robotics, and computer languages such as Arduino and processing which they will be encouraged to use in their work.

The second half of the course will apply programming knowledge to our perception tools. We will consider the drawing person as or as part of a drawing machine. Any signal can be used to trigger another one. A shifting parameter can change a routine. In the beginning students will find themselves confronted with two IF conditions : What IF drawing follows audible inputs? And IF the sound of the making is looped back into the process ?

Advanced Printmaking (MDRA)

Description

This course offers a series of workshops proposed by different artists and professional printmakers, addressing the Principles of the Multiple and the Development of the Multiple. In the first half, The Principles of the Multiple, students will consider how printmaking offers a vast field of research, experimentation, processes and outcomes that dwell in the possibility to produce multiple copies out of one. In the second half of the course, Development of the multiple, students will explore how to work and collaborate with a printmaker. Printmaking is the beautiful exchange between a master craftsman and an artist. This intense workshop aims to instruct how to maximize this collaborative experience through a complete overview of the different techniques involved in the creation of an « original » multiple. Students will address the different parameters inherent to this special world.

Overall Credits Total
60

Frequently Asked Questions

How is this program cutting edge in contrast to other MA/MFA programs?

This program focuses uniquely on drawing, as opposed to the more common generalist approaches offered by most graduate programs. Students will explore emerging and contemporary approaches to drawing alongside the continued acquisition and practice of academic skills. There is an expectation that students will explore a convergence rather the opposition of the two. The curriculum is designed specifically for study in Paris and we will use the resources – both historical and contemporary- that the city has to offer in order to inspire and challenge the practice of drawing.
Students are taught how to apply drawing in its many forms to new situations, and are encouraged to invent projects that will continue beyond the scope of the MA/MFA. To study Drawing at Masters level at an American University in Paris is a unique opportunity.

What is the range of disciplines from which the students will be pooled?

We seek to have a highly diverse student group. Candidates whose creative practice is predominately rooted in drawing; with backgrounds in fine arts, printmaking, illustration, architecture, or graphic design are all encouraged to apply. We are also open to surprises.

How do you know if the program is right for you?

Every student will take part in a collaborative work where they will bring their drawing practice into dialogue, conversation and exchange with artists, designers and creative professionals from other fields. These collaborations are tailored according to each student’s needs and are expected to challenge their established methods of working. If you are seeking new contexts for your work and experiences that will help you to develop as an artist, if you wish to test out new methods, materials and ideas, the program is for you. If you wish to transmit your practice and research, the focus on Drawing in Art and Design Education (MFA only) is for you.

What are the prerequisites?

The program is open to any applicant who has successfully completed an undergraduate degree (BFA, BA, BSc, BID, BArch, etc.) with a studio component, or acquired basic technical skills through other educational or professional experiences. Students are expected to have a high level of competence in the discipline of drawing. Previously acquired skills and creative potential will be evaluated through your portfolio demonstrating a fine arts practice.

Are there other graduate students at PCA?

PCA launched the MA/MFA in Transdisciplinary New Media in Fall 2015, and two MA programs in Fall 2016 (MA in Fashion Film and Photography and MA in Fashion Design: Haute Couture & Haute Technology.) In addition to this MA/MFA in Drawing, three new programs will be launched in September 2017: MA in Interior Design, MA in Accessories Design and MA/MFA in Photography and Image Making. PCA also collaborates with Toulouse Business School in offering English language MSc degrees in marketing and communication specializing in the fashion and luxury industries; and with the French engineering school École de Ponts in offering English language Master’s degrees in Computational Design These programs draw student from around the world to the PCA campus.

What are the advantages of studying in Paris?

PCA’s links with cultural institutions provide extended ‘studios’ in which students are invited to work, and areas of specific research can be developed.
Particular interest in the practice of drawing has been evident in Europe and the U.S. for the last two decades and does not appear to be waning. Specifically, Paris hosts the yearly art fair ‘Drawing Now’; a Paris-based magazine titled Roven, focusing on contemporary drawing, has been successful since 2009; the Prix Canson, one of the most prestigious annual drawing prizes in the world, was created in 2011 and exhibits its winners in major museums and galleries in Europe.

How is the curriculum designed?

The curriculum is designed in such a manner as to foster the development of student skills through two distinctive stages: Process and Realization

Phase 1: Process 

·     Defining and presenting already acquired skills to peers

·     Identifying and discussing the potential for the development and application of skills within the context of studio based work and research

·     Sharing/teaching of skills through testing ideas and integrating different methods

·     Reviewing academic and experimental drawing related processes and evolving new ways of working

·     Critical reflection of experience, definition and assessment of drawing processes

Phase 2: Realization 

·     Articulation of the aims and objectives of studio practice and thesis project

·     Application of developed methodologies and drawing skills

·     Creation and dissemination of an extensive body of work within a professional context: the project becomes public through a final exhibition

·     Demonstration of acquired research skills through MA/MFA Thesis paper and exhibition.

·     Manage grant process: identify private and public funding priorities and opportunities, develop a consistent and workable program plan, write clearly defined goals and objectives, prepare a complete program budget in a grant format, etc.;

·     Prepare art residency and exhibition proposals for those who plan to pursue a fine arts path;

·     Respond to professional and public art commissions.

What are the faculty’s credentials?

Their expertise lies in Contemporary and Traditional Drawing, Fine Arts, Advanced Printmaking, Architecture, Performance, New Technologies/New Media, Art History, Curatorial Studies, Writing and Teaching Methods.