Veslemøy Lilleengen, Portrait of Gregus 11 (2018)
photo credit: Nanna Klith Haugaard
The International MFA program allows artists to spend two years of intense investigation developing a project and an artistic portfolio in a pre-professional environment. The program is not craft-oriented, but focuses on processual and discursive aspects of the arts. All art-making activities are considered serious intellectual endeavours. Students in the program concentrate on developing practical skills alongside developing their intellectual and critical abilities in working out their artistic positions.
The foreground of teaching focuses on artistic, practice-led research and a cross disciplinary approach, where critical reflection and debate are considered complementary to self-directed artistic research and practice. Individual mentoring lies at the core of art education, and is considered a backbone of the program. Students carry out research independently and work on projects under close guidance of supervisors. Projects evolve through stages of conceptual and material development towards formal and informal presentation and critical, constructive debate.
The program encourages graduate students to explore critical and innovative practices in both individual creative work and group projects. The curriculum is structured to expose students to diverse viewpoints and an array of professional practices that reflect contemporary issues, and is in dialogue with a global community of artists and thinkers. It offers students a wide range of educational modules including studio visits, tutorials, group critiques, workshops, courses in theory and practice, guest lectures, excursions, exhibitions, as well as student-led initiatives and projects.
KiT offers each MFA student a studio space and access to collaborative workspaces and workshops for wood, metal, plaster, printmaking, photo, video, sound and computer-based work. There are workspaces available for short-term project work that require larger spatial requirements.
The program culminates in a thesis project presented in a group exhibition, which is carried out in close collaboration with Trondheim Kunstmuseum, one of the major art institutions in Trondheim. The MFA thesis exhibition, a collectively produced show, must be displayed in a professional manner with a unified theme/concept. The student is required to submit a thesis paper, a written critical reflection that provides knowledge and insight to the artwork. Both final artistic project and written reflection must be successfully defending during an oral examination.
Successful completion of the exhibited project and passing the final exam are the requirements needed to earn an MFA degree.
Throughout the academic year the individual projects are combined with one main master course and elective courses, which are practice or theory based. Within the main course the program offers a broad range of pedagogical formats including group critiques, workshops, student-led seminars and projects, writing seminars, guest lectures, study trips, and visits to exhibitions.
Elective courses currently offered focus on the notions of public space and place with artistic, architectural and other creative practices, global approaches to aesthetics, theory, and criticism in the context of contemporary art, the relation of visual culture to technology and current tendencies of digital culture and art practice.
The Trondheim Academy of Fine Art (KiT) is a flexible and experimental educational and research institution and well known as the first art academy in the Nordic countries to offer education in media art. KiT is currently part of The Faculty of Architecture and Design at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). As Norway’s single largest university, NTNU has 14 faculties and 70 departments, with more than 100 laboratories. This unique environment encourages the MFA students to explore the potential for new practices across different disciplines and technologies.
The Academy of Fine Art is situated outside of the NTNU campus in a former factory building. It is well connected to a small but vibrant local art scene with artist-run galleries, exhibition halls and museums. KiT employs ten professors, five members of technical staff and three members of administrative staff.
The academic staff at KIT and the visiting artists come from diverse backgrounds. By bringing together different expertise resulting from practical experiences and distinguished artistic careers, the educational setting is designed to prompt students to challenge themselves and to push the boundaries of their artistic work and research.
Many of the MFA students at KiT come with undergraduate degrees from diverse fields, work experience, or even careers as independent artists. Students across both the BFA and MFA programs self-organize activities and projects, many taking place at Gallery KiT, and throughout Trondheim. Past and present activities include: an art fair, a book fair, a film screening program, poetry slam and performance events. Students have also been involved in collaborations and exchanges between students of the Music & Technology and Dance departments.
The International MFA program is developed and carried out in an expanding network of partner institutions across Europe and beyond – with the goal of exploring a multiplicity of notions of contemporary art and in particular: how art inhabits concepts of the contemporary that operate in a “globalized” world.