About the Program
The Creative Practices program embraces a diverse range of photographic approaches for innovative expression in an atmosphere of cooperative learning. Students are not only encouraged to explore and define their own goals, but also challenged to situate their work within the broader context of the cultural, artistic, sociopolitical, and psychological use of images.
Featuring an accelerated investigation into the history of photography, contemporary theory, and craft, the curriculum also boasts a large selection of electives. Through these varied offerings, students can let their curiosity and passions lead them in new directions, ranging from nontraditional documentary narrative to experimental image production to other media, including video, sound, performance, and installation. By solidifying each student’s technical skills and broadening their vision, we build a foundation for ongoing, meaningful, and content-driven individual and collective practice.
The Creative Practices program provides intermediate to advanced students with an intensive yearlong course of study that strengthens personal vision, teaches professional practices, and explores the many disciplines that inform media and art today. During the first term, many assignments are given to help students move out of their comfort zones and quickly acquire new skills and perspectives; in the winter term, our approach shifts to encouraging more self-directed, independent work; and in the spring term, as students' main projects are solidified and completed, assistance with presentation lead up to the year-end exhibition, a day of portfolio reviews with leading professionals, and graduation.
The academic year is divided into three terms with an optional intersession in January. Each term, students register for four to five 10-week courses and three to four weekend workshops. Students should expect to spend 18–20 hours in the classroom weekly and to allow ample extra time for shooting, production, and the completion of assignments.
Course requirements for the academic year include three terms of the Creative Practices Seminar, two terms of photographic history, at least two terms of black-and-white or color printing, and at least two terms of digital imaging techniques, as well as instruction in lighting and large-format photography. Students select additional five- and 10-week courses and weekend workshops each term: these offerings allow students to shape an individualized sequence of instruction. Technical classes are assigned according to ability levels whenever possible.