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Social Practice Queens Combines Art and Social Action in Unique Graduate Programs

The low-cost studio-based degree pairs the resources of the Queens College Art Department with the community-based activism of the Queens Museum.

SPQ research project Art Against Austerity: Memories of Disinvestment focusing on community resiliency in San Juan Puerto Rico (left). SPQ MFA Uno Nam and Tara Homasi performing inside the Queens College Art Department lab space (right).

Social Practice Queens (SPQ) is a comprehensive, low-cost, studio-based degree within the Queens College MFA program focused on contemporary painting, sculpture, installation, digital media, critical theory, and social practice art. SPQ offers two learning tracks: an intensive 2-year concentration in socially engaged art within the Masters of Fine Art (MFA) program; and a 1-year advanced certificate in Critical Social Practice geared to post-graduate and advanced undergraduate students seeking one-on-one mentoring, project realization, and individual learning objectives.

Both SPQ tracks offer access to specialists in the field, as well as seminars focused on project management and the history of art as social action. Every MFA candidate enjoys a large, private workspace with access to all types of material. SPQ also offers a unique partnership with faculty in the Urban Studies Department at Queens College, and staff of the Queens Museum. Collaborative grants to support student work, partially funded by the Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation and the Vilcek Foundation, are available to students once enrolled.

The application deadline for Spring 2019 matriculation is November 15, 2018.

In 2018, SPQ published its first textbook: Art As Social Action: An Introduction to the Principles and Practices of Teaching Social Practice Art, which includes lesson plans, essays and interviews by Mary Jane Jacob, Pablo Helguera, Dipti Desai, Loraine Leeson, Maureen Connor, Jen de los Reyes, Jeanne van Heeswick, Pedro Lasch, Christopher Robins, Beverly Naidus, Todd Ayoung, Sheryl Oring, and Bo Zheng among many others. SPQ continues to make contributions to the field both within the institutions that host SPQ, and well beyond, preparing students for ongoing engagement with a global community.

Visiting artists, critics, curators and mentors include: Aaron Burr Society, Ala Plástica: Alejandro Meitin, Doug Ashford, Todd Ayoung, Dana Schutz, Xenobia Bailey, Elaine Byrne, Claire Bishop, Larry Bogad, Deanna Bowen, Tania Bruguera, Gretchen Coombs, John Currin, Torkwase Dyson, Yevgeniy Fiks, Tom Finkelpearl, Stamatina Gregory, Terike Haapoja, Fran Ilich, inCUBATE, Alfredo Jaar, Paul Ramirez Jonas, Grant Kester, Jim Lee, Omar Mismar, Sheryl Oring, Pepon Osorio, Saul Ostrow, Liz Park, Ted Purves, Sal Randolph, Mark Read, Dread Scott, Nato Thompson, Caroline Woolard, T. J. Wilcox, The Yes Men, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Stephen Wright, Krzysztof Wodiczko.

For information, visit socialpracticequeens.org/degree or email [email protected]