Marie Fornaro It is Bread We Fight for, but We Fight for Roses, Too (2018). Bleached clothing, towels and bedsheets, hand-dyed cotton batting, thread, tinsel 60″ x 75″. Photo credit: Terry Brown Photography.

Ganch: What does it mean to think through the lens of craft and materials studies?
Fornaro: …Materials have agency; they talk back and have much to show us. A program that centers on craft and materials likewise centers the hands and bodies of the makers. The complex histories (and herstories) that envelop every object we make draws on haptic knowledge buried deep within each of us. There’s so much juicy stuff embedded in materiality.

Ganch: How is that thinking manifested in your artmaking?
Fornaro: I play and trust in materials to guide me. I consider the context and history embedded within a particular material. In this department, what a piece is made of is equally as important as what the piece is about….

The Department of Craft /Material Studies graduate program at VCUarts includes concentrations in Clay, Fiber, Metal, Glass, and Wood. Each year, the department hosts a roster of distinguished visiting artists. The graduate program offers tuition support, paid assistantships, research and travel grants, and teaching opportunities.

VCUarts is one of the nation’s leading arts schools, dedicated to advancing creative expression, supporting new scholarship, sparking innovation and deepening the role of the arts in society. Its visual arts and design graduate program has received top rankings by U.S. News & World Report.

MFA Open House is on November 10. Application deadline is January 15, 2019. For information, visit