Meet the University of Connecticut’s (UConn) MFA Studio Art Class of 2026. Working in a broad range of art making, the class features:

Becky Bailey, an artist interested in means of resisting neoliberalism and the unchecked growth and unceasing demands on our time and attention that accompany it. Her practice incorporates painting, drawing, collage, printmaking, sculpture, and installation. Her work has led her to research public spaces, rituals, and refuges; asking if and how one can slow down in an environment that prioritizes profit over all else.

Ben Kue, a painter from east Michigan. Ben learned how to paint from studying primarily: American painters, Mughal court painters, and Chinese ink painting. The paintings Ben makes are usually acrylic or oil. The modes of application and fabrication are a synthesis of multitudes agnostic of source.

Sonja Langford, an image maker who was raised in the American South. Her work focuses on exploring the southern landscape as well as the female experience. She sees them as inextricably linked and uses photography to connect them to moments of recollection. These investigations focus on complex and often contradictory recollections of the Southern landscape as well as a feminist experience within and against it. She is currently interested in typologies, reliquaries, and collecting antique gynecological instruments.

Erick Maldonado, whose artwork explores his identity as a black Latinx queer. He uses personal storytelling as a vehicle to engage contemporary concerns and invite others to find their own narrative through images. His paintings are a response to concerns that were prevalent throughout the pandemic; mostly concerning the preservation of cultural history in the city of Lawrence. He considers the psychological aftermath of his community after many experienced displacement, lack of access to support systems, and the overwhelming uncertainty of our future experience. His art deconstructs the conditions of survival within social frameworks of power. He is enlightened by his Dominican-American community and the vibrant flamboyancy that is expressed through language, mannerisms, and fashion.

Samantha Wood, a printmaker and bookmaker who investigates the world through a psychoanalytic lens. Her work deals with deconstructing observed and personal experiences of womanhood by manipulating them into a surrealist dreamscape. She primarily utilizes gestures of the figure while drawing ties between femininity, voyeurism, memory, and self-perception with comparative myth to engage these narratives in a subversive manner. Doing this, she delves into her own psyche to create doppelgängers to act out as her own or as a coalescence of personas.

UConn’s MFA Studio Art program is a fully funded three-year graduate program that supports a broad range of art making, including painting/drawing, photography/video, printmaking, and sculpture/ceramics. With an international faculty, its generous facilities are located in a rural environment in Southern New England, making it easy to take day trips to New York, Boston, Providence, Hartford, and New Haven. The program culminates with an exhibition in a NYC gallery and a thesis exhibition in UConn’s William Benton Museum of Art.

The MFA in Studio Art requires the completion of the University of Connecticut Graduate School application and the submission of the creative portfolio through the UConn Graduate Slide Room. The application deadline is January 15, 2024.

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