Master in Visual Arts

The Master of Visual Arts is a form of the MFA or Master of Fine Arts degree that focuses on the visual aspects of art. A Master of Visual Arts degree allows students to seek higher-level management positions in teaching and curating in art museums as well as other jobs that involve the need to create or work with visual arts.

What Does A Master’s of Visual Arts Degree Include?

Classwork for a typical MFA program includes the fundamentals in expression and interpretation of artistic works. Visiting artists and other experts may be included in a school’s program to expose students to the wide and varied world of art, and help the students to develop their skills at self-expression and individuality.

While a Master of Visual Arts degree certainly embodies the essence of creative flexibility, there are also core classes designed to give students usable skills in the job market as well. Most programs allow budding artists to experience preparing their work and presenting it in a gallery or exhibition, a process that includes many skills and will help students if they choose to become full-time artists. These programs also include fundamental courses in art history and technique that will serve students will if they decide to take a job as a museum curator or gallery supervisor.

Can I Make a Living As A Visual Artist?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, visual artists earned a median salary of $43,470 per year, or about $20.90 per hour for a 40-hour work week. Naturally, these numbers are highly changeable since artists may work far more than 40 hours in a week when they are creating and many artists earn far less than this unless they rely on commercialization of their art to a certain extent.

In some rare cases, artists may become wealthy through selling their art to patrons who appreciate their style. However, no artist can count on finding a wealthy patron to subsidize his or her work. In most cases, artists must work hard to bring attention to their particular style, and often the best artists are not the best-known.

Fortunately, many artists do not concern themselves as much with income as with working out their particular vision through their art work. For those who view art as a means to an end, teaching or working part-time as a commercial artist are also options that may help the “starving artist” realize his or her dream of working on personal art while at the same time earning enough to pay the bills.

Is There a Growing Market For Visual Art?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that visual art employment will grow by about five percent over the next ten years, slower than the national average for all jobs.

However, artists can always work on their art independently and market it through other means than full-time jobs. Most full-time art jobs involve some degree of teaching or supervising other artists and many artists find work teaching art classes through community centers or colleges. Artists who also take a teaching degree can teach art in public and private schools as well.

The job market will be best for visual artists who also combine other skills such as graphic design into their repertoire of abilities. These artists may seek employment with companies that use art in their software or advertising, or may find work as interior designers or suppliers of art for various merchandise retailers.

Visual art has always been a difficult field in which to succeed. However, if art is your passion, you may want to consider getting the best education possible to hone and refine your skills so that you can create the best possible art to show your vision and your creative spirit.



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