“MFA Never 2020”
Root Division, San Francisco, CA
“Root Division showcases the work of current MFA candidates in the Bay Area through a biennial exhibition and archive project called MFA Now. For 2020 … [Root Division chose] to highlight the many talented and successful artists who have opted out of the degree route, in a counterpoint juried exhibition called MFA Never.
“MFA Never was conceptualized by Root Division's Curatorial Committee member, Rhiannon Evans MacFadyen, to create opportunity for underrepresented artists, those who are unaffiliated with alumni networks, and may not have had the debut opportunity offered by the MFA thesis exhibition. MacFadyen is the founder of Black & White Projects and A Simple Collective, a contemporary arts organization dedicated to "access, equality, ingenuity, creativity, and independence”. The goal of the MFA Never project is to create room for dialogue around alternatives to the MFA route… We are looking to create visibility for artists who have found a life and practice in the visual arts outside of the academic machine.
“The MFA Never 2020 catalog is an inclusionary publication of the over 120 artists who submitted work to this year's MFA Never open call. The book includes a full page dedicated to each contributing artist and a compilation of essays by Root Division staff, and the panel of exhibition jurors, serving to unpack some of the issues surrounding decisions to not pursue higher education, navigate the contemporary moment in Bay Area outside of the MFA Programs, and find connections between the exhibiting artists.”