Each year, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago celebrates the culmination and closure of students’ studies at the Master’s level. In studio areas, the celebration takes place in the form of the thesis exhibitions, while the academic areas complement this with the thesis abstracts publication. This thesis abstract collection gathers and showcases thesis research undertaken in six programs: Master of Arts in Arts Administration; Master of Arts in Art Education; Master of Arts in Art History, Theory, and Criticism; Master of Arts in Art Therapy; Master of Arts in Teaching; and Master of Science in Historic Preservation.
Although each program represents a different aspect of the school’s identity, they share the common mission of excellence, one which prioritizes, emphasizes, and celebrates the visual arts as part of our everyday life. There are other connections between the interests of the students in the programs included, as well as the considerable crossover between our academic students’ interests and those of our studio-based students. Reading the abstracts is a reminder of the importance of having academically-based studies of art in what has traditionally been a studio-based art school: there continues to be a dynamic relationship between the two approaches. Our students often choose to look at the same issues, but they use different methods to do so. This is both the justification and the strength of having all of these programs at the School.
It is important to acknowledge the invaluable help of the students’ advisors, many of them practicing professionals in a variety of disciplines. Artists, architects, and curators, among others, have generously taken time from their busy schedules to assist and guide our students in their efforts to research and compose their theses. The advisors play a crucial role in assisting the students in completing their studies, and in helping them to make the transition to the next level.
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