Aug 13, 2022  
2012-2013 UMass Dartmouth Graduate Catalog 
2012-2013 UMass Dartmouth Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Departments of Artisanry, Fine Arts, and Visual Design

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Faculty and Fields of Interest

Ahrens, Scott Professor of Design (1998), BFA 1994 California State University/Chico, MFA 1998 Rhode Island School of Design. Specialization: Digital media, web design, motion graphics.

Allaux, Jean-Francois Associate Professor of Design (1999), BA Ecole de Garaison, Pau, France, MFA Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts. Specialization: Illustration.

Bowers, Michelle Assistant Professor of Design (2008), BFA 1990 Grand Valley State University, MFA 1996 University of Arizona. Specialization: Graphic design, typography and web design.

Carlson, Deborah Professor of Artisanry (2009), BFA 1979 University of Michigan, MFA 1981 Cranbrook Academy of Art. Specialization: Textile Design, Fiber Arts, and Weaving.

Carrera, Magali M  Chancellor Professor of Art History (1977), BA 1972 Arizona State University, MS 1974, MPhil 1976, PhD 1977 Columbia University. Specialization: Ancient Mexico and Peru and traditional art of Africa, America, and Oceania.

Crayhon, Victoria Associate Professor of Design (2000), BFA 1994 New York University, MFA 1997 Rhode Island School of Design. Specialization: Photography.

Creighton, Richard J Professor of Fine Arts (1981), BA 1975 University of New Hampshire, MFA 1981 Pennsylvania State University. Specialization: Sculpture.

Davenport, Alma Professor of Fine Arts (1982), BFA 1970, MFA 1975 Rhode Island School of Design. Specialization: Photographic imaging, history of photography, alternative photographic processes.

Dempsey, Anna Associate Professor of Art History (2004), BS 1978 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MA 1990, MPhil 1991, PhD 1998 Columbia University. Specialization: Modern and contemporary art and architecture, new media, design history

Edwards, James Lecturer in Design (2003), BFA 1980 Massachusetts College of Art, MFA 2003 University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Specialization: Illustration

Fairbairn, Janet Lecturer in Design (2000), BFA 1988 Maine College of Art, MFA 1991 Yale University. Specialization: Graphic Design.

Fisher, Anthony E Assistant Professor of Fine Arts (2008), BFA 1982 Carnegie-Mellon University, MFA 1986 Yale University. Specialization: Drawing and painting.

Franz, Laura Professor of Design (1998), BFA 1991 Western Michigan University, MFA 1997 Carnegie Mellon University. Specializations: Graphic design.

Goldman, Harvey Chancellor Professor of Design (1977), BFA 1974 University of Illinois, MFA 1976 University of Massachusetts Amherst. Specialization: Digital Media.

Hamlet, Susan Professor of Artisanry (1988), BA 1976 Mount Holyoke College, MFA 1978 Rochester Institute of Technology. Specialization: Jewelry/metals.

Hamlin, Charlotte Lecturer in Artisanry (1998), BA 1977 University of Pennsylvania, BS 1982 Columbia University, MS 1986 Boston University, MFA 1998 University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Specialization: Fibers, textile history, craft history.

Holloway, Memory (Chairperson, Department of Art History) Professor of Art History (1996), BA 1968 University of Redlands, MA 1979, PhD 1995 Courtault Institute of Art, London University. Specialization: Modern and Contemporary Art.

Hutchinson, Rebecca Professor of Artisanry (2000), BA 1984 Berea College, MFA 1987 University of Georgia. Specialization: Ceramics.

Kaplowitz, Laurie Chancellor Professor of Fine Arts (1978), BFA 1973 Boston University, MFA 1975 American University. Specialization: Painting, drawing.

Karimi, Z. Pamela Assistant Professor of Art History (2009), BArch and MArch 1999 Azad University (Iran), MArch and MA 2003 University of Arizona, PhD 2009 MIT. Specialization: Asian and Islamic Art.

Ladd, Spencer (Chairperson, Department of Design) Associate Professor in Design (1996), BA 1983 Georgia Southern College, MFA 1988 Cranbrook Academy of Art, MFA 1994 Rhode Island School of Design. Specialization: Graphic design.

Lawton, James Professor of Artisanry (1998), BS 1976 Florida State University, MFA 1980 Louisiana State University. Specialization: Ceramics

Lee, Yoon Soo Professor of Design (2001), BFA 1988, MFA 1991 Seoul National University, MFA 1994 Western Michigan University. Specialization: Graphic design

Lintala, Eric Professor of Fine Arts (1988), BFA 1976, MFA 1979 Kent State University. Specialization: Sculpture.

Malakoff, Sarah Assistant Professor in Design (2008), BA 1994 Smith College, MFA 1997 Tufts University. Specialization: Photography.

McFarlane, Bryan Professor of Fine Arts (1993), BFA 1981, MFA 1983 Massachusetts College of Art. Specialization: Painting and drawing.

Millstein, Mark  Professor of Design (1994), BFA 1982 Atlanta College of Art, MFA 1986 Massachusetts College of Art. Specialization: Digital media.

Miraglia, Anthony Professor of Fine Arts (1975), BFA 1973 Cleveland Institute of Art, MFA 1975 Syracuse University. Specialization: Painting, drawing, mixed-media.

Msangi, Ziddi Associate Professor of Design (1998), BFA 1993 Boise State University, MFA 1996 Cranbrook Academy of Art. Specialization: Graphic design, digital media, web design.

Peteva, Elena Assistant Professor of Fine Arts (2012), BFA 2004 Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, MFA 2007 Syracuse University. Specialization: Painting, drawing.

Savage, Stacy Latt Associate Professor of Fine Arts (1998), BA 1990 Wells College, MFA 1996 Cornell University. Specialization: Sculpture.

Schireson, Suzanne Assistant Professor (2012), MFA 2008 Indiana University.  Specialization: Painting, drawing.

St Pierre, Marc Professor of Fine Arts (1988), BFA 1976 Laval University, MFA 1979 Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Specialization: Printmaking and photography.

Thompson, Alan B  (Chairperson, Department of Artisanry) Associate Professor of Artisanry (1988), AB 1981 State University College at Buffalo, New York, MFA 1987 State University of New York at New Paltz. Specialization: Jewelry/metals.

Tió, Adrian R (Dean) Professor of Fine Arts (2007), BA 1974 Temple University, MFA 1979 University of Cincinnati. Specialization: Drawing, art foundations and book arts.

Towne, Shawn Assistant Professor (2010), BFA 1999, BFA 2000 University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, MFA 2007 The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University. Specialization: Digital media.


Wisneski, Kurt (Chairperson, Department of Fine Arts) Professor of Fine Arts (1986), BFA 1971 University of Massachusetts Amherst, MFA 1974 Syracuse University. Specialization: Printmaking.

Wong, Janine  Professor of Design (1993), BArch 1980 Cornell University, MFA 1984 Yale University. Specialization: Graphic design.

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth offers three Master of Fine Arts degree programs: Artisanry, Fine Arts, and Visual Design. These programs are separate, but share similar admission policies, program structures, and degree requirements.  The MFA Graduate Program Directors and the CVPA Graduate Committee oversee the MFA degree programs and graduate student progress toward the degree.

Artisanry has its origin in the well-known Program in Artisanry founded at Boston University and previously part of the Swain School of Design. While creative activity in Artisanry speaks in a language common to the disciplines of the Fine Arts and Design, the program’s orientation finds its roots in the craft revival that began in the 1950s. It emphasizes the uniquely-made object and the direct relationship between artist and object and between object and culture. Students in Artisanry specialize in one of the following fields:

  • Ceramics
  • Fibers
  • Metals/Jewelry
  • Wood/Furniture Design

Fine Arts has historically been defined by the disciplines of drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture. The program is specifically designed to prepare students for a professional commitment to their art. The goals of the program focus on 1) working towards the evolution of a personal voice, 2) acquiring historical knowledge and understanding of the art of various societies, and 3) developing critical skills in looking at art and discussing aesthetic issues. Graduates are prepared for numerous career choices within their respective disciplines. Students who complete the program have developed a clarity of thinking and a process of personal expression that will allow them to assume the role, in society, of artist as practitioner, artist as educator, and artist as interpreter of their times. Students in Fine Arts specialize in one of the following fields:

  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture

Visual Design emphasizes throughout communications and problem solving. Students explore visual communications in the widest sense. Faculty representing a wide variety of philosophies and viewpoints work together with students, providing a rich and thought-provoking graduate experience. The modern visual designer must be broadly educated, articulate, and literate in today’s competitive field, and our faculty are well versed in traditional and digital media technology. Students in Visual Design may specialize in one of the following fields:

  • Digital media
  • Graphic Design
  • Illustration
  • Photography
  • Typography

The Master of Fine Arts is generally regarded as the highest degree offered in the visual arts, and qualifies the graduate for professional work in the disciplines available through our curriculum.  Careers as studio artists devoted to the expression of personal concepts, as teachers at the university level, or as commercial artists and designers whose work is market-based and client-driven, are all possible outcomes of graduate study in the visual arts. There are also numerous allied career paths, such as curatorial work, arts administration, art direction, and publishing, which benefit from the level of accomplishment which the Master of Fine Arts degree entails. The College of Visual and Performing Arts supports the philosophy that significant achievement in the visual arts is the product of inspired conception, critical dialogue, individualized attention to students, and maturing skill. Our state of the art facilities offer the arena for challenging explorations and the level of creative innovation which is expected of committed graduate students.  

We welcome you to come visit our programs, speak with faculty in your field of interest, meet students and see their work. Please contact the Graduate Program Director assigned to your area of interest: 

Susan Hamlet, Artisanry (Ceramics, Fibers, Jewelry/Metals, Wood/Furniture Design),

Rick Creighton, Fine Arts (Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture),

Mark Millstein, Design (Digital Media, Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography, Typography),


Faculty and Students

UMass Dartmouth visual arts faculty are dedicated teachers, committed artists, and designers with national and international reputations.  They have received numerous awards and grants from such organizations as the National Endowment of the Arts,  the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the Society of Arts and Crafts. Their work is included in major museum and private collections.  Lectures, critiques, workshops by visiting artists, designers, and critics provide a rich supplement to the curriculum.  Graduate students come to CVPA from across the U.S.A. and we have many international students. Students develop rich personal relationships with colleagues in all disciplines through critical discussions and projects assigned in graduate seminars. The successes of our MFA graduates are a source of pride for our college and the university. Students are employed at leading firms, have established successful art studios, and have gained teaching assignments at competitive schools.

Program Facilities

The College of Visual and Performing Arts takes pride in its excellent facilities and equipment, occupying a total of more than 225,000 square feet of building space on the Dartmouth and the New Bedford Star Store campuses. The combined spaces include studios, workspaces, and classrooms for eleven areas of study in the visual arts. Graduate students in all disciplines are assigned individual workspaces, and students have access to the studios seven days a week.  In recent years the college has added a new, finely equipped building, known as the Star Store, in New Bedford, which houses the undergraduate and graduate programs of the Artisanry Department, and the junior, senior and graduate programs of the Fine Arts Department.  All studios have the specialized equipment and tools to support a wide range of artistic creation, and the college has a Visual Resources Center with more than one hundred thousand images. The college has computer labs to support its courses, including a large digital media lab which is dedicated to textile design.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must submit the required application materials to the Graduate Office. In addition, we require:

  • Two letters of recommendation from people who can write authoritatively about your accomplishments and potential in the visual arts.
  • A statement of purpose which defines the field of study you wish to pursue, and a description of the ideas and concerns which underlie your work.
  • A graduate portfolio consisting of 20 pieces of original art. As a whole, it should provide a clear representation of your processes of thinking, implementation of concepts, and studio production. Your artwork should support your purpose in beginning graduate studies.  Applicants submit their portfolio online via Slideroom at

    Images (jpeg), video (mov,wmv,flv) or PDF documents may all be uploaded. For good image quality and a fast upload, it is recommended that the image files be sized no larger than 1220px @ 72dpi, and video files kept under 60MB each. For all technical assistance in this process, applicants can access the SlideRoom help desk at  If an applicant can not submit a portfolio via SlideRoom, contact Graduate Admissions to make other arrangements.

  • Some of our programs require a personal interview with you and, if possible, a studio visit. If a visit is not possible, a telephone discussion will be substituted.

The College of Visual and Performing Arts is proud of its tradition of individualized attention to its graduate students. To maintain this tradition, each applicant is admitted to work in a specific area according to the ideas which are expressed in the statement of purpose and through consultation with the primary advisor.

While considering applications, we may request an interview with you, and if circumstances permit, encourage you to visit our studios, meet both faculty and students, see our facilities, equipment, and personal work spaces.

Our standards for admission include a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, an undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0, and a portfolio which demonstrates your capability for advanced work in your chosen discipline.

February 1st is the application deadline for priority consideration for admission with assistantship opportunities, however, applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Most students are full-time and begin their studies in the fall semester.  However, students may apply for spring and/or part-time admission.  Acceptance will be contingent upon available space. 

Admission with Deficiencies

A student with strong credentials, portfolio and references, might be admitted with course deficiencies. These are identified at admission and must be addressed in your course of study which might extend the time required for you to complete your degree.  The MFA Graduate Director and your advisor will develop a plan with you to remedy deficiencies.

All MFA degree candidates, either before enrolling in the graduate program or during their residency, must have successfully completed twelve credits of undergraduate art history.  Deficiencies in students’ art history backgrounds are not uncommon and can be remedied during graduate study.  Up to six credits of Art History deficiencies may be taken as academic elective courses within the 60 credits for the MFA degree. A student can use up to 6 credits of 400 level courses towards satisfying the Art History requirement if they so desire, without having to take them as Directed or Independent studies. If the student chooses to apply the option of 6 credits of 400 level courses** elsewhere as electives toward the degree, then the six credits being taken to satisfy the Art History requirement should be taken as Directed or Independent Studies, thus ensuring grad level credit.   

**No more than six credits at the 400 level may be applied toward a graduate degree, and a B or better grade is necessary.

Non-Degree Student Status

Occasionally, people interested in graduate work are encouraged to register for courses at the university as non-degree students before making a formal application for admission. With the agreement of your advisor and the MFA Graduate Director and following the policies of the university, credit for courses taken as a special student may be applied to your degree.

Financial Assistance

The college awards a limited number of assistantships to first year graduate students. Most of the first year awards will be General Assistantships and will not involve classroom teaching. Generally, Teaching Assistantship awards are made to qualified students who have reached their second year in the graduate program, and have successfully completed  ART 590, Instructional Development. In addition to assistantships, the college has a limited number of scholarships. We encourage you to identify your needs clearly in your application and in your faculty interview.

Other assistance, such as loans or work study, may be available to you. Please consult the chapter on “Expenses and Financial Assistance,” paying special attention to recommended deadlines. The university’s Office of Financial Aid has considerable information which will enable you to explore ways of financing your education. The telephone number is (508) 999-8643. We encourage you to contact this office for additional information.


Susan Hamlet, Graduate Program Director for Artisanry,

Rick Creighton, Graduate Program Director for Fine Arts,

Mark Millstein, Graduate Program Director for Design,

Heather Bentz
Assistant Dean
College of Visual and Performing Arts
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
285 Old Westport Road
North Dartmouth, MA 02747-2300

508 910-6635

Donna Costa-Pryor, graduate program secretary: or 508 999-8904


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