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Ravenstahl, Matthew
Craig, Patrick
Ruppert, John
There are two reasons I intentionally waited, for several years, before entering into an MFA program. The first being I wanted to prove to myself that I would continue being a serious artist while balancing the daily routines of job and family. I also wanted to wait until I felt as if I was making work that was completely my own voice and no longer saw influence from my undergraduate education. I was able to exhibit frequently and started to get positive reviews from different critics. At this point I recognized that I had been working seriously and that the work was my own; therefore entering an MFA program would challenge those ideas. I thought once I entered Maryland that I would be leaving a different artist. However, it is more accurate to say that I am leaving a more mature artist and have accelerated an exploration that I already began. The past two years allowed me the time and criticism to delve deeper into existing ideas. This led to a clearer understanding of specific aspects of my creative process and in turn allowed me to explore new avenues of self expression. Ultimately, this course of study informed my existing language and forced my work to a more poignant and powerful level. The value of this experience was to arrive at certain points of clarity, and through this insight, positive changes, in my work, felt natural and informed. This component discusses these points of clarity, how they led to informed changes, within my work, and the attendant struggles inherent in the process.