Jan 5, 2017

Social & Studio Practices at Moore: An interview with Daniel Tucker

by: Carly Rapaport-Stein

Curious about how to pursue your interest in social engagement and art? Read on to learn all about Moore’s MFA and MA degrees (and Mural Arts’ role!) from Graduate Program Director and  Assistant Professor Daniel Tucker. 

Carly: Tell me a little bit about the program.

Daniel: Social & Studio Practices at Moore encompasses three degree programs: MFAs in both Community Practice and Studio Art and an MA in Social Engagement. Our overarching concern is about the relationship between art and society, and that gives our students a particular concern for an ethics of collaboration, authorship, ecology, place, relationships, and material sourcing.

Carly: What type of students are usually drawn to the program?

Daniel:  Across the different degree programs we are aiming to train both organizers/administrators/curators (MA in Social Engagement) as well as artists (MFAs in both Community Practice and Studio Art). We are finding that across the three degree programs we are attracting both those who are traditionally trained in the arts and want to think about how to make their work more relevant, as well as students who have backgrounds in education and activism that want to foreground art in their practice.

Carly: What are some of the most interesting academic adventures students have experienced in the program?

Daniel: Last year we had a course on ethics and simultaneously a summer symposium on ethics. I think this confluence was wonderful and really allowed our students to dig into themes that matter in a deep and concerted way. It is a question that is often beneath the surface and we just decided to foreground it and realized more clearly than ever that it was one of the key questions of making art and facilitating art experiences today. It may sound heady but it is really about the daily work of building relationships that last.


  • At the In/Out Symposium, July 2016. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • At the In/Out Symposium, July 2016. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • At the In/Out Symposium, July 2016. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • At the In/Out Symposium, July 2016. Photo by Steve Weinik.

Carly: After the program, where do your alumni end up working?

Daniel: We are training people to work as independent artists, educators, and in the non-profit sector as administrators and organizers. There is an expanding field of institutions and organizations hiring people to work as community engagement liaisons, curators, and coordinators. Our students have had experiences doing this work on a part time basis and as fellows at the Allentown Art Museum and the Institute of Contemporary Art here in Philly. We’ve only just started less than 2 years ago and have graduated one MA class, and we can confidently say that our students are being prepared through professional development seminars, and workshops and that questions around careers and life practices are integrated throughout the curriculum.

Carly: How does Mural Arts come into the collaboration, and how does having MAP at the table impact the program?

Daniel:  The partnership with MAP is a cornerstone of our curriculum and allows people at Moore to gain insights into the practices of a 30 year old arts organization which has refused to be stagnate and keeps growing and evolving – providing a great deal of inspiration for our students. Current and former staff members teach in the program – Jane Golden and Shira Walinsky have taught students about case studies in Mural Arts history, and Leslie Lodwick and Paul Farber have worked with our students on their thesis. We collaborate on events like our programs with Michael Rakowitz, Liz Thomas, Works Progress, and Damon Rich. And finally, one of our biggest joint efforts is the In/Out Summer Symposium which really serves as a moment of reflection on the most challenging questions and practices taking place within the broad framework of socially-engaged art today. Save the date for our next joint symposium, on July 21 and 22, 2017!

Carly: Is there anything else you’d like to share about the program?

Daniel: We are taking applications for the fall now through February 1, 2017 and are excited to announce that our fellowships have been increased to up to $20,000 annually. We are hoping this will make it much more accessible.

Carly: Thanks so much for giving an overview of the program, Daniel, and I’m excited to see how the program keeps growing!


Last updated: Jan 6, 2017

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