Painting Masters Theses


The MFA program in Painting emphasizes critical and artistic growth through the evolution of a rigorous studio practice. While a shared passion for the history and craft of painting binds the department together, professors are committed to assisting each student in developing his or her own vision, supporting an enormous diversity of formal and conceptual approaches, painting styles and interests.

In the final semester, degree candidates focus on creating a comprehensive body of work under the guidance of a thesis committee. All MFA candidates produce a written thesis and participate in the RISD Graduate Thesis Exhibition, a large-scale public show held annually.

“We keep the graduate program in Painting open-ended as a reflection the department’s philosophy as a whole. The idea is to help students work better and develop practices that will serve them well for life—beyond their studio explorations here at RISD.”

Graduate Program Director: Kevin Zucker

These works are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Creative Commons License


Theses/Dissertations from 2016


Interior mountains & distant clouds, Ping Zheng

Theses/Dissertations from 2015


Make every day count: longing, vision, & painting, Sarah R. Pater