Painting MFA

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Build On Your Traditional Painting Skills

Our MFA program in Painting provides you with a supportive environment in which you may address contemporary subject matter via historical painting traditions.


The goal of the MFA program in Painting is to support you in building on the time-honored skills you have acquired so that you may realize greater potential within the rich and varied discipline of representational art. You will achieve this objective through experimentation and the creation of a coherent body of work, a written thesis, and a thesis exhibition. Additionally, you will gain insights into the presentation and marketing of your work and will be educated in the logistics of teaching art at the college level.

Our current and former students have been included in multiple solo and group exhibitions, both national and international. Prominent galleries show and represent LCAD MFA graduates.

Aside from our regular teachers we have a healthy infusion of guest faculty including Carl Dobsky, Natalia Fabia, Aleah Chapin, David Kassan, Zoey Frank, Christopher Murphey, John Brosio, and Suzanne Shifflett.

Our MFA mentorship program provides one-on-one study with the mentor of your choice from a list of over 40 accomplished artists.

We host a robust visiting speaker series some recent speakers include Kazu Hiro, Noah Buchanan, Carl Dobsky, Aleah Chapin, Narsiso Martinez, Adonna Khare, Natalia Fabia, Jas Knight, Daniel Sprick, Stephen Assael, Adrienne Stein, Andrew Hem, Anne Harris, and James Strombotne.

As a graduate of LCAD’s MFA program in Painting, you will be equipped for a career as gallery artists and/or a teacher in higher education.

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe the theoretical aspects of picture making, incorporating effective pictorial strategies.
  • Use appropriate technical and conceptual strategies to support their artistic intents.
  • Describe how representational art fits into the greater art historical context.
  • Communicate ideas clearly, in writing.
  • Critically evaluate their own work and the work of other artists and will discern between fashionable trends and authentic explorations.
  • Promote and market their work and their abilities to professional venues; i.e., galleries, exhibitions, educational institutions, etc.

Department Leadership

Peter Photo

Chair of MFA Drawing + Painting

Peter Zokosky

Peter Zokosky was born into an artistic family where creativity and independent thinking was encouraged. He has been painting and drawing since his earliest memories. After receiving his MFA from Otis Parsons in 1981 he apprenticed under art restorer/conservator Richard Saar for six years. He has been working and exhibiting internationally for over 40 years.

An art educator for over 30 years, he taught at the following Museums: The Getty Center and the Getty Villa, the Long Beach Museum of Art, the Norton Simon Museum, the Laguna Art Museum, and the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art. He has taught courses at ArtCenter, Otis Art Institute, California State University at Long Beach, The Asian University for Women in Chittagong, Bangladesh and Laguna College of Art+Design, where he has been the chair of the Master of Fine Arts program in Painting and Drawing since 2016.

Zokosky finds few things as gratifying as teaching and helping emerging artists to find their own creative voice.

Admissions Information

Application Dates

  • LCAD has a rolling admissions policy and will accept applications until we’ve filled all spots for an incoming class. Applications will still be considered after the following priority dates:

    Fall: December 1st

    Spring: December 1st"

  • Course Requirement PDF
  • How to Apply