Painting MFA


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


The core of Laguna College of Art + Design’s MFA program in Painting is built on the values of time-honored skills informed by contemporary theory and designed to help you realize the ideas possible through representational modes of painting and drawing. Our curriculum recognizes that there are particular technical, ideational, and formal issues related to representation that require you undergo specialized study at the graduate level, and we strive to meet these demands with a faculty and a curriculum tailored to your needs.


The primary goal of the MFA program in Painting is to support you in building on the traditional skills you acquired in your undergraduate studies so that you may realize ideas possible in the discipline of representational art. You will achieve this goal through 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 students have recently been included in group exhibitions across Southern California at venues that include Laguna Art Museum, Koplin del Rio, and Arena 1. Our current students and alumni have had solo and group exhibitions around the country with the prominent galleries that represent them.


Work by our students has been published in Juxtapoz, Blue Canvas, Southwest Art, Drawing, Pastel Journal, and Art Collector magazines.


Our faculty includes such acclaimed artists as F. Scott Hess, John Nava, Kent Williams, and Peter Zokosky and it attracts world-renowned visiting artists including Jerome Witkin, Alex Kanevsky, Margaret Bowland, Bo Bartlett, and Justin Mortimer.


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.



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Graduates Will Learn How To:

  • 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.


Peter Zokosky


At age six, Peter Zokosky peeled the outer layers off a dead bird to learn about its anatomy.What he discovered fascinated him and sparked his lifelong quest of probing layers to reveal the under workings of the swirling universe.

The painter chooses observation over interpretation. He suggests possibilities rather than answers. He contemplates, but never assumes. The resulting images, although garnered through a scientific approach, are strangely poetic.

F. Scott Hess