The University of New Mexico Launches Confluence MFA Concentration

The University of New Mexico (UNM) Department of Art: Studio, History and Education highlights art’s role in fostering adaptation, resiliency, and health at all scales during times of transformation. The department recently announced several accomplishments that support regenerative culture, including efforts to research and sustain diverse artistic frameworks and decolonial narratives.

The new Confluence MFA concentration is a 26-month curriculum with residency sites in the Americas. It offers generous scholarship support and allows students to live anywhere in the world while working on their graduate degree. Field-based residencies provide an immersive pedagogy that supports a range of interdisciplinary art practices. This concentration augments UNM’s in-residency MFA, a three-year interdisciplinary program with strong area specializations. Graduates in these programs work with renowned faculty and are part of a diverse student body in a minority-serving institution.

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Some of the many initiatives within UNM addressing the challenges of the 21st century include:

Art History Associate Professor Kency Cornejo received funding from the Mellon Foundation Crossing Latinidades Humanities Research Initiative for a project that sets foundations for new methodologies and theories in Latinx humanities, grounded in art history and centering on Black, Indigenous, and Femininist Latinx creatives. Funding also supports graduate student research.

Artist Agnes Chavez will address developing empathy as an approach to humanitarian and environmental crises this month as the keynote speaker for Re-imagine, Recommit, Reconnect, Renew, the New Mexico Art Education Association conference hosted by the UNM Art Education area.

The Art and Ecology area recently celebrated alum Kaitlin Bryson, who received an Anonymous Was a Woman/New York Foundation for the Arts award for her project Bellow Forth, a multispecies, multidisciplinary community project located in the American Southwest, focused on restoring soil health and environmental resiliency through art, ecosystem science, and Traditional Ecological Knowledge. Collaborators include Beata Tsosie-Peña and UNM alum Dylan McLaughlin.

MFA student Alexandria Zuniga de Dóchas and Art History PhD student Jackson Larson exhibited a Library, a Classroom, and the World with Professor Subhankar Banerjee and the Center of Environmental Arts and Humanities at European Cultural Center’s Personal Structures at the 2022 Venice Biennale.

Contact Kat Heatherington at [email protected] for further information on graduate program information sessions to be held in November.

To learn more about the Confluence MFA concentration, visit


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