Image Text M.F.A. Virtual Information Sessions
Cornell University's low-residency Image Text M.F.A. is a unique program focused on the intersection of writing and visual art.
Learn about the new Image Text M.F.A. at Cornell University. Applications are now being accepted for the initial cohort to begin summer 2023. Directors Nicholas Mueller and Catherine Taylor, along with former faculty Tonya Foster, Bruno Ceschel, Lucas Blalock and Elana Schlenker and alumni Carla Liesching and Kelsey Sucena, will give a short presentation of the goals and structure of the program followed by a Q and A session.
We welcome applicants with backgrounds in writing, photography, film/video, digital and studio arts practices, and artists working across these forms and disciplines. Experience in both text and image-making is not required, but applicants must submit a portfolio that demonstrates sustained work in at least one of these areas, if not both.
Students in our exploratory, flexible, and innovative program will work directly with faculty and visiting artists during three annual month-long summer sessions in Ithaca, New York, and during two annual week-long winter sessions.
Current and Former Faculty and Alumni
Tonya M. Foster is a poet, essayist, and Black feminist scholar. She is the author of multiple literary works, was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University, and is a recipient of a Creative Capital fellowship. Foster serves as the George and Judy Marcus Endowed Chair in Poetry at San Francisco State University.
Bruno Ceschel is the founder and director of Self Publish, Be Happy and a visiting lecturer at Camberwell College of Arts, University of the Arts London, and École cantonale d'art de Lausanne (ECAL). His latest book Self Publish, Be Happy: A DIY Photobook Manual and Manifesto was published by Aperture. Ceschel gives lectures and workshops internationally and also consults for leading companies interested in contemporary photography.
Lucas Blalock is a Brooklyn-based photographer whose work is in the collections of the Dallas Museum of Art, Guggenheim Museum, Hammer Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, among many others. He and his art have been profiled in publications including Arforum, The New York Times, New Yorker, Art in America, Brooklyn Rail, BOMB Magazine, W Magazine, British Journal of Photography, and Time. He is an Assistant Professor of Photography at Bard College.
Kelsey Sucena (she/they) is a trans*/nonbinary photographer and writer. Their work rests at the intersection of photography and text, often within the bodies of performative slideshows and photo-text-books. It is centered broadly upon the United States as a site for anti-capitalist, queer, and critical reflection. Sucena is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Photography at Alfred University, an M.F.A. graduate from Image Text Ithaca (2020), Managing Editor of The Photocaptionist, and a freelance writer/editor with contributions to Float Photo Magazine, Rocket Science, Aperture, and 10x10 Photobooks.
Elana Schlenker is an art director and graphic designer. Through her independent studio practice, she creates visual identities, books and publications, interactive projects, and environmental graphics. Schlenker worked as an art director at Condé Nast and senior designer at Princeton Architectural Press. She publishes Gratuitous Type, an occasional pamphlet of typographic smut, and is the creator of Less Than 100, a traveling pop-up shop for gender wage parity. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Silver Eye Center for Photography.
Carla Liesching is an interdisciplinary artist working across photography, writing, collage, sculpture, bookmaking, and design. Liesching's ongoing project, Good Hope, was published by MACK in November 2021 and was shortlisted for the 2022 Aperture Paris Photo First Book Award and the Arles 2022 Prix du Livre in the Photo-Text Category. An excerpt from Good Hope is also featured in On Whiteness by SPBH Editions. Liesching was a 2021 winner of the Open Walls competition at the 2021 and 2022 Rencontres d'Arles, a 2021 Light Work Grant recipient, and the 2022 recipient of the Silver Eye Fellowship. She was recently named a 2022 Foam Talent, with upcoming exhibitions at Foam Museum in Amsterdam, the Deutsche Börse Foundation in Frankfurt, and a solo exhibition at PhMuseum in Bologna, Italy. She is a Visiting Critic at Cornell University and teaches at Ithaca College and the International Center of Photography.