The Low Residency option in our MFA program offers student the opportunity to pursue an advanced degree from a distance. Minimal travel to campus is expected for workshops and critiques. Communication by telephone, e-mail and blogs allows interaction between faculty and students. This option is recommended only for students who are highly self-motivated, skilled and have a studio with their own equipment set up. Students are encouraged to work with their local arts community and mentors as well as the students and faculty at FHSU. Extensive written records of research and results is expected. Once accepted into the program, students can use the low residency option for one semester or an entire program. Progress is monintored at the end of each semester with a committee meeting. If satisfactory achievement is not documented, a student can be suspended or removed from the program.

Michaela Groeblacher, a new low residency student from McPherson, Kansas, has 3 pieces in the Wichita National.  She just recently moved into a big, new studio and is excited about where her new space and the MFA program will take her.

Persephone by Michaela Groeblacher

Nefertiti by Michaela GroeblacherDemeter by Michaela Groeblacher

Demeter by Michaela Groeblacher


The following images are provided by Jamie Mills who is working on an advanced project of harvesting clays and burying autobiographical ceramic books.

Jamie’s research emphasizes the skill and labor necessary to recognize and process raw clay into the art material we often take for granted and consider humble, even cheap. By harvesting clay, Jamie honors this earth material and each ball of plastic play has a precious quality that underscores the magical process of making, firing and transforming the clay into ceramic.

Here’s Jamie’s comments about this project.

The clay from Del Rio was metaphorically delicious!  And yes it was plastic to a point, but then would split once it stretched.  I think the cylinder cracked because of throwing inconsistencies…the clay loved to be consistent, but that piece was my first to throw with that clay, and I was going to trim the bottom so I left it a bit thicker.  Drying out stressed it to too much, and I have to admit, I’m a kid waiting for Christmas when it comes to drying clay for the kiln, and I did put these pieces in the sun to rush them a bit.

I did not add anything to it what so ever and I was pleased with these results…and after the local Ellis County (Texas, not Kansas) clay failure, I was a bit worried with this, but the field reminded me of all those buckets of dried clay we’ve dealt with over the years…the cracked “puzzle” pieces on the ground looked too failure not to work.

And it’s a dirty clay.  It smells very earthy…like potting soil. and it leave ones hands dryer than any other clay I’ve worked with and working with it leaves a sticky residue on the hands…not like a processed clay slip…again, more like a potting soil than what I’m use to.

The books are working great.  I’m still having conversations with students and colleagues about what a book is and how what I’m doing stretches the definition but works with it in the long run.  It simply is great having conversation about art.