The Review Board is an essential aspect of the SMFA experience. At the Review Board, students engage in a conversation about their work with faculty and students, which often provides the basis for the student's revision of his or her own artistic aims.
The process affords students and faculty the opportunity to think about the art at hand as the effect of an organic creative process, rather than as a set of isolated pieces created in different classes. By seeing the semester's work as a whole, faculty and students at the Review Board are able to recognize the explicit and implicit relationships between the pieces presented. This ability to understand the work, where the context is determined by the artist, allows the Review Board participants to draw out the work's organizing questions, ideas and aims that might not have been readily apparent. This experience furthermore provides an opportunity for students to articulate and understand more fully the integration of their research-based practices with their studio projects, and to that end often involves Visual and Critical Studies faculty.
By requiring that students experience the Review Board at the end of each semester, SMFA helps students to cultivate the ability to articulate their own artistic direction and questions, to evaluate their needs and achievements and to theorize and plan their own development as an artist. The Review Board is one of the most valuable and unique experiences at SMFA, an experience very much in line with the school's mission as a teaching institution devoted to cultivating the artist as intellectual, as interdisciplinarily-informed and, above all, as self-directed.