Who we are:

Open MFA is an artist collective that provides community, dialogue, and cross-disciplinary collaboration for artists based in the Houston area. The artist-run organization is shaped by everyone who takes part—participation is free and open to artists of any discipline.

Open MFA provides accessibility to arts education by creating space for community and collaboration amongst artists on the periphery of Houston’s art scene. Inspired by desirable elements of a traditional MFA program, we create opportunities for artists to share knowledge and skills, explore new ideas within their individual practice, and gain intellectual and social exchanges between each other and the broader public. We invite artists, who may otherwise take on student debt to pursue an MFA program, to challenge their work and have meaningful conversations with a community of artists. We are a resource for artists to continue their education—whether they already have a University degree, intend to pursue one in the future, or want to pursue an alternative route.

What we do:

Open MFA hosts meet-ups, artist talks, exhibitions, and group projects throughout the year. At minimum, we organize at least one meet-up each month. Previous meet-ups have been held at Lawndale Art Center, The Menil Collection park, and The Orange Show. Open MFA has hosted group exhibitions at Flatland Gallery, curated by Erica Reed Lee, and Raven Tower, curated by Megan Olivia Ebel. Open MFA has hosted 8 digital artist residencies and visiting artist talks with artists including Havel Ruck Projects and Michael Menchaca.

What we need:

Donations to Open MFA through Fresh Arts will help fund exhibition expenses, artist stipends, and operational costs including website and promotional materials. Additionally, we are in need of a space to host meet-ups and group projects that is accessible to our members in the Houston area.