Online MFA Programs Provide Flexibility

Abigail Gomez needed some flexibility in her life. She wanted to expand her education, but had commitments that limited her ability to drop everything and go to school.

Fortunately, Academy of Art University’s online courses gave her the freedom to earn her School of Fine Art MFA entirely online while living and working in Virginia.

Once set up in her home studio, Gomez used her MFA thesis project to explore her vibrant past and Cuban heritage.

Watch the video below to learn how her journey took her from taking classes online in her Virginia home, to her first gallery showing in San Francisco.

The Flexibility to Explore Your Options

After receiving her BFA from Virginia Tech in 2007, Abigail Gomez was looking to expand her education with an MFA in fine art. She needed a program that allowed her to work from home, and gave her the flexibility to seek inspiration from places like Cuba.

The flexibility of the Academy’s online programs made it possible for her to continue her studies at the graduate level while maintaining her work obligations and living in Virginia.

For her MFA thesis, “Roots: La Cuba de mi Bisabuelo,” Gomez focused on a series of mixed-media works on panels, inspired by her Cuban heritage. The brightly colored, textural paintings are abstracted representations of the landscapes and vistas she discovered during trips to the Cuban cities where her great-grandfather lived.

What stood out to her the most about her four years at the Academy online was the level of attention she received from the Fine Art faculty.

“The instructors at Academy of Art University have been incredibly supportive throughout my career,” she said. “I’m really impressed with the way they care about each student and I have grown tremendously.”

A Robust Online Opportunity

Academy of Art University’s Online Education Department has helped thousands of online art students from all over the world realize their professional and creative ambitions—on their terms.

Since 2002, we’ve built over 1,300 online courses and produced over 15,000 instructional videos. We offer more than 950 online courses per semester, and help countless students from 50+ countries enjoy the quality and versatility of an online education at the Academy.

Study the topics you want online; on your time, at your pace. Take full- or part-time classes. Your education is literally in your hands. Learn more. 

Our Faculty

Annamarie Nelson, Online Director of Painting & Printmaking, graduated from UCLA with a degree in Italian Language and Literature, and attended Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA, as an illustration major and after six terms began accepting freelance work and commission paintings.

Nelson continues to contribute work to the annual Academy of Art faculty/alumni Fine Art Auction to help raise scholarship money for Academy students.

To learn more about the online degree programs offered at the Academy, visit the Online Education page.