The Unforgettable Experience of three years MFA studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

The original reason for my coming to the United States was to find a studio that would allow me to devote myself to making new work; Professor Lynda LaRoche at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) opened that door for me.

As a public state university in Pennsylvania, Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) has offered me a wonderful study environment, providing me with a variety of classes and diversified cultural experiences and relationships. By studying with a number of different professors at IUP, I have been able to access a variety of mediums and practices, and to reflect upon my work and the work of others in classes such as Art Seminar and Art Critique. This learning experience has provided me with a systematic approach to understanding and critiquing a wide variety of approaches and at the same time, has respected and encouraged my own artistic language. My artwork has been affected by these new cultures and environments and I have developed a new approach which combines my Chinese traditional culture with new perspectives on contemporary issues during my three years of study.

 Jewelry and Metals Studio at IUP

I was able to immerse myself in the IUP and Indiana community and I have enjoyed the local American culture, which has provided me many worthwhile experiences outside of the studio. The Office of International Education offered various programs for an international communication, such as International United Day and Conversation Club, which have enriched my life experiences.


Outside of Indiana, Pittsburgh was the closest city to broaden my views through art and crafts exhibition, especially the Society for Contemporary Craft and Luke & Eloy Gallery. I attended most gallery exhibitions and discovered many artists. These artists work with traditional craft materials and have developed a unique language through materials and process. This insight opened up a new door for me to critique my work and gave me references to involve myself with contemporary art. At the same time, I started to exhibit in these galleries, interacting with the public community and various artists. I am enriched by learning different concepts and techniques as well as urban area culture. These experiences will contribute to my future position as an educator and an artist.

 A Group Exhibition at Luke & Eloy Gallery

I have successfully completed my three years of MFA studies at IUP. Through a remarkable range of classes and excellent facilities that promote a personal experience, I am satisfied that my IUP education has opened the same window as other competitive universities in the United States.  (My work has been selected for a number of exhibits and I have been honored with several competitive awards and fellowships, too) As a person who has drive, an innovative perspective, and ever-growing communication skills, I have achieved both academic and artistic success and have significantly broadened my multicultural perspective. My experience has been unforgettable and I believe it will benefit me for the rest of my life.

My Thesis Exhibition

 Woodworking Class Critique


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Comment by Bifei Cao on April 18, 2012 at 11:36am
Yes, I miss your gallery, where I started to grow up. I had few shows at L&E and saw so many wonderful artists' work. Yup, good momories!!
Comment by Brigitte Martin on April 18, 2012 at 11:05am

Thanks for the shout out to the L&E gallery. It was nice to see the card again, good memories :-)

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Masthead Credits

Bettina Matzkuhn, Vancouver, BC


30cm h x 96 cm w
Fabric collage, machine and hand embroidery.

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