Aaron Wilder will Pursue an MFA at San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) Starting Fall 2015


April 24, 2015



San Francisco Art Institute

In 2013, Aaron Wilder decided to make a serious investment in the future of his art career. He spent a significant amount of time researching programs, talking to alumni, faculty, and students and eventually applied to six programs in late 2014. He was accepted into four programs and decided on April 21st, 2015 to attend San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI).

Aaron's goals for pursuing an MFA can be summarized by Kurt Lewin’s “Model of Change.” In parallel to his self-taught artistic practice, he has built a career in the world of business. Aaron currently works as a consultant where he helps clients adapt to change. Lewin’s model theorizes change as a three-part transition.

You first “unfreeze” the current state of affairs in an organization. This includes taking an inventory of the “as-is” situation so you know where you’re starting as well as the “to be” state that you want it to become. Over the last couple years, Aaron has gone through an unfreezing process by acknowledging that a career as an artist is closer to his needs than his current career. He investigated a range of methods to conduct the change process, decided an MFA experience is most likely to ensure success, and thoroughly researched programs.

Second is the process of change itself by actively implementing a strategy of how you move from the “as is” to the “to be.” The MFA itself will provide this process of change.

Third is “re-freezing” the state of affairs once the change is successful by reinforcing the altered behaviors in a formal way. Toward the completion of the MFA, Aaron will “re-freeze” himself as a professional artist reinforced by the tools, techniques, and connections the MFA program provides.

SFAI was founded in 1871, and is one of the oldest art schools in the United States and the oldest west of the Mississippi River. Aaron Wilder will move from Washington, DC to San Francisco in August to pursue SFAI's full-time, two year MFA program.