MFA in fibers

I have been kicking around the idea of getting an art degree. I have a sneaking suspicion that part of this has to do with my love of school and that going to school for a Masters of Fine Arts in fibers is really a way to delay some dedicated work in my own studio. However, another part of my brain wonders if there are things to be learned in art school that I have missed completely (actually I'm sure this is true) in my haphazard, cobbled-together art education. Can I find those things on my own (without a formal educational setting that is)? Probably, if I have a little faith and find the people who can help me learn them. But how do I continue to find those people?

A decade ago I visited Cranbrook with my artist/architect sister and wished that I could be part of that fiber department. The fibers instructor recommended I get a BFA before I came knocking on her door again (and admittedly at that point I had no body of work at all, so she was right). And the price of that institution now that I might consider trying to get in, is prohibitive.

The crux of it, I believe, is that I want to have the opportunity to become submerged in my own art-making. I think I have some notion that if I was in an art-school environment, there would be ideas literally bombarding me at all times and I would just have to reach out and pluck them out of the air and weave them into my tapestry. I suspect this is not the reality. On the other hand, my realistic self understands that making art is a difficult and sometimes painful process and that art school may only magnify that, perhaps to good end--or perhaps will simply frustrate me as I try to complete other people's assignments and don't have time for my own ideas.

I think this question of professionalism and art degrees is something that we (artists, fiber people??) don't talk about much. Are those who have advanced degrees in art afraid of devaluing them in some way? Is spending years working in photography, print making, or sculpture really helpful if we want to be fiber artists? I suspect there are great benefits to working in other mediums... but I also suspect that I have passed the place in my life where those pursuits are useful to me.

Still, the question remains, MFA or not? Any thoughts?