Jessica Ingram is Interim Chair while Chair Tammy Rae Carland is on sabbatical.
The Photography Program at CCA is embedded in a contemporary, vibrant and historically significant photo community in the Bay Area. The program has strong relationships with local museums, galleries, publishers, studios, and artists. We take a broad-based approach to photographic education, engaging students in the most contemporary practices as well as in the traditions and historical structures from which those practices have evolved.
Our curriculum provides a strong technical foundation that covers both analog and digital practices and simultaneously focuses on the critical and theoretical skill building necessary to pursue a career as an exhibiting artist and to work in photography-related professions.
My education was rooted in interdisciplinary scholarship with an emphasis on research, cultural studies, photography, storytelling, and social justice.
I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from New York University Tisch School of the Arts, with a double major in Political Science; a Master of Fine Arts from California College of Arts and Crafts.
After graduate school I started and ran a non-profit storytelling program for young people in the foster care system in the Bay Area.
My practice includes multi-media non-fiction narrative, public art commissions, and community-based programming. My work is motivated by my desire to understand how people relate, what they long for, and what motivates the choices they make. Some recent bodies of work include A Civil Rights Memorial, about sites where atrocities were committed during the Civil Rights Movement and the related stories and court cases in the American South, and Hilltop High, about young mothers attending an alternative high school for pregnant teenagers in San Francisco.
I am a principal member of Cause Collective, along with artists Hank Willis Thomas, Ryan Alexiev, and Bayete Ross Smith. Cause Collective has received multiple public art commissions in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the Oakland International Airport, Oakland Museum of California, and SF Camerawork.
Our program hosts a dedicated pool of faculty including leaders such as Susan Ciriclio and Larry Sultan, both of whom have contributed greatly to the ongoing success of our program and its alumni. All of the faculty contribute to the development of the curriculum, facilities, and program community, while maintaining innovative and inspiring creative practices that are based in art exhibition, commercial and journalistic pursuits, academic publishing, and community-involved, project-based works.
(Please visit the Photography faculty profiles to learn more about each of them.)
Photography Curriculum & Facilities
As a program we believe in the value of an art education. To learn a period of history through its aesthetic movements and cultural discourses and to learn a language that is visualized rather than spoken are skills that resonate well beyond a profession in the arts. These are skills that give one the capacity to be socially aware, become an independent creative thinker, and develop the foundation for an innovative career and successful leadership.
The Photography Program boasts a dynamic fine art–based curriculum. We are committed to introducing and building both digital and analog technical skills from the beginning of the curriculum, while simultaneously incorporating media history, critical engagement, and the development of personal vision.
Critical engagement is embedded in the medium of photography due to its cultural impact in the commercial, media, and domestic spheres. Photography is the site of discourse around some of our culture’s major modern inquiries into representation, identity, and social awareness; this makes for a lively curriculum—one that is committed to dialogue, debate, and the examination of meaning.
The program’s Tools courses introduce a range of media and technology that encompasses digital and analog capture and output as well as studio and field practices. We teach film and digital exposure, lighting, all camera formats, film scanning, and digital-file preparation as well as fine printing.
We maintain an analog black-and-white lab and have introduced brand-new digital facilities as of fall 2011. We are committed to following the industry standards for photographic media, while simultaneously considering the creative trajectories of the photo-based artist, which sometimes are at odds with the direction of the commercial production of photography resources.
The Photography Program has well maintained and continuingly evolving facilities and equipment that are available to all students enrolled in our courses.
Bay Area Photography & Art
The Bay Area hosts a lively photography community with a long history rooted in academic, exhibition, and independent institutions. Institutions such as SF Camerawork, Photo Alliance, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Pier 24 Photography offer extensive and diverse programming that includes exhibitions, lectures, and workshops that the Photography Program faculty regularly incorporates into its courses.
Many local fine arts galleries also exist that show emerging and established fine art photographers. We tap into all of these resources in building our robust visiting artist Photography Lecture Series, in which we invite approximately six artists each semester to lecture.
We have also cultivated a variety of internship opportunities for our students with industry magazines, newspapers, museums, galleries, and private collections as well as with both commercial and fine art photographers in their studios.
Our program is committed to giving students support, knowledge, and skills while they study at CCA and to continuing those relationships into the future.