The Fine Arts division at California College of the Arts supports the belief that artists are uniquely qualified to take active roles in a broad spectrum of creative, cultural, and economic arenas in the 21st century.
Our innovative approach to arts education fosters critical making, passionate creativity, intellectual agility, and technical proficiency. Our goal is to produce self-sustaining artists, trained in individual risk taking and team-based collaboration, who excel as creative practitioners in rapidly changing local, national, and international communities.
The strength of the educational experience at CCA rests on the exceptional range of fine arts disciplines and the rich cross-disciplinary dialogue among fine arts, design, and architecture.
The Fine Arts division comprises 12 undergraduate programs (listed below) as well as the flagship interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Fine Arts.
Working along the technological continuum that extends from handmade to cutting edge, students are challenged to stake out new aesthetic territory in contemporary art and craft practices. Building on a century-long tradition of “theory and practice,” the fine arts programs emphasize rigorous engagement with materiality and meaning, theoretical inquiry and research, dynamic interdisciplinarity, cultural fluency, and entrepreneurial approaches.
Faculty & Visiting Artists
Many of these programs assert long and celebrated histories with recognized national reputations. Renowned faculty, visiting artists, and guest lecturers are at the forefront of their fields and represent a diverse set of aesthetic practices and cultural perspectives. Faculty members regularly exhibit nationally and internationally, are featured in prominent art publications, and receive prestigious fellowships, residencies, and awards.
Rich Bay Area Arts Community
CCA’s fine arts programs draw on the rich histories of art making, technological innovation, and social activism for which the Bay Area is known. Our curricula integrate studio practice, project-based learning, and community engagement in the form of individual internships and collaborative projects with art organizations and community sites such as La Peña Cultural Center, Far West High School, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Additionally, professional relationships with organizations such as Pixar Animation Studios and the Sundance Film Festival, among others, extend learning beyond the classroom.
The outstanding facilities on the Oakland and San Francisco campuses include animation computer labs; ceramic kilns and a glaze lab; glass blowing, cold working, and glass-casting facilities; metal welding and wood shops; film production and sound facilities; painting and drawing studios; analog black-and-white darkrooms, an alternative process photo lab, and digital-photo facilities with output center; letterpress and silk-screen studios; a metal foundry; and a dye lab, print tables, and weaving studio with digital jacquard loom.
Critique is the educational cornerstone of all CCA fine arts studio courses, providing a structured forum in which students hone their visual literacy and communication skills. Third-year fine arts majors participate in a formal review to present their work and articulate their conceptual investigations to an interdisciplinary panel of faculty and arts professionals. Fourth-year students shape a body of work that culminates in a solo exhibition in one of the six CCA campus galleries.
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