Meet the Chair, James Gobel

Background & Influences

I earned my BFA in Photography from UNLV in 1995 then received my MFA in Painting from UC Santa Barbara in 1999. Having Grown up in Portland Oregon and since having lived in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and now San Francisco, I am happy to consider the west coast not only home but a great influence in my work. Specifically the history, locations, politics, and social activism within the LGBT community in California all inspire my studio practice. Although my work is primarily understood to be within the realm of painting and drawing, I am equally passionate about other approaches of art making. My interest in teaching and mentoring emerging artists is rooted in the same desires I have for my own artistic endeavors. The desire for my work to be appreciated, reflected upon and critiqued.

About CCA’s MFA Program in Fine Art

One of the most notable differences of the Graduate Program in Fine Arts at CCA to other MFA programs is our interdisciplinary approach. Our programming and curriculum aim for artists of any discipline to create, share and engage in open dialogue with their peers and faculty alike. We are interested in expanding the conversations and notions of what a studio practice means.

Graduate studies at CCA will conclude with a solo presentation of ones work however our students are additionally encouraged to think beyond the singular limits of the commercial gallery walls. Working collectively, collaboratively, in public spheres or social spaces are all opportunities not to be overlooked. Our curriculum creates opportunities for deep investigations into a wide range of pursuits and ideas, the core experience of witch is always grounded in the studio practice the individual student. Content raging from politics, experimental material and method explorations, narrative, science and technology, and critical theory. Always focusing on how we can connect and reflect our concepts in new and relevant ways though art-making.

Our most important objective is ensure that each candidate in our program will gain the ability to critically examine their practice, continually take risks, and maintain lifelong profession as an artist that is both ambitious and meaningful.

On the Future

CCA’s Graduate Program in Fine Arts will continue to ramp up the opportunities for partnerships and entrepreneurial efforts, to critically examine what it means to be an artist and to have a practice in the 21st century, and to plug our college into the larger global dialogue that includes not only art world issues but also larger cultural concerns and trends. We also will continue to provide innovative curriculum opportunities, exposure to renowned and emerging visiting artists that will support our commitment to providing students with the experience they need to embark on meaningful, sustainable art practices.