Meet the Chair

About James Gobel

Background & Influences

I earned my BFA in photography from UNLV in 1995 and my MFA in painting from UC Santa Barbara in 1999. I grew up in Portland, Oregon, and have since lived in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and now San Francisco.

I am happy to consider the West Coast not only home, but also a great influence in my work. Specifically, the history, locations, politics, and social activism within the LGBT community in California have inspired 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 in Fine Art

One of the most notable differences of our program to other MFA programs is the 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.

Your graduate studies here will conclude with a solo presentation of your 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 which is always grounded in the studio practice of the individual student.

We allow you to explore a wide range of content -- politics, experimental material and method explorations, narrative, science and technology, and critical theory.

We focus on how artists can connect and reflect their concepts in new and relevant ways though art making.

Our most important objective is to ensure all candidates in our program gain the ability to critically examine their practice, continually take risks, and maintain a 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, continuing to critically examine what it means to be an artist and to have a practice in the 21st century.

We are furthering our efforts to dial into the larger global dialogue that includes not only art world issues, but also larger cultural concerns and trends.

We are also continuing to provide innovative curriculum opportunities, exposure to renowned and emerging visiting artists -- artists who support our commitment to providing you with the experience you need to embark on meaningful and sustainable art practices.