Sculpture student working in the mold studio_hero_MB

BFASculpture

Learn to make sculpture at any scale, in every material imaginable, from nationally renowned artists.

Overview

Establish an interdisciplinary practice

Sculpture at CCA includes many disciplines and viewpoints. You’ll work with a range of complex materials as you study the medium’s role throughout history and contemporary culture. Compared to traditional fine arts programs, we’re much more experimental. From performance and installation to video and social practice, you’ll have the chance to try everything.

Student and faculty lift sculpture molds out of the kiln in the foundry_event feature_MB

Join an inspiring fine arts community

Positioned within a top art and design college, the Sculpture program gives you access to incredible resources and tools for interdisciplinary work. You’ll learn to incorporate painting, photography, textiles, and more into your projects. Cutting-edge fabrication tools and traditional craft-based methods inform your creative process, while a dedicated Maker’s Library helps you explore new possibilities in aluminum, ceramics, clay, metal, and plaster.

Studios + Shops

Artisanal workshop meets high-tech lab

Sculpture student preparing to pour liquid bronze in the metal foundry

Cast in bronze and prototype with CAD software

Our unique curriculum emphasizes craft, critical thinking, visual and cultural literacy, collaboration, and social responsibility. You’ll learn that research and conceptualization are just as important as choosing the right materials and fabrication tools. Our facilities, including a foundry, outdoor forge, metal fabrication and welding shop, woodworking shop, and model-making studio, help you work with every material imaginable.

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Open studio electives, designed to give you the freedom to explore other disciplines, blur the lines between craft and fine art. You can experiment with 3D rapid prototyping, kinetic work in high-end computer labs, or even performance. Whether you’re planning for graduate school or your own small business, you’ll master the technical skills needed for a professional practice.

Tahir Hemphill 'Mapper's Delight' exhibition at Hubbell_CCA Sculpture student showcase art in the Bay Area_MB

Showcase your art in the Bay Area

You’ll have many opportunities to exhibit at CCA. We encourage everyone to organize solo and group shows, using our flexible installation spaces and dedicated student gallery. You’ll also make important connections with visiting artists and meet practitioners at nearby arts institutions, such as the Headlands Center for the Arts and Minnesota Street Project. These relationships can help you land assistantships and research roles right after graduation.

Industry-standard tools and equipment

  • Foundry for bronze, aluminum, iron, and pewter
  • Furnaces and burnout kilns
  • Overhead swivel crane
  • Wax-working stations
  • Sandblaster
  • Welding equipment
  • Plasma torch
  • Band and chop saws
  • Drill press
  • Lathe and milling machines
  • Manual slip roll for bending steel
  • Sheet metal brake
  • Gas forge with anvil, swage, and tools
  • Free or low-cost scrap metal, sanding discs, and waxes
  • Woodworking equipment (hand and power tools)
  • Mold-making materials
  • Vacuum-forming machine
  • Industrial sewing machine

Faculty

Context-driven practices

Our faculty include acclaimed artists who frequently exhibit nationally and internationally. They combine skills in craft, fine arts, and design to address pressing social and political issues. Ambitious risk-takers, they push the boundaries of the medium to create original, context-driven practices. You’ll work with them one-on-one to strengthen your critical analysis skills and formal craft competencies.

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Susanne Cockrell, Interim Chair of Sculpture

Interim Chair Susanne Cockrell is a studio artist, researcher, and public art practitioner. She’s interested in concept-driven projects that explore people, land use, systems thinking, and social and public engagement. Cockrell’s sculpture and installation work has been exhibited at the Headlands Center for the Arts, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and elsewhere.

Curriculum

We think with our hands

Every undergraduate student participates in the First Year Core program, an opportunity to explore a wide range of materials and tools. Faculty from different disciplines guide studio projects, group critiques, and discussions on foundational theory to help set students up for success.

BFA Sculpture

Core Studio

Drawing 1, 2D, 3D, 4D or two of the core classes and two writing workshops or studios
12 units

Sculpture Major Requirements

Sculpture 1
3 units
Sculpture 2
3 units
Metal Techniques for Sculpture
3 units
Sculpture Workshops
6 units
Craft Workshop
3 units
Studio Mentorship
3 units
Digital Tools: 3D
3 units
Junior Seminar
3 units
Advanced Sculpture Workshop
3 units
Senior Project: Sculpture
6 units

Additional Studio Requirements

Interdisciplinary Critique
3 units
Interdisciplinary Studio
3 units
Diversity Studies Studio
3 units
Studio Electives
15 units

Humanities + Sciences Requirements

Writing 1
3 units
Writing 2
3 units
Introduction to the Arts: Antiquity to Early Modern or World Literature Survey
3 units
Introduction to the Modern Arts
3 units
Foundation in Critical Studies
3 units
Media History: Sculpture
3 units
Literary and Performing Arts Studies (200 level)
3 units
Philosophy and Critical Theory (200 level)
3 units
Social Science/History (200 level)
3 units
Science/Math (200 level)
3 units
Visual Studies (200 level)
3 units
Writing and Research in the Disciplines (LITPA-320)
3 units
Humanities and Sciences (300 level)
6 units
Diversity Studies Seminar
3 units
Humanities and Science Electives (200 or 300 level)
3 units

Total 120 units

Careers

Craft skills in many disciplines

Student screwing together a ceramic sculpture in the mold lab

Our students graduate with a solid conceptual and historical foundation in sculpture. What truly sets them apart, however, is their broad material vocabulary. Not only do they have basic skills in many crafts, but also interdisciplinary skills that pull from furniture, glass, interaction design, jewelry and metal arts, textiles, and many other disciplines.

Potential career paths

  • Studio artist
  • Public artist
  • Fabricator
  • Furniture maker
  • Curator
  • Exhibition designer
  • Educator
  • Small business owner

News + Events

What’s happening in our community?

How to Apply

Become a versatile artist and collaborator

Our students are interested in exploring sculpture beyond traditional materials and applications. They imagine an open practice that empowers them to think critically and create authentically. Instead of being tied to a single medium, they have the freedom to experiment with sculptural work through installation, performance, and community-based projects.

Find your creative community at CCA

Apply now