CCA's Graduate Fine Arts Studios Head to the Dogpatch

Minnesota Street Project. Photo by Maggie Beasley. Minnesota Street Project. Photo by Maggie Beasley.

Beginning in September 2018, and for the next five years, studios for CCA’s Graduate Program in Fine Arts will be in the American Industrial Center - a building supporting maker and artist spaces in the heart of San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood - one of the most vibrant contemporary arts communities in the city. 

Dogpatch has been put on the map by groundbreaking artist spaces and cultural organizations such as Minnesota Street Project, the Museum of Craft and Design, and Workshop Residence (founded by CCA board member Ann Hatch). It is also home to a wide range of contemporary arts galleries, design, and architecture firms. 

With studios located in the area, students will have easy access to CCA’s San Francisco campus (bikeable, walkable, and easily accessible by mass transit) while also benefiting from the immediate access to the arts resources and community the Dogpatch has to offer. 

“The energy in the Dogpatch is palpable,” says James Voorhies, Dean of Fine Arts at CCA. “It’s a vibrant area with not only galleries, artists studios, and museums, but also organizations and businesses rethinking and pushing new intersections among art, design, architecture, and community.” 

“This activity is spirited by San Francisco’s long history of innovative thinking around materials, technology, and place,” Voorhies adds. “I’m delighted our graduate students in the fine arts will have an opportunity to experience it and I’m sure contribute to the tenor of the place.” 

The American Industrial Center is home to a community of nearly 300 businesses, ranging from architects (including Studio Gang, the firm envisioning CCA’s new, expanded campus design), to breweries, tech startups and world-famous chocolatiers. 

The move comes as CCA’s MFA in Fine Arts program continues to evolve beyond the school’s walls and into the neighborhood being redefined as DoReMi (an anagram of Dogpatch, Potrero Hill, and the Mission) creating exciting new opportunities for students. This Spring, the Graduate Program in Fine Arts’ annual student Thesis Exhibition will be presented in full for the first time at Minnesota Street Project galleries. 

“CCA has always been deeply integrated within the rich cultural fabric of the Bay Area,” says CCA President Stephen Beal. “Bringing the MFA fine arts studios to Dogpatch during this exciting time at CCA is just one example of opening our doors to the neighborhood around us and building an even stronger community of artists and designers that are the beating heart of this city.” 

CCA has leased the space within the American Industrial Center and will continue to assess the success it provides to the graduate fine arts program and its students as the college moves forward in the realization of a unified, and expanded campus in San Francisco. 

The MFA in Fine Arts studios are currently located at 188 Hooper Street, where two of the three buildings on the site are slated to be transformed into a new student housing complex by Stanley Saitowitz / Natoma Architects. The proposal for the facility, which is currently in review by the city, would house 500 students and feature a modern food hall on the ground floor, accessible to the general public and to the entire CCA community.