California College of the Arts

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California College of the Arts
Cca logo.svg
Type Private
Established 1907
President Stephen Beal
Academic staff
Students 1,950
Location San Francisco, California and Oakland, California, USA
Campus 4 acres (1.6 ha)

California College of the Arts (CCA) is an art, design, architecture, and writing school founded in 1907. It has campuses in San Francisco and Oakland, and it enrolls approximately 1,500 undergraduates and 500 graduate students.

CCA educates students to shape culture and society through the practice and critical study of art, architecture, design, and writing. The college prepares students for lifelong creative work by cultivating innovation, community engagement, and social and environmental responsibility.

CCA advocates that artists, designers, architects, and writers have important roles in solving the world’s cultural, environmental, social, and economic problems. The college cultivates intellectual curiosity and risk taking, collaboration and innovation, compassion and integrity. CCA is a proponent of social justice and community engagement. The college promotes diversity by improving access and opportunities for underrepresented groups.


CCA benefits from its location in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Bay Area and Silicon Valley are global hubs of entrepreneurship, technology, and design. 40 percent of all venture capital money in the United States is invested here. The region is also noted for its cultural and ethnic diversity. CCA’s educational experience is strengthened by this innovative, international, multicultural environment.

The college has forged key connections with major Bay Area corporations, arts organizations, and community-based nonprofits. These entities sponsor studios, offer internships to students, and employ students, alumni, and faculty.


California College of the Arts ranks among the premier fine arts and design institutions in the United States.

In terms of salary potential, PayScale ranks CCA the top art and design college in the United States, and in the top 10 of all colleges and universities on the West Coast.[citation needed]

CCA is one of only two art colleges that made it onto the 2013 “AC Online: Highest Return on Investment Colleges in California” list, coming in at #25 out of a total of 767 colleges considered.[citation needed]

BusinessWeek magazine calls CCA one of the world’s best design schools.[1]

CCA ranks fourth among San Francisco Bay Area colleges and universities for highest-paying degrees (Stanford, Santa Clara University, and UC Berkeley, in that order, are the top three).

U.S. News & World Report ranks CCA as one of the top graduate master of fine arts programs for Ceramics, Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Interior Design, Painting/Drawing, Photography, and Sculpture.[2]

CCA has been named a national “College of Distinction” in the categories of engaged students, great teaching, vibrant communities, and successful outcomes.

The Princeton Review designates CCA as one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the United States and Canada.

Programs and educational initiatives[edit]

CCA offers 21 undergraduate and 13 graduate majors. CCA confers the bachelor of fine arts (BFA), bachelor of arts (BA), bachelor of architecture (BArch), master of fine arts (MFA), master of arts (MA), master of architecture (MArch), Master of Advanced Architectural Design (MAAD), and master of business administration (MBA) degrees.

The college hosts lectures, artist talks, and other special events almost every day during the academic term. Its state-of-the-art facilities range from glass studios to 3D printers, animation labs, and a full-scale production stage, enabling students to realize almost any creative vision.

The CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, located near the San Francisco campus in a new facility on Kansas St., is a forum for leading-edge contemporary culture. Its innovative exhibitions and accompanying publications and lectures feature compelling, important artists working on both the local and the international levels. In 2013 the Wattis Institute welcomed a new director, Anthony Huberman, formerly of Artist's Space in New York.[3]

Sponsored studio courses enable students to work directly with professionals from distinguished firms such as IDEO and Adobe. Internships help students gain practical experience and professional connections while earning academic credit.

The CCA Center for Art and Public Life, based on the Oakland campus, organizes numerous programs (community art collaborations, student project grants, and more), putting students in contact with diverse communities in the Bay Area and around the world.

Faculty and alumni[edit]

CCA's faculty and graduates have influenced and led mid- and late twentieth-century art movements. Alumni Robert Arneson and Peter Voulkos and faculty member Viola Frey helped establish the medium of ceramics as a fine art and were closely linked to the emergence of the 1960s ceramics movement. The photorealist movement of the 1970s is represented by current faculty member Jack Mendenhall and alumni Robert Bechtle and Richard McLean. Alumni Nathan Oliveira and Manuel Neri were leaders in the Bay Area Figurative Movement. Marvin Lipofsky founded CCA's Glass Program in 1967 and was important in the Studio Glass movement. Two school faculty established California Faience.

Other noted alumni include the artists Jules de Balincourt, Margo Humphrey, Hank Willis Thomas, Natalia Anciso, and Toyin Odutola; the Oscar-winning filmmaker Audrey Marrs; the illustrator Tomie de Paola; the writer Chelsea Martin; the conceptual artists Harrell Fletcher, David Ireland, and Dennis Oppenheim; and the designers Lucille Tenazas, Michael Vanderbyl, and Gary Hutton; and the inventor of the waterphone, Richard Waters; and writer and illustrator Josh Gibson.

Other notable faculty[edit]


Yves Béhar, Brenda Laurel, Christopher Simmons, Michael Vanderbyl, Mark Fox



Darrell Alvarez, Kim Anno, Amy Balkin, Barbara Pilakowski Barrett, Claudia Bernardi, Libby Black, Keith Boadwee, Rebeca Bollinger, Tammy Rae Carland, Squeak Carnwath, Agnes Chavez, Susanne Cockrell, Brian Conley, Lia Cook, Albert Dolmans, Kota Ezawa, Josh Faught, Bella Feldman, Linda Fleming, Linda Geary, Bryan Nash Gill, James Gobel, Jim Goldberg, David Heintz, Ana Maria Hernando, David Huffman, Chris Johnson, Lynn Marie Kirby, Christian Jankowski, Tim Lee, Ken Lum, Jordan Kantor, Xavier Martínez, Ranu Mukherjee, Robert S. Neuman, Shaun O'dell, Frederick E. Olmsted, Maria Porges, Ted Purves, Florence Resnikoff, Alan Revere, Anysa Saleh, Raymond Saunders, Kay Sekimachi, Allison Smith, Don Stivers, Larry Sultan, Richard Walker, Mario Ybarra Jr., John Zurier


Faith Adiele, Opal Palmer Adisa, Anita Amirrezvani, Tom Barbash, Dodie Bellamy, Donna de la Perriere, Tonya Foster, Gloria Frym, Kevin Killian, Joseph Lease, Michael McClure, Denise Newman, Aimee Phan, Ishmael Reed, Matt Silady, and Al Young.


Raimundas Malasauskas, Renny Pritikin, and Jens Hoffmann


Rob Epstein, Lynn Marie Kirby and Jeanne Finley


CCA is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), and the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA).


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°50′09″N 122°15′01″W / 37.83593°N 122.25030°W / 37.83593; -122.25030