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[1] 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.[2]

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.[3]

CCA has been named a national "College of Distinction" in the categories of engaged students, great teaching, vibrant communities, and successful outcomes.[citation needed]

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


CCA was founded in 1907 by Frederick Meyer in Berkeley as the School of the California Guild of Arts and Crafts during the height of the Arts and Crafts movement. The Arts and Crafts movement originated in Europe during the late 19th century as a response to the industrial aesthetics of the machine age. Followers of the movement advocated an integrated approach to art, design, and craft. Today, Frederick Meyer’s "practical art school" is an internationally known and respected institution, drawing students from around the world.[4]

In 1908 the school was renamed California School of Arts and Crafts, and in 1936 it became the California College of Arts and Crafts (CCAC).

The college’s Oakland campus location was acquired in 1922, when Meyer bought the four-acre James Treadwell estate at Broadway and College Avenue. Two of its buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places. The Oakland campus still houses the more traditional, craft based studios like the art glass, jewelry metal arts, printmaking, painting, sculpture and ceramic programs.

In recognition of the institution’s growth and the broadening of its focus and offerings, in 2003 the college changed its name to California College of the Arts.

Programs and educational initiatives[edit]

CCA offers 22 undergraduate and 13 graduate majors.[5] 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), masters of design (MDes)[5] 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.[6]

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.


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[7] 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.[citation needed]

Noted alumni include the artists (listed in alphabetical order, by last name);









Mixed media[edit]





Listed noted faculty both past and present, in alphabetical order by last name.




Painting and Fine Arts[edit]


Sculpture and Glass[edit]




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).


  1. ^ "California College of the Arts (CCA) Overview". US News. Retrieved 2016-04-06. 
  2. ^ "BusinessWeek: Best Design Schools in the World". Retrieved 2009-03-28. 
  3. ^ "Best Fine Arts Programs - Top Fine Art Schools". US News and World Report. Retrieved July 16, 2011. 
  4. ^ Edwards, Robert W. (2012). Jennie V. Cannon: The Untold History of the Carmel and Berkeley Art Colonies, Vol. 1. Oakland, Calif.: East Bay Heritage Project. pp. 79–86, 102, 688. ISBN 9781467545679.  An online facsimile of the entire text of Vol. 1 is posted on the Traditional Fine Arts Organization website (
  5. ^ a b "Two new graduate programs, starting fall 2015". Art & Education. Retrieved 2016-04-06. 
  6. ^ Bliss, Chris. "Anthony Huberman Appointed Director of the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts". Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "California College of the Arts Alumni & Post-Grads". Retrieved 2016-04-06. 
  8. ^ "Sensorial – The MFA Exhibition at the California College of the Arts". SFGate. 2011-05-21. Retrieved 2016-04-06. 
  9. ^ "Sonia Sheridan : Biography". Fondation Langlois. Retrieved 2016-04-30. 
  10. ^ "Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie". Purdue. Retrieved 2016-04-30. 
  11. ^ "Peter Voulkos biography". Frank Lloyd Gallery. Retrieved 2016-04-07. 
  12. ^ "Audrey Marrs". Glance. California College of the Arts. 2011-09-01. Retrieved 2016-04-06. 
  13. ^ "Interview with "Joy Luck Club" director, Wayne Wang". ABC7 New York. Retrieved 2016-04-30. 
  14. ^ "Val Britton Biography". Retrieved 2016-05-27. 
  15. ^ James Harris Gallery
  16. ^ "Jules de Balincourt". Retrieved 2016-04-06. 
  17. ^ "CV". Retrieved 2016-06-21. 
  18. ^ "CCA Glance Magazine". Issuu. 2015-09-01. Retrieved 2016-04-07. 
  19. ^ "Redefining "Blackness": An interview with Toyin Odutola". Africa is a Country. 2012-12-18. 
  20. ^ "CCA MFA Show Tonight". Fecal Face Dot Com. Retrieved 2016-04-06. 
  21. ^ "Hank Willis Thomas". Hutchins Center. The President and Fellows of Harvard College. Retrieved 2016-04-06. 
  22. ^ "Hank Willis Thomas". Beth Schiffer Creative Darkroom. Retrieved 2016-04-06. 
  23. ^ "Margo Humphrey". University of Maryland Department of Art. Retrieved 2016-04-06. 
  24. ^ "Roland Petersen Biography". Retrieved 2016-04-30. 
  25. ^ "dePaola, Tomie bio". Educational Book and Media Association (EBMA). Retrieved 2016-04-06. 
  26. ^ "Bookshelf". Glance. California College of the Arts. 2009-09-01. Retrieved 2016-04-06. 
  27. ^ "Harrell Fletcher". Video Data Bank. Retrieved 2016-04-06. 
  28. ^ "David Ireland". Abby Wasserman. Retrieved 2016-04-07. 
  29. ^ a b "Michael Vanderbyl". Bolier. Retrieved 2016-04-06. 
  30. ^ "Yves Behar Talks to Us About Sustainable Product Design". 2014-03-27. Retrieved 2016-04-07. 
  31. ^ "2013 AIGA Medalist: Lucille Tenazas". AIGA. Retrieved 2016-04-06. 
  32. ^ "Glance Magazine". Issuu. California College of the Arts. 2012-09-01. Retrieved 2016-04-07. 
  33. ^ "Faculty-Alumnus David Huffman's "Out of Bounds" at SFAC Gallery a "SHIFT" Toward Dialogue About Race in America". California College of the Arts. Retrieved 2016-04-07. 
  34. ^ "Five Views: An Ethnic Historic Site Survey for California (Mexican Americans)". National Park Service. Retrieved 2016-04-30. 
  35. ^ "Interview with Tammy Rae Carland". Art Practical. 2010-10-26. Retrieved 2016-04-07. 

External links[edit]

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