About California College of the Arts (CCA)

About California College of the Arts (CCA)

Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts (CCA) is noted for the interdisciplinarity and breadth of its programs. It offers studies in 21 undergraduate and seven graduate majors in the areas of fine arts, architecture, design, and writing.

CCA students come from across the country from across the world they bring rich experience in different cultures and they come together and have learning experiences that allow them to crossover between disciplines and really learn from one another and I think that art school is a very competitive choice for young people who want to have a positive impact on the world and believe that they can bring creative energy to solving some of the problems that face us today a lot of students that come to CCA come here because they're questioning their thinking their thinking critically I'm very into documentary photography I want to be traveling I want to be working on issues of social justice you know whether it be America or poverty working overseas you know working in conflict zones I'm originally from Los Angeles California south-central similar to the area in which I'm doing my thesis on my thesis deals with American housing projects and how within those spaces gangs have been able to maintain control of the reappropriation of the space so I'm taking the gangs tactics as seeing if those same tactics and strategies can be re-implemented to benefit the residents providing them with power and control of the space as well the students and the teachers are ready to be in touch with their passions with what moves them and are ready to take away from here tools that will help them engage culture in a muscular way and you approach it differently after going to CCA like I'm not approaching it with a photojournalist I you know I've kind of crafted a personal more of a personal vision at CCA which I find very valuable you know so I have pictures of the evangelical right and you know anti-war left and Muslim Americans and homeland security so I'm really getting to these questions of our generation I have been an artist for 35 years and I've been a teacher for 35 years and because I'm an active artist and I am always working on my own work it gives me a great deal of empathy for the ambiguity of being an artist I'm endlessly exploring up myself and my own rigor in that self-definition is brought to the classroom I'm extremely demanding the student examined their practice you work on something for hours when they look at your work they they not only see what you've produced but they can see within that where you're what you're trying to achieve and where you want to go with that and then can give you direction for that when I talk to my students I tell them directly about what things that I actually go through like I can talk to them about exhibiting their work or how to get the work out there and how to talk to gallery people and when I see that you're putting your art they care that they didn't want to help you get to where you want to be CCA we encourage students to take as many risks as they possibly can while at a college and create a safe environment for them to do that I've been able to do video work performance work painting fiber sculpture textiles and through that experimentation process all the things that I'm really passionate about I've been able to work into this studio practice that I've developed probably the most important thing about art school is is being able to express your ideas not only orally but visually and then having other people comment back on that and then there's a dialogue and a feedback the studio environment is a great collaborative environment critiques are an enormous ly important part of this process where students get to play out their ideas in a public or semi-public forum it's wonderful to see students with faculty discussing paintings in one area and architecture and design and fashion design and industrial design and the students get to benefit from a rich environment of cross-disciplinary conversations about their work people put their stuff up in the communal native walls and everybody sees as they walk by so it's an open space work is always up and you can always see what everybody else is doing discovery and the notion of curiosity is really important I mean it is something that keeps you learning that keeps you fed intellectually that keeps you energized as a student obviously as in this period of where you have to sort of learn but also later in a career where you constantly continue to evolve I believe that we as artists and school that's creating artists is involved with the creation of meaning with the exploration of meaning and that is something that's very long-term and has a huge art and has huge cultural implications and I can't think of a better way of helping to keep a culture elevated and conscious what this place is about at the end of the day is about engagement it's about passion it's about learning how to learn it's about knowing that you will have to change you know it's been four years now and I've been transformed I've grown so much I came here straight from high school and not only have I realized that things that I'm really interested through art but I've also developed a lot of resources and connections through teachers and mentors and other students and peers I know what I want to do I have a clear mindset of how I work what I need to do to get where I want to go you get to the end you've gleaned so much knowledge you've collected all this stuff everybody's been teaching you you've looked at so much art you've become far more self aware of everything that's going on around you how other people are doing things how you are doing things but now you know who you are and you've got all these tools inside yourself and all this knowledge about who you are and what you and what you really want to do it you're really discovering what your interests are and who you want to be in the future as an artist who is exploring ideas you can affect people and the way that they think of themselves and their environment and that's a powerful powerful thing it's so much that's happened within these past three years but the experience we just seeing myself learn something that I didn't know before and really gaining confidence in it and growing with it and actually doing well with it and just that growth of not believing that I could to see me do it what that was that's priceless


  1. I love all the aspects but in this economy the corporate arena seems drawn to far less stimulating career paths that equal job security. Even though this school has great features and technology the arts have been in question to me as viable in terms of income in the sense of job security and college debt. I always tell people go with a career that you like that is in demand. Your college should be a partnership with in demand jobs. To leave with debt above $20,000 is like being in a locked in income range for some while by the time everything waters down.  

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