Great Expectations: Prospects For The Future Of Curatorial Education

Great Expectations: Prospects For The Future Of Curatorial Education

California College of the Arts (CCA)

View of Void California: 1975–1989. Institute for Contemporary Arts, 2016. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
October 29, 2016
Great Expectations: Prospects For The Future Of Curatorial Education

Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice at
California College of the Arts
1111 Eighth Street
San Francisco, CA 94107-2247

T 415 551 9213

The Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice, in partnership with Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity’s Banff International Curatorial Institute, and Koenig Books (Cologne), is proud to announce the 2016 release of Great Expectations: Prospects for the Future of Curatorial Education, an essential text on the current landscape and future of curatorial education. Edited by Leigh Markopoulos, Great Expectations features essays by the artist Ulay, and art historians Barbara Fischer and Reesa Greenberg, and attempts to answer the question: “What prospects might the future hold for curatorial programs and their graduates?” Additional contributors include: Mark Beasley, María del Carmen Carrión, Kit Hammonds, Matthew Higgs, Anthony Huberman, Mami Kataoka, Salwa Mikdadi, Julian Myers-Szupinska, Nontobeko Ntombela, Kristina Lee Podesva, Peta Rake, Grace Samboh, and Kitty Scott.

The Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice at California College of the Arts is founded on the belief that exhibitions are the medium for thinking through, presenting, and learning about contemporary culture. Where curatorial discourse has, over the last 25 years, focused on the role of the curator, conversations are once again increasingly centering on his/her work. Our revised curriculum takes account of this shift, privileging exhibition-making opportunities and primary engagements with artists and arts institutions.

San Francisco offers a rich landscape of alternative and experimental creative practices, both historical and contemporary, as well as ample opportunities to speculate about the future. Taking advantage of our geographical location, the Program seeks to uncover local collaborative, artist-led, and other curatorial initiatives in order to contribute to and challenge existing paradigms of exhibition-making internationally.

Stressing the refinement of a personal curatorial vision, the second year is concentrated on research-driven and project-based learning with the collaboration and mentorship of faculty: a written thesis project, pursued individually, and a collectively authored exhibition for CCA’s Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts.

Our faculty are practicing curators, art historians, and other art professionals from prominent Bay Area institutions. In addition, an international roster of more than 200 visiting curators, critics, scholars, and artists from around the world have taught classes here since the program was launched. And more than 100 students have graduated and gone on to successful careers as independent curators and in museums, galleries, public art agencies, and arts publishing.

Open house & info night
November 15, 2016, 6pm
Prospective applicants are invited to attend our open house and info night at 6pm on Tuesday, November 15, where they can meet the program chair, faculty, and current students and find out more about our new curriculum.

Qualifications for admission
Application deadline: January 10, 2017
We welcome highly motivated applicants from a broad spectrum of cultural, professional, and academic backgrounds. And we particularly encourage applications from students who are interested in thinking broadly about innovative forms of exhibition making and who find inspiration in current artistic practice and potential in the curatorial role. Prospective applicants will have:

–an undergraduate degree in the history of art, fine art, or other appropriate area of the humanities
or social sciences
–relevant practical experience in the visual arts and a demonstrated commitment to curating, and
–a strong interest in contemporary art


For full details on the open house or application process, please visit or contact Curatorial Practice program manager, Lisa Friedman ([email protected] or T 415 551 9213).

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October 29, 2016

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