Seeking Chair of Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice

Seeking Chair of Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice

California College of the Arts (CCA)

CCA San Francisco campus. Photo: Karl Petzke.

May 25, 2017
Seeking Chair of Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice

Established in 2003, CCA’s Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice is the first of its kind in America and to-date has launched dozens of graduates onto expansive and rewarding career paths. The chair’s role is to build on that legacy by envisioning and directing a curriculum and program that responds to contemporary art and culture in order to prepare the next generation of curators to meet unprecedented challenges and opportunities within the curatorial field which has matured into a rich profession in contemporary art and culture.

The Chair of Curatorial Practice holds an essential leadership position in the suite of graduate programs in the Fine Arts Division at CCA and is a crucial partner in conceiving and strategizing pedagogic intersections among all the graduate programs within the four academic divisions, including Architecture, Design, and Humanities & Sciences. The successful candidate will approach curriculum development and programming as a creative and intellectual endeavor. They will demonstrate a capacity and interest in incorporating diverse cultural and global perspectives in shaping courses, pedagogic methodologies, community, and thus establishing core characteristics that define the program and steward it into the future. The chair will also provide an essential voice in envisioning the Curatorial Practice facilities in the new campus designed by Chicago-based architects Studio Gang.

The Chair position is full-time throughout the 9.5-month academic year, entailing additional summer responsibilities. The position is an open ranked faculty appointment, professor rank and tenure eligibility to be commensurate with experience. A program manager provides administrative and organizational support. The Dean and Associate Director of Fine Arts provide guidance and oversight for curriculum development, faculty selection, scheduling and accreditation reviews.

Program summary
The Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice offers a fully accredited two-year Master of Arts degree in Curatorial Practice. The program is oriented to the work of the curator, placing exhibition practice, art history, and writing at the core of its curriculum. The first year offers courses focused specifically on exhibitions—their history, form and design—alongside courses in contemporary and global art history, theory and criticism, and, importantly, primary engagements with artworks and artists. The second year is focused 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 esteemed Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts. The core faculty, together with an international roster of visiting curators, writers, and artists, exposes students to a number of possible modes of operation in intensive seminars, critiques, and studio visits. Alongside the focus on exhibitions is an emphasis on the material qualities of objects and personal engagement with artists. This is achieved through seminars devoted to visual and textual analyses of artworks coupled by firsthand encounters with art in private and public collections. Meanwhile, the practice of developing conversations and relationships with artists is fostered through regular studio visits and interviews.

Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts (CCA) is an independent non-profit art and design college with undergraduate programs in architecture, design, fine arts, visual studies, and writing and literature. The college also has graduate programs in architecture, design, interaction design, curatorial practice, design strategy, fine arts, film, visual and critical studies, comics, and writing. Diverse cultural perspectives enrich the CCA community and the college believes that continuing to expand the horizons of the students and faculty is essential to achieving its educational objectives. CCA represents over one hundred years of dedication to its mission, whose character reflects its location in the San Francisco Bay Area, where histories of radical politics and technological innovation inform a culturally rich academic community infused by art schools, research universities, world-renowned museums, galleries, start-ups and community-run institutions. CCA currently enrolls 1,950 full-time students and is in the process of a major campus unification project that will bring all college programs to one San Francisco location and ensure its academic excellence for the next century.

Application deadline
Application review begins immediately and continues until filled.

Application instructions
Interested candidates may apply via an online application.

Should you need to contact us regarding your application, please email ccacurpchairsearch [​at​]

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California College of the Arts (CCA)
May 25, 2017

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