Graduate program in Curatorial Practice

Graduate program in Curatorial Practice

California College of the Arts (CCA)

Ute Meta Bauer, “Where does art take place? Spaces of the Curatorial in Southeast Asia,” 2019. Curatorial Research Bureau, San Francisco.

December 11, 2019
Graduate program in Curatorial Practice

Application deadline: January 10, 2020
California College of the Arts (CCA)
1111 Eighth Street
San Francisco, California 94107
United States
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In CCA’s two-year MA program in Curatorial Practice, students work closely with faculty alongside visiting curators, designers, and artists to develop the intellectual and analytical skills needed to pursue a range of professional paths in curating and contemporary art. The program has a broad perspective of the curatorial, positioning the curator as a productive agent and researcher who embraces context as a valuable asset for articulating connections among artists, ideas, objects, archives, institutions, digital technologies, and audiences. The program equips students with knowledge and tools, inspires curiosity, and builds self-confidence for working creatively across disciplines and thinking imaginatively about mediation today, incorporating activity beyond art into the field of curating. 
The interdisciplinary learning environment at CCA is conducive to an expanded vision of the curatorial, offering students exposure to graphic design, architecture, visual studies, and conversations around sustainability. In conjunction with faculty, students routinely engage with guest curators, designers, and artists from around the world and in San Francisco. The rich cross-disciplinary contexts at CCA combine with the vibrant arts scene in the Bay Area, where the program is in dialogue with the de Young Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Lab, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 500 Capp Street Foundation, and others. These are potent ingredients for curatorial research and education, furthering the field of curating as a discursive practice by pursuing the links between curating and knowledge production where organizing ideas and concepts are part of thinking and working curatorially. 
CCA’s curriculum reflects the role of the curator as a mediator of seemingly limitless bodies of intellectual, technological, cultural, and archival materials. The first-year curriculum offers courses focused on exhibitions—history, forms, displays, and design—combined with courses in contemporary and global art history, theory, and criticism, alongside engagements with artworks and artists. The second year concentrates on research-driven and project-based learning via the mentorship of faculty and guest advisors. With writing and communication chief among pedagogical outcomes, the program strives to foreground how to communicate not only with artists but also administrators, donors, educators, designers, publishers, and civic leaders. The coursework culminates with an independently written thesis and a collectively authored exhibition typically organized for CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts.        
Developing conversations and relationships among artists and curators is fostered through studio visits and interaction with guests in classroom settings and a semi-public platform called the ProSeminar. The ProSeminar is an extracurricular pedagogic model organized to give students unique opportunities to engage intimately in discussions with guests and a small group of invited professionals from the Bay Area arts scene within condensed timeframes.
Fellowships and Support
Access to professional training through paid fellowships and teaching assistantships is an essential part of the program. A publishing fellowship is available with Art Practical, a visual arts publishing organization at CCA, while a curatorial fellowship is available at the CCA Wattis Institute. Each graduate student in the curating program receives an annual teaching assistantship to work with faculty in the Visual and Critical Studies, Fine Arts, or Curatorial Practice programs.  
In addition, to help support students KADIST San Francisco awards a research fellowship to a second-year student or recent alum of CCA’s graduate program in Curatorial Practice each year. The fellowship provides a stipend and an opportunity to work with the KADIST director and curators on research related to work by artists in the collection. 
Faculty and Guests
Chaired by James Voorhies, the program’s 2019–2020 faculty are Dena Beard, Christopher Hamamoto, Glen Helfand, Christina Linden, J. Myers-Szupinska, Frances Richard, and Elizabeth Thomas.
Guests from 2018 to 2020 include Ute Meta Bauer, Julia Born, Emmet Byrne, Allan deSouza, Elena Filipovic, David Evans Frantz, Simon Fujiwara, Jeanne Gerrity, Leila Grothe, Shoghig Halajian, Shannon Harvey, Anthony Huberman, Amanda Hunt, Na Kim, Nancy Lim, Maria Lind, Josiah McElheny, Adam Michaels, Shahryar Nashat, Kim Nguyen, Sarah Rifky, Zoë Ryan, and Jon Sueda.

Visit MA Curatorial Practice at CCA to apply or email Larissa Mellor, program manager, with questions. Applications received by January 10, 2020 will receive priority consideration for scholarships.

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California College of the Arts (CCA)
December 11, 2019

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