The Best Art Schools In California

The Best Art Schools In California 

California has a multitude of art schools. The options are too many, which can at times confuse people. To help thin out your choices, below are a few California art schools that are worth checking out.

San Francisco Art Institute

san francisco art institute

San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI), located in one of the most arts-oriented cities in the United States, provides an excellent urban atmosphere as well as an innovative curriculum that encourages critical thinking and experimentation.

The school can trace its roots back to 1871.

  • The institute hosted the first public showing of a moving picture back in 1880.
  • In 1955, the school also hosted Ginsberg's Howl's first reading.
  • In 1945, Ansel Adams established the photography department.

Edward Weston And Dorothea Lange are among the first faculty members. While still studying at SFAI, Annie Leibovitz photographed for Rolling Stone.Other notable alumni include Kathryn Bigelow, the first woman to be awarded an Academy Award for the best director.

And, Kehinde Wiley, who was commissioned to work on the official Presidential portrait of Barack Obama. SFAI conducts BFA and BA programs in art history, photography, sculpture, and painting.

The institute also offers uncommon study paths such as BFAs in Art and Technology and BA in Art, Place, and Public Studies.There's also New Genres, which is an interdisciplinary degree in which students have access to cutting-edge studio technology to actualize boundary-pushing artistic ambitions.

From the first year, the core curriculum blends art studies along with other school subjects. As a result, the students are not required to finish prerequisites before entering their primary area of study.

The Liberal arts require students to take art history, critical theory, English, global studies, and science courses. This encourages students to consider their artistic approach from a broader perspective. According to recent data, 82% of responding SFAI alumni are presently or have previously worked as an artist.

SFAI has an acceptance rate of around 90%. However, getting accepted as a scholar is a bit more challenging. A solid portfolio and a high GPA are good assets if you want to get into a scholarship program. Admission commences either January or August.

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Laguna College of Art and Design

laguna college of art and design

Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD) is known for its painting and drawing program.However, they also offer a strongly practical and technology-focused array of majors, including illustration, digital media, graphic design, game art, experimental animation, entertainment design, and traditional animation. The main campus is located in beautiful Laguna Beach.

However, they have a complementing modern facility located at Big Bend where animation studios, recording studios, and computer labs are available for the students' use. Also, the BFA Visual communications program is mostly located in Big Bend.

Industry professionals make up the faculty. This includes film model creators, animators, and game industry partners. Graduates of their outstanding graphic design program have a 98% employment rate.

Fine arts majors under the Professional Mentoring program have access to advisors from First Thursdays Art Walks in Laguna.

This allows students to learn how to show their art. It can also help in gaining knowledge and experience in other areas of gallery management.The school's career services office assists students in finding internships with Nike, Vans, Cartoon Network, Pixar, and other big-name companies.

For the Alumni of LCAD, they are still able to take the free classes. Graduates also get access to the school's employment portal and the Industry Open House event that happens annually.Applications for LCAD are on a rolling basis. Admission is mainly based on your portfolio and essay.

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CSULB School of Art

csulb school of art

CSULB School of Art provides BAs in art education, art history, and studio art. Interestingly, they have a certification program if you are interested in museum studies.

If you are a student interested in curating or teaching art, then CSULB School of Art is the place to be. The institute specializes in printmaking, animation, illustration, and photography. They also have a certification program if you are interested in biomedical illustrations.

These are only a few of the options available at this institution. The BFA programs will require portfolios if you wish to send your application.

However, BA programs only require an application via the general admission department. In California, CSULB School of Art was the first institution to offer a degree in MFA. They are also among the major public-funded arts programs in the country.The institute includes around forty full-time faculty members, with roughly 2,000 students pursuing degrees in various art-related areas.

The institute also has a subsection known as the College of Arts (COTA), which is the fusion of theatre arts, electronic arts, film, design, and dance departments together with the Conservatory of Music and School of Arts.

COTA has its student guidance program, and it aims to coach and assist students through course choices, community resources, and campus resources.The guidance program goes above and beyond to help students achieve their academic objectives. CSULB is relatively selective, with a 39% admission rate.

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Otis College of Art and Design

otis college of art and design

Otis College of Art and Design is an excellent place if you are interested in pursuing a program in fine arts.

However, the institute is primarily known for offering degrees that may be considered "specialized," such as environmental design or toy design. Generally, if you want to minor or major in visual and applied arts, you'll likely find what you are looking for at Otis College of Art and Design.

According to a graduate survey, graduates of Otis College of Art and Design enjoy a 94% employment rate. The graduates work in various fields such as managerial roles, education, entertainment, arts, and design.

The Economist magazine proposed a new way of evaluating colleges, which includes factoring in the median wage of graduates. Under such a new evaluation method, Otis College of Art and Design was included in the top 10 and outperformed other more famous schools.

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Wrapping It All Up

wrapping it all up

The San Francisco Art Institute, Laguna College of Art and Design, CSULB School of Art, and Otis College of Art and Design are worthy of checking out if you are looking for art schools in California.

Of course, there are plenty of other schools out there that are not included in this list. However, the list above should point you in the right direction.

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