student installing images and text on a gallery wall
D'Angelo Christian installs his BFA exhibit.
A sanctuary for cross-disciplinary training, the School of Art actively promotes both the creative environment and the intellectual context for artistic experimentation.

The Programs in Art, Photography and Media, Art and Technology, and Graphic Design prepare graduates to thoughtfully challenge prevailing conventions, develop new forms and become innovators and leaders in their chosen fields.

Each unique Program offers specific courses of study and yet none is isolated from the others. True to the Institute's founding ethos, students are highly encouraged to collaborate with one another across disciplines and to investigate hybrid art forms—not only within the School of Art but also throughout all of CalArts. This accumulation of varying expertise provides an invaluable foundation on which students can build an independent practice and expand upon the boundaries of artmaking.

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Alumni Story

Liz Glynn
Liz Glynn Art MFA 08

I came out of my undergrad at Harvard knowing that, if nothing else, I could stay in the studio all night, work myself into a corner, and throw myself at building something. What was great about CalArts is that it broke all those habits and proved to me that it wasn’t just the labor that was going to fix the work. It opened me up to different ways of looking at the ideas behind the work, and how to address those before making anything. At CalArts I realized that I was more interested in the process of production. My work is research-driven. I’m not wedded to the idea of stylistic consistency, but there’s an underlying idea that human action matters and can shape the physical world, and by extension, metaphorically, the political and social reality that we inhabit.

I got so much out of being at CalArts and learning many different logics of critique, and the process of deconstructing a work and figuring out how to put it back together. I don’t think most other institutions would ever dare go that deep. To have that as a professional artist, later on, is incredibly important because there’s so much that’s pushing you in the direction of maintaining consistency. But the only way to make progress is to have these moments of destruction and teardown.

Many of the artists I now teach with as colleagues are CalArts alumni. At any given museum opening, I’m surrounded by them. It’s an honor to be part of that legacy of artists, and it’s also one group of alumni that maintains a critical conversation long after graduating. I think that’s really important.