California College of the Arts is an accredited and independent art institution of California. It is one of the leading fine arts and design institute of the United States. The California College of the Arts was established in the year 1907 by Frederick Meyer to provide education for artists and designers. Frederick Meyer was greatly influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement which had spread in Europe during the late nineteenth century. In 1907, he founded the School of California Guild of Arts and Crafts in Berkeley. In the year 1908, the institute was renamed California School of Arts and Crafts.
In 1922, Meyer opened a new branch at Oakland named Oliver Art Center. In the year 1936, the school was renamed as the California College of Arts and Crafts. In 1996, the college again opened a new and permanent campus at San Francisco where the architectural and design programs were conducted. In the year 1998, the California College of the Arts opened the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts which provided a forum for the discussion and presentation of art and culture. In 2003, after considering the wide range of the curriculum, it was again renamed California College of the Arts. The College will be celebrating its centenary this year in 2007.
At present the California College of the Arts has two campus- San Francisco and Oakland. The San Francisco campus has graduate, undergraduate programs in architecture and design. The Oakland campus has the undergraduate programs in art. The California College of the Arts grants the Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Architecture, Master of Fine Arts, Master of Arts and Maser of Architecture degrees. Recently the undergraduate programs have included courses in creative writing, visual studies and community arts. The graduate division now includes curatorial practice, visual criticism, architecture and writing.
The California College of the Arts educates students to shape the culture through practice and critical study of arts. The College has always tried to integrate concept with context, theory with practice and individual expression with collective well-being. The main goal of the California College of the Arts is “to challenge and inspire the students to make the only art that matters, art that makes a difference”.
The California College of the Arts has two libraries. There is a department for career services and financial aid. There is a studio space for artists in the California College of the Arts.