Art - Mint Gallery, BFA 3 Mid-Residency show, Nova Odette Trujillo

California Institute of the Arts is renowned internationally as a game-changer in the education of professional artists. The transformative cultural impact of our alumni shows why: We bring out visionary creative talent unlike any other university, school or conservatory. An all-inclusive community for a diversity of authentic voices, CalArts today offers more than 70 comprehensive degree programs in the visual, performing, media and literary arts.


Don Mee Choi Selected as 2021 MacArthur Fellow

Poet and translator Don Mee Choi (Art BFA 84, MFA 86) has been named a 2021 MacArthur Fellow, joining the distinguished ranks of hundreds of artists and academics across disciplines since the grants were first issued in 1981.

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Justin Townsend Wins 2021 Tony Award

On Sunday (Sept. 26), theater luminaries recognized achievements in Broadway at the 74th Tony Awards at the Winter Garden Theatre in New York City, after more than a year delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic. CalArtian Justin Townsend (Theater MFA 03) joined a roster of distinguished winners upon...

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CalArtians Take Home 2021 Creative Arts Emmys

As the three ceremonies for the 2021 Creative Arts Emmy Awards drew to a close over the weekend, CalArtians Genndy Tartakovsky (Film/Video 92), Hal Hickel (Film/Video 83), David Krentz (Film/Video BFA 93), and Scott Ulrich (Art BFA 94) took home awards in both regular and juried categories.

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Alumni Stories

Dan Bustillo

When I first looked into the Art & Technology program at CalArts, I was especially excited to see that not all of the work students in the program were making could be thought of as explicitly having to do with technology. From pneumatic sculptures, to operatic performances, to videos about...

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Alan S. Tofighi

Alan S. Tofighi is an Interdisciplinary artist who lives and works in Southern California. Utilizing a background in research, performance, sound, video, emergent & low tech; Tofighi’s work deals with analyses of the dispersion, obfuscation, and (de)formation of information/history to...

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Carmina Escobar

There’s a great interest in the voice right now—throughout the culture—in the arts, in music and philosophy. It’s all about extending one’s own corporeality. My sound art springs from my concept of the voice, which is my primordial instrument. I relate to the world...

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Liz Glynn

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...

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Jenny Foldenauer

As a little girl I wanted to be a painter, but soon realized that textiles and clothing were my medium. What I love about costume design–which is different from fashion–is that I am creating characters, parts of new worlds imagined by a writers, directors, set, lighting and sound...

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Hilary Greenbaum

Three years after finishing my BFA at Carnegie Mellon I decided to change the trajectory of my career. I wanted to do different types of work and learn to incorporate a personal voice into what I was making. When I looked into the MFA Graphic Design Program at CalArts, I felt inspired by the...

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Anne-Marie Kinney

The two most important things about the Writing Program for me were the mentorship—being pushed by, and being championed by, faculty—both while I was at CalArts and after I graduated. Also, the peer group with which I’m still in contact. We had daily workshops; a handful of...

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Kirsten Lepore

Before coming in to CalArts, I’d been freelancing for clients such as Google, Whole Foods, Facebook, Toyota and Nestlé, but I wanted to get more serious about directing—about becoming the one in charge. I looked at the CalArts website and found the student work incredibly...

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Stephanie Moorehouse

I was inspired to play the violin at age 6 after watching a live performance in Branson, Missouri. My mom encouraged me to pursue it and after my first lesson I knew that the violin was going to be my passion. As I studied the violin, I began to branch out from my classical training and started...

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Tariq Tapa

When I came to CalArts I had limiting preconceptions about how to achieve the kinds of dramatic effects I wanted in my films. The faculty helped by pointing out precisely where I had missed opportunities in editing a scene, or possible moves for the characters that I hadn’t...

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John Schwerbel

When I entered CalArts I thought I was only interested in performing, but two amazing teachers and mentors, David Roitstein and Lauren Pratt, widened my scope of possibilities. I learned concert production from Lauren, who hired me to produce the Charlie Haden concert at REDCAT, as well as the...

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Andreas Levisianos

As far as I know this is the only composer-performer doctorate program that exists. It’s not a typical dual degree; instead it combines the two notions. As a composer, pianist and a conductor, I was presented with the opportunity to exercise all, merging the ideas of analysis, synthesis...

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Taehee Kim

Before I came to CalArts I studied media and interactive design in Korea. I was also working as a motion graphic designer.  Technology is rapidly changing and I wasn’t sure how this accelerated moment was affecting my identity as an artist.  When I decided it was time to pursue...

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Catherine Rockhold

I started working with photography when I was 12 or 13. I used photography and Photoshop as a way to create scenes and stories with found images, working with landscapes, animals, and beautiful colors. After visiting CalArts, it was initially the community that attracted me. I majored in...

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Cristina Fernandez

I think there is a higher level of expectation for an actor-artist at CalArts than at other places. You’re an active participant in making a piece of art. When I started, I didn’t think I had that capacity as an actor to make my own work; I didn’t understand the language....

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Daniel Charon

By the time I enrolled at CalArts, I had performed for 15 years, and was focused on my choreography and teaching. CalArts gave me the time, space and support—with my mentors, faculty and my peers—pushing me forward saying, "Yes, you are capable and ready to do other things. Yes,...

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C.O. Thomas

Suzan-Lori Parks introduced me to CalArts while I was working for The Public Theater in New York. I wanted the opportunity to expand my horizons because by the time I visited CalArts, I knew how to do small theater. Round three-fourth thrusts, proscenium arch—that’s how you present...

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Daron Nefcy

I was pitching ideas for shows while I was still a student at CalArts. My first job out was on Warner Bros.’ MAD. It ran on Cartoon Network for many seasons and was cool because I got to make my own mini films. Then, I worked at Nickelodeon as a storyboard revisionist...

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Leila Navon

Like most music students, my background was in classical music. Before coming to CalArts I thought I wanted to do studio recordings, DJ-ing and scratching with vinyl records. But when I got here, I realized that the art world is much larger than I had imagined. In my second year I attended the...

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Crystaldawn Bell

It was such a great feeling to be a greenhorn at CalArts, knowing that I had the faculty behind me—and the whole student body, too, trying to help me understand who I was as an artist. The faculty nurtured the type of dancer that I was, and that I am. I’m 5’10” and very...

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Ann Telnaes

As an artist, you realize that everything you’ve learned in your whole art life will come back at some point; it has for me. It’s been amazing how my design training at CalArts has helped me in editorial cartooning for print.

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Vashti Harrison

My graduate thesis film was about folklore and ghost stories as told through the voices of members of my mother’s family in Trinidad. There’s an element of narrative in my work, but it’s not purely narrative; there are no scripts or actors. It’s most easily referred to as...

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Ian Walker

My mother was a pianist and my first piano teacher. I sang as a child, took a break right around adolescence when my voice dropped, and I began singing again in rock bands when I was 15 or 16. After some classical training I realized how much I enjoyed singing classical music, and at CalArts,...

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Amarnath Ravva

Since 2005, I’ve been part of a shared group space called Betalevel. It’s not a collective—it’s more of a venue for social experimentation and hands on culture that we use for readings and other events. Most of our current seven members are grads from the CalArts Writing...

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Miwa Matreyek

Excerpts from Miwa Matreyek's alumni story video.   When I started CalArts I thought I was just going to make a bunch of short films and graduate and work in the animation industry. I really give credit to CalArts for being this incubator of creativity that led me onto a...

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