CalArts Returns - Art School Space Guidelines

This is an update for students in the School of Arts. More detailed information to follow will be provided by the School of Arts.

Art School Facilities and Work Space

Over the summer the faculty and I have been working to establish guidelines and protocols for access to studios and production facilities in Fall. All of this work is predicated on preserving our collective health and safety. As a result, it will be mandatory to wear a mask in all precincts of the Art School, at all times. (The only exception will be when you are in your studio, alone, with the door closed.) Maintaining adequate social distancing will also be important, and the Art Office and the Labs all now have floor markings to help everyone stand 6 feet apart.

The State of California has now released its guidelines for reopening college campuses in Fall, and the plans we have drawn up fall squarely within these requirements. This means that Art School students will be able to return to campus under the following conditions.

Studios and workspaces

Studio access will be more regimented than usual, and everyone will need to become more organized in terms of time management. There are several over-arching conditions that dictate how this will work – the need for social distancing, the need to support a more regular cleaning regimen, the need to enable contact tracing if necessary, and the fact that the campus will only be open from 7am-11.30pm. In broad terms, what this means is that all studio blocks will operate on two shifts, with half the occupants present and working in the morning, and the other half in the late afternoon/evening.

Studio assignments will, as usual, fall to John Hogan, in consultation with Program Directors. This year we anticipate that most continuing students will keep their current studios, although we may need to move some people for safety and distancing purposes. Access schedules will be confirmed in early September, and all students will be asked to comply with sign-in protocols – this so that we can trace contacts in the case that someone in a studio block falls ill.


A schedule of mid-res shows was organized last Spring, along with a couple of MFA group shows. These will continue as planned, and any openings will be filled in the usual way, through a lottery. There will be constraints on the number of people who can help with installation, and we will have an appointment system for viewing. We will not allow exhibits that might endanger the community – nothing physically interactive, nothing perishable, no smoke/fog machines. We will convene meetings in Fall to discuss best ways to celebrate and invite guests.

The lottery for Spring galleries will continue as usual, except it will be online. If you are planning on having an exhibit in that semester you should keep an eye out for the announcement.

Production Labs

The Labs will be open to support class work and student projects, and times of operations will be established at the beginning of the semester. Exact hours will depend on the availability of student workers. All students planning on using the Labs must have the approval of the individual Lab Director, through the orientation process.

Masks must be worn at all times in the Labs, and proper social distancing observed. Sanitizer will be available, and users are encouraged to wash hands regularly. Each Lab is establishing a process to clean down worksurfaces and tools after use. Access will be controlled by number and time, and we are investigating software options to facilitate scheduling. Equipment check-out will be similarly controlled, and the Institute is drawing up plans for a centralized system curbside pick-up in the vicinity of the Loading Dock.