January 11, 2009 3:55 PM   Subscribe

does anyone know any art schools in america that are in warmer climes ?

i'm basically looking for art schools in the us that are in the south - california, texas, arizona, florida - i dont mind as long as its somewhere that is warm all the year round , offers a graduate program in photography and even has the odd scholarship or two.
A search reveals not much except something called the art institute which seems to be like a kind of starbucks type thing. So i'm thinking someone might know a bit better.
posted by sgt.serenity to Media & Arts (22 answers total)
There's a ton. Check out to start. Savannah College of Art & Design in GA & CalArts in Valencia, CA are two good ones.
posted by salem at 4:02 PM on January 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

I know nothing about the Savannah College of Art and Design except that it is in a warm place and someone bought me one of their college t-shirts once. Looking at the website, they appear to offer a graduate program in photography.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 4:03 PM on January 11, 2009

Savannah College of Art and Design is in Georgia. Nice city, pretty warm year round.
posted by fixedgear at 4:03 PM on January 11, 2009

I don't know the first thing about art schools, however, I have heard of Academy of Art University in San Francisco:
posted by learninguntilidie at 4:07 PM on January 11, 2009

The Savannah College of Art and Design offers a BA and MFA in photography. Though I majored in Sequential Art, most people I've known who went through the photography program thought it was good.

As for Savannah, you can wear shorts in January sometimes and it only gets down into the early '30s a few days at a time. The humidity can be murder though.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:12 PM on January 11, 2009

Academy Art and SCAD are great options. You should also check out the not-so-well known ones, such as Georgia State (I'm a current Art Ed student there). The program is actually fantastic, significantly cheaper, and I've heard that the colleges in the Pensacola, FL area have pretty good programs too (the area tends to emphasize the arts).

When I was looking into schools my best resources were CollegeBoard and Princeton Review
posted by big open mouth at 4:15 PM on January 11, 2009

Art Center
posted by Methylviolet at 4:17 PM on January 11, 2009

Brooks in Santa Barbara.
posted by k8t at 4:21 PM on January 11, 2009

Art Center, though in warmer climes, only offers undergrad in photography (I just graduated from it) and you have to be either really good or a great bullshitter to get a scholarship. Which is not to say that you're not either one of those.

To fulfill at least the grad program requirement, CalArts is probably your best bet if you want to come to SoCal.
posted by arishaun at 4:28 PM on January 11, 2009

Otis in LA.
posted by sulaine at 4:43 PM on January 11, 2009

I used the Petereson's Guide to Graduate Schools (the print version, because it was a while ago) when I was looking for a grad school.
posted by slowfasthazel at 4:46 PM on January 11, 2009

UCLA's art program is supposed to be very good.
posted by ethel at 4:52 PM on January 11, 2009

Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, Florida.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:21 PM on January 11, 2009

I honestly don't mean to snark, but half the answers here say "I don't know anything about grad school for art" and then list random google results. Don't you have a (former) professor who could answer this question better? Or even, honestly, a career center at your school -- or a librarian at a local library?

Speaking as an art historian in a combined art/art history department, I'm a little bit surprised that you want to get an MFA in photography despite the fact that you have a) apparently no knowledge of art programs in the United States and b) a desire to choose your program based on location, rather than quality.

For what it's worth, the Stanford MFA program is fully funded, and in a warm climate; San Francisco State has photography, and is a a good program; the SF Art Institute is somewhere you should look into; Academy of Art University has the reputation you'd expect of a for-profit institution and tends to focus on commercial rather than fine-art careers (but you might be okay with that, and it does seem to get its graduates hired); California College of the Arts is an excellent school in the Bay area as well.

I know SF because I used to work there (as an art history professor and museum curator); I'm less familiar with schools in other warm regions, but since other people name-dropped it, I will say that Savannah had a top-notch reputation last time I checked.
posted by obliquicity at 5:28 PM on January 11, 2009

Virginia Commonwealth University has one the most consistently high ranked and and well-funded art programs in the country. Its sculpture MFA is ranked #1 by US news and treats their grads wonderfully. Two MacArthur Genius grantees (Tara Donovan and Teresita Fernandez) and lots of art stars are alum. The painting MFA is also fantastic. Don't know as much about their photography program, but the whole college of fine arts seems to have it going on.

I have heard (and a quick google seems to verify) that SCAD is not accredited and is for-profit. I'm not an expert on its history or organization, but I do think that these fairly prevalent perceptions tarnish its reputation.

US News ranks Uni New Mexico pretty highly. University of Texas might be worth looking into. University of Houston isn't as well known but the art scene in Houston is definitely thriving.
posted by lalalana at 6:45 PM on January 11, 2009

I went to SCAD for Photography (BFA, although I had a lot of friends in the MFA program). I highly recommend it - absolutely amazing facilities, great professors, great program, great town, etc. They also have a campus in Atlanta if you would rather live there. If you apply for a scholarship you will probably get one.

If you have specific questions about it I can probably answer them. I graduated in 2007.
posted by bradbane at 6:47 PM on January 11, 2009

lalalana: maybe you should try looking at their website, SCAD has been fully accredited for a very long time.
posted by bradbane at 6:49 PM on January 11, 2009

los angeles - cal arts, ucla, usc, art center, otis. UCSD in San Diego.
posted by puppy kuddles at 7:37 PM on January 11, 2009

Brooks College in Santa Barbara is great if technical photography is your thing.
posted by Jason and Laszlo at 8:25 PM on January 11, 2009

Well, I live near Cranbrook, which is one of the top ranked art schools, but Michigan certainly isn't year-round warm. If climate is a top priority, look at CalArts.
posted by paulg at 8:52 PM on January 11, 2009

I can't believe that NOBODY here has yet suggested the University of Arizona. They have a brilliant photo program, and you may even have the chance to work at the Center for Creative Photography.

Arizona trains more brilliant photographers than you can imagine. The light in that part of Arizona is especially significant, as Tucson lies significantly above sea level, and at a latitude that affords plenty of sunlight.

Only you can decide where you want to go to school (and I'm a big proponent of site visits), but if you don't at least consider Arizona, then you'll be making an uninformed decision. I think that grad school is too important for that.
posted by deejay jaydee at 8:58 AM on January 12, 2009

a) apparently no knowledge of art programs in the United States and b) a desire to choose your program based on location, rather than quality.

A) Well I do actually - I just completed a semester at risd where Uta Barth rolled in and told us she had seen nothing of interest in studio work on the eastern side of the us, so there you are : )

B) It's down to light and motivation - running a photo course anywhere with poor light is not really that great in my book - also an institution that has it's feet on the ground is a better pick.

Arizona's sounding pretty good : ) I heard Ringling was pretty sketchy as well, which sounded good to me : )
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:30 AM on January 16, 2009

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