The Claire Trevor School of the Arts is an academic unit and leading fine arts institution at the University of California in Irvine, California. Originally known as the University of California, Irvine's School of Fine Arts, the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, is named in honor of Academy Award-winning actress Claire Trevor, who was very involved in the school. The CTSA, Claire Trevor focuses on performing, and visual arts, with four departments for art, dance, drama and music and offers undergraduate and masters programs, as well as a doctoral program in drama.



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Established in 1965 as an institution for training emerging artists and performers, UCI Claire Trevor enjoyed an expansion of programs over the years, leading to its place as the national leader of artist training facilities that it is today. Designed by architect William Pereira and built in 1970, the school features a distinctive modular design where individual buildings are connected by a network of pillar-supported canopies that run overhead. The landscapes surrounding the school were designed by Maya Lin in a retro-futuristic style and feature inspiring landscaping with native grasses and wildflowers, water fountains, decorative LED lighting and an outdoor theater. A new 'green' Contemporary Arts Center was added to the art school compound in 2011, featuring state-of-the-art studios and spaces for displaying, producing and staging art.

The Claire Trevor School of the Arts was named in honor of Academy Award-winning actress Claire Trevor, a legendary actress whose career included work spanned from the stage to radio, television, and film. Long-time Orange County resident, painter, philanthropist and passionate advocate of the Arts and Arts Education, Claire Trevor became involved with the School of the Arts when she retired from professional acting in 1987 and played a vital role in the development of the school and its students.



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The Claire Trevor School of the Arts is home to four departments, namely Art, Dance, Drama, and Music, as well as a program in Arts and Humanities. The School presents a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree courses, which include theoretical and historical studies, large studio, workshop and performance experiences, and arts and technology practices.

Founded as name Studio Art, the Art Department teaches a broad range of contemporary media, including electronic art and design, drawing, sculpture, painting, photography, video and digital filmmaking, and new genres. The department offers a three-year M.F.A. in Critical and Curatorial Studies for graduate students wanting to pursue a career in the field of art criticism, curatorial practice, and public programming.

The dance department teaches a variety of dance from ballet, modern, jazz and improvisation to choreography. It also offers courses in the history of dance and dance medicine and science, as well as the integration of dance with interactive technologies such as telematics and motion capture.

The Drama department produces an array of outstanding productions every year under the leadership of Robert Cohen and Jerzy Grotowski, and explore experimental theatrical exercises, choreography, and the dynamics of drama.

The Music department follows a conservatory model and offers undergraduate courses that emphasize instrumental and piano performance, choral conducting, vocal arts, and collaborative piano, guitar/lute performance. The department offers a two-year master's degree in Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology (ICIT) and is home to a variety of notable musicians, composers, and jazz artists.

The Claire Trevor School of the Arts provides world-class facilities to enhance their mission of producing future generations of artists and scholars who will command audiences in concert halls, galleries, theaters, and entertainment and technology-related venues around the world, as well as support artistic development and after-class life. Such facilities include four theaters, three art galleries, a large concert hall, electronic music studios, state-of-the-art costume, lighting, and design studios, advanced digital arts labs, a stage production shop, and a video production studio.

It also houses the Beall Center for Art & Technology, which serves as an exhibition space and teaching center for all forms of experimental media arts, while other exhibition and performance facilities include the Winifred Smith Hall, the Claire Trevor Theatre. The recently added Contemporary Arts Center is home to an enlarged art gallery and exhibition spaces, a multimedia performance space, a fully equipped Meyer Sound Lab, a Performance Capture Studio, and art studios for graduate students.

The Claire Trevor School of the Arts can be found at 4000 Mesa Road in Irvine. Visitors to the school can enjoy the annual New Swan Shakespeare Festival, which brings intimate, eccentric productions in a moveable mini-Elizabethan theater to the campus each summer.

Back to: Irvine, California

4000 Mesa Rd., Irvine, Phone: 949-824-4339

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