share this

Share This Search
View full story pidkatlynfurnituredesignwinnerfinal214.jpg

Story: Feb 11, 2015

Furniture design competition brings student work to MOCA Cle...

View details CIA Freshman Mail Art at MOCA

Events: Jan 19, 2015 @ Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland in Cleveland, OH

CIA Freshman Mail Art at MOCA

View full story jessicalangleyrtainstalationmedium1014.jpg

Story: Jan 22, 2015

Interactive mural by Jessica Langley '05 represents the ener...

View details 69th Annual Student Independent Exhibition

CIA Exhibition: Feb 13, 2015

69th Annual Student Independent Exhibition

View Link

Social: about 5 hours ago via Facebook

Soon CIA's Campus will be in a single location, and we can't wait for you to check out this brand new, beautiful building. Get a sneak peak - with lots of stunn...

View full story newgundfinal1157951robertmullermedium3.jpg

Story: Jan 09, 2015

Time-lapse video shows completion of major construction on n...

View details CIA Financial Aid Nights

Events: Feb 24, 2015

CIA Financial Aid Nights

View full story unknown.png

Story: Nov 03, 2014

CIA video shows off new Uptown Residence Hall

View details Spring 2015 Open House

Events: Mar 21, 2015

Spring 2015 Open House

View full story bestregmidwest.jpg

Story: Aug 18, 2014

CIA again named to "Best in the Midwest" list

News . Feature Stories . New Affiliation Builds Bridge to Beijing


April 05, 2013

New Affiliation Builds Bridge to Beijing

CIA enters agreement with the Central Academy of Fine Art in China.

New Affiliation Builds Bridge to Beijing

By Karen Sandstrom

An agreement between the Cleveland Institute of Art and the Central Academy of Fine Art (CAFA) in China will pave the way for a new cohort of Chinese art students to complete their degrees in Cleveland.

One of the premiere colleges of art and design in China, and well respected internationally, CAFA is under the direct charge of China’s Ministry of Education. It was named by Chairman Mao Zedong, and is renowned for its six divisions: a School of Fine Art, School of Chinese Painting, School of Design, School of Architecture, School of Humanities and the College of City Design.

CIA has joined a small group of art schools worldwide which accept for enrollment graduates of the International Foundation Course program at the Beijing-based CAFA. CIA could begin admitting CAFA’s international-program students as early as fall of 2013. "Increased global reach and international recruitment are part of CIA's strategic planning. This success in China is part of a multi-national effort that includes India and Brazil." said CIA President Grafton Nunes.

President Nunes announced this week the new partnership, which involved the efforts of many, and was forged by Christopher Whittey, vice president of academic affairs. Whittey traveled to China last year and met his CAFA counterpart, Xu Bing, through Professor Diana Chou, a scholar-in-residence at CIA. It was then that Xu Bing described the international foundation program at CAFA.

“This highly unique program is a one-year-long, intensive course of study in English and foundation studio skills,” Whittey said. “After that year, these students go out to complete a four-year BFA at partner art schools around the world. The Cleveland Institute of Art is one of only four colleges in the United States, and one of 11 total colleges around the world to have this relationship with CAFA.”

CAFA applicants will have to meet minimum grade requirements in a variety of disciplines and submit a digital portfolio. Waivers will be granted for certain CIA Foundation classes, but these must be replaced with studio electives.

CIA offers CAFA students a unique art education even as this affiliation enriches the Institute’s core student body, whose futures lie in a global world.

“It is our contention that being connected in this way, having our students engaged with the world while attending CIA as undergrads, prepares students for their vibrant art and design futures,” Whittey said.

Over the years, CIA has enrolled a number of students from China and elsewhere. But Whittey said the new relationship signals an exciting development in Cores + Connections, CIA’s mission to build on its relationships with schools, businesses and organizations locally and worldwide. 

That mission is a strong draw for prospective students, Whittey said.

“We were told that it might require three or four years to begin to see CAFA students enroll here at the Cleveland Institute of Art, but we are already — in the first year out — seeing a number of them apply,” Whittey said.

CIA recently has expanded recruitment efforts nationally and internationally, said Robert Borden, executive director of enrollment and financial aid. “These efforts help ensure a sustainable enrollment that is not over-dependent on the Northeast Ohio region alone,” he said, “and also help to continue to diversify the student body in many ways.”

Other American schools that have agreements with CAFA include the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, California College of the Arts, and the School of Visual Arts in New York.

“In the time I have spent at CAFA, I have seen that the work of these students is simply amazing,” Whittey said. “I relished how the entire floor dedicated to this International Foundation Course program is completely abuzz with creative activity. We are looking forward to having these budding artists and designers join the mix with our talented students at CIA.”

Above: Christopher Whittey, vice president of academic affairs, shakes hands with his CAFA counterpart Xu Bing in Beijing.

YouTube Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Flickr Pinterest Instagram

Social Feed

Get a sneak peak of our brand new, beautiful building in this @FreshWaterCLE article - with lots of stunning pics!

about 5 hours ago via Twitter


For more information about this or other CIA news, contact us here.

Read More

Community Works

Visiting artists, exhibitions, conference and symposia exploring socially engaged art.

Read More


Save the date. Four celebration events.

Read More

Cores + Connections

Creating. Connecting. Building better futures.