Kala Art Institute's mission is to help artists sustain their creative efforts over time through its Artist-in- Residence and Fellowship Programs, and to increase appreciation of this work through exhibitions, public programming and educational efforts.
Artists at Kala are encouraged to produce innovative artwork of the highest quality, and are given total freedom to realize their artistic vision using media that span the Gutenberg to digital eras. Artists are also provided with a number of professional development opportunities, and a spirit of exchange and education is nurtured through artist involvement in exhibitions, special events, lectures, teaching, and classroom experience. Additionally, Kala is committed to offering quality art education to the general public and public school children through its on-site program of classes and workshops and its Artists-in-Schools program, established in 1991, providing multiple-week artist-led instruction to students in East Bay public schools and summer programs.
Founded in 1974 by Archana Horsting and Yuzo Nakano as an international workshop and forum for ideas, Kala Art Institute provides exceptional facilities to professional artists working in all forms of printmaking, digital media, photography, and book arts. Located in the former Heinz ketchup factory in West Berkeley since 1979, Kala’s 15,200 square foot facility houses an extensive array of artmaking equipment, as well as a public exhibition gallery, an art library and an extensive print archive. Established artists associated with Kala over the years include Squeak Carnwath, Roy de Forest, Jessica Dunne, Bella Feldman, Barbara Foster, Sonya Rapoport, Peter Voulkos, and William Wiley. In addition to the artists in residence program, the organization’s annual activities include over 100 classes and workshops open to the general public; 8-12 visual art exhibitions in Kala’s gallery as well as off-site locations; on-going lectures, artists talks, and special events open to the general public; and an Artists- in-Schools program that provides curriculum-based visual arts education to children in schools in Berkeley, Emeryville and Oakland. Kala currently serves approximately 25,000 individuals annually, many of whom reside in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area.