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CIA Hosts National Portfolio Day Oct. 4
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Student Life

Student Life . Life at CIA 

Life at CIA

At Cleveland Institute of Art you’ll live, learn, and work in an artist’s community.

Surrounded by creative-minded friends and mentors, you’ll find inspiration inside and outside the studio. On-campus or off-campus you’ll find a community full of cultural energy, ethnic neighborhoods, and an accessible downtown core on our nations’ “north coast.”

Explore the Neighborhood + City

Our campus sits in the heart of University Circle, recently named by Forbes Magazine as one of the most beautiful communities in the country. Our neighborhood is home to world-renowned cultural, educational, and healthcare institutions and more than 8,000 students. 

Downtown Cleveland is less than five miles from campus, where you can sample the city’s hottest restaurants, take in a music or comedy show, or tour dozens of independent galleries, art walks, and community festivals. If you’re a sports fan, plan on cheering on the Cleveland Indians, Cavaliers, or Browns at their downtown venues. 

Kulas Tickets

You’re living in one of the country’s premier cultural districts, University Circle. And you’re only three miles from the second largest theater district in the country, Playhouse Square. Through the Kulas Ticket Giveaway, you can take advantage of living in a city packed with cultural activities. 

Win tickets to a variety of cultural events in and around Cleveland. From the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra to the nationally-recognized Great Lakes Theater; from the innovative movement of DANCECleveland to highly successful tours of acclaimed Broadway Musicals - there’s something for everyone! 

Show Your Work

It’s important to show your work in both formal and informal settings. Through faculty partnerships and long-held CIA exhibitions, you’ll have many opportunities to exhibit and sell your work.  

Student Independent Exhibition

For nearly 70 years this juried-exhibition has been a signature show for CIA students. SIE is an extraordinary chance for students to create exhibition-quality work and run an actual full-scale exhibition where they do it all –from choosing national jurors to curating the work and publicizing the show.  

Spring Design Show 

Each spring students in CIA’s Industrial, Interior, and Graphic Design majors participate in a unique ‘trade show’ event where they present their work to prospective employers. Students develop a kiosk, produce work for the show, and present that work to industry professionals throughout this three-day event. Many of our junior and senior design students walk away from this event with internship and job opportunities. 

Student Summer Show

Drawn from the best senior work done through the BFA Exhibitions and the best of sophomore and junior work, this show takes place in Reinberger Galleries and is open to the public throughout the summer. 

Community Partnerships

Faculty connect with local retail shops, restaurants, and businesses to feature CIA student work on their walls. A recent partnership with a local wine retailer has resulted in two annual shows of exclusively CIA student work. 

Get Involved

CIA students spend a lot of time in the studio, which is why our Office of Student Life organizes activities to make sure you take a break sometimes. Through student activities and annual events you’ll be able to recharge your creative batteries. 

Meet Professional Artists + Designers

Learn from nationally-renowned visiting artists, who mentor students in both the classroom and the studio, or attend our Lunch On Friday series, a  weekly forum where the CIA community comes together to discuss art and design.

For more information:

Matthew Smith
Director of Student Life + Housing
216.421.7495 | Contact

Getting Around Town

With CIA’s location in Cleveland city limits, you’ll have access to all of the public transportation of a major metro area. Learn about getting around Cleveland.

Studio Space 

It’s your space to create and collaborate. Once you begin your major you move right into personal studio space. For many students it’s a home away from home, where they work on projects and connect with peers in their major.

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Support CIA

Show the world creativity matters: make a gift to the annual fund.

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Save the date. Four celebration events.

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Cores + Connections

Creating. Connecting. Building better futures.