William Catling, MFA

Chair, Department of Art
Phone: (626) 387-5726
Office Location: Building One, Room 233
Photo of William Catling, MFA


William Catling, MFA, was born in San Francisco and grew up in the Bay Area. He decided at an early age that art was what he wanted to do for life. Catling taught high school for 10 years, then moved to Southern California to begin teaching at APU in 1991. As an artist, he attempts to address the loss of our natural sense of being human—that is, our deeply intuitive sense of ourselves. He believes we have become disconnected from the natural rhythms of life.

The figures Catling makes are rough, cracked, aged, reflecting suffering and the internal capacity to connect to others outside oneself. Such suffering can evoke the viewer’s empathy and self-transcendence. Viewers can embrace the condition of the figures, thus engaging themselves in the process of reconnecting by joining in the transcendent element of the work. The work does not eliminate the body’s suffering but presents it as a condition for spiritual uplift.

Artist’s Work


  • MFA, Sculpture, California State University, Fullerton
  • M.A., California State University, San Francisco
  • B.A., California State University, San Francisco

Academic Areas

  • School of Visual and Performing Arts (College of the Arts)
    • Department of Art
  • College of the Arts


  • 20th Century/Contemporary Art
  • Art and Faith Integrations
  • Contemporary Sculpture
  • Gallery Preparation
  • Portfolio Preparation for the Studio Artist
  • Public Mural Projects

Courses Taught

  • ART 135 – Three-dimensional Design
  • ART 170 – Sculpture I
  • ART 430 – Applied Design
  • ART 501 – Integration: Theory and Practice I
  • ART 580 – Critique
  • ART 582 – Critique
  • ART 584 – Critique
  • ART 590 – Independent Studio
  • ART 592 – Independent Studio
  • ART 594 – Independent Studio