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Recent press releases

/ April 23, 2024

Four faculty members and one alum from California College of the Arts awarded the 2024 Guggenheim Fellowship

Faculty members Kim Anno, Lucas Foglia, Guillermo Galindo, and Léonie Guyer, and alum Ahndraya Parlato are among those recognized for the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship.

John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

/ April 22, 2024

California College of the Arts announces 2024 Honorary Doctorate recipients Deborah Willis and Hank Willis Thomas

CCA is thrilled to announce artist and scholar Deborah Willis and visual artist and CCA alum Hank Willis Thomas (MFA Photography and MA Visual Criticism 2003) as the Honorary Doctorate degree recipients at the 117th Commencement Ceremony.

Right: Portrait of Deborah Willis by Laylah Amatullah Barrayn. Left: Portrait of Hank Willis Thomas.

/ April 3, 2024

California College of the Arts Graduate Curatorial Practice Program and CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts present Absolute Memory: An Archive of Softness

Absolute Memory: An Archive of Softness is a group exhibition featuring five artists working in themes of the everyday and subjective narrative, Widline Cadet, Xandra Ibarra, Michael Jang, Clifford Prince King, and Kenneth Tam.

Xandra Ibarra, “A Scarlot Mouth Dawns,” (2023), Photography series: Archival Pigment Prints.

/ March 22, 2024

California College of the Arts gala honoring Jack Wadsworth raises over $1.24 million

CCA celebrated long-time supporter Jack Wadsworth at its annual gala, raising over $1.24 million for student scholarships.

Left to right: David Howse, Susy Wadsworth, Jack Wadsworth, Dee Hover, Stephen Beal.


Meet the artists, designers, and writers leading CCA

Portrait of President David Howse.

David C. Howse, president

David C. Howse, president

David Howse, the 10th president of California College of the Arts, oversees the academic, administrative, and financial facets of the institution. With a focus on leveraging current institutional momentum, he is dedicated to advancing the college's goal of expanding visibility, reach, and impact.

Before assuming the role of president, Howse held key positions at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. Notably, he served as Vice President of the Office of the Arts and concurrently as the Executive Director of ArtsEmerson. With over two decades of experience, Howse has successfully led arts organizations primarily within educational institutions, through strategic visioning, fundraising, and community building.

Headshot of Tammy Rae Carland.

Tammy Rae Carland, provost

Tammy Rae Carland, provost

Tammy Rae Carland is CCA’s chief academic officer, focused on building and supporting faculty leadership and cultivating a culture that inspires lifelong creative work. Since becoming provost in 2016, Carland has successfully expanded CCA’s faculty to better reflect the college’s diverse community of students. She oversees the curricular and programmatic enhancements afforded by CCA’s unification and San Francisco campus expansion.

In her creative practice, Carland is a photographer, video artist, zine editor, independent art gallery founder, and co-founder of Mr. Lady Records and Videos, an independent record label and video art distribution company dedicated to the production and distribution of queer and feminist culture. In the 1990s, Carland was instrumental in the launch of the feminist Riot Grrrl movement and collaborated on album art for the bands Bikini Kill, The Fakes, and The Butchies.

Portrait of Jacqueline Francis.

Jacqueline Francis, dean of Humanities and Sciences

Jacqueline Francis, dean of Humanities and Sciences

Jacqueline Francis is an art historian, curator, and creative writer. She researches and writes modern and contemporary US art histories; she has a special interest in the construction of past and present racialized identities and identifications which she considers in the critical framework of social art history. She is the author of Making Race: Modernism and “Racial Art” in America (2012), the first book-length study of interwar expressionist American painting, scrutinized through the lens of critical race art history. Francis has edited and co-edited several books dedicated to the works and influence of historical and present-day artists: Adia Millett (2020 and 2023); Romare Bearden: American Modernists (2011); Is Now the Time for Joyous Rage? [on Lorraine O’Grady] (2023); and Sargent Claude Johnson (2024). She has published essays in numerous exhibition catalogs, peer-reviewed journals, and reference texts, and presented her research at museums, conferences, and colleges and universities in North America, Europe, and Asia. She has been a visiting professor at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art and San Francisco State University.

Headshot of Helena Maria Nugent.

Helen Maria Nugent, dean of Design

Helen Maria Nugent, dean of Design

Helen Maria Nugent leads CCA’s undergraduate and graduate Design programs, guided by the belief that a design education prepares students to both envision and build a better future for all. Hallmarks of Nugent’s approach include her commitment to ensuring designers are well-versed in critical thinking and equipped with the skills to craft tangible, desirable, and sustainable alternatives that address real-world problems. Since joining CCA in 2017, she has worked extensively to establish a collective vision for how the college’s expansion and new custom-built environment situated in San Francisco will support a future-focused design curriculum.

Nugent’s co-developed curriculum for a new discipline category called Design Arts for The National YoungArts Foundation integrates architectural, product, interior, graphic, and fashion design. In her practice, Nugent explores the role of sensory perception in art and design. She is also co-founder of Haelo Design, an independent, research-oriented studio whose project TacTiles, commissioned by the Art Institute of Chicago, allows visitors with sight impairment to experience the museum through their fingertips.

Headshot of Sunny A. Smith.

Sunny A. Smith, dean of Fine Arts

Sunny A. Smith, dean of Fine Arts

Sunny A. Smith oversees CCA’s diverse Fine Arts division, equipping students with the skills necessary to create and critique art that is both self-expressive and meaningful to the world around them. Smith's teaching philosophy, as well as their artistic practice, embrace critical dialogue and dynamic exchange, whether in the form of classroom discussions, large-scale participatory projects, performative sculptures, or studio-made objects. During their earlier years at CCA, they chaired the Sculpture program and held several leadership positions across the college.

Smith’s internationally recognized artistic practice investigates the cultural phenomenon of historical reenactment and the role of craft in the construction of white nationalism, and their work incorporates a variety of artistic methods to offer new interpretations of America’s fraught history and the impact of war. They produced more than 25 solo exhibitions, installations, performances, and artist-led participatory projects for venues such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Public Art Fund, the Arts Club of Chicago, and S!GNAL Center for Contemporary Art. They have exhibited their work in survey exhibitions at museums including MoMA PS1, Palais de Tokyo, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, MASS MoCA, and the Tang Museum.

Headshot of Keith Krumwiede.

Keith Krumwiede, dean of Architecture

Keith Krumwiede, dean of Architecture

Dedicated to situating the Architecture division’s curriculum and pedagogy in its immediate context, Keith Krumwiede oversees programs that allow CCA students to apply what they’ve learned to impact their environment. In the Bay Area, that means building architectural solutions to mitigate a broad range of challenges, from ecological vulnerabilities to steep socioeconomic inequalities. Since joining the college, Krumwiede has guided the launch of CCA Architecture Books, a new publishing imprint.

Krumwiede, joined CCA from the American Academy in Rome, researches the relationship between architecture and its cultural, social, and political milieus. His book Atlas of Another America: An Architectural Fiction (Park Books, 2017) offers a critique of both American culture—reflecting upon the world we’ve made and the world we might have made—and architecture culture, lampooning its hubris and its often-complicit relationship to power and privilege. At the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial, he exhibited The Monuments of Another America, a 50-foot-long scenic wallpaper based on Xavier Mader’s 1814 wallpaper, The Monuments of Paris.

Portrait of Daisy Nam.

Daisy Nam, director and chief curator, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts

Daisy Nam, Director and Chief Curator, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts

Daisy Nam’s approach to curation and program development is noted for its focus on fostering dialogues with artists to develop new work that connects contemporary art with broader societal issues. Her tenure at Ballroom Marfa was marked by exhibitions and programs that engaged with critical themes and expanded the boundaries of artistic expression. Of particular note are the exhibitions Guadalupe Maravilla: Mariposa Relámpago; Kenneth Tam: Tender is the hand which holds the stone of memory; and Tongues of Fire, a group exhibition that included works by artists Jorge Méndez Blake, Jesse Chun, Adriana Corral, JJJJJerome Ellis, and Nakai Flotte, which explored the ways in which language has been suppressed, silenced, or obscured. Nam has also led the process for the development of Ballroom Marfa’s forthcoming 20th anniversary publication, published jointly with Monacelli Press.

Prior to Ballroom Marfa, Nam served as the Assistant Director at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University from 2015 to 2019. In that role, she worked on a number of exhibitions including Matt Keegan: Replicate (2018), We Just Fit, You and I (2018), Renée Green: Pacing (2018) as well as performances including Kerry Tribe: Critical Mass (2015). Nam also collaborated with several widely recognized artists on residencies including Liz Magor, Phil Collins, Lorraine O’Grady and public programs, including Basma Alsharif, Charles Atlas, Morgan Bassichis, Douglas Crimp, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Jessi Reaves, and Aki Sasamoto.


Know the basics about CCA

Crowds of people explore artwork in a lofty hall.

About California College of the Arts

Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts (CCA) educates students to shape culture and society through the practice and critical study of art, architecture, design, and writing. Benefiting from its San Francisco Bay Area location, the college prepares students for lifelong creative work by cultivating innovation, community engagement, and social and environmental responsibility.

CCA offers a rich curriculum of 22 undergraduate and 10 graduate programs in art, architecture, design, and writing taught by a faculty of expert practitioners. Attracting promising students from across the nation and around the world, CCA is one of the 25 most diverse colleges in the U.S.

Graduates are highly sought-after by companies such as Pixar/Disney, Apple, Intel, Facebook, Gensler, Google, IDEO, Autodesk, Mattel, and Nike, and many have launched their own successful businesses. Alumni and faculty are often recognized with the highest honors in their fields, including Academy Awards, AIGA Medals, Fulbright Scholarships, Guggenheim Fellowships, MacArthur Fellowships, National Medal of Arts, and the Rome Prize, among others.

CCA is creating a new, expanded college campus at its current site in San Francisco, spearheaded by the architectural firm Studio Gang. The new campus design will be a model of sustainable construction and practice; will unite the college’s programs in art, architecture, design, and writing in one location to create new adjacencies and interactions; and will provide more student housing than ever before.

CCA in the news

/ July 10, 2024

CCA faculty member Genevieve Quick wins the Artadia Award

Congratulations to Film faculty member Genevieve Quick for receiving the 2024 San Francisco Bay Area Artadia Award.

Still from Genevieve Quick’s “Hello World” (2022-Present).

/ July 2, 2024

Making the most of each moment with alum Chelsea Ryoko Wong

In an interview with The Creative Independent, painter and muralist Chelsea Ryoko Wong (BFA Printmaking 2010) talks about challenging yourself, changing focus, and being conscientious of how you use your time.

Photo of Chelsea Ryoko Wong.

/ June 25, 2024

CCA wins the Outstanding Science Award at the 2024 BioDesign Challenge Summit

Led by faculty members Margaret Ikeda, Evan Jones, and Negar Kalantar, CCA Architecture students collaborated with UCSF microbiology students to develop a biomaterial architectural system out of shellfish and eggshell waste.

Shell We Dance project.

/ June 17, 2024

Two notable alums that have shaped the San Francisco art scene

CCA alums Robert Arneson (BFA Art Education 1956) and Viola Frey (BFA Ceramics 1956) are among ten artists featured in a roundup of Bay Area creatives who have significantly influenced the art scene unique to San Francisco.

The Decline and Fall of Western Civilization by Viola Frey, 1992.

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