Student Life Events

Presented by the Graduate Program in Design

Thursday, April 17, 11:30 am

Graduate Center, San Francisco Campus
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Free and open to the public
Graduate Center, Room GC4

RSVP to Leslie Carol Roberts,

Thackara needs no introduction -- described as a "design guru, critic, and business provocateur" by Fast Company, his brilliant writing about the role design plays across civil society is followed around the world via his many books and Design Observer blog. 

Bill Moggridge urged all designers to keep a copy of Thackara's book, In the Bubble: Designing in a Complex World, close at hand, to "remind you of all the new possibilities." 

Talk Highlights: What Makes a Change Lab?

To effect system-level change in health, energy, food, or mobility, a first step is often to reframe the question. In health, for example, 95 percent of person-to-person care happens outside the bio-medical system -- and how do you innovate there?

In cities, too: smart systems are useful-- but what makes cities truly smart are its citizens as they innovate new sharing platforms. Or think about mobility: the big changes under way concerns new social practices, not vehicles -- and how do you innovate those?

A second requirement in system change is that a variety of experiments, changes, and disruptions are choreographed through time. Many of these a experiments are already happening; grassroots innovation is emerging wherever people seek new ways to meet their daily life needs.

So the question becomes: What are the best ways to support, connect, and amplify these experiments?

Friday, April 18, 6:30–7:30 pm
(clockwise from upper left) Glen Helfand, Lan Duong, Philip Kan Gotanda, Masahiro Sugano

Grand Hyatt San Francisco | 345 Stockton Street | San Francisco 94108

Free and open to the public
More info:, 510.597.3793

Can individuals and institutions make a difference when questioning difference?

As curators, scholars, artists, and activists working in Asia, America, and in between, the following 2014 Association of Asian American Studies National conference presenters challenge national policies and the politics of community and identity.

Moderated by Việt Lê, artist, curator, writer, assistant professor, Visual Studies, California College of the Arts

Lan Duong (curator, editor, associate professor, Media and Cultural Studies, UC Riverside) reflects on the Little Saigon community protests and mainstream mass media (mis)representation surrounding FOB II (2009, Vietnamese Arts & Letters Association).

Professor Duong will also talk about the pioneering anthology Southeast Asian Women in the Diaspora: Troubling Borders in Literature and Art (2013) and its companion exhibition.

Philip Kan Gotanda (playwright/filmmaker, professor, Department of Theater Dance and Performance Studies, UC Berkeley) reflects on his advocacy work and his pioneering cross-discplinary creative work, which has been instrumental in bringing stories of Asians in the United States to American theater as well as to Europe and Asia.

Glen Helfand (independent writer, critic, curator, adjunct professor, California College of the Arts, Mills College, San Francisco Art Institute) discusses the three-part exhibition Promimities (2013-14, Asian Art Museum), in which contemporary Bay Area artists respond to the question: What is Asia?

Helfand has curated exhibitions for the de Young Museum, San Francisco; the San Jose Museum of Art; the Pasadena Museum of California Art; Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco; Dust Gallery, Las Vegas; and the Mills College Art Museum, Oakland.

Masahiro Sugano (filmmaker, Studio Revolt, Phnom Penh) shares his films dealing with Cambodian deportees, including Cambodian Son (2014); My Asian Americana (2011), which was censored by the White House; and its followup, Return to Sender (2012).

Sugano is part of an artist-run media lab with Anida Yoeu Ali at Studio Revolt, based in Phnom Penh, Osaka, and Chicago.

Presented by CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts

Friday, April 18, 7:00–8:00 pm
Rana Hamadeh, "Al Karantina," 2013. Lecture-performance; cabinet: 67 x 19 ½ x 63 in. Commissioned for "The Magic of The State at Beirut," 2013. [Courtesy the artist]

360 Kansas Street (between 16th and 17th Streets)

Free and open to the public
More info: Rita Souther,

Rana Hamadeh is a performance and visual artist currently based in Rotterdam. Interested in a curatorial approach within her artistic practice, she works on long-term discursive research-based projects that involve different levels of collaborations.

The collaborations are presented to the public in the form of lecture-performances, audio/text-based installations, mind maps, and public/documented conversations.

In 2011 Hamadeh initiated Alien Encounters, a long-term research project that serves an umbrella for a continuously growing archive of performance/theatrical works, cartographic/choreographic projects, and different sorts of artistic and theoretical gestures, ideas, collaborations, etc.

Initially inspired by Sun Ra's film Space is the Place (1974), which proposes an African American exodus toward outer space in response to racial injustice, Alien Encounters aims at reaching such a gesture of moving outward in terms of contemporary conditions of injustice that inhabit, embody, and traverse us today.

Part of Alien Encounters, Hamadeh's lecture-performance "Al Karantina," presented at the Wattis Institute as part of the Many Places At Once public program, weaves original photographs, documents, historical events, personal encounters, and fictions in a web of associations to question notions of contagion and resistance, citizenship, and alienness.

Her work "Al Karantina" also has a sculptural component: a wooden cabinet in which the artist's archives and documents are displayed, which are then activated during her lecture-performance.

Founding support for CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts programs has been provided by Phyllis C. Wattis and Judy & Bill Timken. Generous support provided by Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund and the Curator’s Forum.

Presented by Center for Art in Public Life

Saturday, April 19, 10:00 am–2:00 pm

350 Kansas Street, San Francisco Campus
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Free and open to the public
More info: Eve Letendre,

The Center for Art and Public Life invites the larger CCA community to join us in celebrating CONNECTS students' accomplishments.

At the CONNECTS End-of-Year Party, via PechaKucha presentations, CONNECTS externs will answer the question: "Why is CONNECTS important to your CCA experience?"

Working at various community partner sites for an academic year, CONNECTS externs serve as representatives of their organizations. Come learn why their work matters to their overall CCA experience.

CCA CONNECTS partner sites range from public K-12 schools, architecture and design firms, elder-care communities, art galleries and museums, along with a vast array of other important local arts and design organizations. 

Presented by the Fine Arts division

Monday, April 21, 9:30–10:30 am
"More Heads," 2013 [photo: Wynne Greenwood]

Timken Lecture Hall, San Francisco Campus
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Free and open to the CCA community only
More info: Molly Mitchell,

Wynne Greenwood is a queer feminist artist from Seattle who studied at Rutgers University and received her MFA from Bard College.

She has served as a teaching artist for the nonprofit Reel Grrls, whose mission it is to empower girls ages 9-21 from diverse communities about video and filmmaking as well as issues of representation and media justice through classes and workshops.

Greenwood has lectured and led workshops as a visiting artist at 19 different schools, universities, and museums since the year 2000. She has an extensive background practicing and teaching interdisciplinary art, multimedia installation, performance, analog and digital video, music recording, and music video.

Greenwood's practice puts sculpture into shifting roles, from prop to set to subject. She achieved national acclaim (and a dedicated queer feminist cult following) for her multimedia performance project Tracy + The Plastics, a band in which she plays all three band members simultaneously through video projections she interacts with onstage.

Other recent projects involve putting sculptures in conversation with one another through live performance and video projection in the gallery. Looking at the increasingly complex relationships between objects (especially smart phones, laptops, and tablets) and cultures, and the stage as a place of responsibility and a space to share power, Greenwood describes her practice as one of culture-healing, of examining dynamics of power in contemporary media and complicating processes of identity production.

She's had over 25 solo exhibitions and performances and tours throughout the United States and Europe.

Presented by the Fine Arts division

Tuesday, April 22, 11:30 am–12:30 pm
"An Unkindess," 2013, installation view The Corcoran Gallery of Art [Photo: Paul Bothwell]

Timken Lecture Hall, San Francisco Campus
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Free and open to the CCA community only
More info: Molly Mitchell,

Mia Feuer is a Canadian sculptor. Her work uses various processes and materials to create immersive works that investigate the tensions of violated spaces, creating the illusion of failed infrastructures and destroyed landscapes as a provocation toward the reimagination of the physical world.

Immersing herself in politically charged, complicated, and conflicted places fuels her creative research. She has spent time in occupied Palestine, in Egypt during the 2011 revolutions, at the Suez Canal, the Alberta Tar Sands, and the Arctic Circle. In her words, all places that share a common expression of extreme energy extraction and consumption.

Feuer creates immersive, metaphorical, sculptural environments that combine personal moments and memories of these sites with critical perspectives on the myriad forces at work in these landscapes.

A recent exhibition at the Corcoran Museum included a synthetic black hockey rink made of petroleum that museum visitors could skate on. She has presented her work in 14 solo exhibitions since 2006 and has received nearly 40 awards, grants, fellowships, and residencies around the world. 

Feuer holds a BFA in sculpture from University of Manitoba and an MFA in sculpture and extended media from Virginia Commonwealth University. Since 2012 she has served as a full-time assistant professor of sculpture and foundations coordinator at George Mason University.

She's currently a visiting faculty member at the Banff Center for Contemporary Art. Feuer lives in Washington DC.

Presented by the Fine Arts division

Wednesday, April 23, 12:30–1:30 pm
"Untitled" (Black and White Sweater II), sweater, plaster, stucco, 21”x20”x13”, 2013 [Photo: Adam Reich]

Timken Lecture Hall, San Francisco Campus
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Free and open to the CCA community only
More info: Molly Mitchell,

Jennifer Cohen is a sculptor from New York who has a background as a professionally trained Balanchine dancer.

She has presented her work in over 30 solo and group exhibitions in the United States and abroad. A dedicated teacher as well as artist, she believes in the importance and value of art education in developing empathetic, community-oriented, curious, and questioning citizens.

Her teaching experience encompasses a broad range from first-year students to graduate students, and traditional sculpture techniques to computer-aided digital fabrication.

Cohen's object-oriented, studio-based sculpture practice explores the intersection between abstraction and figuration, inspired by both physical memories and theoretical concerns of choreography.

The stillness of her sculptures isolate the performative act into a single gesture, aiming to echo the moment where an extended body becomes a pure form. Within this intuitive process of making, she considers the possibility of physical empathy, of energy stored in matter, of visualizing and materializing human gestures, and how sculptural forms might help us to physically feel.

Cohen has served as an adjunct professor in sculpture at School of the Visual Arts for seven years in addition to numerous other courses at Parsons, NYU, Brooklyn College, and Yale University since 2002.

She earned her bachelor of arts in rhetoric from Bates College, a post-baccalaureate certificate from SAIC, and her MFA from the Yale University Sculpture program.

Thursday, April 24, 7:00–9:30 pm

350 Kansas Street, San Francisco Campus
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Free and open to the public
Info: 510.594.3757

Please join California College of the Arts and the Center for Art and Public Life for the fourth annual IMPACT Social Entrepreneurship Awards finalist team presentations, including the announcement of the winning teams and featuring a keynote presentation by Heather Fleming of Catapult Design.

Finalists under consideration for an IMPACT Award will give presentations to the audience and a panel of judges. The judges will quickly retire to deliberate, and at the end of the evening they will announce the winning teams and their award amounts.

The awarded projects will each receive up to $10,000. All of them must emphasize interdisciplinary engagement, social entrepreneurship, and collaborative relationships with community partners, and they must have a detailed action plan to execute their summer 2014 project that supports social and humanitarian goals.

Read more about IMPACT Awards »

Presented as part of the ENGAGE at CCA curricular initiative

Friday, April 25, 5:30–7:00 pm

Goodwill's Atrium | 1500 Mission Street | San Francisco, CA

Free and open to the public
More info: Amy Campos, or Lynda Grose,

Presented as part of the Center for Art and Public Life's ENGAGE at CCA curricular initiative, we're pleased to present an exhibition and celebration of the work of CCA's students enrolled in ENGAGE: Rebranding Sustainability, an interdisciplinary course in partnership with San Francisco Goodwill.

Showcased work reflects the efforts of student from the Animation, Architecture, Furniture, Illustration, and Industrial Design Programs.

Students produced replicable product protoypes using Goodwill's excess material (resin-impregnated knit furniture, colored rubber landscapes for plants and animals, wax-dipped fabric shelving, lead remeditating plant baskets, topographic tables, animated films, fabric acoustical wall tiles, and striated soft foam walls).

Learn more by visiting the course process blog »

Hosted by the Office of Student Affairs

Saturday, April 26, 11:00 am–3:00 pm

Main walkway
Registration: March 24 through April 21
Free and open to the public

CCA's idyllic Oakland campus becomes a bustling arts bazaar for a day. The public is invited to shop for one-of-a-kind, handmade, affordable gifts created by the CCA community:

hand-blown glass
and more!

Discover unique gifts while enjoying live jazz music and tasty treats.

All CCA students, alumni, faculty, and staff are invited to sell their arts and crafts at the Spring Fair.

Participation is free; we do ask that all items for sale be handmade, and that all sellers help with the set up and break down of the event.