Events & Exhibitions

CCA’s interdisciplinary programming offers more than 150 events and exhibitions each year to foster meaningful dialogue among artists and the wider community.

Adam Linder, Full Service, 2018, at Wattis Institute. Choreographic Service No. 2: Some Proximity, 2014, duration variable. Two dancers and one writer: Justin Kennedy, Josh Johnson, and Jonathan P. Watts/ Michele Carlson. Photo by Allie Fora.

Adam Linder, Full Service, 2018, at Wattis Institute. Choreographic Service No. 2: Some Proximity, 2014, duration variable. Two dancers and one writer: Justin Kennedy, Josh Johnson, and Jonathan P. Watts/ Michele Carlson. Photo by Allie Fora.

During the COVID–19 pandemic and resulting campus closures, CCA has reimagined event and exhibition opportunities, answering the question: What can a top-ranked art and design school’s remote programming look like?

We now present our work and investigations through virtual public programs, online exhibitions, satellite websites, and more. These digital experiences from across our academic divisions and galleries, including the acclaimed CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, echo the creative and intellectual curiosity that drive the CCA community—whether we’re on campus or remote.

And you’re invited. Explore thesis work by our graduating students, experience CCA virtual events, travel through online art shows, attend ongoing presentations, watch lectures, and take part in efforts of resiliency and change as a creative activist. This is your chance to learn and make personal connections with art, architecture, design, and writing in a way that wasn’t possible before.

Installation view of What We Offer Is Free, an exhibition honoring Ted Purves at the CCA Hubbell Street Galleries.

Installation view of What We Offer Is Free, an exhibition honoring Ted Purves at the CCA Hubbell Street Galleries.

Watch the future of art and design unfold

Though mostly closed at the moment due to the coronavirus pandemic, each campus gallery is an integral part of the CCA curriculum. Students gain professional skills by mounting exhibitions in these galleries, and Bay Area visitors get to enjoy new work in curated spaces that embrace diverse perspectives and a range of contemporary approaches.

Get inspired, try something new, and share ideas at these live digital experiences happening in real time. All of CCA’s public virtual events and exhibitions are free and open to the public, so you can uniquely engage with urgent cultural topics through the work and ideas of award-winning artists, designers, authors, scholars, and alumni.

Let curiosity be your guide

Our creative community took the social distancing requirements of the COVID–19 pandemic as an opportunity to reconsider how we present our work. Rather than thinking of the moment as a restrictive pause, we began to reimagine how to invite a wider audience to witness how our students make art that matters and dig deeper into collegewide discussions of inclusivity, justice, and sustainability. These ongoing digital presentations include special websites, recorded videos, and virtual art shows, which you can journey through asynchronously.

A dark blue graphic that reads Class of 2021 Showcase with multicolored vertical stripes of different widths.

Meet the voices of tomorrow

CCA’s graduating student showcases, presented by class year, are digital time capsules of capstone projects and culminating work.

Class of 2021 Showcase

Featuring work by graduating students, the showcase represents the diversity of practice across CCA’s Architecture, Design, Fine Arts, and Humanities & Sciences divisions. Navigate the full showcase experience on Portal, and check out the Deans’ Spotlight collection of outstanding projects from each academic division.

Exhibitions at CCA

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May 14, 2021

Aamirah Khafre⁠ (Part 2 of 2)⁠
Individualized Studies⁠
@A.K.Contributions & @POSEDPERCEPTION ⁠ &⁠
[email protected]

1. "Lost in Self, Searching in Bliss"⁠
2. "Dual Pose"⁠
3. "Curious to What Unconditional Means"⁠

"The image that inherently shows up in my work is the human figure. This is presented around concepts of perception and lack of emotional vernacular. I use figures to bridge the gap between my internal and external consciousness. I've lived most of my life absent in myself mentally. This continued until the beginning of my college career, when I was introduced to conversations around perception. The tool of perception allowed me to give myself courage to be present, while developing a new sense of hope and control of my life. In this new state of mind, free will began: an exploration into who I was/who I am and who I want to be/who I will be. Transforming into contemplations of excitement rather than agony. To learn the power of my present consciousness opened me up to acknowledging my power of being. It freed me from a state of neglect and opened my mind up to a more creative existence."⁠

"I am learning to trust myself through my life process, using the power of perception as the fundamental tool. My art is a conversation between my conscious and subconscious self navigating how to acknowledge each other with peace and balance. I often ask myself and pose these questions to my community: What do I believe? How do I see the world? How can I better embrace myself? What attributes am I full of, but not aware of? What is the relationship between what I believe, question and practice? I sit with these prompts for my current self and future self, and see potential for these to be topics of conversation within shared spaces. These spaces include those who contemplate the same things I do, those who want to explore but don't quite have the jargon, and those who know there's more to know but lack foundation. My work is curated around curiosity of the metaphysical self and shared to create collective exploration."⁠

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May 14, 2021

Aamirah Khafre⁠ (Part 1 of 2)⁠
Individualized Studies⁠
@A.K.Contributions & @POSEDPERCEPTION ⁠ &⁠
[email protected]

1. "Individuals Unite CommUnity"⁠
2. Image by Affia Muhammad ⁠
3. "A POSED Question"⁠

"My thesis 'Individuals Unite CommUnity' investigates the integrity of community. It is a social project functioning within design and art. The mission is to highlight the power and purpose of individuality as a foundation of a strong community. I personally believe that “it takes a village”, a principal I grew up with, is at the core and grand scheme of universal law. I have felt the truth of this belief in my personal journey and am posing the abundance of this perception to the commUnity. 'Individuals Unite CommUnity' is Designed by POSED PERCEPTION and created by the CommUnity. A public installment for accessing, creating, and displaying the beauty and abundance of collective effort. Extended from myself, a neighbor, and maintained and embellished upon by the many people in and passing by the neighborhood."⁠

"At the moment, some major influences for me are Street art, imposter syndrome, and the practice of presence. All of these motivations are rooted in my upbringing. I was never invested in being present growing up and moments where life would wake me up, in a sense, I felt like an imposter to my reality. I grew up in an inner city--North Philly to be exact--and these themes are common in my home community, but the language and awareness is not. POSED PERCEPTION is an artist's conversation based in the factors of my upbringing and the developments I've obtained through my journey of curiosity and practicing presence."⁠

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May 12, 2021

The course (and resulting website) Designing Our Way Out explores the ever evolving definitions of design, including: design methodologies, design for social change, design thinking, human centered-design, respectful design, etc. It is a series of conversations between designers, students and non-designers to exchange ideas on design and its possibilities. In order to continue working towards building a design practice that challenges westernized perspectives, dismantles white supremacy and oppressive systems, we must deeply understand design's plural histories and definitions. Collectively, the students and professor Juan Carlos Rodriguez Rivera, engage in weekly conversations with designers and non-designers inside and outside the CCA Community.

Student contributors to the newly published website include Zitong Huang, Rio Jiang, Lindsay Neal, Gowri Sunder, Xin Xu, Miao Yang, Hank Yao, Xinyu Zhang, and Yutong Zhang, with support from professor Saraleah Fordyce. ⁠

Browse their investigations of the definitions of design and contribute to their manifesto via the link in our bio.⁠

#creativecitizensinaction @thejohncharles

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May 10, 2021

⁠The Class of 2021 is live! 🎉⁠

The Showcase is a virtual recognition of CCA's graduating students and a presentation of their excellence. It is a space to honor their hard work throughout their studies and show the scope of their intellectual curiosity and creative action. ⁠

View the Class of 2021 Showcase at the link in our bio.⁠

#ccaexhibitions #ccarts #californiacollegeofthearts

Find what’s next in our calendar of exhibitions and events

View schedule