Congratulations to the class of 2019

This year and every year, we celebrate the achievements of our graduating students with exhibitions, ceremonies, and parties. Here are highlights from 2019’s Commencement Exhibition, ceremonies, and thesis exhibitions and events hosted by our academic programs, including CCA Fashion Experience 2019.

Commencement Exhibition

An expansive range of work from across the college

A  large hallway full of people and colorful art installations.

By a select group of graduating students

The annual Commencement Exhibition on our San Francisco campus is a four-day, interdisciplinary showcase of work by graduating students, representing each of CCA’s academic disciplines: Architecture, Design, Fine Arts, and Humanities and Sciences.

A curator from each discipline chooses a number of their graduating students to receive the prestigious curator’s award. Selected students were awarded a total of $3,000 to conceptualize, make, and present their work during the Commencement Exhibition. This year’s exhibition included site-specific installations throughout the Nave; screenings of work by student animators and filmmakers; and a Humanities and Sciences reading room featuring a collection of written works, including comics, critical writing, poetry, and prose.

The 2019 Commencement Exhibition Large-Scale Nave Installation Grant recipients were: Max DeVore Williams (MFA in Design), Palija Shrestha (MFA in Fine Arts), Helena Cardona (Master of Architecture), Alexander Kozachek and Benner Boswell (MFA in Design), Christopher Holland Brandt (Fashion Design), Carlos Serrano (Master of Architecture), dani lopez and Justin R. Nagle (MFA in Fine Arts), and Gabriela Yoque (MFA in Fine Arts).

Exhibitions at CCA

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July 23, 2019

Alma Mater: Methods exhibition highlight of the week from Leora Lutz (MFA Fine Arts, MA Visual & Critical Studies 2014) @azuretoll ⁣

Alma Mater: Methods⁣⁣⁣
CCA Alumni Exhibition⁣⁣⁣
June 15 - July 26⁣⁣⁣
CCA Hubbell Street Galleries⁣⁣⁣
Gallery hours: Thursdays + Fridays from noon-5pm and by appointment⁣⁣⁣

For the second iteration of the college’s biennial series of alumni exhibitions programming, CCA Exhibitions and the CCA Alumni Association will partner to highlight the idea of process within the practices of recent alumni from across the college’s four divisions: Fine Arts, Design, Architecture, and Humanities and Sciences. The exhibition will explore shared threads in artistic practices of sketching, note-taking, modeling, mapping, drafting, and rendering. These process-based methods expose the pathways creative individuals depend upon to obtain a final product or idea. By celebrating this amorphousness through the form of an exhibition, Alma Mater: Methods will move beyond what is often exhibited within the white cube—finality, succinct expression, monetary value—and will instead prioritize a thinking-through-making approach that is shared among the college’s creative communities and disciplines. It is here where conversations begin, new connections form, and low stakes are valued. ⁣⁣⁣

Alma Mater: Methods is curated by @bethabes @mikgaspay @tanyagayer @hobstetter_architecture

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July 22, 2019

This Saturday, July 27, we recommend stopping by CULT Aimee Friberg Exhibitions to see "Female Trouble 2," featuring work by Alumnx Resident Jamee Crusan. Later on Saturday afternoon, make your way over to the Hubbell Street Galleries for Jamee and Zachary Royer Scholz' artist talk/open studio event (more info at link in bio).⁣⁠
@cultexhibitions (1217B Fell Street) is open Friday and Saturday 12–6pm and by appointment. "Female Trouble 2" is up through August 3. ⁣⁠
From CULT Aimee Friberg Exhibitions:⁣⁠
"Female Trouble 2 features the work of female, non-binary, and trans artists whose work takes up the racialized and gendered body as a site of artistic and critical investigation. Michele Pred’s work addresses issues such as reproductive rights, gun violence, and the race and gender pay gap, with messages such as “VOTE PRO CHOICE” and “FEMINIST AS FUCK” emblazoned with LED lights on vintage handbags. Jamee Crusan explores non-binary identity, queer desire and “queer exhaustion” through performative sculpture and video. Desiree Holman explores the body as a collective site through new ceramic sculptures depicting an intimate choreography of flesh on flesh. Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle bears witness to African and African American women who have disappeared from the historical record. Maria Guzman Capron and Trulee Hall portray the female form as raw, potent, authoritative and taking up all the space. Says Guzman Capron of her work: 'I make powerful creatures: muscular, extremely flexible, hyper-human, more than what we could be. Each piece is a potential being that is female, animal, humorous, and otherworldly. They are rooted in the feminine but not limited by it, seeking to go beyond a binary to a hyperbolic self.'"⁣⁠
📷 Jamee Crusan's studio at 141 Hubbell Street. Photo by Nicholas Lea Bruno.⁠

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July 19, 2019

This prototype by Harsh Patel was amongst the pieces selected by CCA faculty for special recognition at the 2019 Commencement Exhibition. For the next year, you'll be able to visit it in 80 Carolina on the SF campus!⁣⁠
📷 Harsh Patel, "Deviant Behavior - Prototype 1," 2019. Steam-bent quarter-sawn ash.⁠⁣⁠
. . .⁣⁠
repost @cacollegeofarts⁠⁣⁠
In his thesis project titled Prototype 1 Deviant Behavior @cca_arch_div graduate student Harsh Patel (@_harsh___) explores the deviancies in standardized wood using a co-dependent joinery system that allows the material to move over time by realizing its natural stresses. 📸: #CCAArchitecture

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July 18, 2019

#tbt to Eleni Berg's senior exhibition, "I Decided to Sprout," in the Oliver Art Center in April 2019.⁣⁠
#ccaexhibitions #ccarts #ccafinearts #californiacollegeoftheartsalumni #californiacollegeofthearts @eleniberg⁠


The 112th Commencement

CCA bachelor's and master's degree ceremonies

Honoring 305 undergraduate and 200 graduate students

On May 20 at the Sydney Goldstein Theater, we conferred 305 baccalaureate degrees and 200 master’s degrees. Both ceremonies celebrated the culmination of hard work, persistence, drive, and dedication each student showed in order to earn their degree and prepare for a lifetime of creative achievement. In keeping with the college’s legacy and values, the class of 2019 was a diverse, talented, and passionate group—the youngest graduate was 20 years old, the oldest 68.

CCA President Stephen Beal addressing students at graduation.

President Stephen Beal expresses collegewide pride

In his Commencement speech, CCA President Stephen Beal shared his excitement to watch the students’ futures unfold and highlighted the inspiring work of recent graduates—from Hank Willis Thomas’ (MFA Photography and MA Visual Criticism 2004) work as “America’s great protest artist,” to Megan Moyer’s (MBA Design 2015) career reinventing the patient experience in one of the nation’s largest healthcare systems, to Malachi Trent’s (Furniture 2018) efforts to create a new model for affordable artist living space.

“We’re proud of your accomplishments and eagerly anticipate your future success. We are truly honored to share this moment with you,” Beal said. “At CCA, you’ve learned not only to excel in your specific creative discipline, but also to work as a collaborator, a partner, a teammate—to realize goals that cross disciplines. You’ve learned foundational skills you’ll employ your entire professional life. You’ve been steeped in the CCA ethos to consider the impact of your creative work on the civic, environmental, and cultural life of your community. Tonight, you join the ranks of CCA’s 21,000 living alumni working to make a profound difference through art, architecture, and design practice and study worldwide.”

“We’re proud of your accomplishments and eagerly anticipate your future success. We are truly honored to share this moment with you.”

— President Stephen Beal

Commencement speakers give moving advice

The bachelor’s degree ceremony featured the conferring of CCA’s Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts on Joyce J. Scott, a visual and performance artist and educator, as well as remarks from undergraduate student speaker Mustafaa S. Tajuddin (Interaction Design 2019).

Vinitha Watson (MBA Design Strategy 2010) delivered the Distinguished Alumna Address at the master’s degree ceremony. Watson is an artist, entrepreneur, and design strategist who opened Google’s first office in India, was a fellow at the Institute for the Future, and sits on the board for Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Watson is the founder and executive director of Zoo Labs, the world’s first music accelerator that sits at the intersection of art and business. Graduate student speaker Christina Marie Rodriguez (MBA Design Strategy 2019) delivered student remarks.

“It’s easy to live the length of your life, but don’t forget the width. Explore, make mistakes, do the things that scare you. Live life screaming.”

— Mustafaa S. Tajuddin (Interaction Design 2019), undergraduate student speaker

Special Commencement Week events

Reflecting the diverse world at CCA

As an educational and cultural institution, we provide access and opportunities for all people, with particular attention to supporting groups historically underrepresented in higher education. Special graduation events hosted prior to Commencement celebrate graduating students’ cultural heritages, diverse identities, and successes at CCA and beyond.

A diverse group of people pose together for a photo in front of an old house.

Multicultural Commencement Ceremony

As one of the 10 most diverse colleges in the U.S., CCA’s graduating students reflect the diverse world in which we live, work, and grow. The Multicultural Commencement Ceremony is an opportunity to acknowledge the valuable insights, ideas, and experiences these students contribute to classrooms and communities across campus.

“At the age of 10, I learned that being vulnerable was terrifying. At the age of 30, I learned that vulnerability was opportunity. Your greatest creative work will be the product of your truest vulnerability.”

— Christina Marie Rodriguez (MBA Design Strategy 2019), graduate student speaker

Close-up image of lavender colored ropes with tassels on the end.

Lavender Commencement Ceremony

To honor the inclusive culture and diverse community of CCA, we proudly host the special commencement event Lavender Graduation, a national initiative by the Human Rights Campaign. The annual ceremony recognizes the excellence, achievements, and contributions of LGBTQIA students, faculty, and staff.

Fashion Experience

Collections of vision, identity, and crafting

CCA Fashion Experience 2019

A fashionable, one-night-only celebration

Twelve professionally juried thesis collections from graduating students in the college’s Fashion Design program debuted on May 13 during CCA Fashion Experience 2019.

Students presented their work at Minnesota Street Project with a staircase-style fashion walkway and hyper-tactile portfolio experiences. A walkway of the collections kicked off the public event, and afterward the audience mingled with the designers to view their collections on live models and engage with both the designers’ collections and their work processes. The evening culminated in a peer-decided award for best collection.

“We are incredibly proud of this year’s 12 graduating seniors,” says professor Lynda Grose, chair of the Fashion Design program. “Six students from this senior cohort have been recommended for the upcoming Council of Fashion Designers of America graduate showcase in NYC and several already have professional employment. We look forward to celebrating their success at CCA and beyond.”

Featuring street-cast and professional models, CCA Fashion Experience 2019 reflected the diversity of the Bay Area as well as global contributions to fashion.

Senior Shows + Thesis Exhibitions

New work provides fresh perspective

Senior Thesis Exhibitions

Connecting students to community

Several academic programs showcased student work with thesis exhibitions and events on and off campus in the weeks leading up to Commencement. These experiences offer students a chance to develop professional skills in real-world engagements and presentations, while simultaneously giving the broader Bay Area community an opportunity to see the future of art, design, architecture, and writing.

Programmatic Commencement Week exhibitions

Three students wearing headphones smile as they place blocks onto a light table.

The best of furniture, design, and more

In addition to spaces near the Commencement Exhibition in the San Francisco campus’ Nave, our academic programs’ most exemplary students shared their work with professional and community audiences alike at CCA Hubbell Street Galleries, Minnesota Street Project in the Dogpatch neighborhood, and Gensler’s office in downtown San Francisco, to name a few.

Yomna Osman, the curator of “To Know Herself,” is seen at the Wattis Institute.

Dual-degree graduate student curates Wattis Institute exhibition

Yomna Osman (MA Curatorial Practice and Visual and Critical Studies 2019)) curated the exhibition To Know Herself for the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in partial fulfillment of a dual degree MA in Curatorial Practice and Visual and Critical Studies. On view throughout April 2019, the exhibition studied the different ways artists are thinking about lesbian bars and the impact of their disappearance—as well as possibilities for their eventual reconstruction. The exhibition included a commissioned performance installation by artist and CCA Provost Tammy Rae Carland, as well as artist Macon Reed’s iconic installation Eulogy for the Dyke Bar (2015).

Accompanying the exhibition, which was presented by the graduate program in Curatorial Practice, was a series of public programs including a salon discussion on how to maintain these spaces in our current moment and film screenings about the impact of gathering spaces on social and political change. A parallel publication, Your Presence is Requested, contained a forward byMA in Curatorial Practice program Chair James Voorhies, a catalog essay by Osman, and contributions from relevant Bay Area artists and writers.

Discover our range of creative practices

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