Curator’s Picks from the Class of 2020 Showcase denote special recognition. View all, as well as student work from across the divisions, below.

Class of 2020 Showcase

View work from across our college’s four divisions of Architecture, Design, Fine Arts, and Humanities + Sciences; explore end-of-year experiences reimagined for virtual presentation; and peruse student features on our social media.


A singular moment to engage and interact

To celebrate the achievements of our students completing their undergraduate and graduate work this spring, we proudly present the Class of 2020 Showcase.

After the college closed its Bay Area campuses in March to help contain the spread of COVID–19, everything needed reconsideration. How would the college share and discuss the culminating work of graduating students? Our community began to approach this as an opportunity to invite a wider audience to witness how our students make art that matters. CCA’s programs are rigorous and intensive, and the curriculum is strongly rooted in values of equity, accessibility, and inclusion. Thus, our showcase welcomes all to access and explore fine arts thesis work, “attend” readings and symposiums, view animations and films, learn about actionable architecture and design projects, and more.

This is not an exhibition. This is a digital record of work, a time capsule, a record of a community thinking and making during a historic time. We know there are few silver linings to be found in a moment as devastating as this. Our intent is to help visitors find something else entirely—an idea that unlocks another one, an artwork that changes or offers some perspective, an up-and-coming designer, a new hire. Even at a time when so many feel powerless as individuals, art and design empower us collectively. We invite you to contemplate, reflect … and enjoy.

Curator’s Picks denote special recognition


A faculty curator from each division chose students to receive special recognition for their contributions to the Class of 2020 Showcase. These Curator’s Picks, which demonstrate outstanding work, are displayed by division below.

2020 Divisional Curator Team


New disciplinary knowledge transforming theory into action

We envision a better world through architecture, combining disciplinary innovation with social and environmental impact. Our work addresses issues of global relevance, including climate change, resource scarcity, housing inequity, and other issues that are particularly relevant in this new reality.

A note from Dean Keith Krumwiede

“Over the past months, as we’ve distanced ourselves in the service of our mutual well-being, I’ve watched with gratitude and admiration as CCA’s students, faculty, and staff have come together from remote locations near and far to support each other and advance our common cause—making art and design that matters. And this crisis has thrown what matters into sharp relief.

I believe that we’ll look back at this moment and see a demarcation: the time before COVID–19 and the time after. Our task, our responsibility, is to imagine the after. To consider where we are and how we got here, and to chart a path to where we want to be. We’ll need intelligence, vision, and a lot of heart to get there.

As is abundantly evident in the diverse approaches to architecture and design presented here by the Class of 2020, our graduates are already anticipating our needs and rising to meet the challenges our future holds. The courage, creativity, and compassion they’ve exhibited throughout this crisis gives me hope that the after will be better than the before.”


Hands-on investigations informed by a spirit of inquiry

We engage with current global challenges and prepare ourselves to tackle the ones taking shape now. Our design practices are driven by an ambition to develop solutions and shaped by theory, deep practice, emerging forms, and new technologies.

A note from Dean Helen Maria Nugent

“CCA is a sanctuary for advancing design research and practice, a distinctive place where wonder and imagination are amplified through rigor and craft. We equip makers and thinkers with the wherewithal to envision a future that is inclusive, generative, and enriched by their creative capacity to deliver inspired results.

Design is an ever-evolving practice and an inherently optimistic pursuit. I like to think of our faculty, students, and alumni as heroic advocates skilled in the art of designing the systems, objects, experiences, stories, and strategies that we need today—and tomorrow.

In this extraordinary moment, our interconnectedness as humans and dependence on our shared planet is more apparent than ever. The technology and tools we use to communicate across time and space are now at the forefront of our everyday lived experience. Our faculty, staff, and students have relied on these digital platforms to complete their teaching and learning journey this semester. Although we all deeply miss the joy of experimenting together in our labs, studios, and workshops, the work that our students have produced during this unprecedented time is deeply compelling and quite simply amazing. A hearty congratulation to all!

I am honored to share the work of our exceptional graduates through the Class of 2020 Showcase and related program sites. This newest generation of CCA-educated designers and strategists will undoubtedly transform our world for the better through their craft, responsiveness, and vision. I am eager to see what their passion discovers.”

Fine Arts

Boundary-challenging bodies of work immersed in critical thinking

We view art as a vessel for proposing new ideas and bridging connections across disciplines, dialogues, and communities. Our practices draw inspiration from the Bay Area and are socially engaged in a universal, multivoiced perspective—so we can continue to push boundaries as cultural dynamics evolve.

A note from Dean Allison Smith

“On behalf of all of the program chairs, faculty, and staff in our division, I want to congratulate graduating CCA students and our entire community for advancing their art practices, their teaching practices, and students’ progress toward their degrees in spring 2020 during the novel coronavirus pandemic and San Francisco’s extended shelter-in-place orders. The ingenuity, creativity, compassion, and persistence that everyone at CCA has demonstrated in these uncertain times is a true testament to the value of our artistic skill sets and to the unique role that artists have to play in times of great uncertainty.

Although socially distanced, virtually produced, and remotely experienced, the intimate presence and vibrancy of the artists and artworks featured here is clearly apparent, and I am confident that their creative contributions to the arts will be deeply felt, if not increasingly appreciated, in the months and years to come. It takes time to process the conversations, critiques, and other dynamic exchanges that are the cornerstone of art school pedagogy, and it will take time to heal from and be able to contextualize the momentous impact of COVID–19 socially, culturally, and historically. I am so inspired by our students’ accomplishments, I feel excited to see how they will apply their educational experiences to the next phase of their lives, and I look forward to seeing all that they will do next as part of our esteemed community of alumni.”

Humanities + Sciences

Formal presentations of research, analysis, and writing by diverse voices

We draw upon innovative and multicultural modes of storytelling to examine and expand creative impact. From literature to comics to critical compositions in various forms, our work strives to observe and participate in social transformation.

A note from Dean Tina Takemoto

“The Humanities + Sciences division is thrilled to celebrate the tremendous accomplishments of our graduating Class of 2020. Commencement marks a significant milestone of professional achievement. We applaud our students for earning undergraduate degrees in Writing + Literature, as well as graduate degrees in Comics, Writing, and Visual + Critical Studies. Working closely with faculty, mentors, and peers, these writers and artists have immersed themselves in their practice while honing their craft and exploring new modes of expression.

Over the past several weeks in particular, students have worked tirelessly to bring their scholarly and creative visions to life amid the challenges of sheltering in place during the coronavirus crisis. We honor this new generation of thought leaders who are enhancing and transforming society. Their work not only attests to their perseverance and passion but also to their commitment to equity and social justice. Now more than ever, we value their critical insight and will rely upon their creative energy to envision new ways of being in this rapidly changing world.

Join me in celebrating our graduates and their commencement showcase, which highlights the breadth and depth of their extraordinary work. Congratulations, Class of 2020!”


Virtual happenings hosted by academic programs

A network of instances examine material and form

Several academic programs have reimagined their traditional end-of-year experiences and events to accommodate socially distanced idea sharing and community building. In these spaces you’ll find lectures, readings, digital collections, and more. They’re presented as observations to the scope of students’ intellectual curiosity and creative action, as well as the outcomes of CCA’s dynamic learning-through-making educational model.


Support students on social media

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July 9, 2020

The misguided and capricious U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) policy for international students on F-1 visas has created undue anxiety for our students, their families, and our entire community at a time when we are already facing extraordinary challenges. We find ICE’s actions to be alarming, cruel, and counter to the values we hold as an institution that derives immeasurable benefit from the creativity, innovation, and diversity of ideas, skills, and experiences that our international students—more than one third of our student body—bring to our campus.⁠

International Student Affairs and Programs (ISAP) staff has contacted all affected students and is working closely with them to address their concerns and ensure they are able to maintain their non-immigrant status. Any international student who wants to be in the U.S. in the fall 2020 semester will have the option of at least one in-person/hybrid class as the newly announced policy requires. For current information on maintaining F-1 status at CCA, visit @ccaisap Portal page at

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July 3, 2020

Starting today, July 3, 80 artists are joining together to launch @inplainsightmap, a stunning effort to make visible the injustices of the largest immigration detention system in the world.

In Plain Sight’s collective of artists, including #CCArts Dean @tt_takemoto and alum @hankwillisthomas, represent an array of ages, gender presentations and subjective lived experiences that have come together in solidarity to help abolish immigrant detention. ICE detention is the practice of incarcerating immigrants–from those who have just arrived to those who’ve lived in the U.S. for years–while they await a determination of their status or potential deportation. Various reports detail horrifying conditions. The federal government wastes more than $25 billion each year on ICE and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to profile, detain and deport immigrants.

*Join* the movement #FreeThemAll Campaign + #AbolishIce.
*Donate* to these local bond funds: (link in bio)
*Get to know* organizations that serve the immigrant community including:
@migrantfreedom @detentionwatch @aclu_socal @haitianbridge @conmijente @familiatqlm @the_ilrc @maketheroadnj @raicestexas @carecen_la @culturestrike @the_ilrc @clinica_romero @laresistencianw @daylaborernetwork @elrescate_org @_sale
#XMap #InPlainSight #FreeThemAll #AbolishICE #lookup #DefundHate #HomeisHere #HeretoStay #WithDACA #sisepuede #prisonindustrialcomplex
#resist #closethecamps
Video credits: Editor: @grahamkolbeins + Music: @dorianwoodmusic

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July 1, 2020

“CCA is not immune to the structural racism upon which our society is built, and we are accountable to our community—especially our Black students, faculty, staff, and alumni. The level of institutional change we must make will take time and participation from our entire community. We know we must act with urgency, to ensure our campus is a brave, safe, welcoming, and actively anti-racist place for everyone.” –President Beal

Here are some of the actions we’re taking now. This is not a comprehensive list, and we’re still just at the beginning of the process, which will include the creation of a comprehensive diversity, equity, and inclusion strategic plan for the college.

Thank you for holding us accountable.

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June 27, 2020

We’re joining the world in celebrating #Pride2020 virtually. 🌈 Visit for online programming this weekend, and check out the AR/audio experiences that CCA students developed with GLBT Museum and Archives during Michael Epstein's spring 2020 course The Peripatetic Wunderkammer. In this multimedia tour, listen to stories about local activists Alan Selby, Lou Sullivan, Felicia Elizondo, and Anton Lavey while exploring San Francisco in augmented reality:

Edit: This project was created by CCA students Cooper Berella, Lauren Brown, Lukas Cronce, Kei Fu, Nicole Jiang, Gina Lee, Rannie Li, Christian Love, Caye McKibben, Caroline Song, Irene Wang, Tom Wen, Bokun Yan, Mingqi Yang, Xinwei Zhang, and Tor Camorlinga in Michael Epstein's The Peripatetic Wunderkammer course.

Michael Epstein, Professor/Editor

Special thanks to: Nalini Elias, Leigh Pfeffer, Isaac Fellman, Kelsi Evans, and Seth Eisen

#BayAreaPride #CCArts #californiacollegeofthearts #chimeraMADE

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