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.


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March 3, 2021

Now that's what we call "hands-on learning." Leave a comment with a 👋, 👍, 🙌 , or 🤚 to give a show of hands of who misses being in the shop with us. ⁠

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March 2, 2021

“I create pieces for specific areas of the body where anxiety and self-hate form,” says Kirra Teal Hellfritsch (@literal_rustic), a Jewelry + Metal Arts student. “Negative obsessions are turned into a focused physical manifestation, where the experience of creating something wearable for that place on the body becomes a form of therapy."⁠⁠
On view now in the 2021 CCA Scholarship Exhibition! 🔗 Tap the link in bio to explore the online presentation. ⁠⁠
#CCArts #metalsmith

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March 1, 2021

California College of the Arts condemns acts of violence and discrimination against Asians and Asian Americans, and denounces the racism and rhetoric that feed them. As creative citizens and caring members of the CCA community, we must stand in solidarity with those among us who are experiencing trauma, grief, or fear, and understand that violence against Asians and Asian American communities is an assault against us all.⁠

Here are ways to take action:⁠
➡️ Spread awareness to your family, friends, and followers⁠

➡️ Report incidents you have witnessed or experienced ⁠

➡️ Support organization and advocacy groups like Asian Pacific Environmental Network (@apenn4ej), AAPI Women Lead (@aapiwomenlead), Chinese for Affirmative Action (@caasanfrancisco), and Chinese Progressive Association. ⁠

➡️ Sign the petition from @asianamericancollective to help push for more media coverage on these anti-Asian incidents.⁠

⬆️ Visit the link in bio to read our full statement from President Beal and find resources available to CCA students and community members. ⁠

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Feb. 26, 2021

We’re welcoming the future with a nod to the past ✨ Have you seen the Founders Hall Mural yet? Located in the building’s foyer, the mural is a celebration of our students through the many eras of the college’s history. Fun fact: It was composed by CCA’s Design Director Joel Gregory, using selections from the CCA/C Digital Archives.

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