To recognize the achievements of our students completing their undergraduate and graduate degrees this spring, we proudly present the Class of 2021 Showcase. This digital record of work by our graduating students is a time capsule of a community thinking and making during a pivotal moment. It’s also proof of profound resiliency—a fortitude that each member of this class had to find inside themselves in order to complete their final semesters in a pandemic.
We applaud the Class of 2021’s positivity, their determination, and their kindness toward each other in a difficult year. Creative practice empowers us as individuals and as a collective; the act of making has such potential to heal, and these students remind us of that truth again and again. We’ve watched their humanity merge with their imagination as the generative journey of finding their voice and defining their final projects took shape. These students have done more than simply make the best of a bad situation—they’ve made work that makes a difference. Now, they’re future-focused. They’re ready to act. And the fields of professional practice they enter will be better off because of their presence.
While the following end-of-year virtual experiences are in the spirit of a collective celebration, many will happen asynchronously or individually. Even so, we hope you remember that by engaging with this work in any way, you’re generously holding space for these students to be seen and valued for their commitment to scholarship and the pursuit of purposeful work. You’ll also be a CCA Chimera for the time you’re exploring, part of our vibrant creative community that’s distributed around the world.
Wherever you are, we invite you to enjoy the Class of 2021 Showcase and hope you find much more to celebrate—an idea that unlocks another one, an artwork that offers you a new perspective, an up-and-coming designer, a new hire, a very real connection to a virtual creative practice. We’re glad you’re here.
The deans of CCA’s four academic divisions selected students whose submissions to the Class of 2021 Showcase deserve special recognition. Every student work chosen for a Deans’ Spotlight (displayed below) demonstrates excellence in theory and practice.
A special note of welcome from the deans
“Commencement is a significant milestone of personal and academic achievement. For the Class of 2021, it is also a marker of their enormous tenacity and strength. We’re honored to share the work of these exceptional graduates through the Class of 2021 Showcase and related program sites.
Although we have deeply missed the joy of teaching and learning together in our labs, studios, and galleries, the work that our students have produced during the pandemic is deeply compelling and quite simply amazing. A new generation of CCA-educated artists, architects, curators, designers, strategists, filmmakers, and writers has emerged. Their work attests to their perseverance and passion as well as their commitment to equity, racial justice, and environmental impact.
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 the COVID–19 pandemic socially, culturally, and historically. Now more than ever, we value these students’ critical insights and will rely upon their creative energy to envision new ways of being and making in this rapidly changing world. We’re eager to see what their passion discovers. They will undoubtedly transform our world for the better through their craft, care, and vision.
To our new graduates: we applaud you. Congratulations, Class of 2021!”
— Dean of Architecture Keith Krumwiede, Dean of Design Helen Maria Nugent, Dean of Fine Arts Allison Smith, and Dean of Humanities & Sciences TT Takemoto
Explore the showcase by division and program
We envision a better world through architecture, combining disciplinary innovation with social and environmental impact. Our work addresses issues of global importance, including climate change, resource scarcity, housing inequity, and other issues that are particularly relevant today.
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.
We are truth-seekers, culture workers, storytellers, and activists. With curiosity, honesty, and self-reflection, we boldly confront reality, using our creativity to craft a repository of collective memory and to ignite others to envision the future differently.
Humanities & Sciences
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.
Opportunities to celebrate 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. All are evidence of the scope of students’ intellectual curiosity and creative action, as well as the outcomes of CCA’s dynamic learning-through-making educational model.
Thesis events and explorations
History of Art & Visual Culture Spring Symposium
BA Writing & Literature Senior Readings
BA Writing & Literature: Humble Pie. vol. 18 Launch
BFA Animation Show
Fashion Experience Un-settled
BFA Film Finale
Illustration Spring Show
BFA Industrial Design Celebration
BFA Industrial Design Senior Show
BFA Senior Thesis Conversations
RRR Interview Series: BFA Seniors
MA Curatorial Practice: Contact Traces Exhibition
MA Visual & Critical Studies: Spring Symposium
DMBA Venture Show
MFA Comics: Electric Squeak Issue One Launch Party
MFA Design: Thesis Exhibition
MFA Film: Thesis Film Screening
Digital Drawing Room: MFA Fine Arts
MFA Fine Arts Exhibition (virtual)
MFA Fine Arts Showcase Exhibition (on campus)
Architecture Division Spring 2021 Final Studio Conversations
Don’t forget your digital CCA party supplies!
Help celebrate the momentous scholarly achievements of these students with congratulatory digital activations, like fun Zoom photo backdrops and social media filters—all designed to bring the good-time vibes of a CCA commencement ceremony to wherever you’re celebrating for now.
Follow CCA for collegewide features@cacollegeofarts
June 14, 2021
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June 11, 2021
Coming soon to a movie screen near you 🍿 #CCAFaculty Justin Hall's new documentary film, 'No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics' debuts at the Tribeca Film Festival this Saturday.
At the end of the month, the documentary will also close out the @FramelineFest here in San Francisco. How's that for a homecoming? Congratulations, @justinhallcomics!
#pridemonth #sfpride #queercomics
June 7, 2021
"I had been collecting touristic guides of Ecuador from multiple countries: France, Germany, the US, the Netherlands, among others, and developed an interest in the ways that Americans and Europeans see Ecuador. As an Ecuadorian, I always had a very narrow vision of what my country was like, and always wondered: How do others see it?" — Juan Huerta Coello (@593___593), one of the Deans' Spotlight artists from the Class of 2021 Showcase.
The series, 'Kolonial Dinge' features tourist guidebooks drilled over digital images of cartoons. The fixing of these publications gives the viewer a feeling of frustration over not being able to open them, or move them. The images represent a feeling of sarcasm and satire. These guide books give interesting messages — inside they talk about these “exotic cultures" and the “shock of a different world”. Coello's series has a tone of wit and sarcasm but denotes something violent which is the colonial gaze, still present in the ways that the tourism industry is marketed.
"The colonial gaze of oppressed communities is the very first step towards tremendous acts of violence and domination that have occurred since the 13th century, and continue to occur," says Coello.
June 5, 2021
💬 Check this out at @cartoonartmuseum this summer:
The Emerging Artist Showcase is dedicated to the presentation of new and emerging voices in comics. Through August 30, see work by alum Lawrence Lindell (MFA Comics 2020), including a selection of self-published comics emphasizing mental health, Blackness, and Queerness.
📍 The Cartoon Art Museum is located at the Aquatic Park in San Francisco and is the only museum in the Western United States dedicated to the preservation and exhibition of all forms of cartoon art.