Alumna Spotlight: Michele Pred

Alumna and visionary Michele Pred has been instrumental in transforming into art security checkpoint–confiscated objects loaded with socio-political and cultural meanings—Swiss Army knives, scissors, and razor blades—all of which were at one time destined for meltdown at the San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

After five months of perseverance she convinced SFO authorities to give her thousands of sharp, metal objects so she could repurpose them. Pred is hunter and gatherer, observer, and archaeologist of meaning and material. Her keen awareness of the world lends her work a heightened sense of one’s personal relationship to contemporary objects and technology.

A Bay Area native, CCA was Pred’s “first and only pick for school.” She came in as a photographer, and describes influential surrealist photographer Vilem Kriz as “a gem.” Pred recalls, “He really believed in me. The accessibility of faculty and their connection to students is something I’m proud to bring to the community through courses I teach now.”

She also notes the interdisciplinary nature of her education at CCA, which gave her a strong foundation in textiles, assemblage, and craft, which allows her to weave an assortment of materials in her work.

Pred also has dual American-Swedish citizenship, having studied at the University of Sorbonne immediately following her graduation from CCA, and subsequently living outside the United States for the past 10 years.

In 2002 Pred created a solo-performance show, which was reviewed by Kenneth Baker, the San Francisco Chronicle art critic, and even featured on CNN. Other work has received a callout in the New York Times Art Guide, a review in ReadyMade magazine, and a collaborative exhibition, Blood for Art, at Scope Miami 2006.

Pred is represented by the Nancy Hoffman Gallery in New York. Her artwork has been exhibited in galleries and art fairs in Bologna, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Miami, San Francisco, and Stockholm. Her solo museum show (Dis)possession runs through October 2008 at the Kohler Arts Museum in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

Her work also is part of the permanent collection at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art (Kanazawa), The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, and di Rosa Preserve: Art & Nature (Napa, CA), including other numerous corporate and private collections.

Facts about the artist: she and another student were responsible for CCA’s first recycling bins on campus; served as student council vice president her junior year—and as president the following year; designer of the first annual Webby Awards (San Francisco); founder of Quorum, a Bay Area–based collective of artists, curators, writers, and art dealers, Pred and the core group (including three other CCA alums); and she was prizewinner at Close Pegase Winery (Sonoma, CA) and Sanchez Art Center (Oakland, CA).

“I’m living out what I dreamed to do,” says the conceptual artist, professor, and art career coach. Pred says her experience at CCA has come full circle. She recalls Helen Frierson, executive assistant in the Office of the President, as being extremely supportive, something that has allowed her today to eagerly give back to students via professional practice courses, the “nuts and bolts for navigating the art world.”

Born in 1964 in Berkeley, CA

CCA degree:BFA 1990, Interdisciplinary Fine Arts

Residence:San Francisco Bay Area

Current occupation:Artist, art career coach, professor at CCA

Influences at CCA:Vilem Kriz, Helen Frierson