CCA Presents the 2013 MFA Thesis Exhibition

California College of the Arts will present its 2013 MFA Thesis Exhibition Thursday, May 16, through Saturday, May 25, 2013 (open daily, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.), with an opening reception on May 16 from 6 to 10 p.m.

The exhibition features works by 75 artists graduating this spring from CCA’s Graduate Program in Fine Arts. It unfolds throughout CCA’s San Francisco campus, giving visitors an opportunity to tour most of the college.

The exhibition and opening reception are free and open to the public.

The MFA Show, its popular name, is part of a larger year-end celebration called Upstart that includes thesis exhibitions by all CCA graduate programs, the Baccalaureate Exhibition (May 16-21), featuring senior presentations by undergraduates, the Annual Fashion Show (May 17), and much more!

See for the full list of events.

The MFA Show will be a dynamic exhibition of work in a vast range of media. It is curated by faculty member and respected writer and art critic Glen Helfand, who notes, “CCA’s MFA Show is always a wonderful opportunity to introduce a new group of imaginative, innovative, emerging artists to the CCA and Bay Area communities.

"This year the show is particularly rich in photographic works and immersive, media-based projects. It reflects a diverse range of interests and approaches, and will surely make for a highly engaging visitor experience.”

Selected Artist Profiles

Elizabeth Moran
Elizabeth Moran will present work from her photographic series The Armory, which documents stage sets from the San Francisco-based adult-entertainment studio Moran’s pictures expose these spaces in an engaging way, reframing their public/private status, since they are actually constructed for public viewing, yet set the scene for "private" acts.

Devoid of people, the empty sets encourage us to imagine what adult cinematic activities often take place there. “Pornography, driven by demand, reflects our desires," says Moran. " Yet it also influences real-world sexual habits, creating a feedback loop in which the fabricated becomes the real becomes the fabricated.”

Em Meine
Em Meine addresses questions related to failure and inadequacy through a lens that is alternatively humorous and paradoxical. She says, “My work is a delusion, a joke, or a deferral, intended to distract from my shortcomings. I feel obligated to provide viewers with meaningful experiences through my work, yet I don’t believe that I possess adequate skill or genius to meet this expectation.”

Meine will exhibit multimedia work that explores her own neurotic hang-ups -- work that she says both “strives for success and reward, yet wallows in its own lameness.”

Floris Schönfeld
Floris Schönfeld focuses on the relationship between fiction and faith. His multipart installation The Damagomi Project centers on retelling the history of the Damagomi Group, a loosely affiliated group of spiritualists and academics that was active from the early 1930s until the late 1970s and experimented with direct communication with Northern California’s natural world.

By reenacting a number of the group’s original experiments, Schönfeld questions to what extent the power of fiction can be used to reshape reality, and how far belief can be replaced with a suspension of disbelief.

Dalia Anani
Dalia Anani draws on the softness of textiles to address the hardness of what she calls “her fetishized heritage, the imaginary of homeland, and assumptions and fantasies regarding the Middle East.” She pieces together fragments of fabric of disparate origins to create stories about hybridization and dual consciousness.

At the MFA Show she will present a multipart installation, Imaginary Landscapes of an Impossible Homeland, in which she “translates Palestinian craft traditions from a removed, distant, and diasporic perspective.”

Ilyse Magy
Ilyse Magy is collecting the by-products of her fellow students’ work as they prepare for the MFA Show and will display these intercepted scraps and discarded materials as art, thereby technically making the 2013 MFA Show a zero-waste event.

San Francisco aspires to be a “zero-waste city” by 2020, and Magy’s project is intended to illustrate the faulty logic of most such efforts, which typically prioritize recycling and diversion over preventing waste production in the first place.

By showing art by-products as art products, Magy encourages viewers to experience otherwise-unseen aspects of the artistic process and to acknowledge the labor and materials that constitute the human-produced environment.

About CCA’s Graduate Program in Fine Arts

Central to CCA’s Graduate Program in Fine Arts is the idea that developing a sustained critical practice is essential to creating a dynamic career as a professional artist. The program helps students gain a deeper understanding of their own ideas and practices, increase their awareness of the global context of contemporary art, and develop the presentation skills needed to pursue a career in the visual arts.

For more information, see

About California College of the Arts

Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts (CCA) offers 21 undergraduate and 10 graduate programs in the areas of fine arts, architecture, design, and writing. The college offers BFA, BA, MFA, MA, MBA, BArch, MArch, MAAD, and MAUDL degrees. It has campuses in San Francisco and Oakland, and currently enrolls 1,950 full-time students. CCA students are encouraged to work in an interdisciplinary manner, undertaking projects and collaborations with students in other majors and engaging with outside communities.

Noted alumni include the artists Nathan Oliveira, Jules de Balincourt, Robert Arneson, Robert Bechtle, Viola Frey, and Peter Voulkos; the Oscar-winning filmmaker Audrey Marrs; the illustrator Tomie de Paola; the conceptual artists Harrell Fletcher, David Ireland, and Dennis Oppenheim; and the designers Lucille Tenazas, Michael Vanderbyl, and Gary Hutton.

For more information about CCA, visit

May 16-25, 2013
California College of the Arts presents the 
2013 MFA Show

Location: CCA San Francisco campus, 1111 Eighth Street (at 16th and Wisconsin), San Francisco CA 94107-2247
Opening reception: Thursday, May 16, 2013, 6-10 p.m.
Open hours: Daily, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more info and to view selected student work:

Brenda Tucker 415.703.9548
Allison Byers 415.703.9541


Press images and interviews with the artists are available upon request.