Spring 2018 Letter from the President

President Stephen BealPresident Stephen Beal

Dear Friends,

We will soon conduct CCA’s 111th commencement ceremony. This milestone inspires deep appreciation for the thousands of students, alumni, faculty, staff, and trustees who have done incredible work within and beyond the college’s walls. CCA is the excellent school it is today thanks to this special community. Decade after decade we’ve been sustained by a shared belief in the power of creative work. I’ve never been more proud of CCA’s history or more excited by the opportunities ahead. I’m delighted to share important news as we celebrate the close of another successful academic year.

2018 Honorary Doctorate Candidates

CCA will recognize two individuals who have made profound and enduring contributions to culture, craft, scholarship, and studio practice at our annual commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 12. Groundbreaking visual artist and faculty emerita Lia Cook and renowned curator, writer, and historian Glenn Adamson will receive honorary doctorate degrees during the undergraduate ceremony.

Both Adamson and Cook reflect the values of our institution and, through their work, represent the kind of creative thinking we champion at CCA. Each of them draws thoughtful and nuanced connections across boundaries of time, material, art, and technology to find new meaning through their practice. We are honored to have them join us in celebrating our 2018 graduating class and inspire this next generation of artists, designers, architects, and writers.

CCA Gala on May 23

Every year, CCA organizes a gala in support of student scholarships. In 2017, we raised over $1 million for student aid, and we hope to exceed that goal this year. On May 23, 2018, CCA will welcome over 400 guests to our gala celebrating trustee Kay Kimpton Walker. Walker has been a champion of artists and designers for decades. Through her 26 years running K Kimpton Contemporary Art, her tenure as president of the San Francisco Art Dealers Association, and her 12 years as a CCA trustee, she has devoted countless hours in support of creative people. At CCA she holds the record for co-chairing galas (seven in all) and has raised over $4 million for scholarships. It’s time we honored her hard work. I extend warm thanks to trustees Cathy Podell and Stanlee Gatti for co-chairing the 2018 gala.

Other Year-End Events

Our students, faculty, and staff are working hard to gear up for CCA’s annual Commencement Exhibition, which will be on view on our San Francisco campus May 10-13. Additional events, including the 2018 Fashion Experience, will showcase the work of graduating students at major arts and design venues in San Francisco. Visit cca.edu/2018 for all the details.

Congratulations as well to those whose graduating thesis shows opened earlier this spring, including our MFA Fine Arts students who presented at Minnesota Street Project in March and April and our Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice students who curated the exhibition Artwork for Bedrooms, which is still on view at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts through May 12. Both shows have demonstrated the incredible talent of our students.

Campus Planning

MacArthur Award–winning architect Jeanne Gang and her firm Studio Gang are spearheading the design of CCA’s new expanded campus. Gang visited this March for a public lecture, which was attended by over 200 students, faculty, staff, and community members. Within her presentation, she shared early renderings of the design for CCA’s project.

The design, conceived through collaborative efforts with CCA faculty and staff, showcases a vibrant indoor/outdoor environment with spaces for our community that make programs more visible to one another and encourage the cross-pollination of ideas. The team will continue to work on the design over the summer. Visit cca.edu/new-campus to see the most current renderings. 

The work with Studio Gang is just one part of campus unification. Thanks to the generous support of CCA trustee Simon Blattner and his family, our newest student housing project 75 Arkansas by Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects is slated to open its doors to nearly 200 students this coming August. We are also working with the city to finalize plans for another housing complex at 188 Hooper Street.

The vision of our new, expanded campus has always been to bring our community together to create a richer educational experience for our students. The expansion of our academic building and the new student housing are only the framework for what we imagine will develop organically within these spaces—the building of an even stronger community, the creation of new adjacencies between our programs, opportunities for hybrid experimentation and evolution, and an amplification of the kind of creative ingenuity we champion at CCA.

Once again, thank you for continuing CCA’s legacy of creation and innovation and for continuing to advance our college and make it even more extraordinary than it already is.

I look forward to seeing you at our commencement events. Best wishes for a wonderful summer.


Stephen Beal