Alumni News

Posted on Monday, February 6, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Fifty Years of Bay Area Art: The SECA Awards
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 2011
Hardcover, 168 pages, $29.95

Tanya Zimbardo (MA Curatorial Practice 2005), SFMOMA's assistant curator of media arts, coauthored this book chronicling and illustrating more than 100 SECA Award recipients from the late 1960s to the present, including CCA alumni Squeak Carnwath, Desirée Holman, Mitzi Pederson, Laurie Reid, Leslie Shows, and Kathryn VanDyke, among others. Featured faculty include Rebeca Bollinger, Kota Ezawa, Thom Faulders, Chris Finley, Donald Fortescue, Amy Franceschini, Clay Jensen, Jordan Kantor, Shaun O'Dell, Maria Porges, and Mary Snowden.

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Posted on Monday, February 6, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

2010 SECA Art Award Exhibition Catalogue
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 2011
Paperback, 36 pages, $9.95

The most recent SECA Art Award exhibition showcases four Bay Area artists whose innovative works, while diverse in form and subject matter, reflect overlapping affinities. Representing CCA is Ruth Laskey (Painting/Drawing 1999, MFA 2005), who employs weaving, using a traditional floor loom, to expand on the painterly tradition of geometric abstraction. The other three featured artists are Colter Jacobsen, whose meticulous drawings, watercolors, and installations often incorporate found ephemera to explore reflection and longing; Mauricio Ancalmo, who combines various found mechanical instruments in a film-based installation to form a structural dialogue that is both poetically and philosophically inspired; and Kamau Amu Patton, who synthesizes works in a range of media to investigate the inter-zone of sound, materiality, and perceptual experience.

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Posted on Monday, February 6, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

One More for the People
Perfect Day Publishing, 2011
Paperback, 224 pages, $16

Eight years in the making, One More for the People is the first collection from Martha Grover's (MFA Writing 2010) Somnambulist zine. Playful, wry, and conversational, it chronicles three generations in the life of the Grover family. As the idiosyncratic characters reluctantly confront adulthood, one Grover is always there to take notes. But after she’s diagnosed with a rare, potentially fatal disease (the 81 side effects of which include dramatic changes in her appearance, not to mention the dreaded possibility of having to move back home), the book becomes something unexpected: a survival guide.

Named one of the Best of 2011 by the Portland Mercury!

Read the reviews in the Portland Mercury and the SF Weekly.

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Posted on Monday, February 6, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Marci Washington: Selected Works 2005-Present
Leeds College of Art, 2011
Hardcover, 96 pages, $100

Published for the Marci Washington (Painting/Drawing 2002, MFA 2008) exhibition at Leeds College of Art in November 2011, this book shows most of Washington's output since 2005 in full color along with photographs of her studio, an interview, and a short essay. "Drawing from literature, film, fashion photography, and historical events," the artist writes, "I am building a disjointed fictional narrative with connections to the past as well as to the present. Like illustrations from a novel that doesn't exist, or stills from a film that was never made –- a story which functions as social commentary as well as a haunting multigenerational epic shrouded in supernatural mystery and romanticism."

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Posted on Monday, February 6, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Theatres of the San Francisco Peninsula (Images of America)
Arcadia Publishing, 2011
Paperback, 128 pages, $21.99

Beginning with early playhouses and storefront nickelodeons, continuing through the movie palace period, the golden age of the drive-in theater, and the modern-day multiplex, this volume of vintage photos and carefully researched text the various eras of movie theaters on the San Francisco peninsula, from Sunnyvale to the San Francisco city limit. Coauthor Jack Tillmany, a former operator of Oakland's Piedmont and Parkway theaters, contributed the majority of the photographs from his personal collection. Coauthor Gary Lee Parks (Illustration 1988) has been involved for more than 20 years in theater preservation and restoration as both a professional and a volunteer. He accessed numerous public and private collections to compile this volume.

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Posted on Monday, February 6, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Wendover
CCA Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice, 2010
Paperback, 152 pages, free

Wendover documents a series of three Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice courses led by Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI) Director Matthew Coolidge and Curatorial Practice faculty member Marina McDougall. Analyzing exhibition and residency models, and looking more broadly at factors such as audience and site-specific programming, the enrolled students engaged with the CLUI outpost and artist residency in Wendover over a three-year period. A reader of sorts, the publication distills the students' activities and interactions with Wendover and documents their resulting projects: an audio tour (2008); a film program (2009); and an archive expansion (2010). Also included are interviews with Coolidge, Center for Art and Environment Director William Fox, and numerous texts contributed by students and visiting faculty. Contact sstone@cca.edu for a copy.

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Posted on Monday, February 6, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Best Kept Secret: UCI and the Development of Contemporary Art in Southern California, 1964-1971
Laguna Art Museum, 2011
Paperback, 180 pages, $34.95

Grace Kook-Anderson (MA Curatorial Practice 2007), the Laguna Art Museum's curator of exhibitions, is a contributing writer to this recto-verso book published in conjunction with the Pacific Standard Time exhibition Best Kept Secret: UCI and the Development of Contemporary Art in Southern California, 1964-1971. This scholarly publication with primary research on UC Irvine and the development of its art department is the first to address the early years of the department. UCI was a hotbed of creativity and experimentation in the 1960s and early 1970s, with exceptional teachers such as Tony DeLap, Robert Irwin, and Vija Celmins teaching talented students such as Alexis Smith, Chris Burden, and Nancy Buchanan. The book includes an extensive timeline.

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Posted on Monday, February 6, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Nymph Daughters
Super Labo, 2010
Paperback, 32 pages, $20

This new book by Todd Hido (MFA 1996 and Photography faculty) is a departure that brings him back to some of the narrative sequencing experiments he explored in graduate school while studying with the late Larry Sultan (Photography faculty). Hido's series started with two photos: a found studio portrait of a mother made in the 1950s, and a found archival newspaper photograph of the aftermath of an auto accident. Hido put the portrait at the front of the book and the car crash at the back and worked to narratively connect the two using his own archive of portraits, landscapes, and photographs of houses.

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Posted on Monday, February 6, 2012 by Simon Hodgson

Todd Shalom on Niegel Smith's "Monumental Walk," New York, 2010 [photo by Kate Glicksberg]

In a New York borough, a group of walkers meanders through the city. They stop and look around. They close their eyes. They listen. They are participants on a walk with artists from Elastic City, a conceptual walk organization founded by CCA alumnus Todd Shalom (MFA Writing 2004). Lauded by the New York Times, the Economist, and even illustrated in the New Yorker (that's how you know you've really arrived!), Elastic City has organized walks from Brooklyn to Brazil.

Shalom's title at Elastic City is producer and director. He designs and leads some walks, and also commissions other artists to create walks. The walks focus less on providing factual information and more on heightening the senses, uncovering the poetry of everyday places, and creating new group rituals in dialogue with public space. Each walk is an artwork. Lucky Walk, by Shalom in collaboration with Juan Betancurth, revealed lucky and unlucky traits within New York architecture. It encouraged participants to engage in rituals to eliminate bad luck and bring forth good luck. Homesickness by the urbanist Einat Manoff examined the group's physical surroundings as a mirror into its collective homesickness, testing possible interventions in space and discussing the theoretical perspectives offered by urban theory and environmental psychology. Other 2011 walks included City Island Hop by Andrea Polli, Love Spells by Emily Tepper, and Total Detroit by Niegel Smith. In this last, participants started out walking in LaGuardia Airport in New York and then took a plane to the Motor City, where they continued the 56-hour performance.

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Posted on Thursday, February 2, 2012 by Simon Hodgson

"Zero to hero" is a cliché in sports movies, but how does a sports-obsessed graphic designer make the leap from rookie to professional? Growing up outside Detroit, Michael Sun (Graphic Design 2010) was always a fan but never thought of sports as anything more than a hobby or entertainment. Then after attending the University of Michigan and receiving a teaching degree, he came to the sinking realization that teaching might not be for him. He admits he needed some direction.

"I went to lunch with my dad one day and I was spitballing, trying to think of my next step, but I had no idea what to do. Sports was an obsession, the only thing that held my interest at the time. I didn't know what I wanted. I'd always been interested in sports logos but only doodled them on notes in high school. I didn't even know logos dealt with something called graphic design.

"Fortunately I found CCA, but it was definitely a tough transition. For a while I felt like an outsider. I'd already received a degree, I was a little older, I didn't dress the same way, and I lived far from the city in Sunnyvale. Worst of all, it was discouraging to compare my projects with students who had been designing for longer than I had, or who had a better eye for color or composition."

He realized even in these tough moments, however, that his teachers were on his side. "They knew my work was not the greatest, but they also knew so badly I wanted to succeed and how hard I was trying. My background was academic -- expecting results according to how hard you worked -- so I decided I'd get there if I tried hard enough. And the professors noticed that.

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