Alumni News

Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2011 by Samantha Braman

Delphi Digital Optics, designed by Lucas Ainsworth

What do Delphi Optics (special wilderness goggles that use satellite info to provide specific information about your surroundings), Jungle Walkers (100 percent sustainable cardboard puzzle animals), and the Snowkite (a kite that pulls you across snowy slopes) all have in common? They're all the brainchildren of alumnus Lucas Ainsworth (Industrial Design 2010), and they're all in one way or another expressions of Ainsworth's passion for the outdoors.

Before he came to CCA's Industrial Design Program, Ainsworth studied environmental science at UC Davis. "I always intrinsically loved design, but I was never exposed to it growing up. I thought products were designed by mechanical engineers. Then, during my time at UC Davis I was a whitewater guide in their outdoor program on weekends. The guy who runs the program was a designer at Black Diamond, and he used to tell stories about designing and testing outdoor gear. After graduating and working for a few years, I called him up and asked what it takes to be a designer at Black Diamond. He introduced me to the field of industrial design and said, basically, 'Your only chance is to get into a top-notch design school and rock it.'"

While at CCA, Ainsworth developed and marketed all kinds of products, from toys to high-end electronic devices. It was in Jay Baldwin's Industrial Design 1 class that he conceived the Jungle Walker, an environmentally conscious toy elephant made of cardboard that, when assembled, walks and moves its head with surprising realism.

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Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2011 by Heather Lohmann

Heather Lohmann graduated from CCA in spring 2011 from the MFA Program in Writing. She currently lives in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco, where she's dreaming up her next big adventure.

Aries

March 21-April 19
It’s time to get rid of all that clutter, Aries. And I’m not just talking about all the junk that’s been piling up in your studio over the past few months. Take a deeper look into the aspects of your life that may be hindering your creative nature. If your career hasn’t been moving in the direction you may have been hoping for, maybe it’s time to change paths. It might take a little while to see how this change will affect you positively, and we all know you’re not the most patient of signs, but if you can wait, you’ll definitely be pleased with the results. You may come across a few difficulties at first, but if you can stick to what you’ve started (and I know what you’re thinking: There are just too many ideas to work with! How can I stay focused on just one piece or project when it doesn’t pay off right away?!), you’ll reap the rewards. Remain optimistic and the world will be your oyster.

Taurus

April 20-May 20
Brace yourself, Taurus, because all that creative hard work is about to get recognized. Fame? Make sure you’ve got your sunglasses and anti-paparazzi hand-to-the-face ready! Fortune? Get ready to see some serious activity in your bank account. You’ll have to work hard to get to where you’re going, but you’ve got the stubborn, practical nature to help make sure you don’t give up. Whether it’s a publishing contract for your first novel, a gallery opening for your latest and greatest, or the debut of your clothing line, there are very big things waiting in your very near future. A quick tip, though: Make sure to play the role of diplomat when dealing with others who hold positions of power -- you might need these allies a little later down the road after your 15+ minutes hit!

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Posted on Friday, December 9, 2011 by Allison Byers

It’s 10:30 p.m. on a Monday, and SoMa’s TechShop is buzzing with activity. Sparks are flying, the band saw is kicking up dust, and nerdy hipsters are in the conference room plotting prototypes. The creative energy filling the raw industrial space is palpable, and the brainpower is suffocating. The vision of former MythBusters science adviser and serial entrepreneur Jim Newton, TechShop is a membership-based workshop and fabrication studio filled with the kind of equipment you haven’t seen since high school shop class—only much more sophisticated and high tech.

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Posted on Thursday, December 1, 2011 by Jim Norrena

This is the second installment in a series of artist profiles that depict CCA's connection to the Oakland Art Murmur -- in particular to 25th Street in downtown Oakland, where in almost any given gallery, shop, or studio, artists from California College of the Arts are making their living in the arts. Collectively, they are changing the cultural landscape of Oakland, elevating its reputation as one of today’s most talked-about art scenes.

About the Oakland Art Murmur

"If you craft it, they will come." That’s the going mantra in downtown Oakland, the heart of the East Bay’s newly exploding art scene. The recent surge in the city’s contribution to the wider Bay Area’s cultural arts scene is attributed, in large part, to the hipster-driven, Dionysian celebration known as the Oakland Art Murmur, a monthly nighttime gathering of art enthusiasts of all ages . . . and those who love them.

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Posted on Thursday, December 1, 2011 by Christina Linden

Cristi paints addition details on his mural in Northern Ireland.

“In Northern Ireland,” says Pablo Cristi (MFA 2010), “everything is overtly political. If you want to know what a large percentage of the people think, read the walls.”

Anyone involved in cultural production today -- but especially those in public art -- hope more than anything that their work will be noticed and elicit meaningful audience reactions. In the case of a commissioned mural painted by Cristi and a few collaborators in Derry, Northern Ireland, the work fueled a vivid public debate. When petitions start circulating, well -- there’s your noticeable and meaningful reaction. And while the experience certainly put Cristi in the hot seat for a few tense weeks, he also deeply valued the public discussion and dissent motivated by the project.

Artists Collaborate

Cristi was one of four American artists -- the others were Sidd Joag (New York), Ernel Martinez (Philadelphia), and Man One (Los Angeles)—invited to Derry to do the mural commission and lead a series of classes and workshops in four different communities, each of which then had its own additional mural project. The Playhouse Derry-Londonderry organized their activity as part of an urban arts program called the What If? Project, which is part of a three-year initiative funded by the European Union Regional Development Fund called the International Culture Arts Network (ICAN). ICAN’s ambition is to bring “world-renowned artists to the counties at the interface of Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic” in order to “bridge barriers between current and formerly conflicted areas worldwide.”

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Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 by Jim Norrena

We invite you to learn more about the following alumni of CCA's Jewelry / Metal Arts Program by visiting their websites to review their current work, see what projects or events are coming up, read about past accomplishments, and see for yourself how CCA shaped their vision as artists.

Graduates leave CCA with the ability to realize their most adventurous ideas and the motivation to make a positive impact on the world -- ready to succeed in studio practice, the professional workplace, or a top-tier graduate program.

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Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 by Jim Norrena

About Kevin Whiteley

Kevin Whiteley (aka Wayne White) graduated from CCA's MFA Program in Writing in 2009. His writing has been featured at Reservoir.com and New Expressions. He's also ghostwritten for photographer/model/singer Sarah Vanderhaar. He's currently working on revisions to his forthcoming novel, Chi-Town, My Town as well as embracing historical fiction with "Appeasement," a work in progress.

Mark Your Calendars

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Posted on Saturday, November 26, 2011 by Molly Mitchell

Joe Kowalczyk (BFA 2009) is a cofounder of FM gallery located on 25th Avenue, in the heart of Oakland's Art Murmur.

Visit the websites of the following CCA Ceramics alumni to view their current work and projects as well as read about their past accomplishments and forthcoming adventures.

Where indicated, an CCA spotlight feature has been provided for you to learn how CCA shaped the artist's vision.

Read more Ceramics alumni featurettes »

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Posted on Friday, November 25, 2011 by Jim Norrena

"A Great Day in San Francisco" [photo: Chris Nickel]

"'A Great Day in San Francisco' is a picture of faculty, students, staff, alumni, and families and friends of the LGBT community at California College of the Arts," explains Painting/Drawing chair Kim Anno in reference to her latest project, a tribute to Art Kane's 1958 masterful photograph, "A Great Day in Harlem" (1958), that captured the historic gathering of 57 of the century's most influential jazz musicians on the steps of a Harlem brownstone.

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Posted on Wednesday, November 23, 2011 by Simon Hodgson

Lisa Mishima and Yvonne Mouser turn food into art at Sam's Movie Night

From painter to pastry chef, ceramicist to wine cellar owner, innovative CCA alumni are shaping creative niches across the world of food and drink.

Twenty people stand around a long butcher-block table. The lights above cast a pale glow on its surface, illuminating the ingredients piled in its recessed trough -- lemons, lettuce, flour, eggplants, bell peppers -- without lighting the faces of the diners. They are here for Hands On, a food-making experience in which they use their hands rather than utensils to create a three-course meal.

"Cooking is very much a form of art," says Lisa Mishima (Graphic Design 2005), who concocted Hands On together with her boss, Randall Stowell of the creative production company Autofuss, and friend Yvonne Mouser (Furniture 2006). "Both cooking and art involve concepting, crafting, and presenting a piece. But there is something about consuming one's creation that feels even more personal, immediate, and honest."

Initially, the guests are nervous, even clumsy. Flour falls to the floor. Slowly, the experimental chefs grow more confident. There are giggles around the room, then nods of approval as the dishes take shape. The menu features Caesar salad, handmade pasta with pesto sauce, and tiramisu. Some diners shape vegetables into utensils and use those instead of spoons or spatulas. Maybe there will be a meal at the end of this.

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