Alumni News

Posted on Tuesday, August 14, 2012 by Jim Norrena

Kaii Tu's innovative design process has him in the spotlight. (Photo: Clint Bowers, Interiors & Sources)View slideshow 

Windgate Fellow

To say CCA alumnus Kaii Tu (BFA Individualized Major 2012) is on the right path toward career success is probably the understatement of the year. That's because Tu, who graduated with high distinction, was recently awarded a 2012 Windgate Fellowship by UNC Asheville’s Center for Craft, Creativity and Design (CCCD).

Read about the 2012 Wingate Fellows »

The $15,000 fellowship, for which more than 120 universities across the United States nominate two graduating seniors with exemplary skill in craft, is one of the largest awards in art and design in the nation.

Tu graduated from Harvard University summa cum laude with a degree in Visual and Environmental Studies, but he's also one of the youngest persons to reach the level of brand manager at Procter & Gamble, his employer from 2005 to 2009 in Cincinnati, where he worked in product design, brand architecture, and business management.

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Posted on Tuesday, August 14, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Brittany Luby (with friend Chhat Chea in the CCA photo booth) and Larissa Erin Greer

The following speeches were delivered by CCA students at the spring 2012 commencement ceremony.

Brittany Luby

While I am proud to have been chosen to speak to my graduating class, I had to ask myself, What qualifies me to address my own peers, the very people who spent entire nights in the studio alongside myself? What advice could I possibly bestow upon those with whom I have been growing and learning in concert . . . other than "Ginger is good for settling an upset stomach, and always drink water."

I'm not quite sure, and hopefully by the end of this something pithy yet insightful will have fallen out of my being here. But for now, I think I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on the last four years and congratulate my classmates on following through to the end.

This is for everyone who slept in their studio. For those who took poorly paying freelance jobs only to empty their bank accounts again the next day in the name of art. This is for my friends who took two buses and a train five days a week to get to their six classes and two jobs (you know who you are); for those who left home without looking back to fearlessly take charge of their own destiny. You are the reason that I keep going, keep making, keep thriving.

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Posted on Tuesday, August 14, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Scholarship recipients Renata Maria Araujo (in black dress, with a friend) and Lionel Ramazzini

The following speeches were delivered by CCA scholarship recipients at the Scholarship Dinner in fall 2011.

Renata Maria Araujo

My name is Renata Maria Araujo. I am a fourth-year Architecture student, and I would not be here without the Lloyd H. Oliver Memorial Scholarship. It is the reason I attend CCA. I share your understanding that education is the most transcendent gift one can be given, and it allows us to have a foot in the door of the future.

Knowing I have been awarded this scholarship makes me feel proud, and, at the same time, obliged. No artist is an island, and I am very aware of the community I aspire to be part of. More than anything, though, every time I present my work I am thankful for the trust and encouragement this award represents.

I lived abroad almost all my life, so arriving at CCA was a dramatic change. I was even unsure about pursuing architecture. Now, I am in my fourth year, and it is my future career. I've met new housemates, work buddies, and the city of San Francisco. I've learned how to take a design from my mind, to paper, to physical reality. This knowledge has changed the way I see the world. Sometimes I'll look at a building today and think now I understand, or, sometimes, ignorance is bliss.

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Posted on Monday, August 13, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Bean Gilsdorf (MFA 2011) never imagined herself as a professional advice columnist. But in a moment of levity at an editorial meeting of the art blog Daily Serving, she tossed out the idea of an art advice column, and the others wouldn't let it drop.

And once she launched the thing, it really took off. She posted her first "Help Desk" column in January 2012, and it was almost immediately picked up by KQED.org and the Huffington Post.

What have been the most memorable questions? "One was, 'I just discovered that my MFA faculty advisor is an adulterer. I find that morally reprehensible. Should I continue to trust him in our student-advisor relationship?'"

This dilemma can't be reduced to yet another case of people not living up to expectations, Gilsdorf explains, since your advisor is your designated critic-advocate, and the nuances of the trust and the power dynamic are quite specific. In other words, Dear Abby can't deal with this one. You really need the advice of another artist.

What's been the strangest question so far? "'What is the best and most humane way to skin a cat as part of an art piece, in front of an audience'’ I wrote the guy back privately and told him I wasn't qualified to give an answer."

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Posted on Tuesday, August 7, 2012 by Allison Byers

In Southern California one finds “amazing, long, slow, sunny days that disintegrate into something totally gorgeous” all year round, notes Los Angeles-based photographer Amanda Marsalis, waxing a bit poetic about the California sunshine she’s become known for utilizing to its utmost potential.

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Posted on Monday, August 6, 2012 by Allison Byers

Mia Christopher is a young San Francisco-based artist fresh out of her BFA at the California College of the Arts. Working in several different mediums, Christopher's works are an amalgamation of colors, shapes, and textures. Different types of paper, amorphous forms of latex, and simple gouache and acrylic color fields come together to form the beautifully abstract collection of images and three-dimensional objects in her portfolio.

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Posted on Monday, August 6, 2012 by Allison Byers

The machines bang to life and a rhythmic thudding echoes off the factory walls.
It sounds like the train outside, it sounds like a whole building shuddering under the effort to create a product. It sounds like industry.
This soundtrack has gone quiet in so many cities throughout upstate New York and America as factory doors continue to close. But in Hudson next week, where empty factories abound, you'll be able to hear the machines again.

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Posted on Monday, August 6, 2012 by Allison Byers

The other week I had the opportunity to visit Slow Burn Glass, the West Oakland studio of artist Bryan Goldenberg. He's been blowing glass since 1995, and after graduating from the California College of the Arts in 2002 and with experience around the country and the world, he created the Slow Burn studio in 2006.

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Posted on Monday, August 6, 2012 by Allison Byers

Tara Tucker is a Bay Area-based visual artists. Tucker studied sculpture at California College of Arts & Crafts in Oakland, receiving both her BFA and MFA from the college.

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Posted on Monday, August 6, 2012 by Allison Byers

Graduate and/or post-graduate photography education gives young photographers many of the creative and business tools they need to pursue a career in the photo industry. However there are some lessons that, for various reasons, student-photographers don’t get in school. While putting together the July Fine-Art issue of PDN, we reached out to 10 photographers who’ve graduated in the past few years to ask, “What lessons didn’t you learn in art school that have been important to your career?”

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