Alumni News

Posted on Thursday, November 15, 2012 by Allison Byers

On Grove Street, across from the gilded, Beaux-Arts exterior of City Hall, the San Francisco Arts Commission has a space that it is no longer allowed to use as a gallery – quite. 155 Grove has been deemed seismically unsafe, which means the general public is not allowed inside, but the city does allow SFAC to put the space’s large front window to use: A rotation of artists fill the cube with site-specific installations that the public can view from outside.

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Posted on Thursday, November 15, 2012 by Allison Byers

Sebastopol painter Kent Rupp sometimes wonders what life would be like if he had taken a different turn in the road.
In high school, Rupp was a less-than-stellar student who had attended nine grammar schools during his first eight years of formal education because of his father's scattered work in those post-Depression years. At Alameda High School, he said, the only classes where he achieved good grades were English and art. By senior year, Rupp had decided to join the merchant marine.

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Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 by Allison Byers

Dabbling in a night of high glam nails, local San Jose consignment boutique, Black and Brown, in conjunction with Nail Jerks, mobile nail art service, indulged fellow vintage fashion lovers to an afternoon full of Floss Gloss fun.

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Posted on Thursday, November 8, 2012 by Allison Byers

It’s not always quite this bustling, Hank Willis Thomas tells me as we make our way into his small, fifth-floor studio located in Midtown Manhattan; it’s just when he’s gearing up for a major project or a show—which, these past few years, has been more or less his perpetual state.

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Posted on Thursday, November 8, 2012 by Matthew Harrison Tedford

The Cast of La Bamba 2: Hell Is a Drag

"I wrote a sequel to From Dusk Till Dawn when I was in seventh grade."

So began the filmmaking career of Rob Fatal (MFA 2012). His obsession with film proceeded apace, but it took him a surprisingly long time, he says, to realize that there was a person called a director -- that movies didn't just spring into existence like Athena from Zeus's head.

Inspired by Quentin Tarantino, Mel Brooks, and Robert Rodriguez, Fatal began writing screenplays at age 12. "I loved camp and sci-fi films before I even knew they were genres." At 19 he borrowed his father's camcorder and made a 30-minute film about DJs with magical turntables. "It was accidentally campy. It was accidentally bad. But it had a lot of sincerity." Much to his surprise, it did well, even getting into a couple of festivals.

Film Maker, Filmmaker, or Artist?

Fast forward a few years. Fatal was still working in film and experimenting with video art, but not quite to the point of considering himself a filmmaker, and certainly not an "artist," whatever that meant. But one day, in the midst of editing a video documenting an experimental opera by Fatal's collaborator/mentor Juliana Snapper, he recomposed portions of the footage into a new composition and showed it to CCA faculty member Cheryl Dunye. Dunye delivered the unexpected news that what he was doing was art, and urged him to apply to CCA's MFA program. The faculty there, she said, were pushing the boundaries of genres, and dealing with gender politics and racial identity -- fields of study Fatal had been researching for years in his graduate program at Sacramento State University. CCA presented Fatal with a place to finally bridge his dual love of film theory and practice.

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Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 by Rachel Walther

Zarouhie Abdalian (MFA 2010) maintains quite the hectic travel schedule. This fall she made a trip to Bergen, Norway, to participate in the Kunstindustrimuseum's Material Information exhibition, and afterward she headed to the 9th Shanghai Biennial as a participant in the San Francisco pavilion. She's exhibited work and created site-specific installations throughout the United States and eight other countries; right now you can see one of her works, The fall without the fruit, at the CCA Wattis Institute's When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes exhibition, on view through December 1, 2012.

Abdalian's work has evolved dramatically since her years as an undergraduate at Tulane University, where she focused on painting and printmaking. While at CCA she developed an entirely new way of working that is sculptural, and profoundly site specific. A new piece doesn't begin until she researches the place where it will be located. Visually and historically, her installations engage in dialogue with their viewers and -- ideally -- disrupt their typical interaction with a particular place.

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Posted on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 by Erin Wheeler

CCA has long encouraged and cultivated the marriage of art, craft, social responsibility, scholarship, and research. Together, Career Development and Academic Affairs is excited to host an informational panel on the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, one of the foremost resources for interdisciplinary scholarship for creative individuals.

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Posted on Monday, October 22, 2012 by Allison Byers

There are people who like to paint their nails. And then there are the Floss Gloss girls.

To call Aretha Sack and Janine Lee--who founded the San Francisco-based brand in 2011, along with Monica Kim Garza--nail junkies would be an understatement. "I've been mixing my own nail polish colors since the '90s--I would go to Walgreens and could never find the colors I liked," explains the 25-year-old Sack, who started selling her one-off batches to fellow students at the California College of the Arts.

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Posted on Monday, October 22, 2012 by Matthew Harrison Tedford

Zena Adhami's 2012 Design MFA thesis presentation

During the height of the Arab Spring, Zena Adhami (MFA Design 2012) was watching from her apartment in San Francisco as revolution erupted back home.

She decided to make it the subject of her CCA graduate thesis: an examination of the specific media and technologies that were making it possible for her to stay informed from halfway around the world.

This time of upheaval also represented a culmination of Adhami's efforts to reconsider graphic design as a more politically engaged pursuit. "Every once in a while there's a degree of social consciousness among designers, but usually I feel that they're talking to themselves, and that's a failure of design intelligence," she opines.

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Posted on Monday, October 22, 2012 by Allison Byers

Kevin Wada's fashion illustrations and caricatures have a wry wit and authority mixed with a slick gay sensibility.

In Kevin's own words:
I was born in the greater Los Angeles area, raised in the San Gabriel Valley and went to college at California College of the Arts in San Francisco. I've been here in San Francisco for about five years and couldn't be happier.

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