Alumni News

Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 by Allison Byers

Lynn Sondag in her studioView slideshow 

For most students, graduation marks the end of their academic career. But for some California College of the Arts alumni, graduation was only the beginning. Many have become educators in their chosen field, and a select few serve in chair and director positions at educational institutions across the country and around the world.

Posted on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Celebrating 25 Years of the Barclay Simpson Award
CCA, 2012
Paperback/digital, 146 pages

In 2012 CCA celebrated 25 years of the Barclay Simpson Award -- a social and historical record of the past quarter of a century -- with a special retrospective exhibition, We’re All Here Because We’re Not All There, and an accompanying catalogue featuring works by select recipients. Since its inception in 1987 in honor of CCA Board of Trustee member and 2005 honorary doctorate Barclay Simpson and his wife, Sharon, the Barclay Simpson Award has through financial support, encouragement, and recognition celebrated an entire generation of well-deserving graduating artists.

Posted on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Ode to Happiness
Steidl, 2011
Hardcover, 40 pages, $55

Alexandra Grant (MFA 2000) illustrates this book by the celebrated actor and writer Keanu Reeves. It is a grown-up's picture book about making the best of a bad situation, a charming reminder not to take oneself too seriously. In the tradition of a classic "hurtin' song," Reeves's text externalizes a melancholy internal monologue and subtly pokes fun at it. Grant's images, delicately realized in somber inky washes, reflect the dark and light, the pathos and humor, of the text. Neither entirely earnest nor wholly ironic, Ode to Happiness is both a meditation and a gentle tease about how we cope with life's sorrows.

Posted on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Special Delivery
2012
Digital/hardcover, free

Melissa Tioleco-Cheng's (Graphic Design 2002) firm, rise-and-shine studio, designed and illustrated this book intended to help families who have lost a baby. The story describes different types of newborns, including babies who live for only a short time. The book is downloadable for free in a digital version, and hard copies are being distributed free of charge to families.

Posted on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Passion for Place: Community Reflections on the Carmel River Watershed
Risingleaf Impressions, 2012
Hardcover/Paperback, 200 pages, $85/$49.50

Passion for Place: Community Reflections on the Carmel River Watershed is a bioregional anthology with a global vision, edited and published by Paola Berthoin (Printmaking 1983). It features 37 authors and eight additional individuals featured on a CD of excerpts from interviews mixed with natural sounds from the watershed.

It includes Berthoin's plein air paintings and photographs and works by two local artists, Pamela Takigawa and Anne Greene.

Posted on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 by Allison Byers

Toyin Odutola, Artist, 27
Using ballpoint pens and other drawing utensils, Nigerian-born Odutola makes intricate portraits from photographs. She has had a one-woman show at the Jack Shainman gallery in New York City, and exhibited in group shows at the Menil Collection in Houston and at the Studio Museum in Harlem.

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Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 by Allison Byers

It’s not uncommon for jewelers to draw inspiration from architecture, but Christopher Baas actually was a modeler of buildings before segueing into jewelry.

As an architecture student at California College of the Arts, he began experimenting with the digital software typically employed to design steel building frameworks, using it to create miniature edifices in the form of sculptural geometric cuffs. He teamed up with CCA interior design student Carleigh Wamberg to found Fathom and Form, and in May the Outer Richmond–based pair introduced their first full collection.

Posted on Thursday, December 13, 2012 by Matthew Harrison Tedford

Amanda Marsalis's (Photography 2001) photographs appear regularly on glossy pages across international newsstands. She shoots both editorial and advertising photography, and her clients have included Apple, FedEx, GQ, the New York Times Magazine, Vogue, and many other household names.

It is global in reach, but she describes her style as Californian, owing much to her home state.

Posted on Monday, December 10, 2012 by Susannah Magers

Pae White, muhf-uhl, 2012

Susannah Magers (MA Curatorial Practice 2011) spent five months in 2012 on site as the visitor engagement manager at the exhibition International Orange, a FOR-SITE Foundation project located in Fort Point, near San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge.

It is the latest and most ambitious project yet produced by the foundation, a San Francisco-based nonprofit dedicated to the production of art about place.

What It's Like to be at International Orange

When I tell people I work in a fort underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, their reaction usually registers surprise, followed by confusion ("Wait . . . where?"). The date is October 25, 2012, and I have spent the past five months, five days a week, on site as the visitor engagement manager at the exhibition International Orange.

Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

A character concept for Fergus from the Pixar film Brave, by Steve Purcell

Steve Purcell (Interdisciplinary Fine Arts 1982) is a cartoonist, animator, director, game designer, and Eisner Award recipient. He works at Pixar, and was a writer and codirector of the 2012 feature film Brave.

While at CCA he contributed comic strips to the college newspaper, Spectrum, and these were the first public appearances of his characters known as Sam & Max Freelance Police, a duo of anthropomorphic animal vigilantes and private investigators who have subsequently enjoyed great success in comic, TV show, and game formats.

One of Purcell's friends and fellow students at CCA was Mike Mignola (Illustration 1982), who went on to become the creator of Hellboy. They both studied under Vince Perez and Gary Ruddell. After graduation Purcell freelanced for Marvel Comics and spent some years at LucasArts and Industrial Light & Magic before landing his current job at Pixar.

Purcell shared some insights about his career in the latest issue of CCA's Glance magazine:

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