Alumni News

Posted on Thursday, July 14, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Daniel Dallabrida's "Damage Is Done" [photo: Jim Norrena]

Remember that someday the AIDS crisis will be over. And when that day has come and gone there will be people alive who will hear that once there was a terrible disease, and that a brave group of people stood up and fought and in some cases died so others might live and be free.

~ Vito Russo (1946–1990)
(Excerpted from "Why We Fight," a speech delivered
in front of the Department of Health and Human Services
during a demonstration on Monday, October 10, 1988)

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Posted on Monday, July 11, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Give Them the Picture
CCA, 2011
Paperback, 203 pages, $20

Give Them the Picture collects and places in dialogue 24 articles penned by critics and artists that originally appeared in La Mamelle / ART COM magazine in the 1970s and 1980s. The authors include magazine founder Carl Loeffler, Lynn Hershman, Richard Irwin, Anna Couey, Linda Montano, Douglas Davis, Eleanor Antin, and others. It is conceived as a literary extension of the Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice 2011 thesis exhibition, and thus also features conversations between the student curators and two of La Mamelle / ART COM's key figures, Nancy Frank and Darlene Tong. The book is a copublication between the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts and the Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice.

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Posted on Monday, July 11, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

History's Shadow
Nazraeli Press, 2011
Hardcover, 72 pages, $75

David Maisel’s (MFA 2006) work has always been concerned with processes of memory, excavation, and transformation. In the History’s Shadow series, Maisel re-photographs, then scans and digitally manipulates, X-rays from museum archives that depict artifacts from antiquity. X-rays have historically been used by art conservators for structural examination of art and artifacts much as physicians examine bones and internal organs; they reveal losses, replacements, construction methods, and internal trauma invisible to the naked eye. Maisel's mages seem like transmissions from the distant past, both spanning and collapsing time. The book, designed by Graphic Design faculty member Bob Aufuldish, contains an original short story by Jonathan Lethem that was inspired by Maisel's images. It was named one of American Photo magazine's Best Photography Books of the Year!

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Posted on Monday, July 11, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Dubrovnik under Siege: Artists' Interactions with the Old City during the Yugoslav Army Aggression 1991-1992
LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing, 2010
Paperback, 76 pages, $68

Following attacks by the Yugoslav Army in 1991, local artists used the Old City of Dubrovnik -- its ruins, boarded-up monuments, and shop windows -- to create site-specific public artworks. Nensi Brailo (Visual and Critical Studies alumna) looks at three case studies to explore this phenomenon: the site-specific exhibitions of artist Ivo Grbic on the grounds of his home and studio which had been bombed, the impromptu collaborative public art project by professional and amateur artists that took place during Christmastime in December 1991, and Pavo Urban's photographs of the besieged city's architecture and citizens.

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Posted on Monday, July 11, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Peril as Architectural Enrichment
Kelsey Street Press, 2011
Paperback, 96 pages, $16.95

Hazel White (Writing alumna) tests landscape as the subject of experience in Peril as Architectural Enrichment. She questions how limbs want to move in space, when convivial with landforms, treetops, views, and pollen. The poems greet danger -- chopped narratives, lost crops, a fall, inundation -- and the refuge of a familiar curvature: the turning of long lines becoming the same as building shelter in the wild where a peril can be seen and felt, and to write is to know what's near. Like a designed landscape, White's poetry delivers a new sense of orientation.

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Posted on Monday, July 11, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

The Monsterologist: A Memoir in Rhyme
Sterling, 2009
Hardcover, 50 pages, $17.95

Adam McCauley (Illustration faculty) designed this book to look like a treasured scrapbook, every page features an eye-catching mix of drawings, photos, and handwritten text. It is a collection of letters, notes, and interviews: the fruits of a monsterologist's research. In engaging rhyme, the monster master tells all about Count Dracula ("When you visit Transylvania, be sure to stay with me"); issues a werewolf warning; and dishes on trolls, ghosts, witches, ogres, and myriad mythological and literary creatures. Winner of the Society of Illustrators gold medal and AIGA's 50 Books/50 Covers!

Check out the book's website and video trailer

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Posted on Monday, July 11, 2011 by Simon Hodgson

Adam Green, "Boy in Bed," 2010

Adam Green's (Sculpture 2010) current summer job with AmeriCorps, teaching high-risk youth, represents for him a creative coming of age. "I guess you could have considered me a high-risk youth. I was sent to a military academy in Georgia for part of high school." In AmeriCorps' program in Providence, Rhode Island, Green is involved on the administrative side and is also teaching drawing, sculpture, and glassblowing.

The medium of glass was Green's own artistic liberation. "Working with glass takes intense focus. There's a huge learning curve, and a lot of failure. Making a perfect cup is like chasing a dragon. You have this balance between an unreachable goal and a meditative exercise. It's physically intense, and also cathartic. And when it works, it's extremely gratifying."

The quest to create order from chaos is a touchstone in Green's personal fine art practice. His Rocket Grids depict unfurling orthogonal patterns of spaceships, arrayed almost like windows in a skyscraper. Why rockets? "I've always built rockets: from latex, milk, rubber, or wax. As a kid, I was always more interested in science than art. I had a computer at a really young age and loved to take it apart and look at the circuit boards. The grid format is a natural for me in terms of classification, lists, and free association. To me, rockets represent a fantastic metaphor for manhood. NASA in particular is this gigantic phallus-obsessed institution, focused primarily on penetrating the atmosphere. All those failed test flights in the 1950s and 1960s are a huge inspiration for my work. They represented to me an erectile dysfunction in American society. My Rocket Boy costume, this ridiculous red and yellow rocket rig, uses humor to lower viewers' defenses. It's a self-portrait without being too serious."

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Posted on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Cultural Confluences: The Art of Lenore Chinn
Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center, 2011
Paperback, 44 pages, $21.95

Edited by Jen Banta (MA Visual and Critical Studies 2009) this book maps the life and times of the Asian American artist Lenore Chinn via essays, reproductions of her exquisite realist paintings, and visual ephemera. Tirza True Latimer (Visual and Critical Studies chair) is one of the essayists. Chinn is an artist and community activist in San Francisco’s diverse LGBT and Asian American communities who paints her life and the lives of others in her social milieu. Her sensibility is informed not only by social justice issues, but also by Civil Rights and her experience of traditional Chinese culture in the bohemian 1970s.

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Posted on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Just Design: Socially Conscious Design for Critical Causes
How, 2011
Hardcover, 208 pages, $40

Christopher Simmons (Graphic Design faculty) is a designer, writer, educator, design advocate, and principal of the noted San Francisco design office MINE. Here he organizes 150 design projects into six sections exploring the different ways design can serve the greater good, from supporting existing causes to seeking out hidden problems to celebrating positive change. Essays by influential designers and interviews with designers who pursue social change offer insight into how any designer can use his or her talents to change the world. Works by numerous CCA faculty and alumni are featured, and Cinthia Wen (Graphic Design chair) contributes an essay.

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Posted on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Music for a City, Music for the World: 100 Years with the San Francisco Symphony
Chronicle Books, 2011
Hardcover, 272 pages, $45.00

NOON, the design studio of Cinthia Wen (Graphic Design chair), designed this book in which author Larry Rothe shares the San Francisco Bay Area's love of music. Released in time for the San Francisco Symphony's celebration of its 100th anniversary, this definitive history features hundreds of archival photos and images to give readers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into one of the world's foremost orchestras and the cultural life of the city, from the Gold Rush to the present day.

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