Alumni News

Posted on Monday, December 9, 2013 by Allison Byers

Born in Nigeria, raised in Alabama, and trained at the Bay Area's California College of the Arts, Odutola draws on references as diverse as her upbringing, from animated Japanese serials and African carvings to the sinews of anatomical diagrams.

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Posted on Friday, December 6, 2013 by Simon Hodgson

John Chiara, “20th at San Bruno,” 2002

For Bay Area native John Chiara (MFA 2004), who is preparing to create a series of photographs in and of New York, swapping the Bay Area for the Big Apple presents a few challenges.

The issue is not at all about tackling New York's art scene; having had 2013 shows at Pier 24 Photography and the de Young in San Francisco, as well as at galleries in Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Zurich, it's clear that he is already coming into focus for an increasing audience worldwide.

Rather, New York will be a challenge in terms of the subject matter it offers up, given that until now Northern California has been such a looming presence in Chiara's work. The Bay Area infuses the photography of this San Francisco-born artist like the terroir of a vintage bottle of Saint-Emilion.

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Posted on Monday, December 2, 2013 by Allison Byers

Following graduation, she stepped through the looking glass to enroll at California College of the Arts, where she received her master's degree in curatorial practice.

Once again, she couldn't wait to experience the art world in real time. She opened her second gallery in Dogpatch while writing her thesis on collecting.

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Posted on Monday, December 2, 2013 by Allison Byers

Silverman launched her original Dogpatch gallery five years ago while simultaneously earning her master’s in the curatorial program at California College of the Arts. “I was totally nuts,” she admits, “but I’ve always been a risk taker. That’s why I work with unknown artists.” Her eye for overlooked talent has earned her a reputation as one to watch at international art shows—a rarity for a Bay Area–based dealer.

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Posted on Tuesday, November 26, 2013 by Allison Byers

Clothes manufacturing and design is entering a phase similar to what food experienced in the 1970s. Spurred by the naturally available flora of Northern California, and led by the idiosyncratic political enthusiasms of the people who live there, there's a slow movement toward wearing and manufacturing sustainable clothes and linens. Duerr has taught a class at the California College of the Arts on how to color clothing without using industrial materials. Her nonprofit Permacouture Institute hopes to spread that gospel to public schools as well.

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Posted on Tuesday, November 26, 2013 by Allison Byers

Over the weekend of November 16-17, 2013, 24 CCA undergraduates participated in Wheel Well, a “design sprint” for bicycle safety in Silicon Valley.

Organized by Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition’s Roadway Safety Solutions Team, CCA’s Center for Art and Public Life, and CCA’s Design division, the event challenged students to rapidly conceive an intervention that would: 1) improve the relationship between motorists and cyclists in Silicon Valley; and 2) encourage behavior change to ensure the safety of everyone on the road.

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Posted on Thursday, November 21, 2013 by Jim Norrena

(l-r) Film chair Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman

On Tuesday, November 26, 2013, the United Nations hosted a screening of Film chair Rob Epstein's and Jeffrey Friedman’s short film, The Battle of amfAR (Telling Pictures), which premiered at Sundance Film Festival. The film details the story of two very charismatic and powerful women who joined forces to create America’s first AIDS research foundation: Dr. Mathilde Krim and film legend Elizabeth Taylor.

The screening followed a discussion with Dr. Krim, and executive producer Kenneth Cole. The event was cohosted by the United Nations Creative Community Outreach Initiative, UNAIDS, and amfAR (American Foundation for AIDS Research).

Attendees of the event included heads of international AIDS organizations as well as members of various advocacy groups.

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Posted on Monday, November 18, 2013 by Allison Byers

Maybe the zombie paintings can also make a sort of meta-statement about art itself. “In grad school at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, where I’m based now, my professors and I often debated whether painting could be considered a “zombie” medium," Pfau says, "with some art critics declaring it dead, while others saying that it has been brought back to life.”

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Posted on Friday, November 15, 2013 by Rachel Walther

Wenxin Zhang, "Self portrait by the lake," 2012

Wenxin Zhang (MFA 2013) is always redefining her reality. In her writings and photography, she describes her experiences&mdash growing up in China, her current life in San Francisco, and her personal relationships—in a voice that is melancholy and surreal. Images of fall leaves in an industrial landscape are juxtaposed with a young boy’s glassy stare. A description of nocturnal wanderings illuminates the artist’s haunted sense of displacement wherever she goes.

Zhang has exhibited her work throughout the United States. Here she discusses her future projects and reflects on how her time at CCA has shaped her practice.

Since I was little, I was always longing to go to a faraway place—to be a stranger in a foreign country. I was unsatisfied with my hometown of Hefei. It’s a smaller, inland Chinese city. Young souls would leave for a bigger place after high school, and there was nothing new really going on. I felt so trapped by the place.

My father was a journalist for a local radio station. He traveled a lot and often took me with him. In 2004 he gave me a digital camera, and I used it every day. I would take photos and try to interpret my environment, to create a new little world with my camera in order to get away from the mundane. When I was in high school I would take bus trips with my best friend to the boundaries of our hometown—to the suburbs and the countryside. Student bus tickets are very cheap, so we would go the furthest distance we could by bus and take pictures of each other as our own story characters.

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Posted on Thursday, November 14, 2013 by Allison Byers

So don't miss this Thursday's "METAMORPHOSIS," when the talented artist/designers from the California College of the Arts transform the Academy (and possibly you) into something unexpected. Explore a multitude of industrial, interaction, illustration, fashion, furniture and graphic designers from CCA as they showcase an amazing, cutting-edge array of work, highlighting new technologies and innovative ideas that explore the concept of metamorphosis.

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