Alumni News

Posted on Saturday, May 5, 2012 by Christina Linden

Maja Ruznic made up for her performance in "The Cries of San Francisco," 2011 (photo by Aimee Friberg)

Maja Ruznic's painting Self Portrait as Mother of All Evil was recently featured on the cover of New American Paintings. That, plus the sudden flurry of activity that has followed (including a hefty feature on ABC news and commissions from around the world, have been extraordinary and gratifying, and the biggest break thus far since her graduation in 2009 from CCA's Graduate Program in Fine Arts.

Posted on Monday, April 30, 2012 by Bob Aufuldish

Liz Tran, Bob Aufuldish, Nathanael Cho, and Deborah Lao

Sputnik is CCA's in-house, award-winning undergraduate design studio. Sputnik is a unique model that simulates (and in many ways certainly is) a typical professional client/agency relationship, where the client is a CCA staff member with a project, and the agency is Sputnik. Graphic Design faculty member Bob Aufuldish has been the faculty advisor for Sputnik since its inception in 1995.

Aufuldish has taught at CCA since 1991. In 1990 he cofounded the graphic design studio Aufuldish & Warinner. He has designed diverse projects for such clients as Adobe, Advent Software, the American Institute of Architects, the Center for Creative Photography, the Denver Art Museum, Emigre, the de Young Museum in San Francisco, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. In 1995 he launched the digital type foundry fontBoy to manufacture and distribute his fonts.

Here he talks to Nathanael Cho, Deborah Lao, and Liz Tran, all current Sputnik students, about the Sputnik experience. The interview was part of an exhibition-making advanced studio course led by Jon Sueda, in which the three were enrolled in spring 2012.

How did the idea for CCA's student-staffed, in-house design studio come about?

In 1995, the CCA board committee overseeing publicity was reviewing all the stuff the college was publishing. The chair of that committee was a former advertising agency person, and he said, "This stuff is terrible. We need to do something about this." At the time, the college didn't have the resources to hire people to design everything and manage all the projects that needed to go out.

David Meckel (now CCA's director of research and planning) knew I had gone to a school that had an in-house graphic design studio staffed by students. I told him what that program was like, and we decided to start something like it here. In the beginning, it was myself working with CCA vice president for communications Chris Bliss and two students, Eric Heiman and Nadine Stellavato. We didn't do a lot of work -- just a few projects here and there. This is because people were a bit skeptical about a group of students being able to pull off important projects. My attitude always was: All you need to do is point students in the right direction, and they'll do great work. I was right!

Posted on Monday, April 30, 2012 by Allison Byers

If you want to make a major impact on solving the country’s health care crisis . . . you go to design school, right? OK, so it may not be the obvious choice (yet!), but for Adam Dole (MBA in Design Strategy 2010) it was the best choice. He now has his dream job as a business planning manager for the Mayo Clinic. He is based in Silicon Valley and serves as a member of a “new ventures” team, focusing on identifying and incubating future Mayo Clinic commercial products, services, and businesses.

Back in 2008, when Dole realized that an MBA was what he needed to take his career to the next level, he knew from extensive professional experience that something was missing from almost all of the programs he was researching. Determined not to go the traditional business-school route, he saw clearly how the hybrid curriculum of CCA’s MBA in Design Strategy program would be perfect for his purposes.

Ready for Anything

Dole leverages his CCA MBA training on a daily basis. He hit the ground running at the Mayo Clinic by being able to effectively identify and evaluate new opportunities using a hybrid approach: Creative thinking defines what is possible, and analytical thinking determines what is required to bring new ideas to fruition. “Our health care system is on the brink of bankrupting our country,” he says. “We are now raising the first generation of children who are expected to live shorter lives than their parents. We can no longer rely on traditional thinking and existing models to solve these problems. Nor will they be solved by incremental improvements in operational efficiencies. Real solutions will require a systems-thinking approach.”

Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2012 by Chris Koehler

Tony Huynh's winning illustration

Congratulations to recent graduate Tony Huynh and Illustration instructor Owen Smith for their inclusion in Communication Arts Illustration Annual 53!

See also Owen Smith's website.

Posted on Wednesday, April 25, 2012 by Allison Byers

We asked the top art curators in the state to help us pick the 10 California artists who are on the rise. On the panel were Franklin Sirmans (Chief Curator of Contemporary Art, LACMA), Jens Hoffmann (Director, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts), Rebecca Morse (Associate Curator, MOCA, LA), Jill Dawsey (Associate Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego), Eli Ridgway (Owner of Eli Ridgway Gallery in SF), and Craig Nelson (Director of Fine Art Painting, Academy of Art University). Now, find out who made the cut.

Posted on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 by Allison Byers

CCA alum (BFA Graphic Design,2010) Niko Skourtis has been awarded the 2012 Catalyst Award by the Society of Typographic Aficionados (SOTA) for his thesis project, Typograph.

Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Little Paper Planes: 20 Artists Reinvent the Childhood Classic
Chronicle Books, 2012
Paperback, 84 pages, $19.95

Kelly Lynn Jones (MFA 2010, Painting/Drawing 2002), owner of the online artist store Little Paper Planes (which carries work by many CCA artists!), has created this awesome celebration of a timeless pastime. The book offers constructible paper airplanes and a few other airplane-inspired crafts, taking the paper plane to a whole new level, from paper-doll planes and shark planes to plane mobiles and mix-and-match gliders. Featuring work by rising stars and indie darlings as Gemma Correll, Michael Hsiung, Julia Rothman, Alyson Fox, and Lisa Congdon. Printed on perforated pages for easy removal and assembly, the planes are accompanied by instructions, artist interviews, and loads of visuals.

Posted on Wednesday, April 18, 2012 by Allison Byers

Christina Empedocles was born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, earning her BA in Studio Art and Geology from Oberlin College and later her MFA in painting from California College of the Arts. Discovering her love of nature on early morning bird watching trips during elementary school, Empedocles channels that same sense of wonder into her wax pencil drawings of lustrous birds in flight.

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Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 by Jim Norrena

A documentary short by Yoni Klein and Alka Joshi

Blink once for finalist, twice for student Academy Award.

In almost as little time as it takes to blink, Yoni Klein's (2012 Photography) and alumna Alka Joshi's (MFA 2011 Writing) documentary short, Blink, made the film festival rounds in 2011, screening at almost a dozen film festivals across the United States as well as in London at GFEST, the Gaywise Festival! Now the film has just been announced as a regional finalist in the 39th annual Student Academy Awards competition of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Academy) and the Academy Foundation!

Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 by Allison Byers

What makes Matt Dick tick? He is a designer other designers admire yet he's escaped any tinge of the diva and is routinely described as "sweet."

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