Alumni News

Posted on Saturday, November 26, 2011 by Molly Mitchell

Joe Kowalczyk (BFA 2009) is a cofounder of FM gallery located on 25th Avenue, in the heart of Oakland's Art Murmur.

Visit the websites of the following CCA Ceramics alumni to view their current work and projects as well as read about their past accomplishments and forthcoming adventures.

Where indicated, an CCA spotlight feature has been provided for you to learn how CCA shaped the artist's vision.

Read more Ceramics alumni featurettes »

Posted on Friday, November 25, 2011 by Jim Norrena

"A Great Day in San Francisco" [photo: Chris Nickel]

"'A Great Day in San Francisco' is a picture of faculty, students, staff, alumni, and families and friends of the LGBT community at California College of the Arts," explains Painting/Drawing chair Kim Anno in reference to her latest project, a tribute to Art Kane's 1958 masterful photograph, "A Great Day in Harlem" (1958), that captured the historic gathering of 57 of the century's most influential jazz musicians on the steps of a Harlem brownstone.

Posted on Wednesday, November 23, 2011 by Simon Hodgson

Lisa Mishima and Yvonne Mouser turn food into art at Sam's Movie Night

From painter to pastry chef, ceramicist to wine cellar owner, innovative CCA alumni are shaping creative niches across the world of food and drink.

Twenty people stand around a long butcher-block table. The lights above cast a pale glow on its surface, illuminating the ingredients piled in its recessed trough -- lemons, lettuce, flour, eggplants, bell peppers -- without lighting the faces of the diners. They are here for Hands On, a food-making experience in which they use their hands rather than utensils to create a three-course meal.

"Cooking is very much a form of art," says Lisa Mishima (Graphic Design 2005), who concocted Hands On together with her boss, Randall Stowell of the creative production company Autofuss, and friend Yvonne Mouser (Furniture 2006). "Both cooking and art involve concepting, crafting, and presenting a piece. But there is something about consuming one's creation that feels even more personal, immediate, and honest."

Initially, the guests are nervous, even clumsy. Flour falls to the floor. Slowly, the experimental chefs grow more confident. There are giggles around the room, then nods of approval as the dishes take shape. The menu features Caesar salad, handmade pasta with pesto sauce, and tiramisu. Some diners shape vegetables into utensils and use those instead of spoons or spatulas. Maybe there will be a meal at the end of this.

Posted on Monday, November 14, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, "Bay Area Now 6" (video still)

Alumnus David Huffman (MFA 1998), who is a recently tenured assistant professor in CCA's undergraduate Painting/Drawing Program and Graduate Program in Fine Arts, is one of three featured artists in the current group exhibition SHIFT: Three Projects Constructing a New Dialogue About Race in America at the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery (through December 10, 2011).

Shifting Demographics, Shifting Races

Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2011 by Allison Byers

During her visit to the Orient, Editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani is selecting young emerging designers. Here’s for you the next generation of Chinese designers.

Visit source »

Posted on Thursday, November 3, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Social Craft builds a home on the campus of Srishti School of Art, Design, and Technology in Bangalore

$10,000: It's a daunting amount of money to a student, especially when the task is to spend it in three months on a single project. But three CCA student IMPACT teams proved up to the challenge in summer 2011.

The IMPACT: Social Entrepreneurship Awards is a new initiative at CCA, run by the Center for Art and Public Life under the direction of Center director Sanjit Sethi and program manager Rebecca Wolfe. It is one of a trio of unique programs managed by the Center that connect students with outside communities to address specific, real-world problems.

The three winning IMPACT teams had competed against numerous other contenders, and they all had what the judges were looking for: They were interdisciplinary, they had strong relationships with their proposed community partners, they were attentive to a relevant social and humanitarian need, and they balanced innovation and pragmatism.

Sanjit Sethi says, "The name of this speaks for itself. At its core the IMPACT program is about innovation, community, collaboration, and making. It celebrates the entrepreneurial drive of CCA students combined with their desire to create a tangible, positive impact within a specific community."

(Note to students: Info sessions for summer 2012 IMPACT are happening in San Francisco on Nov. 8 and 17 at 6 p.m. in the Timken reception area, and in Oakland Nov. 9 at 6 p.m. in front of A2 Cafe.)

The year-one IMPACT teams reported on their completed projects on September 29, 2011, in Timken Lecture Hall on CCA's San Francisco campus.

Posted on Friday, October 28, 2011 by Chris Bliss

(l to r) CCA alumni Daniel Gonzales (Animation 2010); Sage Matthews (Fashion Design 2007); and Kelly Puleio (Photography 2010)

CCA is rated as the #4 Bay Area institution for yielding the highest-paying jobs, according to PayScale, a compensation data company, in its 2011-12 College Salary Report. The annual report ranks undergraduate degrees and schools by postgraduation salary potential. Statewide, CCA ranked 11th and was the top art and design college on the list. (The three Bay Area schools in the report that ranked higher than CCA were Stanford University, Santa Clara University, and University of California, Berkeley.)

Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Jens Hoffmann leads CCA Curator's Forum tour of Istanbul Biennial (Kris Martin's work in foreground) (photo: George Jewett)

The Istanbul Biennial is a key event in the international contemporary art scene -- a highly visible, highly respected exhibition that draws more than 100,000 visitors to the city and exposes them to some of the most engaged and relevant art being made today. In its opening week, the 12th Istanbul Biennial (which remains open through November 13) was attended by almost 4,000 guests, including critics, curators, museum and gallery administrators, and approximately 400 members of the press from 50 different countries. Everything they saw (whether they realized it or not) bore the marks of a CCA affiliate's hand -- specifically two CCA curators, one CCA graphic designer, and one CCA editor. They also saw the work of one faculty member and three alumni; all three alumni had entire galleries devoted to their work.

CCA President Stephen Beal, chair of the Board of Trustees F. Noel Perry, other trustees, and several members of the CCA Curator's Forum (a dedicated group of Wattis Institute supporters) flew to Istanbul for the opening weekend. Stephen Beal remarked, standing at the biennial entrance, "It is very gratifying to see the college so prominently represented here. It is evidence of the major relevance, at the international level, of what we are doing, and the kinds of experiences and access that CCA makes available to its community."

The Curators

It was almost two years ago that Wattis Institute director Jens Hoffmann accepted the invitation to co-curate the 12th Istanbul Biennial. Beginning with that moment, what began as a single thread of connection between the college and the city of Istanbul expanded into a densely packed web involving multiple individuals.

Posted on Monday, October 24, 2011 by Allison Byers

A glimpse into a day at fashion house Oscar de la Renta for art director and CCA alumna Laura Kramer (Graphic Design 2002).

Ten years ago, Laura Kramer (Graphic Design 2002) was sitting at a desk in a classroom at CCA. Today, she barely has time to sit down at her desk . . . in her office at one of the most influential fashion houses in the world, where she collaborates with many of today’s top fashion industry leaders. Kramer is the in-house art director at Oscar de la Renta.

The job encompasses a vast range of responsibilities: directing photo shoots, editing video, producing visuals for fashion shows, and shooting in-house. She also takes part in designing fragrance packaging, trunk show invitations, web assets, and social media platforms. "It's a family-run business," she explains, "so we all wear many hats."

Fashion Week Challenge

Last month was Kramer's first experience with New York Fashion Week. "The process is very hands-on. While photographing the fittings in the showroom with Oscar and the creative team, I recognize how amazing it is to be so closely involved in the process.” She manages the visuals both in preparation for the show and the night it takes place, including organizing the videographers and photographers in the pit to ensure the collection is well captured on the runway. The moment the show is over, she is editing video, uploading photographs to the website, and planning for look books. "At times it's stressful, but you step back and think, 'Wow, this is incredible -- I never thought I would end up here.'"

Posted on Thursday, October 13, 2011 by Simon Hodgson

Jon Sueda and Martin Venezky (photo by Nikki Ritcher)

Today, professors Martin Venezky and Jon Sueda seem like two sides of the same coin. In the Graphic Design courses they co-teach at CCA, they listen to their students before speaking, argue with each other fruitfully and comfortably, then almost always agree on what the student should do next. In addition to their academic work, each has forged a successful professional career. Venezky is one of the most influential designers of his generation. His projects include work for SFMOMA, Reebok, the Sundance Film Festival, and the two-volume, 600-page, award-winning publication for the International Center of Photography's The Mexican Suitcase, documenting recently unearthed Spanish Civil War photographs by Robert Capa and others. Sueda just finished a major international commission, designing the graphic identity for the 12th Istanbul Biennial. He is also curating an exhibition at the International Biennial of Graphic Design in the Czech Republic in 2012. While the rapport and respect between these two designers is solid and obvious today, it's not a relationship that developed overnight. This is the story of a mentorship spanning two continents, four states, and 15 years.

Back in 1996, the 25-year-old Sueda enrolled in CCA's undergraduate Graphic Design Program. A tennis-playing Hawaiian with a BFA from UC Davis and a background in painting and printmaking, he signed up for a class with Venezky. "Jon was extraordinarily shy and basically terrified," says Venezky. "He was also really, really good. He hated the critiques, but when I made suggestions, he followed through and went much further, and I was really impressed with that. His development was amazing to watch." Says Sueda, "I didn't know what graphic design was, and I wasn't sure what I was getting into. At UC Davis, we never really had critiques. So I wasn't prepared, and I found it hard. I didn't even know I needed a computer. I went through the first semester doing everything at Kinko's."

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