California College of the Arts (CCA) will confer honorary doctorate degrees on artists Julia Florence Parker and Richard Tuttle at the 99th Commencement Exercises, to be held on Saturday, May 13, at 2 p.m. at the Masonic Auditorium in San Francisco. Tuttle will deliver the commencement address. In addition to attending the commencement ceremonies, Parker and Tuttle will be honored at a reception at the Oliver Art Center on the Oakland campus the night before and will participate in the post-commencement reception on the college's San Francisco campus.
Julia Florence Parker is one of the country's preeminent Native American basketmakers—a prolific artist, as well as a teacher, storyteller and cultural treasure. Throughout more than 40 years of study, practice and experimentation, she has emerged as an expert in California Native basketry, including the traditions of her own Coast Miwok and Kashaya Pomo people and her husband's people, the Sierra Miwok and Mono Lake Paiute. Grounded in traditional knowledge and age-old custom, she is nonetheless innovative in approach. Parker is known for her "intertribal" style of weaving, in which she synthesizes design elements and techniques of diverse groups in original and complex structures.
Her work is in the permanent collections of the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; the Yosemite Museum, Yosemite National Park; the Norwegian Ski Association headquarters, Oslo, Norway; the private collection of Queen Elizabeth II of England; and numerous other private collections. In 2004 Parker's work was the subject of a major retrospective exhibition, "The Past in Present Tense: Four Decades of Julia Parker Baskets," at the Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek, Calif., which was curated by CCA Textiles Program Chair Deborah Valoma. Parker has worked as an Indian cultural specialist at the Yosemite Museum since 1960, demonstrating basketry, telling Native stories and acting as a cultural interpreter. She also travels nationally, consulting, teaching and lecturing.
One of the foremost artists of our time, Richard Tuttle is often described as a maverick. Beginning in the mid-1960s, Tuttle's work formed an essential part of the groundbreaking developments that reconceived Minimalism. Purposefully blurring the boundaries among painting, sculpture and drawing, he creates small, eccentrically playful objects in humble materials such as paper, string, cloth, wire, twigs, cardboard, bubble wrap, nails, Styrofoam and plywood. Although most of Tuttle's prolific artistic output has taken the form of three-dimensional objects, he commonly refers to his work as drawing rather than sculpture, emphasizing the small scale and idea-based nature of his practice.
Tuttle had his first solo exhibition at Betty Parsons Gallery in New York in 1965 and was introduced to the greater public in a 1975 exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art. A major retrospective of his work, organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, was on view there in 2005 and is currently on a national tour, with stops at the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Des Moines Art Center; the Dallas Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Tuttle's works are in renowned private collections and museums, including the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris; and the Whitney Museum of American Art. He has received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and the Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture.
About California College of the Arts
Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts is the largest regionally accredited, independent school of art and design in the western United States. Noted for the interdisciplinary nature and breadth of its programs, CCA offers studies in 19 undergraduate and 6 graduate majors in the areas of fine arts, architecture, design and writing. The college offers bachelor of architecture, bachelor of arts, bachelor of fine arts, master of architecture, master of arts and master of fine arts degrees. With campuses in Oakland and San Francisco, CCA currently enrolls 1,600 full-time students. Noted alumni include painters Nathan Oliveira and Raymond Saunders; ceramicists Robert Arneson, Viola Frey and Peter Voulkos; filmmaker Wayne Wang; conceptual artists David Ireland and Dennis Oppenheim; and designers Lucille Tenazas and Michael Vanderbyl.
The college will confer degrees on over 450 students at the 2006 Commencement Exercises. For more information about CCA's honorary doctorate degrees or about the college's 99th Commencement Exercises, please call (510) 594-3666.