CCA News

Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2006 by Brenda Tucker

Work by alumni of Sputnik, the college's award-winning student design team, is on view in Sputnik X, a group show celebrating the 10th anniversary of the program. The exhibition is on view February 13–18 at the CCA San Francisco campus. A reception takes place February 17 from 7 to 9 p.m. The designers will discuss their work at a symposium in Timken Lecture Hall on February 18 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The exhibition and symposium are free and open to the public.

Designers in the exhibition include Ayako Akazawa of Chronicle Books, Bryan Burkhart of modernhouse, G. Dan Covert of MTV, Lindsay Daniels of Digital Kitchen, Alex DeArmond of McGinty, Eric Heiman of Volume, Stella Lai of Tree-Axis, Nadine Stellavato-Brown of Chemistry Design, Jon Sueda of Stripe Design, and Natalia Tjandra of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

The Sputnik program was established in 1995 to create the college's print materials. Today, under the direction of staff and faculty advisors, CCA graphic design students produce 70 to 80 print and web projects for the college each year. In 2004, the e-Sputnik class designed this website.

The Sputnik X group show and symposium are sponsored by the Graphic Design Program.

Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2006 by Brenda Tucker

The CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts presents "Utopia, Utopia = One World, One War, One Army, One Dress," an exhibition of new work by Swiss-born, Paris-based artist Thomas Hirschhorn. This multilayered project explores the current world situation, permeated by military conflicts and violence, through the metaphor of camouflage, which has been adapted from battlefield uniform to street fashion statement. Coorganized with the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), Boston, "Utopia, Utopia" is a dynamic environment comprising sculptural works, wall graphics, film and video footage, vitrines and maquettes. The exhibition is on view March 10–May 13, 2006, in the CCA Wattis Institute's Logan Galleries on the San Francisco campus of California College of the Arts. The exhibition is free and open to the public. (The ICA presentation of the exhibition was on view September 21, 2005–January 16, 2006.)

The conceptual leaping-off point for "Utopia, Utopia" is the prevalence of camouflage in contemporary culture and politics—as a style of dress on the streets of SoHo and as an emblem of battle in the current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. On the level of fashion, camouflage signifies toughness—an affectation that draws attention to the self. In contrast, soldiers wear camouflage to disappear, to better function within the group or army by removing themselves from view. Hirschhorn sees this as an allegory for the dystopia of current events, asking what it means when a costume of war becomes a look or a style. The artist takes this fashion trend to the extreme, creating a utopian world of equality whereby military camouflage becomes the clothing of everybody on earth.

"Hirschhorn's work, like the best of philosophy, helps us to grapple with and more deeply understand the world we live in," says Ralph Rugoff, director of the CCA Wattis Institute. "Challenging yet also accessible, 'Utopia, Utopia' engages the dark side of our society while reaffirming art's power to illuminate the condition of contemporary culture."

Hirschhorn is known for energetic installations that reference philosophy, politics and pop culture. His multifaceted constructions often combine ephemeral materials, such as aluminum foil, cardboard, plastic, plywood or pages torn from magazines, with a wide array of cultural references and theoretical texts. For "Utopia, Utopia," Hirschhorn exaggerates traditional display elements from museums, combining abundant signage, illustrations, interpretive material, mannequins, vitrines and artworks.

"With its sprawling presentation and charged political content, 'Utopia, Utopia' seeks to engage visitors on many levels, literally and figuratively surrounding them with ideas," says Nicholas Baume, ICA chief curator. "Its dramatic presentation and aggressive design represent a collision of aesthetics and politics."

Philosopher Marcus Steinweg provides the major textual component of the installation design. A publication designed in collaboration with the artist documents the exhibition and includes writings by Hirschhorn and art historian Pamela M. Lee about camouflage, subjectivity and war. The publication is free to visitors.

Thomas Hirschhorn was born in 1957 in Bern, Switzerland, and lives and works in Aubervilliers, France. After studying graphic design at the Schule für Gestaltung in Zurich, Hirschhorn moved to France and joined Grapus, a Parisian collective of communist graphic designers. Since abandoning design for visual art in the mid-1980s, he has exhibited internationally, with major works included in the 1st Biennial of Johannesburg (1995), the Venice Biennale (1999) and Documenta XI (2002).

About the Wattis

Established in 1998, the CCA Wattis Institute serves as a forum for the presentation and discussion of leading-edge local, national and international contemporary culture. Through exhibitions, the Capp Street Project residency program, lectures, symposia, performances and publications in the fields of art, architecture and design, the CCA Wattis Institute fosters interaction among the students and faculty of California College of the Arts; art, architecture and design professionals; and the general public.

Generous lead sponsorship for "UTOPIA, UTOPIA = ONE WORLD, ONE WAR, ONE ARMY, ONE DRESS" is provided by Raoul Kennedy, Chara Schreyer and Gordon Freund and Susan Swig Watkins. Major support has been provided by étant donnés: The French-American Fund for Contemporary Art.

Founding support for CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts programs has been provided by Phyllis C. Wattis and Judy and Bill Timken. Generous support provided by the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund, Ann Hatch and Paul Discoe and the CCA Curator's Forum.

Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2006 by Brenda Tucker

Ralph Rugoff

Ralph Rugoff, director of the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, has accepted the position of director of the Hayward Gallery at the South Bank Centre in London, England. The Hayward Gallery is one of London's most important venues for the exhibition of contemporary art. Rugoff, who has been director of the CCA Wattis Institute since 2000, will leave California College of the Arts after the spring 2006 semester.

Rugoff commented, "I arrived here from London (with my British wife and our son) over five and a half years ago. It has been without doubt the richest five years of my life. My experience at the CCA Wattis Institute has been challenging, stimulating and deeply satisfying. A major part of that satisfaction has come from the warmth and support of colleagues and trustees. It also derives from the dynamic character of the college and its embrace of change and intelligent adventure, including maintaining an exhibition program that has been truly international in its ambitions. In short, I can't imagine a better place to have worked, and it is only a rare opportunity that is drawing me back to London: namely, the chance to help reshape an institution, the Hayward Gallery, that for almost 40 years has been one of the leading venues in that city for presenting contemporary art."

Rugoff added, "The past year has seen some major accomplishments for the college and CCA Wattis Institute. I look forward to seeing the Wattis continue to develop its potential, and I plan to be part of its future, contributing to next year's exhibition schedule with a group show tentatively titled 'Amateurs.' With its MA Program in Curatorial Practice and celebrated curators on the faculty, CCA is developing as a hub of curatorial thinking. I hope that a new relationship with the Hayward Gallery will add to this rich mix."

Michael S. Roth, president of California College of the Arts, commented, "For more than five years, Ralph Rugoff has done an exemplary job of leading the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts. He has made a profound impact on the contemporary art world in San Francisco, across the country and internationally. Ralph will be sorely missed, but we congratulate the Hayward Gallery in bringing a most creative mind to their great institution. We look forward to working with Ralph next year on his exhibition 'Amateurs' and to collaborations with the Hayward in the future."

About Ralph Rugoff

Ralph Rugoff has been director of the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts since 2000. His curatorial experience at the Wattis includes "Monuments for the USA," "Capp Street Project: 20th Anniversary Exhibition," "Baja to Vancouver: The West Coast and Contemporary Art" (with Daina Augaitis, Lisa Corrin, Matthew Higgs and Toby Kamps), and "Sudden Glory: Sight Gags and Slapstick in Contemporary Art." Rugoff was also the founding chair of CCA's Curatorial Practice Program.

In 2005 he won the inaugural Ordway Prize in the category of arts writer and/or curator from the Penny McCall Foundation. One of the most generous international art prizes awarded in the United States, the biennial Ordway Prize recognizes two recipients, a midcareer artist and an arts writer and/or curator, each of whom receives an unrestricted monetary award of $100,000.

Rugoff's principal publications include monographs on George Condo, Mark Wallinger and Anya Gallacio. He is the author of "Circus Americanus" (Verso). Rugoff also served as editor and coauthor of "Scene of the Crime" (MIT Press) and "At the Threshold of the Visible" (Independent Curators International). In addition, Rugoff has been a research fellow at Goldsmiths College in London and a Pew Arts Journalism Fellow at Columbia University in New York.

About the Wattis

Established in 1998, the CCA Wattis Institute serves as a forum for the presentation and discussion of leading-edge local, national and international contemporary culture. Through exhibitions, the Capp Street Project residency program, lectures, symposia, performances and publications in the fields of art, architecture and design, the CCA Wattis Institute fosters interaction among the students and faculty of California College of the Arts; art, architecture and design professionals; and the general public.

About the College

Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts (formerly California College of Arts and Crafts) 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 the bachelor of fine arts, bachelor of arts, bachelor of architecture, master of fine arts, master of arts and master of architecture degrees. With campuses in Oakland and San Francisco, CCA currently enrolls 1,600 full-time students.

Posted on Tuesday, January 24, 2006 by Brenda Tucker

Laurene Powell Jobs

Ann Hatch, chair of the Board of Trustees of California College of the Arts (CCA), has announced the appointment of four new trustees: Nancy Howes, Laurene Powell Jobs, F. Noel Perry, and Phil Schlein. Hatch commented, "Our new trustees bring a wealth of experience and a high level of commitment and energy to the college. They are joining us at an important time in the college's history, as we continue to build on CCA's reputation as one of the strongest art and design schools in the country. I'm delighted to welcome them to the CCA community."

Posted on Friday, January 13, 2006 by Brenda Tucker

Work by alumni in ceramics from the past 50 years is on view in The Family of Clay: CCACeramics 1950–2005, a major exhibition at the Oliver Art Center on the Oakland campus. Featured artists include Robert Arneson '56 (1930–92), Viola Frey '56 (1933–2004), and Peter Voulkos '52 (1924–2002), arguably the world's three leading figures in contemporary ceramics. The exhibition is on view from January 17 to February 6, 2006. An opening reception will take place on January 18 from 6 to 9 p.m. The Ceramics Program will also present artists' demonstrations in the ceramics studio on Saturday, January 21.

The Family of Clay surveys work by graduates of both the BFA and MFA programs in ceramics, together with work by faculty and technicians who have made noteworthy contributions to the college, ceramics, and the field of art. The exhibition highlights the significant influence that CCA artists have had on the medium of clay. Approximately 90 works of both two- and three-dimensional art will be on view.

While many alumni continued with clay as their preferred medium, others moved toward work in other media—including painting, glass, video, wood, installation, and film—whose development and success were informed by their earlier study of ceramics. The work, provided by the artists or on loan from private collections, will include both intimate pieces and masterful accomplishments. Some works are from the college's own collection.

Artists in the exhibition include Robert Arneson, Robert Brady, John de Fazio, Viola Frey, Karen Koblitz, Lawrence LaBianca, Maggie Larsen, Art Nelson, Lana Renfroe, Ruth Rippon, Peter Voulkos, Ann Weber, and many others. Photographs and ephemera documenting the evolution of the program will also be on view.

The Family of Clay: CCACeramics 1950–2005 is sponsored by the Ceramics Program and is organized by a committee headed by Arthur Gonzalez, chair of the Ceramics Program; John Toki, adjunct professor of sculpture; and Nancy M. Servis, senior lecturer in the history of ceramics.

Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2006 by Brenda Tucker

Work by Lynn Marie Kirby

As part of its ongoing MediaScope programming, the Museum of Modern Art in New York will present "An Evening with Lynn Marie Kirby" on January 30 at 8 p.m. The program includes several of her works, including C to C: Several Centuries After the Double Slit Experiment (1995); Study in Choreography for Camera Remote (2001); and pieces from the Latent Light Excavation series (2004–5). Lynn Marie Kirby is a professor at CCA and teaches in the Media Arts, MFA in Fine Arts, and First Year programs.

Kirby has created a body of work that includes film, video, performance, installation, and sound art. A past Guggenheim Fellow, she has shown regionally at SFMOMA, the Pacific Film Archive, and the Cinematheque, as well as nationally at the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum in New York and L.A.C.E. in Los Angeles. She has also exhibited internationally at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, as well as different art venues in Berlin, Istanbul, London, and Sarajevo. In 2002, the Film Arts Foundation and the San Francisco Cinematheque presented Discreet and Continuous Boundary Crossings: The Multi Media Art of Lynn Marie Kirby, a mid-career retrospective.

Kirby inventively draws upon vernacular imagery from domestic life and the American landscape, transforming the material in the process. She also explores the unique properties of the mechanical and the digital. Her work bridges the cinema and conceptual art worlds by putting tools to unanticipated uses, whether editing by remote control, reframing production gear as subject, or turning the editing console into an instrument for live performance. Kirby's multimedia practice establishes the "frame" as a delimited space of improvisation and openness-for artist and viewer alike-in works of astonishing beauty and vibrancy.

Dedicated to experimentation with cinematic form and content, MOMA's MediaScope program presents emerging and recognized artists who discuss their work with the audience. The program explores filmmaking and videomaking, as well as web-based installation and digital art practices.

Posted on Monday, January 9, 2006 by Jim Norrena


Main Building, 1111 Eighth Street

Design Awards

  • 2002 Honor Award, AIA San Francisco
  • 2001 National AIA Top Ten Green Projects
  • 2001 First Award, Architecture + Energy Awards
  • 2000 Design Award, California Preservation Foundation
  • 2000 Honor Award, AIA California Council
  • 2000 PG&E Savings By Design Energy Efficiency Integration Award
  • 2000/01 Award of Merit, Institutional Category, AIA San Francisco Best of the Bay Interior Architecture Awards (Jewett Studios)

Posted on Tuesday, January 3, 2006 by Brenda Tucker

Lawrence Rinder

Lawrence Rinder, dean of Graduate Studies at CCA, has won an award from the U.S. chapter of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA/USA). The annual awards are given in recognition of excellence in gallery and museum shows across the country. Rinder was curator of "Tim Hawkinson," a mid-career retrospective that was exhibited last year at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The exhibition was awarded first place in the category "Best Monographic Museum Show in New York City." Rinder will accept the award at a ceremony on February 2 at the Jewish Museum in New York.

Each year, AICA/USA invites its more than 400 members to nominate and vote for the outstanding exhibitions of the previous season. AICA/USA, the nation's largest art critics organization, is the only group to formally recognize excellence in this cultural arena. The annual AICA Awards are the art-world equivalent to those given by the New York Film Critics Circle or the Drama Desk.

For the 2004–5 awards, there are 20 winners in 13 categories, including best museum, gallery, and alternative-space exhibitions in New York and nationally; best show in a public space; and best exhibit of art using the internet.

For a complete list of winners, visit