CCA News

Posted on Tuesday, July 31, 2007 by Hannah Eldredge

Detail from Kali Lewis's design for the office of See Advertising

The Angelo Donghia Foundation of New York has announced that Kali Lewis, a senior Interior Design student at CCA, is one of only 11 students nationwide selected to receive the prestigious Donghia Foundation Interior Design Scholarship.

The scholarship will cover senior-year tuition, board, and maintenance as well as books and other materials.

Lewis was nominated by CCA faculty and was required to submit both a residential and a nonresidential project that she had already completed. About her designs and her style Lewis observes, "Mobility and manipulation of space and objects are always things I end up playing with. A person's activities and mood shift daily, and design should be able to complement and adapt to those needs."

The Donghia Foundation, established by the internationally recognized interior designer Angelo Donghia, provides support for the advancement of education in the interior design field. Its senior scholarship program awards prizes to exceptional seniors in accredited, undergraduate interior design programs. A jury of professionals in the field, educators, and magazine editors selects the winner of each merit-based scholarship.

For more information about CCA's Interior Design programs, see Interior Design.

Posted on Friday, July 20, 2007 by Brenda Tucker

The CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts presents Passengers, a permanent exhibition opening September 5, 2007, that will feature a series of emerging international contemporary artists who have never before had a solo presentation in a public arts institution in the United States.

Located in the Wattis Institute's upper gallery, the exhibition will be divided into two separate spaces: One will feature a group show of 12 artists, and the other will house a solo show by one of these 12 artists.

Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2007 by Brenda Tucker

Pamela D. Jennings

Pamela D. Jennings has been appointed to the newly created position of vice president for student affairs at California College of the Arts (CCA). She will oversee the activities of the Student Affairs division, which encompasses career services, residential life, judicial affairs, counseling, learning resources, advising, disability resources, international student affairs, student activities, student government, student exhibitions, food service, and transportation.

Provost Stephen Beal commented on the appointment: "Recognizing the growth of our student body in the last few years and with the goal of creating the best possible student experience, the college created this new cabinet-level position to provide vision and strategic leadership in the Student Affairs division. We are very fortunate to have Pamela in this pivotal role. Her proven leadership and extensive experience working with students in a variety of capacities will be a tremendous asset to the college."

"I am delighted to join the CCA community," stated Jennings. "My career has been dedicated to empowering and preparing students. CCA is a wonderfully creative and stimulating learning environment. I look forward to working with students, faculty, staff, and alumni to ensure a comprehensive community of support to meet the needs of our students."

Jennings comes to CCA from the University of California at Berkeley, where she has been director of admissions, student affairs, and alumni affairs for the Graduate School of Journalism since 2005. Prior to this she was the director of outreach, retention, and diversity affairs for UC Berkeley's graduate division, a position she held for 10 years. She has an MFA in film and television from the University of California at Los Angeles and a BA in mass communications from UC Berkeley. Her teaching experience includes lecturer positions at Saint Mary's College of California and UC Berkeley.

Posted on Monday, July 16, 2007 by Brenda Tucker

Susan Cummins is director of the Rotasa Foundation, which supports exhibitions and publications of the work of contemporary jewelry artists. She owned the Susan Cummins Gallery in Marin County for 18 years, and in 1997 she helped found Art Jewelry Forum, a national nonprofit organization. She was on the board of the Headlands Center for the Arts from 1996 until 2000 and served as chair in 1998 and 1999. She is still deeply involved in arts advocacy and arts education, serving on the board of the Grabhorn Institute and the American Craft Council; at the latter she helped organize a recent conference entitled "Shaping the Future of Craft."

Raoul D. Kennedy is a partner in the San Francisco office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, and Flom, LLP. A renowned civil litigator with more than 37 years of experience at both the trial and appellate levels, he is also an author, teacher, and active lecturer. A debate champion in college and a graduate of UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall, Kennedy is a past president of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers and a member of all four by-invitation-only trial lawyer organizations, including the American College of Trial Lawyers. In 2005 he was named Trial Lawyer of the Year by the State Bar of California. He is an art collector and an ardent Giants fan, and he serves on the board at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Kay Kimpton Walker earned her degree from Vassar College and owned K Kimpton Contemporary Art gallery (formerly Ivory/Kimpton) in San Francisco from 1980 to 2006. An active member of the San Francisco Art Dealers Association, Walker served as president of that organization in 1990 and 1991. Since closing her gallery in 2006 she has focused her efforts on CCA's exhibition and writing programs as well as issues of mental health. She currently serves on the board of Friends of Langley Porter and on the National Council of McLean Hospital.

Carlie Wilmans is executive director of the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, which for decades has provided generous support to Bay Area arts organizations, including the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts. Wilmans studied art history at Sonoma State University and the University of Texas at Austin. She is very active in local philanthropic and cultural organizations, including the San Francisco Ballet Auxiliary, and she is a trustee at both the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the American Conservatory Theater.

Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2007 by Kim Lessard

In June of last year, while Bay Area grade-school students were just settling into the bliss of summer vacation, more than one hundred of their teachers were in classrooms at California College of the Arts. For three days—unusually balmy ones for San Francisco—they listened carefully to instructions; shared paste, colored pencils, and construction paper; and worked thoughtfully together to complete assignments.

In one of their many workshops, the teachers were asked to consider circles—the numerous ways they exist in nature, for instance, and how humans have used them for centuries to solve problems. From seats on the floor, they offered up examples round-robin style. Once they had exhausted simple ones such as the wheel, doughnut, and compact disc, they had to delve deeper and think harder about the world around them. The red blood cell, ball bearing, and Hubble telescope lens kept the last few players in the game. Afterward, the group created artworks based on circles.

In another workshop, the teachers looked at slides of propaganda art. They compared Nazi recruitment posters with United States army posters from World War II to understand how composition, color, and other visual components made their respective messages effective. Then they took on the challenge of communicating messages to one another—at first using only words, then only images.

These activities were all part of the VALUES Project Summer Teaching Institute, organized by CCA's Center for Art and Public Life. Its purpose was to help teachers better understand how to teach art as a subject and how to successfully integrate it into general subject courses.

In fall 2007, due to a growing need for this kind of specialized instruction, CCA will begin offering an expanded version of the program, the Art in Education Teaching Institute. A comprehensive, year-round development program, the AIE Teaching Institute will be open to K–12 generalist teachers as well as teaching artists. It will feature classes that accommodate a variety of schedules as well as an Arts Learning Specialist Certification option for Alameda County teachers and teaching artists.

Those outside the art and education communities might not perceive the difference between teaching artist and art teacher. But there is a difference. Art teachers, like their colleagues in more traditional subjects, receive training through a teacher credentialing program. Teaching artists, however, are professionally trained artists who receive full or partial funding from third-party organizations to teach art in K–12 schools. They often present a solution for schools in which budget constraints, as well as administrative pressure to prioritize resources for traditional subjects, have resulted in a lack of adequate art programming.

According to Ann Wettrich, associate director of arts education for the Center for Art and Public Life, teaching artists are playing an even more crucial role today. Although there are schools who have managed to keep full-time art teacher positions in their budgets, there is currently a shortage of credentialed art teachers nationwide, so teaching artists are able to fill this gap as well. And now, with the recent decision by the California governor and state legislature to allocate $105 million in new annual funding to restore arts education to California's public schools, there is going to be even more demand for qualified individuals.

"The Art in Education Teaching Institute will give teaching artists the insight, understanding, and skills they need to collaborate successfully with schools, providing engaging art and art-integrated lessons that promote learning across all areas of the curriculum," says Wettrich.

For teachers of traditional subjects, the program will help them develop a deeper understanding of the kind of learning that takes place in the context of art education. Integrating these processes into math or science coursework, for instance, can help students (especially in schools without other kinds of art programming) develop skill sets that they might not otherwise. It can also affect how students learn traditional subjects. Consider, for instance, the exercise on circles as part of an introduction to high-school geometry. For some students, learning to connect math to the world at large in such a conceptual and tactile way is exactly what is needed to awaken their interest in the subject.

Jennifer Stuart, program manager for arts education at the Center for Art and Public Life, says, "The Art in Education Teaching Institute will give teaching artists and K–12 educators the tools they need to deliver an outstanding curriculum, but the overall goal is to foster an understanding of how ideas originating in contemporary art and progressive education can be used to create dynamic and effective learning experiences for all students."

The Art in Education Teaching Institute was developed by the Center for Art and Public Life in collaboration with the Alameda County Office of Education. For more information about the courses or to register for classes, see AIE Teaching Institute.

Posted on Friday, June 15, 2007 by Brenda Tucker

The CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts presents Tino Sehgal, Sehgal's first solo exhibition in the United States. Organized by Wattis Institute director Jens Hoffmann, the presentation will be on view indefinitely starting September 5, 2007, in the Logan Galleries on the San Francisco campus of California College of the Arts.

Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2007 by Kim Lessard

Two students of the MFA Program in Writing—Adam Nemett, who just finished his first year, and alumna Kate Colby (2003)—have received prestigious recognition by the literary community.

Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2007 by Brenda Tucker

Ila Berman

Stephen Beal, provost at California College of the Arts (CCA), has announced the appointment of Ila Berman as chair of the undergraduate and graduate architecture programs. She will begin in January 2008.

Beal commented, "Ila brings a wealth of experience and a high level of energy to the college—she is a dedicated educator, an accomplished practitioner, and a noted scholar. Interest in architecture at CCA has increased significantly in the last few years, particularly with the addition of our Master of Architecture Program in 2004. We look forward to the leadership she will contribute to our very dynamic programs."

Berman comes to CCA from Tulane University, where she has been associate dean of the School of Architecture since 2004. She is also the director of the graduate program, the Harvey-Wadsworth Professor of Urbanism, a women's studies faculty associate, and a member of the executive advisory board of the Newcomb College Institute, an academic center dedicated to enhancing women's education at Tulane. Before her association with Tulane, which began in 1994, she held teaching positions at Harvard University, the Cooper Union, and the Illinois Institute of Technology.

URBANbuild, a Tulane program that Berman initiated and now directs, provides urban design and sustainable housing solutions to rehabilitate and revitalize hurricane-damaged areas of New Orleans. Its work has been exhibited in many venues, including the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans and the Italian pavilion at the 2006 Venice Biennale. The project is funded by a significant grant from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and will culminate in a publication in 2008.

In addition to her academic career, Berman is principal and design director of the interdisciplinary architectural research and design firm studioMATRIXX. The firm operates at multiple scales, from fabrication, furniture, and installation to large-scale urban landscapes. Current projects include New Orleans: Urban Mappings for a Future City, which was exhibited in the American pavilion at the 2006 Venice Biennale and is now part of a world tour sponsored by the State Department.

Berman holds a doctorate in design and a master of design studies degree in architecture from Harvard University and a bachelor of architecture degree from Carleton University.

CCA's architecture programs currently have an enrollment of 233 students. The undergraduate Architecture Program, established in 1986, is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) and offers a five-year bachelor of architecture degree. The Master of Architecture Program was launched in 2004 and will be reviewed by NAAB for initial accreditation in spring 2008.

Posted on Tuesday, May 8, 2007 by Chris Bliss

Trinh T. Minh-ha

California College of the Arts (CCA) will confer honorary doctorate degrees on the artists Robert Bechtle and Trinh T. Minh-ha at the centennial commencement exercises to be held Saturday, May 12, at 2 p.m. at the Masonic Auditorium in San Francisco. CCA President Michael S. Roth will deliver the commencement address. In addition to attending the commencement ceremonies, Bechtle and Minh-ha will be honored at a reception at the Oliver Art Center on CCA's Oakland campus the previous evening, and they will participate in the post-commencement reception on the college's San Francisco campus.

Robert Bechtle was born in 1932 in San Francisco and grew up across the bay in Alameda. He studied graphic design and painting at CCA (then called California College of Arts and Crafts), earning a bachelor's degree in 1954 and an MFA in 1958. He began painting seriously in the early 1960s and found his own voice through a tightly controlled, photorealistic mode that was distinct from the expressionistic paint handling of Bay Area Figurative art—then the dominant style among his local peers and predecessors, including Richard Diebenkorn, one of his teachers at CCA.

Bechtle's work has been exhibited since the late 1950s and has been included in important surveys of American art in the United States and abroad. His solo exhibitions have included an early career retrospective in 1973 at the Crocker Museum in Sacramento and a critically acclaimed 2005 retrospective at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, which traveled to the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.

His paintings and drawings reside in numerous private and public collections, including those of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Guggenheim Museum, New York; the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Bechtle's many awards and honors include grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Guggenheim fellowship, and a 1995 induction into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2006 he was invited to join the board of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art as the institution's first artist trustee.

Trinh T. Minh-ha was born in Vietnam and is a filmmaker, writer, and music composer. She has made seven films, which have been included in festivals throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia: Night Passage (2004), The Fourth Dimension (2001), A Tale of Love (1995), Shoot for the Contents (1991), Surname Viet Given Name Nam (1989), Naked Spaces—Living Is Round (1985), and Reassemblage (1982).

She has created three large-scale multimedia installations: L'autre marche (The Other Walk, 2006, Musée du Quai Branly, Paris); The Desert Is Watching (2003, in collaboration with Jean-Paul Bourdier, Kyoto Biennale, Japan); and Nothing But Ways (1999, in collaboration with CCA faculty member Lynn Marie Kirby, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco). She is also the author of nine books.

Minh-ha has received numerous awards, including the Trailblazers Award at MIPDOC, Cannes, and the American Film Institute's National Independent Filmmaker Maya Deren Award. Shoot for the Contents won the award for best cinematography at the 1992 Sundance Film Festival and the award for best feature documentary at the Athens International Film Festival, and it toured internationally with the 1993 biennial of the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Surname Viet Given Name Nam received the Merit Award at the Bombay International Film Festival and the Blue Ribbon Award at the American Film and Video Festival. Naked Spaces—Living Is Round received the award for best experimental feature at the American International Film Festival and the award for best feature documentary at the Athens International Film Festival in 1986; it toured nationally and internationally with the 1987 biennial of the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Minh-ha has taught at the National Conservatory of Music, Dakar, Senegal; Cornell University, Ithaca, New York; San Francisco State University; and Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts. She is currently a professor in the departments of rhetoric and gender and women's studies at UC Berkeley.

About CCA

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 six 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 the painters Nathan Oliveira and Raymond Saunders; the ceramicists Robert Arneson, Viola Frey, and Peter Voulkos; the filmmaker Wayne Wang; the conceptual artists David Ireland and Dennis Oppenheim; and the designers Lucille Tenazas and Michael Vanderbyl.

The college will confer degrees on 415 students at the 2007 commencement exercises. For more information about CCA's honorary doctorate degrees or the centennial commencement, please call 510.594.3666.

Posted on Friday, May 4, 2007 by Brenda Tucker

Work by student Eva Garcia

The suggested dress was "up" and 720 guests came duly clad for an evening of food, fashion, and feeling good. The CCA Centennial Gala and Threads Fashion Show held on April 25 exceeded all expectations by bringing in nearly $600,000 in support of the college's scholarship program.

At 6 p.m., patrons began filling the vast Festival Pavilion—beautifully transformed by designer Stanlee Gatti—to enjoy cocktails and conversation, followed by a delectable dinner prepared by Taste. As patrons finished the last of their dessert, the curtains dramatically parted to reveal bleacher seats filled to the rafters with families, friends, and fashion enthusiasts there to enjoy the fashion show portion of the evening. President Michael Roth welcomed the crowd, which now numbered over 1,300.

But before the show could begin, there was a little business to take care of. Renowned San Francisco retailer Wilkes Bashford was honored for his contributions to the fashion community with the CCA Fashion Industry Award. President Roth then announced the winner of the Surface Emerging Talent Award. CCA fashion student Christopher Weiss will receive a trip to New York and his designs will appear in an upcoming issue of the magazine.

Then CCA trustee Judy Timken took the stage to announce the college's $25 million Centennial Campaign. She commented, "CCA's centennial is a momentous occasion to celebrate our past, to reflect on the hard work and values that brought us to this point, and to consider CCA's tremendous potential for the future." She informed the crowd that $22 million had already been raised, and she graciously thanked all the donors for their generosity.

The evening culminated with the runway fashion show, which featured original designs from the collections of 21 up-and-coming designers of the graduating class of 2007. With music thundering and lights flashing, professional models sauntered their way down the 130-foot runway, eliciting spontaneous bursts of applause. The production quality was high, and the show came off without a hitch, thanks to the efforts of CCA's Fashion Design faculty and students.

Gala cochairs Kay Kimpton and Allison Speer accepted the challenge of creating the college's 100th birthday celebration and turned it into CCA's most successful event to date. The college is grateful to them for their vision, leadership, and hard work. Special thanks also are in order to honorary chair Emily Carroll and the honorary committee.

The college is pleased to thank lead sponsors Osterweis Capital Management, Levi Strauss Signature, and Saturn, along with the evening's other sponsors. See Sponsors for a complete list.