CCA News

Posted on Thursday, July 10, 2008 by Brenda Tucker

The CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts will present the exhibition The Wizard of Oz from September 2 through December 13, 2008, in the lower-level Logan Galleries on the San Francisco campus of California College of the Arts. The exhibition is organized by Jens Hoffmann, director of the Wattis Institute. It is free and open to the public, with an opening reception on Tuesday, September 2, from 6–8 p.m.

The Wizard of Oz features works by 22 international artists. It takes as its starting point L.

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Posted on Tuesday, June 17, 2008 by Jim Norrena

Pierre Collier designed the official poster of the 2008 Cannes Film Festival (an adaptation of a photograph by David Lynch)

While much of the stargazing that took place at the 61st annual Cannes Film Festival (May 14–25) focused on established industry moguls—movie stars, directors, and producers—it was also an international arena wherein several CCA students, in collaboration with San Jose–based nonprofit Reel Ideas Studios, not only were selected to participate in the prestigious Cannes Student Filmmaking Program but also received highest honors for their contributions.

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Posted on Friday, June 13, 2008 by Kim Lessard

Sanjit Sethi

California College of the Arts (CCA) President Stephen Beal announced today the appointment of Sanjit Sethi, chair of CCA's Community Arts Program, and Ann Wettrich, associate director of arts education at CCA's Center for Art and Public Life, as the new codirectors of the Center for Art and Public Life, effective immediately.

The Center for Art and Public Life plays a key role in keeping the college connected to the diverse communities that surround it, both through service-learning programs such as Community Student Fellows and through community-building art projects organized through the Visiting Artists and Scholars program.

In fall 2005, drawing on the center's success with managing programs that represent the college's commitment to civic engagement, CCA became the first art school to offer a BFA in Community Arts. 100 Families Oakland, a citywide community art program first implemented by the center, has become a model for similar programs now being planned in other American cities.

The center has also been a major influence in the ongoing struggle to keep high-quality art education thriving in public schools. In 2007 Wettrich oversaw the creation of the Teaching Institute, a comprehensive, year-round development program for educators and teaching artists working with students from prekindergarten through the 12th grade.

Says President Beal, "CCA remains committed to the vital and important work of the Center for Art and Public Life. We support its vision in bringing CCA students and faculty together with community partners for meaningful work that enriches the lives of Bay Area residents. So much has been accomplished in the 10 years since the founding of the center. I look forward to working with Ann and Sanjit to continue the momentum."

Both Sethi and Wettrich will continue teaching at CCA; Sethi will remain chair of the Community Arts Program, and Wettrich will continue to head the SMART (Subject Matter Art) teaching concentration program for CCA students who plan to enter postgraduate teacher credential programs.

Sethi and Wettrich comment, "We are excited to be collaboratively engaged in directing the center, drawing on its well-established foundation and the successes it has achieved. We look forward to bringing in new ideas and working with students, faculty, staff, and community partners to continue to evolve a diversity of approaches to artistic practice in the public realm."

Sethi and Wettrich succeed Sonia BasSheva Mañjon, who served as executive director of the center from 2000 to 2008; Mañjon was recently named vice president of diversity and strategic partnerships at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.

About Sanjit Sethi

Born in Rochester, New York, Sethi received a BFA in 1994 from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, an MFA in 1998 from the University of Georgia, and an MS in advanced visual studies in 2002 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been an artist in residence at the Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada; a visiting assistant professor at Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, Indiana; and an instructor at the Art Institute of Chicago.

After completing a Fulbright fellowship in Bangalore, India, working on the Building Nomads Project, he continued his strong focus on interdisciplinary collaboration as director of the MFA program at the Memphis College of Art. His work deals with issues of nomadism, identity, the residue of labor, and memory. Sethi recently completed the Kuni Wada Bakery Remembrance, an olfactory-based memorial in Memphis. His current works include Urban Defibrillator, the Gypsy Bridge Project, and a collaboration with the Richmond Art Center and the Main Street Initiative of Richmond, California, all of which involve varied social and geographic communities.

About Ann Wettrich

Ann Wettrich has served as associate director of arts education at CCA's Center for Art and Public Life since 2001. She developed, and teaches in, the SMART (Subject Matter Art) teaching concentration program. Wettrich has been a leader in the Bay Area art education community for 30 years, developing innovative programs, events, and publications through her work with the San Francisco Arts Commission, the Oakland Craft and Cultural Arts Department, the Arts Education Funders Collaborative, and the San Francisco Arts Education Project.

As a consultant, she wrote and facilitated the Arts Master Plan for the Oakland Unified School District and conducted needs assessment and evaluation studies for Cultural Initiatives Silicon Valley and the Marin Community Foundation. She is a published author and serves on numerous panels, commissions, advisory groups, and committees for local and statewide arts organizations. She chairs the art education committee for the Alameda County Arts Commission, serves on the steering and governance committees for the Alameda County Alliance for Arts Learning Leadership, and is a member of the program planning committee of UC Berkeley's Arts Education Initiative.

About the Center for Art and Public Life

The Center for Art and Public Life was founded by California College of the Arts (CCA) in 1998 for the purpose of creating and facilitating programs that provide and enhance arts education in underserved communities within and beyond the San Francisco Bay Area. The center fosters opportunities for CCA students and working artists to partner with public schools and community organizations, where they use their talents to make a difference as mentors for youth and leaders in community development.

The center administers CCA's Community Arts Program, the art teacher precredential program, and courses in diversity studies. It also offers intensive professional development opportunities through its recently established Teaching Institute, a comprehensive, year-round development program for educators and teaching artists working with students from prekindergarten through the 12th grade.

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Posted on Thursday, May 22, 2008 by Molly Mitchell

Master Yasuo Nakajima of Hanyu City, Japan, is a master indigo dyer and successor to the family business founded in the mid-19th century, Nakajima Indigo Dye Works. Master Nakajima continues to operate the dye-works using the traditional methods of natural indigo dyes, kept alive in sunken earthenware vats. As a designated regional Living Treasure of Japan, Master Nakajima's goal is to impart his experience, skills, and knowledge to the next generation of artisans and artists wishing to work with traditional Japanese indigo dye techniques.

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Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 by Jim Norrena

Photo by Stevan Nordström

Last week for CCA's Fashion Design Program's Senior Fashion Show, a gigantic circus-like tent was erected in front of the San Francisco campus, shutting off an entire block of Eighth Street. The scene mimicked what one would expect to see at, say, the Cannes Film Festival, and the payoff was just as grand.

The much-anticipated event marked the ninth annual fashion extravaganza—an exclusive, end-of-year fundraiser to showcase the fashion designs of the 2008 graduating class.

The sold-out apparel smorgasbord attracted hundreds of supportive and enthusiastic attendees, each of whom paid $25 (VIP ticket holders paid $100, which included a festive wine-tasting reception at Axis Café) to celebrate "the future of fashion" on a fierce asphalt runway encased by a portable, makeshift auditorium.

Fashionably and sustainably speaking, it was unadulterated fabricated entertainment.

With wall-flap-to-wall-flap bleachers and folding chairs, CCA President Steve Beal, flanked on either side by 10-foot-tall projection monitors, stood almost as tall himself in his new presidential shoes as he commended Amy Williams, chair of the Fashion Design Program, for her ingenious venue set up. The tent served to expand the exhibition hall, fostering a greater sense of CCA community and inclusiveness, as well as accentuating the Fashion Design Program's best work.

(Note: while the tent idea was definitely not Senior Fashion Show modus operandi, audience attendees and fashion models alike appreciated its protective warmth from San Francisco's chilly and hairdo-disassembling, garb-ruffling winds!)

Highlights included how truly humbled Jihye Kang appeared as she accepted the Surface magazine award, which earned her a detailed photo spread of her work slated for the magazine's October 8 issue—including an expense-paid trip to New York; and Zara Franks securing an internship with Marciano (a Guess division based in Los Angeles).

Additional trivia for the truly raiment-minded: Wray Serna's feathers were entirely hand-sewn and the antlers she used were sourced on Ebay; Lauren Devenney used actual mushrooms and berries to over dye her organic wools (from sheep raised and sheered in Vermont, no less); Andrew Hague's bicycle inspiration traces back to his messenger-bag designs for Chrome; Karina Michel screenprinted her cashmere panels, shibori'd her denim pieces, and hand-burned her velvet from a screen print she designed, and she used over 400 grommets in her collection. Amylou Bilodeau designed all her prints and jewelry, offset printing the fabrics and laser cutting the jewelry.

Kara Krauss deserves a special mention, too, because at between 5–7 years old, her models were the least likely to lie about their ages. Actually, the guise girls stem from CCA faculty and staff and they truly commandeered the catwalk as they twirled in vintage prints inspired by the tiles of Spain's coast while carrying Kara's handmade and embroidered Rufus dolls as accessories. (Look for these dolls in select San Francisco boutiques soon.)

Dozens of models, women and men alike, animated the various designs and onlookers took their cue, reveling more in an artistic spirit than, say, from a shopper's frenzy. After all, CCA's Senior Fashion Show is about pizzazz, not paparazzi; it's truly the future of fashion, no matter how you wear it.

Read local coverage: "Inside Bay Area" by Dino-Ray Ramos (contributor to the Oakland Tribune, Contra Costa Times, and other Bay Area News Group publications.)

Additional photos: CCAsnapshots

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Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2008 by Kim Lessard

The Center for Art and Public Life (CAPL) at California College of the Arts (CCA), in conjunction with Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA), presents What's the Big Idea?: Identity Shifts—CCA Students Collaborate with Bay Area Youth and Community, an exhibition exploring concepts of identity, culture, and humanity, May 22 through June 16, 2008, with an opening reception on Thursday, May 22, at 6:30 p.m. The exhibition and reception are both free and open to the public. They take place at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission Street, San Francisco.

The exhibition features work created through CCA's Community Student Fellows program, which is facilitated by CAPL and places CCA students in Bay Area public (K–12) schools and other community organizations. The students work side by side with artists and arts administrators and take an active role in the development of new models of practice in community-based arts, cultural diversity, learning, and youth development through the arts. During the 2007–8 academic year, 34 Community Student Fellows worked with 23 different organizations.

The presentation takes place in YBCA's Room for Big Ideas. YBCA invites artists, curators, and collectives from across the Bay Area to use the Room for Big Ideas to showcase innovative and interactive art practices that support emerging local artists and promote intersections among community, civic engagement, and arts education. Each year YBCA poses a selection of "Big Ideas" to artists and the community at large. This exhibition

responds to one of the current "Big Ideas"—identity shifts—which asks participants to rethink how we know who we are, now that traditional definitions of race, gender, and nationality are breaking down and becoming open to interpretation.

"The idea of identity resonates throughout these projects, and the outcome is revealing," observes Susan McMahon, CAPL program associate. One group of students at Far West High School in Oakland expressed their ideas about identity through fashion design. At Washington High School in Fremont, students explored the concept of identity through abstraction and geography by making their own cartographic interpretations of their physical environment.

About the Center for Art and Public Life

The Center for Art and Public Life (CAPL) was founded by California College of the Arts (CCA) in 1998 for the purpose of creating and facilitating programs that provide and enhance arts education in underserved communities within and beyond the San Francisco Bay Area. CAPL fosters opportunities for CCA students and working artists to partner with public schools and community organizations, where they use their talents to make a difference as mentors for youth and leaders in community development. CAPL administers CCA's Community Arts Program as well as the art teacher pre-credential program and courses in diversity studies. It also offers intensive programs in arts education and integration for K–12 educators through the Art in Education Teaching Institute.

About California College of the Arts

Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts (CCA) is noted for the interdisciplinarity and breadth of its programs. It offers studies in 20 undergraduate and seven 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, master of fine arts, and master of business administration degrees. With campuses in Oakland and San Francisco, CCA currently enrolls more than 1,650 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.

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Posted on Thursday, May 8, 2008 by Jim Norrena

CCA President Stephen Beal between Steve (l) and Doug at their retirement party.

**On May 14, 2008, Steve Reoutt passed away due to a recently diagnosed illness. The entire CCA community is saddened by this news and offers its condolences to the family.

Commencement at CCA is a time for beginnings and endings alike; while graduating students, still exhausted from completing their thesis exhibitions, are eager to embark on their new careers, other CCA community members are winding down, stepping back, and embracing their well-deserved retirements.

Two such notable faculty members, whose combined years of teaching within CCA's graphic design community exceed half the college's actual years in existence(!), are Doug Akagi (24 years: January 1984 to May 2008) and Steve Reoutt (41 years: January 1967 to May 2008).

Akagi is a founding member of the San Francisco chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Design (AIGA) who holds more than 150 awards in his field.

Reoutt is the recipient of the AIGA's Fellowship Award (2001) "For personal and professional contributions to raising the standards of excellence within our design community."

Each was honored Tuesday evening at a posh, heart-warming gathering held at the Graduate Writing Studio where fellow faculty, administrative leaders, students, and family and friends collected to pay tribute and celebrate the accomplishments of these two extraordinary educators.

During the program, each of the honored guests was "bestowed by resolution of the board the status of professor emeritus of graphic design . . . in recognition of their service of distinction as respected teacher, exemplary mentor, and cherished colleague." (Wow! That's better than a gold watch by anyone's standards.)

Newly appointed CCA President Stephen Beal presided, sharing with the group seemingly endless accolades, praises, first-hand student testimony, and personal insights about both men—far too many to list here (though it's likely the next issue of Glance will highlight each gentleman's epic list of accomplishments).

CCA Director of Research & Planning David Meckel and Visual Studies professor Leslie Becker each showered Akagi and Reoutt with additional praises that illustrated their unstinting spirit to CCA's community, all while an accompaniment of acoustic guitar filled the room (compliments of The Real Placebos) and the stellar Suzy Bettinger Catering folks provided the creme de la creme of the evening—literally).

According to Cinthia Wen, current Graphic Design Program chair: "CCA is indeed losing a wonderful resource, but Steve Reoutt's teaching lives on in those he has taught and in those who have since returned to teach at CCA." (His collected slide archive of the history of graphic design and visual communication has provided an invaluable resource for faculty in creating classes and lectures.)

Wen said about Doug: "He exemplifies what we try to teach and promote within the CCA community and within the Graphic Design Program—to appreciate, create, participate . . . and the ability to think beyond oneself and to give with sincerity."

And so while giving a gold watch may be a standard retirement gesture, ironically it's the two most recent CCA retirees who've given back to CCA a gesture of timelessness.

Congratulations (and many, many thanks) to Doug Akagi and Steve Reoutt on their retirement from CCA. We are indebted to each of you.

Can't get enough of Doug & Steve? See CCA Snapshots on Flickr.

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Posted on Wednesday, April 30, 2008 by Jim Norrena

Stephen Beal has been named president of California College of the Arts (CCA). Beal is the current Provost, but he will assume his position as the college's ninth president on May 1, 2008. For more information read the press release or see Office of the President.

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Posted on Wednesday, April 30, 2008 by Brenda Tucker

Stephen Beal has been named president of California College of the Arts (CCA). The announcement was made today by Ann Hatch, chair of the college's Board of Trustees. Currently provost of CCA, Beal will assume his position as the school's ninth president on May 1, 2008.

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Posted on Friday, April 18, 2008 by Kim Lessard

The Industrial Design Program at California College of the Arts presents ToolToy, an exhibition showcasing the thesis projects of the program's 2008 graduating class. Inspired by the designer Alexander Manu and his concept of the "ToolToy," in which play value is integrated into products, services, and systems, the exhibition seeks to engage visitors on both a functional and an emotional level. The contemporary objects in the show are designed not only to meet performance requirements, but also to respond to the human desire for personal meaning in everyday items. They range from furniture, fashion, and electronics to proposals focused on education, nutrition, the home, retail experiences, and urban mobility.

ToolToy takes place Monday, May 5, through Saturday, May 10, at Fivepoints Arthouse, 50A Bannam Place, San Francisco. There will be a public opening reception (sponsored by Sobieski Vodka) on Thursday, May 8, from 6–8 p.m. Gallery hours for the exhibition are Tues., Thurs., and Fri., 5–10 p.m.; Wed. and Sat., noon–4 p.m.

About California College of the Arts

Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts is noted for the interdisciplinarity and breadth of its programs. It offers studies in 20 undergraduate and seven 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, master of fine arts, and master of business administration degrees. With campuses in Oakland and San Francisco, CCA currently enrolls more than 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.

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