CCA News

Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Architecture student Vonnie Bower [photo: Brant Ward, The Chronicle]

Architecture student Vonnie Bower was recently featured in a San Francisco Chronicle article (“Welder gets her chance of a lifetime on Bay Bridge,” by Edward Guthman) that highlighted the experienced welder and pile driver for her work in the rebuilding of the eastern span of the Bay Bridge, a dream-come-true opportunity for countless persons -- male and female alike – in and out of the construction industry.

Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Keep that CCA student ID with you while on campus

Both campuses will be locked down for general access from Wednesday, December 21, through Tuesday, January 3, 2012.

Oakland Campus

Please have your current CCA ID with you to access any spaces on campus. Public Safety officers will need to see your ID before they will let you use any spaces. They may not know you and they have been told to keep the campus closed during the college break.

San Francisco Campus

Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2011 by

Of the approximately 250,000 images taken during the Farm Security Administration's photography program documenting the Great Depression, one has stayed lodged in our collective memory as synonymous with the Depression -- the migrant mother with a hardened look and pair of children burrowing their little faces into her shoulders.

Visit source »

Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2011 by Samantha Braman

Delphi Digital Optics, designed by Lucas Ainsworth

What do Delphi Optics (special wilderness goggles that use satellite info to provide specific information about your surroundings), Jungle Walkers (100 percent sustainable cardboard puzzle animals), and the Snowkite (a kite that pulls you across snowy slopes) all have in common? They're all the brainchildren of alumnus Lucas Ainsworth (Industrial Design 2010), and they're all in one way or another expressions of Ainsworth's passion for the outdoors.

Before he came to CCA's Industrial Design Program, Ainsworth studied environmental science at UC Davis. "I always intrinsically loved design, but I was never exposed to it growing up. I thought products were designed by mechanical engineers. Then, during my time at UC Davis I was a whitewater guide in their outdoor program on weekends. The guy who runs the program was a designer at Black Diamond, and he used to tell stories about designing and testing outdoor gear. After graduating and working for a few years, I called him up and asked what it takes to be a designer at Black Diamond. He introduced me to the field of industrial design and said, basically, 'Your only chance is to get into a top-notch design school and rock it.'"

While at CCA, Ainsworth developed and marketed all kinds of products, from toys to high-end electronic devices. It was in Jay Baldwin's Industrial Design 1 class that he conceived the Jungle Walker, an environmentally conscious toy elephant made of cardboard that, when assembled, walks and moves its head with surprising realism.

Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2011 by

International students gather during orientation.

The number of international students at California College of the Arts has significantly increased in the past few years. For the fall 2011 semester alone, the college welcomed 123 new degree-seeking international students, and seven exchange students.

For some of these students, English is not their first language, they have never set foot in San Francisco, and are completely foreign to the culture typically found at an American art college. These students come to CCA to learn English as a second language (ESL), engage, and create, but often must overcome quite a few daunting challenges.

Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2011 by Heather Lohmann

Heather Lohmann graduated from CCA in spring 2011 from the MFA Program in Writing. She currently lives in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco, where she's dreaming up her next big adventure.


March 21-April 19
It’s time to get rid of all that clutter, Aries. And I’m not just talking about all the junk that’s been piling up in your studio over the past few months. Take a deeper look into the aspects of your life that may be hindering your creative nature. If your career hasn’t been moving in the direction you may have been hoping for, maybe it’s time to change paths. It might take a little while to see how this change will affect you positively, and we all know you’re not the most patient of signs, but if you can wait, you’ll definitely be pleased with the results. You may come across a few difficulties at first, but if you can stick to what you’ve started (and I know what you’re thinking: There are just too many ideas to work with! How can I stay focused on just one piece or project when it doesn’t pay off right away?!), you’ll reap the rewards. Remain optimistic and the world will be your oyster.


April 20-May 20
Brace yourself, Taurus, because all that creative hard work is about to get recognized. Fame? Make sure you’ve got your sunglasses and anti-paparazzi hand-to-the-face ready! Fortune? Get ready to see some serious activity in your bank account. You’ll have to work hard to get to where you’re going, but you’ve got the stubborn, practical nature to help make sure you don’t give up. Whether it’s a publishing contract for your first novel, a gallery opening for your latest and greatest, or the debut of your clothing line, there are very big things waiting in your very near future. A quick tip, though: Make sure to play the role of diplomat when dealing with others who hold positions of power -- you might need these allies a little later down the road after your 15+ minutes hit!

Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2011 by Simon Hodgson

When Ceramics professor Arthur Gonzalez was told about his upcoming retrospective at the CU Art Museum at the University of Colorado, Boulder, his first reaction was, "Wow, that's exciting!"

Then, his second thought: "Oh boy, am I really old enough for a retrospective?"

The exhibition will take place in 2015. "By the time the show opens, I'll be 60. We're planning it so far out because we have to locate a lot of the work. My pieces are spread across collections in the United States, Taiwan, Japan, Italy, Canada, Belgium, and Australia. It'll be a kind of detective-investigation situation. Each piece has its own history -- its provenance -- and some have changed hands two or three times. And then when I find out who owns an artwork, I have to ask them if they'd be willing to part with it for a while. A retrospective tells a story; you've got to have a beginning, a middle, and an end . . . although hopefully I've got a couple more decades to go before it's really The End!"

Gonzalez grew up in a rural neighborhood outside Sacramento. His mother was a seamstress, and his father was a carpenter. Both came from large families; his mother was one of seven, and his father was one of 23 (!) children born to a Nebraska sharecropper. "Since they both worked, I had to find ways as a child to keep myself occupied. I always loved to draw -- I can't remember a time when I didn't draw. My father was literally a Sunday painter. He would do an oil painting at the kitchen table on the weekends. One day, my mom enrolled herself and my dad in a night class in oil painting. He liked to paint, but only having a third-grade education, he was intimidated by the idea of doing it in a school-type situation. So I went with my mother in his place. I was seven years old. I still have a painting that I made in that class. Also, my uncle worked for the state printing plant and would bring home books that were stitched together, with no images, and they'd be my sketchbooks. I'd go through them like water, filling every corner with drawings and cartoons."

Posted on Tuesday, December 13, 2011 by Clay Walsh

First Place: "Exciting Times with the JET Mill" by Santiago Portilla

Congratulations to all the student finalists in CCA’s second annual R.A.W. Photo (real artists @ work) contest, which had as its theme “A Day in the Life at CCA.”

Contestants were challenged to submit up to five standalone images that depict a project, moment, mood, memory, or other quality of CCA life taken from the student perspective. As expected, the results were as varying as the students themselves!

The Winners

Posted on Tuesday, December 13, 2011 by

The annual Career Expo is just one of the many ways Career Services can help with your internship search. [photo: Jim Norrena]

Searching and securing an internship can be a laborious and frustrating task, but if you follow these tips and suggestions you’re bound to find one much quicker.

Prepare Presentation

Before you start your search, you should have a few things in presentable order.

  • A portfolio of completed pieces as well as works in progress (no more than five pieces total).
  • Ensure your work can be clearly seen and is visually attractive. (Remember, a perfect portfolio is a tough stretch; a good one is often just as acceptable.)

Posted on Saturday, December 10, 2011 by Em Meine

We invite you to learn more about the following alumni of CCA's Glass Program by visiting the websites listed below to review their current work, see what projects or events are coming up, read about past accomplishments, and learn how CCA shaped their vision as artists.

Graduates leave CCA with the ability to realize their most adventurous ideas and the motivation to make a positive impact on the world -- ready to succeed in studio practice, the professional workplace, or a top-tier graduate program.