Awards and Accolades News

Posted on Monday, June 27, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs win the best documentary feature award for Inside Job (photo: Mark Ralston, Getty Images)

From the mosh pits of Olympia, Washington, to collecting an Oscar on stage at the Staples Center. From indie music scenester to hit documentary maker. (With a stop along the way in CCA's Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice.)

Audrey Marrs -- former punk rock musician, Ladyfest cofounder, and CCA alumna -- won the 2011 Academy Award for best documentary feature for producing Inside Job, the story of the 2008 financial crisis. The statuette was handed over to Marrs and her artistic partner, the director Charles Ferguson, by none other than Oprah Winfrey. Marrs and Ferguson had been nominated in 2008 for their documentary No End in Sight about the American occupation of Iraq.

(Watch their Academy Award acceptance speech on YouTube)

The two began working together in 2003. Ferguson posted a job listing on Craigslist for an "assistant to a writer/investor," and three (grueling) interviews later, Marrs got the gig.

Fast forward a bit. Marrs really likes her assistant job but wants more out of life. She applies to and enters CCA's Curatorial Practice Program, but continues working for Ferguson, and they begin making No End in Sight.

Fast forward again. Six months prior to her thesis deadline, she and Ferguson realize that she has actually been producing No End in Sight since the beginning. "We were so naive about the process of filmmaking," she says, "that we didn't realize that 'producer' was the function I'd been performing all along!" The film was received to great acclaim and led naturally to the next documentary project, Inside Job.

Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2011 by Sarah Owens

YBCA's grand lobby

California College of the Arts and San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) paired up this spring when “Production Furniture 1” students, taught and developed by Furniture Program chair Russell Baldon, created new and original furniture designs for YBCA’s grand lobby. The course is a part of ENGAGE at CCA, an interdisciplinary project-based learning initiative at the college that encourages interaction and collaboration between CCA students and community partners.

Community Building

The idea for a project-based furniture course in collaboration with YBCA stemmed from a conversation between Baldon and YBCA graphic designer crystal am-nelson. They had started a conversation at a previous YBCA event about the lack of unique, dynamic furniture in the grand lobby space. The project was born soon thereafter.

“We started with a basic problem in that we needed new furniture for our lobby,” said nelson. “And I felt that whatever we chose had to be very representative of who we truly are, which is not easy to find at a furniture store. That’s when I thought about continuing to work with local design students by co-creating a process where their work could be transformed into a real-life situation while they were still in school.

“I also was interested in experimenting with the museum as a laboratory for emerging artists and educational institutions,” nelson revealed. “It was wonderful to witness their development and excitement for the project throughout the various stages.”

Posted on Wednesday, June 8, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Congratulations to Jason K. Johnson and Nataly Gattegno—awardees of the 2011 New York Architectural League Prize

Architecture faculty members Jason Kelly Johnson and Nataly Gattegno, the founding design principals of San Francisco–based Future Cities Lab, an interdisciplinary design and research collaborative, are among this year's winners of the juried New York Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers competition. Johnson and Gattegno represent the only West Coast architects selected this year.

Posted on Thursday, June 2, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Jason Hanasik (MFA Fine Arts 2009) shot, directed, and edited Gap Inc.'s official "It Gets Better" video, the first video of its kind from a major retailer, for inclusion in the national It Gets Better Project, which is committed to reducing or eliminating harassment of LGBT youth in schools.

Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2011 by Jim Norrena

The 2011 Annual Fashion Show has come and gone. Get all the highlights, plus an interview with Fashion Design chair Amy Williams

The Annual Fashion Show 2011 at California College of the Arts, the capstone experience for Fashion Design seniors, unfolded Friday, May 13, with all the characteristic grandstand presentation the college and its community have come to expect. And once again, with 800 persons in attendance, the shindig was completely sold out!

Watch the slideshow » (Select "show info" in the upper right-hand corner to see the name of the designer.)

Posted on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Directed and edited by Yoni Klein (Photography) and Alka Joshi (MFA Writing 2011)

Blink, a short documentary directed and edited by the talented interdisciplinary team of Photography undergraduate Yoni Klein and Alka Joshi, a soon-to-be MFA Program in Writing graduate, has been programmed into the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, the longest-running, largest, and most widely recognized LGBT film exhibition event in the world.

Posted on Thursday, April 21, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Happy Earth Day, CCA!

California College of the Arts is one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the United States and Canada, according to The Princeton Review, an education service that helps students select and apply to colleges.

CCA's inclusion in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 311 Green Colleges: 2011 Edition reinforces the college's reputation as an exemplary institution of higher education committed to sustainability.

The news, which USA Today reported Wednesday, April 20, arrives just in time for today's Earth Day celebration—and brings to a close CCA's Earth Week festivities with a remarkable bang!

The Guide to 311 Green Colleges, the first and only free comprehensive college guidebook to focus solely on high-ranking U.S. colleges and universities, showcases outstanding commitments to environmental sustainability in and out of the classroom (e.g., environmentally related practices, policies, and academic offerings). The 220-page guide contains profiles of 308 institutions of higher education in the United States and three in Canada, all of which demonstrate a significant commitment to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities, and career preparation.

Posted on Tuesday, April 5, 2011 by Chris Bliss

Betty Reid Soskin and John Baldessari (photo by Sidney Felsen)

He has been hailed as a pioneer of Conceptual art; she has been honored as Woman of the Year by the California State Legislature for her community activism. California College of the Arts (CCA) will recognize two extraordinary octogenarians—John Baldessari and Betty Reid Soskin—with honorary doctorate degrees at its 104th commencement exercises on Saturday, May 14, 2011, at the Concourse Exhibition Center in San Francisco. Soskin will deliver the commencement address to more than 450 CCA graduates and their families. Baldessari and Soskin will also be honored at a private dinner and participate in the post-commencement reception at CCA’s San Francisco campus.

Posted on Monday, April 4, 2011 by Simon Hodgson

Kota Ezawa, still from City of Nature, 2011

For Kota Ezawa, it's crunch time. The German-Japanese artist and Film Program faculty member has barely recovered from the tumult and applause surrounding the acquisition of one of his digitally animated works by the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC. Now, he's plunged into a residency at Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito and is presenting a public piece in the most iconic city in film history: New York. From March 31 to May 15, Madison Square Park is hosting Ezawa's City of Nature project, in which he distills images of nature -- a waterfall, a mountain, a marlin -- from movies and shows them as animations on four LCD screens. The commission is officially a part of Mad. Sq. Art, a program of the Madison Square Park Conservancy.

Ezawa sourced more than 40 movies for the project. "I was really interested in scenes where nature drives the story," he says. "Shots without human presence. No people. No buildings." Eagle-eyed viewers will detect some familiar films -- Brokeback Mountain, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, The Old Man and the Sea -- as well as a few that are less recognizable, for example a jungle shot from Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo, or a waterfall from the 1960s German Western Winnetou.

Posted on Thursday, March 31, 2011 by Jason Engelund

courtesy WAZO Design Institute

2011 is the inaugural year of the IMPACT Social Entrepreneurship Awards program, one of the anchor initiatives of CCA's Center for Art and Public Life. This program enables interdisciplinary teams of CCA students to develop and implement social innovations through their studies in art, architecture, design, and writing. We are pleased to announce the winning IMPACT Teams for 2011! Each team has been awarded $10,000 toward their project.

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