Posted on Monday, November 28, 2011 by Allison Byers
A few years ago, Sanjit Sethi, artist, professor, and director of the California College of Art’s Center for Art and Public Life, wrote a paper called "Getting it Wrong: How We Fail and What We Learn." In the paper, written with Nicole Garneau of Columbia College, he discussed the need to talk about failure as much as success. "When students get out into the real world what do they do when they fail? They’re not taught that," he says. "There’s a specific set of procedures that need to be followed. How do students learn what to do when they're in over their heads?"Read the rest
Posted on Thursday, November 3, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook
Social Craft builds a home on the campus of Srishti School of Art, Design, and Technology in Bangalore
$10,000: It's a daunting amount of money to a student, especially when the task is to spend it in three months on a single project. But three CCA student IMPACT teams proved up to the challenge in summer 2011.
The IMPACT: Social Entrepreneurship Awards is a new initiative at CCA, run by the Center for Art and Public Life under the direction of Center director Sanjit Sethi and program manager Rebecca Wolfe. It is one of a trio of unique programs managed by the Center that connect students with outside communities to address specific, real-world problems.
The three winning IMPACT teams had competed against numerous other contenders, and they all had what the judges were looking for: They were interdisciplinary, they had strong relationships with their proposed community partners, they were attentive to a relevant social and humanitarian need, and they balanced innovation and pragmatism.
Sanjit Sethi says, "The name of this speaks for itself. At its core the IMPACT program is about innovation, community, collaboration, and making. It celebrates the entrepreneurial drive of CCA students combined with their desire to create a tangible, positive impact within a specific community."
(Note to students: Info sessions for summer 2012 IMPACT are happening in San Francisco on Nov. 8 and 17 at 6 p.m. in the Timken reception area, and in Oakland Nov. 9 at 6 p.m. in front of A2 Cafe.)
The year-one IMPACT teams reported on their completed projects on September 29, 2011, in Timken Lecture Hall on CCA's San Francisco campus.Read the rest
Posted on Tuesday, September 13, 2011 by Aaron Mckenzie
CSFs receive on-the-job-training in real-world settings such as public school classrooms
The Center for Art and Public Life has 35 positions available for the 2011–12 Community Student Fellows (CSF) work-study program. CSF is a tremendous opportunity to develop professional experience, earn $13/hr., build relationships, and work with organizations directly engaged in the community.
For more information, visit the Center for Art and Public Life website.
How to Apply
Students who are interested in this work-study opportunity may apply online.
ContactRead the rest
Posted on Monday, July 18, 2011 by Simon Hodgson
Rebecca Najdowski with Tio Lino. They created Rocinha Foto Project, a photography course for community youth
Even after the end date of her nine-month Fulbright scholarship in São Paulo, Brazil, the photographer and artist Rebecca Najdowski (MFA 2010) couldn't resist staying just a little longer to make one more trip, south to the Argentinean border, to see the legendary waterfalls of Iguaçu.
Art and travel have been soldered together in her life for as long as Najdowski can remember. She grew up in Santa Fe, a city world-renowned for its art scene. "I was surrounded by this impulse for craft. My dad was a silversmith and had a studio attached to the house. His work wasn't separate from his regular daily life. My mom was a school counselor and teacher at a public elementary school. During school holidays, she'd take off to Mexico, Honduras, Ecuador, with organizations like Save the Rainforest, and often brought me with her. I've definitely inherited my love for travel from her, the drive to really experience other parts of the world."
Movement infuses Najdowski's own artistic practice, from her Spectra photogram experiments with color and light to her photographs of rural Brazilian storefronts to her roaming investigations into South American shamanism. "Travel forces you to be really open to new people and experiences. During my time in Brazil I couldn't stop traveling, moving around to collect experiences and material. I went to Rio, to Brasília, to Recife for a folk carnival (a super cool experience), and took a three-day boat trip on the Amazon River between Belém and Santarém. The river is so massive, sometimes you feel you're on a lake. Near the northern Brazilian outpost of São Luís, I went to see a tidal bore known as the pororoca, from the word for 'destructive noise' in the indigenous Tupi language. It is an immense wave caused by salt water crashing over fresh water during the new and full moons. It's not exactly on the tourist map -- I had to go through hoops to get in touch with local surfers to reach it."Read the rest
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 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.Read the rest
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.Read the rest
Posted on Monday, March 21, 2011 by Samantha Braman
Growing up on a wildlife preserve in California surrounded by farms, homesteaders, nature writers, and the Tahoe National Forest, Maria Ryan (Sculpture 2005) spent most of her time outdoors. When she got to CCA and heard about the availability of Center Student Grants, an idea germinated, and the outcome proved life-changing. She used the grant money to spend the following summer studying plants in the Sierra Nevada and teaching a complementary course, titled "Quilting Indigenous Plant Life of the Sierra Foothills." The project combined her love for nature, handwork, and textiles, and in the end led to the production of a public artwork.
"I used an abandoned building as a community center where I held classes for local children. I hired two guest teachers: one a Maidu woman, who taught the ecological and botanical value of each indigenous plant, and the other Louis Bluecloud, a skilled Mohawk artist who gave lessons in graphic pattern design by stenciling.
"Writing the proposal and seeing this project to completion, I recognized the strength that any project acquires through collaboration. I gained priceless experience, working to engage various factions of the community and utilizing local institutions as assets in the creative process."Read the rest
Posted on Tuesday, March 8, 2011 by Samantha Braman
Community Partner Organization: Bethany Center Senior Housing, San Francisco
CCA Faculty Leaders: Rachel Robinette and Charlie Sheldon, Design
Goal: Define pragmatic, cost-effective design solutions that benefit elder residents and administrators at Bethany Center
Bethany Center is a progressive, publicly subsidized, low-income, 133-unit elder living facility in San Francisco's Mission District. Its population is incredibly diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, language, and the residents' personal histories. It also has a specific policy of encouraging and welcoming the arts, which made it an obvious ENGAGE match for faculty leaders Rachel Robinette and Charlie Sheldon.
"The Bethany Center was really excited to get a fresh take on its problems -- which are mostly centered on communications, residential life, and community engagement -- from a design perspective," says Sheldon.Read the rest
Posted on Thursday, January 27, 2011 by Samantha Braman
Community Partner Organization: Lighthouse Community Charter School, Oakland
CCA Faculty Leader: Russell Baldon, Furniture
Outside Expert: Justin Champaign of Coalesse
Goal: Create functional, attractive, and affordable tables for Lighthouse’s new K–12 library
Course blog: Visit the course-specific blog
Do you remember your grade-school library? Probably fondly. Do you remember the furniture? Probably not at all.
This course set out to change that, for at least a few kids, at Lighthouse Community Charter School. Furniture chair Russell Baldon had wanted to work with Lighthouse for years, knowing that its predominantly inner-city Latino students would benefit tremendously from exposure to the design world. Even before he knew about ENGAGE's impending launch, he'd already been in touch with Lighthouse's director of development and with Justin Champaign, an industrial designer at the furniture firm Coalesse, about some sort of collaboration. (Champaign is also a CCA Furniture 2007 alum.) "When I heard the rumor that ENGAGE was coming," Baldon says, "I saw this course as a natural fit."Read the rest