Community Arts News

Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2015 by Chris Bliss

CCA students pose in front of new mural with faculty member Eduardo Pineda

A stunning new mural was unveiled this month on the Oakland campus of California College of the Arts (CCA).

Six CCA students were selected this summer to paint a new mural on the side of Martinez Hall. Led by faculty member and noted muralist Eduardo Piñeda, the team set out to create a mural that would celebrate and promote diversity and social justice, two core values of the college.

Read more about CCA's core values »

Queen Califia Rules!

The central focus of the colorful mural is Califia, a mythical warrior queen who ruled over a kingdom of black women living on the "island" of California. Her representation here was inspired by depictions of the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Juan Diego, the 16th century Mexican peasant to whom the Virgin Mary was said to have appeared.

In the CCA mural Queen Califia represents the people, culture, and land of California, and she is surrounded by a landscape that is both natural and political.

Juan Diego, depicted as a black youth wearing a hoodie, offers Queen Califia light, water, and corn. Diego represents the long struggle for freedom and equality, while Queen Califia symbolizes an untamed and bountiful land prior to the arrival of Europeans to the Americas.

Posted on Monday, August 17, 2015 by Laura Braun

Lucky me, last week, i finally got to talk over Skype with Aaron Gach, the founder of the Center for Tactical Magic and a professor at the California College of the Arts. Gach is an artist with the most unusual background.

Posted on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 by Nick Janikian

The Tree of Life mural project (2015)

The Tree of Life (El Árbol de la Vida) is a six-foot-high by 30-foot-long community-based mural project made in May 2015 by currently detained* undocumented immigrant Central American youths and The School of Art and Open Studio of Perquin / Walls of Hope in El Salvador (cofounded by CCA faculty member Claudia Bernardi) and students and faculty from Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia.

* The location is undisclosed to protect the unaccompanied alien children (UACs).

The mural depicts the perilous journey Central American youths face as they cross the United States / Mexico border. It also alludes to the brutality and violence that exists due to trafficking of narcotics.

Posted on Thursday, June 11, 2015 by Nick Janikian

Community Arts major Zach Brozman

Congratulations to Community Arts major and poet Zach Ozma (né Brozman), who was awarded an All-College Honors Award (Fine Arts division) as well as won the 2015 annual Student Book Arts Competition (sponsored by the CCA Libraries).

Each spring CCA sponsors the All-College Honors Awards competition, which recognizes outstanding student achievement. Twenty-three scholarship awards are given to students in the BA, BFA, and BArch undergraduate programs and the MA, MBA, MFA, and MArch graduate programs. (The awards are granted during the fall semester.)

Learn more about All-College Honors Awards »

There's No Other Ghost I'd Rather Get Cruised By, a handmade book Ozma has been working on intensely this year, was selected as one of two winning books in the 2015 annual Student Book Arts Competition.

Posted on Friday, May 1, 2015 by Laura Kenney

IMPACT Social Entrepreneurship Awards

CCA's Center for Art and Public Life has awarded IMPACT Social Entrepreneurship Awards to three student-led projects aimed at solving real-world social needs within specific communities.

During the spring semester, six interdisciplinary student teams competed for three $10,000 grants to develop and actualize a socially innovative project. The IMPACT program encourages students across all disciplines to facilitate social change by applying their creative skills and implement solutions collaboratively with community partners.

The awards program supports the mission of The Center for Art and Public Life with the belief that community engagement is the cornerstone of a practice focused on changing the world.

Posted on Friday, December 5, 2014 by Laura Braun

Artist, educator, and human rights activist Claudia Bernradi, works at the intersection of art and conflict. For 30 years, Claudia has participated in investigations of human rights violations, working with the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team in Argentina, Buenos Aires. From this experience, she recognized that art could be used to articulate the communal memories of survivors of human rights atrocities. The Disappeared Are Appearing Mural Project was created by relatives of those who disappeared during the military dictatorship in Argentina.

Posted on Thursday, July 3, 2014 by Chris Bliss

Shalini Agrawal, new Center director

Shalini Agrawal has been appointed director of the Center for Art and Public Life at California College of the Arts (CCA), it was announced today by Provost Melanie Corn. Agrawal had been serving as interim director of the Center for the last year, and was selected after a broad national search.

Corn commented, "Shalini has done an impressive and exemplary job as interim director. Her extensive experience facilitating diverse communities at local, national, and international levels makes her the ideal person for the job. I'm looking forward to working with her in this capacity."

About Shalini Agrawal

Agrawal is cofounder and principal of MAC Studio, a practice that engages communities through landscape architecture. MAC Studio was selected as one of the few firms to complete the San Francisco Unified School District Green Schoolyard Initiative for middle and high schools. 

Posted on Monday, May 5, 2014 by Rachel Walther

Gregory Kloen with a work in progress [photo: Rachel Walther]

Gregory Kloehn (Glass 1998) is working hard to build a better community -- literally. At his West Oakland live-work space, he is engaged in an ongoing project to build mobile shelters for the homeless residents of his neighborhood.

His efforts have attracted attention from all over the world, and from all types, from off-the-grid survivalists to the media (he’s been featured on Inside Edition, Rachel, and many other shows) to green-minded micro-home design enthusiasts.

Read the San Jose Mercury News and KQED features on Gregory Kloehn.

Posted on Monday, March 3, 2014 by Deborah Valoma

Mariano Sosa Martinez and Rafaela Ruiz Guetierrez demonstrate at the Textile Futures public demonstration at the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum. Photo by Sita Bhaumik

CCA's Textiles Program hosted two respected members of the artist collective Centro de Arte Textil Zapoteco Bii Dauu -- Mariano Sosa Martinez and Rafaela Ruiz Gutierrez -- for its 2014 biennial event, Textile Futures 2014: Conversations Around the Dye Pot.

Textiles Futures promotes cross-cultural and cross-generational dialog geared toward locating and expanding the rhetoric around textile sensibilities and practices.

This year the CCA Textiles Program collaborated with artist and curator David Wilson with his ongoing project The Possible at the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum.

Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 by Allison Byers

Team members Kristina Kotlier (MArch 2013) (left) and Raine Paulson Andrews (MArch 2014) (right) with a STAND UP supporter

In spring 2013, three CCA students came together with one common goal: to make a difference with an IMPACT Social Entrepreneurship Award from CCA’s Center for Art and Public Life.

Robert Gomez (MFA and MA Visual and Critical Studies 2013), Raine Paulson Andrews (MArch 2014), and Kristina Kotlier (MArch 2013) were indeed one of three teams who won the award for summer 2013, and the project they carried out, STAND UP with Jamaica, was a major turning point for all of them.