Diversity News

Posted on Thursday, September 17, 2015 by Jim Norrena

Marlon James, fall 2015 MFA in Writing master writer in residence

MFA in Writing master writer-in-residence Marlon James has been shortlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for A Brief History of Seven Killings (Oneworld Publications), which marks the first time a Jamaican writer has been shortlisted for this noteworthy annual literary award.

Posted on Wednesday, September 2, 2015 by Laura Kenney

Edith Garcia with Viola Frey's sculpture Woman with Elbow on Raised Knee (1994) at the Oakland Museum of California

California College of the Arts (CCA) is pleased to announce artist and visual critic Edith Garcia is the 2015–16 Viola Frey Distinguished Visiting Professor. Garcia is a sculptor, installation artist, and author noted for her innovative use of clay and haunting forms that reinterpret the figure. She has shown throughout the United States, Mexico, and Italy.

This fall she will teach Craft Theory and other courses; she will also give a free public lecture, “My Life in Sculpture,” at Nahl Hall on the Oakland campus on October 7 at 7:30 p.m.

Garcia is engaged in scholarship around “the absence and presence of human form” in figurative ceramics. As visiting professor she will have full access to the Viola Frey Archives at Artists’ Legacy Foundation in Oakland, a resource for scholars, curators, and the general public. Garcia plans to research a not widely known period of Frey’s work produced in the late 1970s.        

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 Thursday, August 13, 2015 by Jim Norrena

Xiaoyu Weng (Curatorial Practice 2009)

Xiaoyu Weng's (Curatorial Practice 2009) recent appointment to curate two exhibitions in 2016 at the Guggenheim Museum in New York is part of the museum's Contemporary Chinese Art Initiative, which was launched in 2013.

Weng was selected as The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Associate Curator of Chinese Art along with Hou Hanru as consulting curator. Together the two will curate two exhibitions of commissioned works to advance The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation's longstanding commitment to the study and support of contemporary Chinese artists.

Read the press release »

Leigh Markopoulos, chair of CCA's MA in Curatorial Practice, expressed her delight at Weng's appointment: "Xiaoyu is the first of our students to be appointed to a position at the Guggenheim, and we couldn't be happier.

"We're thrilled that she'll be joining such a fantastic team and working on projects that draw on her experiences and interests -- this appointment is a real tribute to her as a person and a curator."

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 Monday, July 6, 2015 by Jim Norrena


Hanh Nguyen (Film/Media 2009) recently completed her first feature documentary, Caffeinated, which was recently picked by New York-based distributor Filmbuff -- a company that specializes in independent films and documentaries -- following the film's screening at the 2015 Santa Barbara International Film Festival earlier this year.

The documentary is a coproduction of Running Reel Films and Evoke Mediaworks. Nguyen codirected and coproduced Caffeinated with Vishal Solanki and Vinay Gandhi as well as coedited the film with Ramon Cervantes and Christopher Roth.

The documentary is a coproduction of Running Reel Films and Evoke Mediaworks, and it was recently picked by New York-based distributor Filmbuff, specializing in independent films and documentaries, following its screening at the 2015 Santa Barbara International Film Festival this past fall.

Visit the Caffeinated movie page on Facebook»

Meet Alumna Hanh Nguyen

Nguyen is a Los Angeles-based director, cinematographer, and editor who approaches her work with professionalism, creativity, and dedication.

As a visual storyteller, her distinguishing style lies in her acute attention to detail, artful compositions, and skilled camera work. (Nguyen's visual techniques can be traced back to CCA Film cochair Rob Epstein.)

Posted on Monday, June 29, 2015 by Chris Bliss

CCA joins the 2015 San Francisco Pride Parade

This past weekend (June 26-28) marked the first time California College of the Arts (CCA) participated in the annual San Francisco Pride Parade -- the largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender parade in the nation.

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 Monday, June 8, 2015 by Laura Kenney

Robert Morrison

I’m a local, born and raised in Oakland. Pretty much everyone I grew up with was interested in one of two things: sports or being a rapper. But my interests went in a different direction: art.

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love Disney films. Seeing The Lion King for the first time, I was infatuated with how realistic and relatable the characters were. I began mimicking my favorite ones on paper, from Simba to SpongeBob, and creating new ones of my own.

Drawing consumed me. I spent all of my time filling pages with character designs and ideas.

Luckily, my parents realized just how passionate I was and put me in all kinds of art and animation programs. Every summer, I had something to do.

Posted on Monday, May 18, 2015 by Rachel Walther

Amanda Cachia

Amanda Cachia (Visual and Critical Studies 2012) is an independent curator originally from Sydney who is currently working on her PhD at the University of California, San Diego. Her dissertation is on the intersections between contemporary art, phenomenology, and disability.