Diversity News

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."

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Posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2011 by Simon Hodgson

Piero Passacantando at work in his studio with Dawa Tamang in Kathmandu (photo by Clarissa Bynum)

Now back at home in New York after a 10-month Fulbright residency in Kathmandu, CCA alumnus Piero Passacantando (MFA Social Practice 2009) is already planning his return to Nepal. During his time there, the Italian-American artist studied Thangka, a centuries-old traditional Himalayan art form that uses specific geometric guidelines in its compositions.

"My hope is that I can somehow continue my project. I originally went there to learn the technical and iconographic aspects of Thangka, but I became interested in the geometry and social production, the workshop system. The guys I worked with, Dawa and Sherab Tamang, were only 19 and 20 years old, and their level of skill was just astonishing." Passacantando was impressed by Kathmandu's artistic community, which was very different from that of San Francisco or New York. "The Thangka artists see it as labor, a job. They don't have the same underlying conceptual framework or discourse. The organization I worked with, Dharmadhatu Foundation, is a social enterprise that produces Thangkas to raise money for scholarships for rural children."

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Posted on Wednesday, March 2, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Performance artists Cecelia Cooper, Tina Takemoto, and Keith Hennessy

California College of the Arts prides itself in the myriad forms of artistic expression that can be witnessed on any given day at either the Oakland or San Francisco campuses. One such form of visual art is performance art, which offers a dynamic means of expression, one that often has at its core a political statement or reaction.

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Posted on Wednesday, February 23, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Global Experiences, a leading provider of customized international internships has a number of Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) internships available in Washington, DC and Dublin Ireland. Both organizations are well known for their long time commitment to human rights and LBGT related issues worldwide.

A variety of career areas are still available including family adoption, event planning, community relations, communications/marketing, and peer education.

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Posted on Monday, February 21, 2011 by Jim Norrena

MFA Writing program manager Teresa Walsh (left) and adjunct professor and playwright Claire Chafee

MFA Program in Writing adjunct professor Claire Chafee knows theater. And San Francisco–based Magic Theatre knows Claire Chafee—after all, it was the Magic Theatre that gave her award-winning, surreal comedy, Why We Have a Body, its world premiere in 1993.

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Posted on Friday, February 18, 2011 by Simon Hodgson

From Melissa Wyman's Spring Play, a Fight Therapy performance in Seoul, 2009

Where others see awkwardness, CCA alumna Melissa Wyman (MFA 2008) sees art. Like, those clumsy moments when one guy puts his hand out to shake just as the other guy reaches for a hug. "You can make a big deal out of it, or it can just pass, but you both know it's there," she says. Through her Fight Therapy videos, photographs, and watercolors, Wyman sharpens her eye for "fleeting, candid, unscripted" seconds of embarrassment, anger, or humor.

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Posted on Tuesday, February 1, 2011 by Jim Norrena

(l to r) Film chair Rob Epstein and Gus Van Sant [photo: Nikki Ritcher]

On Tuesday, January 25, California College of the Art welcomed celebrated filmmaker Gus Van Sant to the San Francisco campus, where Film chair Rob Epstein engaged him in conversation before a maximum-capacity audience gathered inside Timken Lecture Hall. As part of his visit to the college, Van Sant also guest lectured a master class with Epstein the following day.

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Posted on Tuesday, January 25, 2011 by Simon Hodgson

Iris Charabi-Berggren, Portrait with Bella's Mask (at Headlands Center for the Arts, 2010)View slideshow 

Fresh from completing a residency at the respected Headlands Center for the Arts in Marin County, the Israeli-born artist Iris Charabi-Berggren (MFA 2007) is about to undertake another residency, this time at Berkeley's Kala Art Institute. And she just received an email from the Drawing Center in New York notifying her that she's been accepted into their Viewing Program.

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Posted on Tuesday, January 18, 2011 by Jim Norrena

[photo: Daniel Nicoletta]

Documentary Exhibition at New York MoMA

CCA Film chair Rob Epstein's 1985 Academy Award–winning documentary The Times of Harvey Milk will screen at the New York Museum of Modern Art as part of the museum's Oscar’s Docs, 1964–85: The Front Lines at Home and Abroad, a film exhibition series inspired by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that celebrates Oscar-nominated and winning documentaries that have had a major impact over the years.

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Posted on Tuesday, January 18, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Volunteers Needed

CCA's Queer/Straight Alliance (QSA) is seeking volunteers to help run the college's table at tomorrow's (Wednesday, January 18) Chimeratopia Community Fair from approximately 1:30 to 4 p.m. in the atrium in front of the Nave (where A2 Café is located).

Come meet new and returning students while supporting the Queer/Straight Alliance. Visibility is key to ensuring all minority groups at the college have the opportunity to engage in dialogue, share experiences, and build supportive friendships—all of which tear down the walls by demystifying our differences.

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