Diversity News

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.

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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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Posted on Monday, March 28, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Film chair Rob Epstein shares his views about today's documentaries

Celebrated documentary filmmaker and chair of CCA's Film Program, Rob Epstein, whose not one but two Academy Award wins (Times of Harvey Milk, 1985; Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt, 1990) have catapulted the openly gay filmmaker to ineludible master status both within and outside the LGBTQ community, was recently interviewed by Movieline.

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Posted on Monday, March 28, 2011 by Samantha Braman

(This is the fourth of four installments describing highlights of the spring 2010 ENGAGE at CCA courses. You can also download the whole story as it appeared in Glance, CCA's college magazine.)

Community Partner Organization: 826 Valencia, San Francisco

CCA Faculty Leader: Aimee Phan, Writing and Literature

Outside Expert: Judith Tannenbaum, teaching artist and writer

Goal: Mentor John O'Connell High School students through the process of producing an anthology of personal essays

Dave Eggers is one of San Francisco's precious few hometown celebrities, famous for his books and his literary journal McSweeney's. And then there's his awesome pirate store at 826 Valencia, where just behind the peg legs, eye patches, and bottles of Scurvy-Be-Gone is a space devoted to helping students ages 6 to 18 develop their writing skills.

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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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