Diversity News

Posted on Monday, April 23, 2012 by Simon Hodgson

Sanjit Sethi

What links the children of Oakland's Emery Secondary School with the inmates of San Quentin? Answer: CCA students have worked with both in partner programs organized by CCA's Center for Art and Public Life. The Center, operating out of an unassuming office on Broadway opposite CCA's main Oakland campus, is a dynamic hub connecting the college with organizations across the Bay Area operating in the fields of art, education, business, design, community work, ecology, and beyond. Its ever-widening network is overseen by the Center's director, Sanjit Sethi, whose formidable leadership skills and affable manner have made him much admired and extraordinarily well connected.

In the last four years, Sethi and the Center have focused their activities into three well-defined programs, which immediately benefit hundreds of CCA students every year. ENGAGE at CCA organizes semester-long courses in collaboration with faculty members that occur across disciplines throughout the college and operate in partnership with outside organizations such as Bethany Senior Center Housing or the Temescal Mural Project to solve specific, well-defined issues. The IMPACT Social Entrepreneurship Awards give up to $10,000 to interdisciplinary teams of CCA students to devise, plan, and execute social and humanitarian projects benefiting specific communities, anywhere in the world, over one summer. CCA CONNECTS are structured "externships" in which 40 students every year work at outside organizations such as the design firm Rebar or the architectural group Asian Neighborhood Design.

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Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2012 by Mitchell Schwarzer

Mitchell Schwarzer gives his introduction at the CCA faculty retreat

On February 4, 2012, the faculty at California College of the Arts gathered at the college's San Francisco campus for a retreat focused on the state of the arts across our many disciplines. In the morning, 25 short presentations offered insights into challenges and opportunities faced by practitioners and thinkers in recent times. The word aired most frequently was crisis: the crisis of the Great Recession; the crisis of Global Climate Change; the crisis of understanding and working within a discipline in our digital age.

Watch the video of all the presentations (91 minutes), shot and edited by Yoni Klein (Photography 2012)

The economic downturn has produced an economic squeeze within most of our disciplines. Art directors, as Alexis Mahrus remarks, have diminished roles in shaping an illustration. Smaller profit margins reduce the flexibility and time given over to experimentation. Branding and celebrity worship take up a larger slice of the creative pie. Some presenters, like Sue Redding of Industrial Design, see no problem in this conflation of art and business and, furthermore, dispute the notion of a crisis. Yet many presenters feel that the economic crisis is not only real but wielding dangerously asymmetrical impacts. Demand remains strong for high-end craft goods and blue-chip fine art. Some small nonprofits are struggling to survive. To Ignacio Valero of Critical Studies, the priority given over to luxury items can be attributed to the ongoing influence of classical economic policies that privilege individual decision making over collective social and natural needs. Likewise, Sandra Vivanco of Diversity Studies notes that economic inequalities have greatly worsened over the past few years, especially in the developing world. Contemporary society is forging a timeless, spaceless way of conducting business, a race for lucrative and short-term gains that concentrates investment more than ever in the hands of a few.

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Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 by Jim Norrena

A documentary short by Yoni Klein and Alka Joshi

Blink once for finalist, twice for student Academy Award.

In almost as little time as it takes to blink, Yoni Klein's (2012 Photography) and alumna Alka Joshi's (MFA 2011 Writing) documentary short, Blink, made the film festival rounds in 2011, screening at almost a dozen film festivals across the United States as well as in London at GFEST, the Gaywise Festival! Now the film has just been announced as a regional finalist in the 39th annual Student Academy Awards competition of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Academy) and the Academy Foundation!

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Posted on Friday, April 13, 2012 by Simon Hodgson

Brian Conley, Miniature War in Iraq . . . and Now Afghanistan, 2010

Fine Arts faculty member Brian Conley spent part of his fall 2011 sabbatical in the Middle East assisting in the launch of a new nonprofit organization, Sada (Echo) for Contemporary Iraqi Art. Sada was founded just last year by the Baghdad-born curator and Fulbright fellow Rijin Sahakian, who saw a critical need for support in the creation, presentation, and preservation of contemporary art in Iraq.

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Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 by Chris Bliss

David Sedaris [photo: Anne Fishbein]

Best-selling author and NPR humorist David Sedaris will appear at a special benefit reading for California College of the Arts (CCA) on May 3, 2012, at Zellerbach Auditorium on the UC Berkeley campus. The evening will include a reading from new and unpublished material, a book signing, and, for sponsorship donors, a VIP cocktail party with the author at Berkeley Art Museum. Proceeds will benefit the CCA Scholarship Fund.

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Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2012 by Joyna Heinz

November 18–22, 2013

Download the International Education Week schedule

A joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education to recognize the global exchange environment between the United States and other countries, International Education Week (IEW) is a celebration and promotion of international education and exchange.

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Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

The Reeducation of Cherry Truong: A Novel
St. Martin's Press, 2012
Hardcover, 368 pages, $25.99

The Reeducation of Cherry Truong is a novel by Writing and Literature chair Aimee Phan about reverse migration, the new American immigrant story. Cherry Truong's attempt to reconnect to her mother's family reaches around the world, from America to Vietnam to France, and reinvents what she knows of her family's history and her world. It is a story of loyalties, histories, and identities, exploring multiple generations of the Truong and Vos families and touching on the events of the Vietnam War, cultural assimilation, reconciliation, forgiveness, and redemption.

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Posted on Tuesday, March 6, 2012 by Allison Byers

Starting at a new school can be an exciting yet nerve-wracking experience. Will I like my teachers? Will I do well in my classes? Will I be able to talk about my ideas and be understood? Will I be able to find my way around? Will I make friends? What about my roommate?

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Posted on Monday, February 27, 2012 by Jim Norrena

Production stills from CCA's newest "drama queens": Candacy Taylor, Greacian Goeke, Susan Sobeloff, and Jennifer Roberts

"I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being." -- Oscar Wilde

In the last year a growing number of CCA graduates -- each representing a unique program of study -- has tapped into the Bay Area's richly diverse and proliferating performing arts scene to have a full-scale world premiere of their work brought to fruition. Among these impressive alumnae are:

Candacy Taylor (MFA Visual Criticism 2002)

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Posted on Tuesday, February 7, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Making Race: Modernism and "Racial Art" in America
University of Washington Press, 2011
Paperback, 256 pages, $40

Jacqueline Francis (Visual and Critical Studies and Painting/Drawing faculty) explores the flowering of racial art rhetoric in criticism and history published in the 1920s and 1930s, and analyzes its underlying presence in contemporary discussions of artists of color. She specifically looks at the cases of Malvin Gray Johnson, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, and Max Weber, three New York artists whose work was popularly assigned to the category of "racial art" in the interwar years of the 20th century. The term was widely used by critics and the public at the time, and was an unexamined, unquestioned category for the work of non-whites (such as Johnson, an African American), non-Westerners (such as Kuniyoshi, a Japanese-born American), and ethnicized non-Christians (such as Weber, a Russian-born Jewish American). The discourse on racial art is a troubling chapter in the history of early American modernism that has not, until now, been sufficiently documented. Francis juxtaposes the work of these three artists in order to consider their understanding of the category and their stylistic responses to the expectations created by it, in the process revealing much about the nature of modernist art practices.

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