Faculty News

Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Furniture faculty member Barbara Holmes spent most of February installing a tour de force exhibition in an impressive new space in one of San Francisco's more down-and-out neighborhoods. Located at 1045 Mission Street between 6th and 7th Streets, it will be on view through Sunday, May 27, 2012. Since it's viewable only through the front windows, visitors are welcome to come take a look 24 hours a day. At night the piece is theatrically lit with interior spotlights.

Read the press release

1045 Mission Street is a 100-foot-long window-front space on the ground floor of SOMA Residencies. In 2011, the owners invited Recology's artist in residence (AIR) program to utilize it for off-site exhibits. Holmes is one of the first artists to install there, and she leaped on the opportunity to conceive her most ambitious piece to date -- one that would specifically take advantage of the entire available space and the nighttime illumination possibilities. The opportunity to create something so abstract, almost alive, on this big of a scale, was deeply interesting.

Also interesting were her interactions with people who live in the neighborhood and passed by while she was installing. The door was closed, but that didn't stop people from tapping on the window pretty much daily, wanting to ask about what she was doing and, occasionally, relate their life story. "It's a pretty tough neighborhood. Sometimes the interactions were funny, sometimes sad. A lot of the people who were passing by, seeing the piece, were not people who would ordinarily go to art galleries, so it was wonderful to reach them with an artwork."

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Posted on Monday, April 30, 2012 by Bob Aufuldish

Liz Tran, Bob Aufuldish, Nathanael Cho, and Deborah Lao

Sputnik is CCA's in-house, award-winning undergraduate design studio. Sputnik is a unique model that simulates (and in many ways certainly is) a typical professional client/agency relationship, where the client is a CCA staff member with a project, and the agency is Sputnik. Graphic Design faculty member Bob Aufuldish has been the faculty advisor for Sputnik since its inception in 1995.

Aufuldish has taught at CCA since 1991. In 1990 he cofounded the graphic design studio Aufuldish & Warinner. He has designed diverse projects for such clients as Adobe, Advent Software, the American Institute of Architects, the Center for Creative Photography, the Denver Art Museum, Emigre, the de Young Museum in San Francisco, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. In 1995 he launched the digital type foundry fontBoy to manufacture and distribute his fonts.

Here he talks to Nathanael Cho, Deborah Lao, and Liz Tran, all current Sputnik students, about the Sputnik experience. The interview was part of an exhibition-making advanced studio course led by Jon Sueda, in which the three were enrolled in spring 2012.

How did the idea for CCA's student-staffed, in-house design studio come about?

In 1995, the CCA board committee overseeing publicity was reviewing all the stuff the college was publishing. The chair of that committee was a former advertising agency person, and he said, "This stuff is terrible. We need to do something about this." At the time, the college didn't have the resources to hire people to design everything and manage all the projects that needed to go out.

David Meckel (now CCA's director of research and planning) knew I had gone to a school that had an in-house graphic design studio staffed by students. I told him what that program was like, and we decided to start something like it here. In the beginning, it was myself working with CCA vice president for communications Chris Bliss and two students, Eric Heiman and Nadine Stellavato. We didn't do a lot of work -- just a few projects here and there. This is because people were a bit skeptical about a group of students being able to pull off important projects. My attitude always was: All you need to do is point students in the right direction, and they'll do great work. I was right!

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Posted on Friday, April 27, 2012 by Chris Bliss

New Provost Melanie Corn

Melanie Corn has been appointed provost of California College of the Arts (CCA), it was announced today by President Stephen Beal. Currently CCA’s associate provost, she will assume the position in May 2012. As provost Corn will be CCA's chief academic officer with broad responsibilities for the strategic planning, development, and administration of the college's academic programs.

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Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2012 by Chris Koehler

Tony Huynh's winning illustration

Congratulations to recent graduate Tony Huynh and Illustration instructor Owen Smith for their inclusion in Communication Arts Illustration Annual 53!

See also Owen Smith's website.

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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 Lindsey Westbrook

None of This Is Real
Sidebrow Books, 2012
Paperback, 115 pages, $18

Miranda Mellis (Writing faculty) imagines a not-too-alternate reality of philosophical children, reincarnating chimeras, mutant matriarchies, and kind seers adapting to affliction. These five fictions question what is knowable and what actions can be taken in the face of loss of family, heritage, ecosystems, agency, and power. A face incapable of masking its sneering rebellions; young sisters in search of their missing mother; a page whose very body extracts meaning from occult readings in response to alienation; a never-ending line for coffee that becomes a surreal site of quotidian wars in miniature. Mellis brings the playfulness of contemporary fabulism to bear on today's pressing ethical and political issues, exploring the potential and limits of magical thinking with empathy, subtle humor, and an engrossing mastery of the fictional form.

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Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Under the Halo: The Official History of Angels Baseball
Insight Editions, 2012
Hardcover, 264 pages, $50

Under the Halo: The Official History of Angels Baseball is designed by Graphic Design faculty Brett McFadden and Scott Thorpe of the firm MacFadden and Thorpe. From the team’s inaugural season in 1961 under the ownership of film legend Gene Autry, this book traces memorable moments, personalities, and accomplishments through first-person accounts by Angels past and present. It includes more than 300 images, a vintage scorecard, program guide reproductions, and a removable timeline.

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Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Tag Toss and Run: 40 Classic Lawn Games
Storey Publishing, 2012
Paperback, 208 pages, $14.95

Adam McCauley (Illustration faculty) illustrates this book by Paul Tukey and Victoria Rowell. Remember those long summer afternoons spent playing Kick the Can, Capture the Flag, and Wiffle Ball? Now, even if you can’t remember the difference between dodgeball and double ball, you can brush up on the rules of your favorite classics (plus learn a few new ones!) and begin some new family traditions with your own kids.

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Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Fashion and Sustainability: Design for Change
Laurence King Publishers, 2012
Paperback, 192 pages, $29.95

Fashion Design faculty Lynda Grose coauthors (together with Kate Fletcher) this book about the potential of sustainability to transform both the fashion system and the innovators who work within it. Sustainability is arguably the defining theme of the 21st century.

The issues in fashion are broad-ranging and include labor abuses, toxic chemicals, and conspicuous consumption, giving rise to an undeniable tension between fashion and sustainability.

The book is organized into three parts. The first is concerned with transforming fashion products across the garment's lifecycle and includes innovation in materials, manufacture, distribution, use and re-use.

The second looks at ideas that are transforming the fashion system at root into something more sustainable, including new business models that reduce material throughput.

The third is concerned with transforming the role of fashion designers and looks to examples where the designer changes from a stylist or creator into a communicator, activist, or facilitator.

As of 2014, the book is available in four languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese and Japanese.

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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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