Faculty News

Posted on Monday, August 20, 2012 by Allison Byers

The delightfully quirky neighborhood of South Park—clustered around San Francisco’s oldest park—is hoping to get a modern makeover.

Originally developed in 1855 as a West Coast version of a London square, houses and offices line a verdant, one-acre oval. The South Park commons is one of 15 parks and other facilities that would be the beneficiaries of a $195 million San Francisco Clean and Safe Parks Bond, should it pass in November.

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Posted on Monday, August 6, 2012 by Matthew Harrison Tedford

Elizabeth Dorbad and Ann Schnake, "Kunsthalle Fridericianum with Empanadas," 2012

Every five years the art world descends on Kassel, Germany, for Documenta. For 100 days, venues across the city present one of the world's largest and most prestigious art events to hundreds of thousands of visitors. The 2012 edition is curated by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev and features an all-star list of hundreds of international artists, from William Kentridge to Song Dong.

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Posted on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

From Amber Cox's documentation of San Francisco's Financial District

San Francisco and Istanbul: Both built across seven hills, on peninsulas jutting into major bodies of water, where East meets West dramatically and literally-continentally. Their respective situations along major global shipping routes means that they have always been rich in trade, rich in a cosmopolitan diversity of cultures, and rich in ideas: Just as the Bay Area has been a center of forward thinking, from the 1960s Haight-Ashbury counterculture to contemporary entrepreneurial Silicon Valley culture, Turkey -- and especially Istanbul -- is facing the future culturally and politically in its unique position at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and the Arab world.

CCA and Istanbul: East Meets West

CCA has been engaging with Istanbul in many cultural exchanges in recent years. In 2011 Jens Hoffmann, director of the CCA Wattis Institute, co-curated the 12th Istanbul Biennial, which featured numerous CCA alumni and faculty. The Vehbi Koç Foundation of Turkey recently announced its pledge to support one full-time Turkish student each year in CCA's Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice. And in spring 2012, Mariella Poli's CCA course Locality and Global Discourses facilitated an exchange between 16 students at CCA and five students at Istanbul Bilgi University.

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Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 by Allison Byers

What's your favorite piece of clothing? As we've learned from our forays into street fashion, every treasured scarf, worn-out t-shirt, and hand-me-down skirt has a story. Most fashionistas could give an itemized tour of their closets, describing when each piece was bought and how it was worn. These stories may seem inane -- we wonder, Why can I remember this and not my parents' birthdays? -- but now they're being granted a higher purpose in the Local Wisdom project.

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Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 by Allison Byers

It's not an obsession and it's not quite a hobby. However, for almost two years, between 2004 and 2006, I checked Ebay nearly every day for Concorde in-flight service items. In the interim, I've amassed a substantial collection, mostly from the last British Airways fitting, co-designed by Conran and Factory Design.

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Posted on Friday, July 13, 2012 by Elin Christopherson

Students work with Don Friedlich

CCA visiting artist Don Friedlich participated as an artist in residence in spring 2012. He had been invited on behalf of the college's Glass and Jewelry / Metal Arts Programs. While at CCA Friedlich experimented with glass processes and worked directly with students.

Artist's Techniques

Metal arts and glass are ancient mediums, and while Friedlich is a craftsman in the traditional sense, he also incorporates new industrial technologies in his work.

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Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 by Allison Byers

Fantagraphics Books and award-winning cartoonist Justin Hall have produced a definitive collection of the greatest LGBT comics created over the last four decades.

Out superheroes such as Northstar, Batwoman, and Green Lantern’s Alan Scott weren’t always a part of the landscape of comic book characters. Not so long ago even acknowledging the LGBT community was forbidden in the conventional world of comics. That didn’t stop queer cartooning and characters from existing, though.

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Posted on Monday, July 9, 2012 by Rachel Walther

Matt Silady loves teaching, storytelling, and drawing. And as CCA's unofficial "Professor of Comics," he gets to do all three every day. Silady's passion for his job is infectious. It is truly a calling, and it explains why every fall and spring semester course he's ever taught as part of both the college's undergraduate Writing and Literature Program and the MFA Program in Writing has been full to capacity.

"Any day that I can spread the word and show people what comics can do, it's a good day," admits Silady, whose plans are afoot to greatly expand CCA's graduate and undergrad comics curriculum to offer more opportunities to students interested in graphic storytelling.

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Posted on Tuesday, July 3, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Watching their Carnaval float moving down Mission Street as part of San Francisco's massive annual parade, laden with dancers from the Brazilian troupe Sambaxé, accompanied by the vibrant beats of the Brazilian musical group Blocura and the powerful moves of the Brazilian ABADA Capoeira troupe, TV cameras rolling, people cheering from the sidewalks and the rooftops high above. . . It was a triumphant moment for CCA faculty member Sandra Vivanco and the 15 students in her Body and Spectacle course.

The Carnaval parade was the culmination of a semester of hard work and intensive collaboration -- not only among the CCA students, but also in coordination with a group of high school students enrolled in the Out of Site Youth Arts Center, the city of San Francisco, experts in construction and transportation, and beyond. The CCA course was offered under the auspices of Diversity Studies and attracted a correspondingly wide-ranging bunch, from Architecture and Interior Design to Graphic Design, Illustration, Fashion Design, and Painting/Drawing.

The students designed not only the Carnaval float structure, but also the costumes and props that made its appearance in the parade a real performance rather than just a potential site for one. They had done as much work as they could in the CCA shops, and then transported the pieces to Pier 40, where the city graciously donated space for final assembly.

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Posted on Tuesday, July 3, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Equal of the Sun
Scribner, 2012
Hardcover, 448 pages, $26

Legendary women -- from Anne Boleyn to Queen Elizabeth I to Mary, Queen of Scots -- changed the course of history in the royal courts of 16th-century England. They are celebrated in history books and novels, but few know of the powerful women in the Muslim world, who formed alliances, served as key advisers to rulers, lobbied for power on behalf of their sons, and ruled in their own right. Equal of the Sun, a novel by Anita Amirrezvani (Writing faculty) is a tale of power, loyalty, and love in the royal court of Iran.

Her protagonist is Princess Pari Khan Khanoom Safavi. Iran in 1576 is a place of wealth and dazzling beauty. But when the Shah dies without having named an heir, the court is thrown into tumult. Princess Pari, the Shah’s daughter, knows more about the inner workings of the state than almost anyone, but the princess’s maneuvers to instill order after her father’s sudden death incite resentment and dissent. Pari and her closest adviser, Javaher, a eunuch able to navigate the harem as well as the world beyond the palace walls, are in possession of an incredible tapestry of secrets and information that reveals a power struggle of epic proportions.

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