Faculty News

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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Posted on Thursday, June 28, 2012 by Elin Christopherson

Artist in Resident

Artist-in-resident Don Friedlich was the spring 2012 visiting artist at California College of the Arts in the Jewelry / Metal Arts and Glass Programs.

Innovative Approach

Although metal arts and glass are ancient arts, Friedlich applies new and innovative industrial technologies in his work. While at CCA Friedlich brought CNC-milled graphite molds into the Hot Shop where Glass 2 students helped him fill them with hot glass. He also brought in 3D-printed vitrious objects, which he fired enamel colors onto, and he CNC-milled a plaster blow mold using the CCA shops.

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Posted on Thursday, June 28, 2012 by Allison Byers

Plenty of museums these days have orientation videos. For the mind-bending, truth-testing exhibition “More Real? Art in the Age of Truthiness,” which opens next month at Site Santa Fe in New Mexico, Bay Area artist Jonn Herschend has, instead, created a “disorientation” video to greet visitors entering the space.

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Posted on Tuesday, June 26, 2012 by Rachel Walther

When CCA alumni (and married couple) Kevin Krueger and Kristin Olson (both Individualized Major 2011) were looking around the Bay Area for an affordable studio the year after graduation, they found their dream space at 1158 Howard Street in San Francisco, formerly the home of leather bondage shop Stormy Leather.

There was just one problem: With its multiple ground floor rooms, basement areas, and loft, it was simply too large for their needs. "We didn't know what to do at first with that much space," remembers Krueger. But then the answer presented itself: They opened up their more-than-enough studio to a larger community of friends and colleagues. Staring in January 2012, the newly named Alter Space began hosting a series of exhibitions, workshops, and live performances.

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Posted on Monday, June 25, 2012 by Allison Byers

Sasha Duerr is a CCA alumna (MFA 2003), a member of the CCA faculty, and the founder of the Permacouture Institute. Just like the cloth she dyes by hand, everything about Duerr radiates passion, a generous investment of time and hand labor, and a deep respect for history.

When you think of the color red, you probably imagine a bright, saturated red, like a Crayola crayon. Yet when Duerr thinks of red, she imagines a living, breathing, mottled red -- the red that comes from a fern, or a pinecone.

Just like the cloth she dyes by hand using what she calls a garden-to-garment process, everything about Duerr radiates passion, a generous investment of time and hand labor, and a deep respect for history.

She focuses her teaching and research practices on organic dyes, alternative fibers, and the creative reuse of materials. She has written and lectured extensively, becoming a well-known authority in these emerging fields over the last 10 years. Her artworks have been exhibited in galleries and museums across the United States and in Japan, and she has taught at artist residencies, colleges, and community and school garden programs.

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Posted on Thursday, June 21, 2012 by Allison Byers

To get a sense of Jason Kelly Johnson’s vision for buildings of the future, drop by the Buckminster Fuller show on view at SFMOMA through July 29. Johnson’s San Francisco-based studio Future Cities Lab was one of the firms chosen to represent Fuller’s legacy in the Bay Area. You’ll see the motorized model for the HYDRAMAX Port Machine, a waterfront “urban-scale robotic structure” that harvests rainwater and fog, designed by Johnson and his partner Nataly Gattegno—a dynamic concept that makes today’s built environment look positively lazy by comparison.

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Posted on Thursday, June 21, 2012 by Allison Byers

Ten years ago, when I wrote The Making of a Discipline: The Making of a Title, 2002, there was a big debate on: Is experience design about online and mobile interfaces or is it something more? Forward-thinking initiatives, like the AIGA’s Advance for Design, began the conversation at the center of the convergence of the media, technology, and business worlds. Started by Clement Mok and Terry Swack, and supported by Ric Grefe, this group of people met periodically for several years to talk about the changes in the above industries and how to both manage and communicate them.

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Posted on Thursday, June 21, 2012 by Allison Byers

The designer behind the One Laptop Per Child Project, Yves Behar is truly a world-class designer, balancing aesthetics, function, and socially-based initiatives. Founder and principal designer of FuseProject, he also happens to be the Chair of the Industrial Design Department at San Francisco’s California College of the Arts. Recently, he facilitated a design studio in which Industrial Design students partnered with South Korean cell phone manufacturer Pantech to design new cell-phone models, taking on the future of mobile communications and addressing the idea of emotional networking.

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