Fine Arts News

Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 by Jim Norrena

"This is Not a Trojan Horse," but it was inspired by one . . .

When is a Trojan horse not a Trojan horse?

The exhibition This is Not a Trojan Horse by Fine Arts visiting faculty member (and founder of the artists’ collective Futurefarmers) Amy Franceschini and writer Michael Taussig, a professor of anthropology at the European Graduate School, earned them the first Artists | Writers | Environments award (the A|W|E Grant) as well as a $10,000 award.

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Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 by Allison Byers

Filming Question Bridge: Black Males

On any given day we encounter dozens, even hundreds, of people who are different from us: a different race, a different gender, a different class, a different age . . . We intellectually understand that our own identity is multifaceted, yet sometimes we cannot help grouping people into stereotypes, even within what others would consider a diverse demographic.

A team of four artists—CCA Photography faculty Chris Johnson, two CCA alumni, Hank Willis Thomas (MFA and MA Visual Criticism 2004) and Bayeté Ross Smith (MFA 2004), and Kamal Sinclair—have begun a far-reaching conversation on this topic, engaging a diverse group of African American males in a question-and-answer exchange. Their innovative trans-media project is entitled Question Bridge: Black Males, and it seeks to represent and redefine black male identity in America.

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Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 by Clay Walsh

Justin Carlisle-AndgrandView slideshow 

Congratulations to Justin Carlisle-Andgrand and Kate Nartker, each a finalist in the 2011 Design*Sponge Student Scholarship!

About the Design*Sponge Scholarship

Now in its fourth year, the Design*Sponge Scholarship is $10,000 in awards for full-time undergraduate and graduate students studying art and design. The scholarship was created to support the creative endeavors of the awardees and can be spent without restriction to support their pursuits (internship abroad, tuition, technology, supplies, etc.).

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Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2012 by Jim Norrena

In the landmark exhibition Landscape Futures: Instruments, Devices, and Architectural Interventions new work by Architecture associate professor David Gissen and Architecture visiting faculty members Mason White and Lola Sheppard (333: Architecture Summer Studio) is currently on display through February 18 at the Center for Art and Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno.

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Posted on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 by Jim Norrena

"During Sleep" installation, 10 beds, black wool, 2001 (Maison des Arts, Créteil, France) [photo: Sunhi Mang]

California College of the Arts, the San Francisco Mayor's Office of Protocol, and the San Francisco‐Osaka Sister City Association are pleased to present a special exhibition by San Francisco sister cities visiting artist Chiharu Shiota. Shiota is currently teaching at CCA as a Graduate Program in Fine Arts visiting faculty member, and was recently a guest lecturer for CCA's Design and Craft Lecture Series.

Shiota is a Japanese performance and installation artist now living in Berlin. She is best known for creating environments that are room-filling and monumental, yet delicate and poetic. She focuses on themes of remembrance and oblivion, dreaming and sleeping, traces of the past and childhood, and dealing with anxieties. Many of her installations involve impenetrable webs of black thread that enclose household and everyday objects: a burned-out piano, a wedding dress, a lady's mackintosh, sometimes even the sleeping artist herself.

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Posted on Thursday, December 1, 2011 by Christina Linden

Cristi paints addition details on his mural in Northern Ireland.

“In Northern Ireland,” says Pablo Cristi (MFA 2010), “everything is overtly political. If you want to know what a large percentage of the people think, read the walls.”

Anyone involved in cultural production today -- but especially those in public art -- hope more than anything that their work will be noticed and elicit meaningful audience reactions. In the case of a commissioned mural painted by Cristi and a few collaborators in Derry, Northern Ireland, the work fueled a vivid public debate. When petitions start circulating, well -- there’s your noticeable and meaningful reaction. And while the experience certainly put Cristi in the hot seat for a few tense weeks, he also deeply valued the public discussion and dissent motivated by the project.

Artists Collaborate

Cristi was one of four American artists -- the others were Sidd Joag (New York), Ernel Martinez (Philadelphia), and Man One (Los Angeles)—invited to Derry to do the mural commission and lead a series of classes and workshops in four different communities, each of which then had its own additional mural project. The Playhouse Derry-Londonderry organized their activity as part of an urban arts program called the What If? Project, which is part of a three-year initiative funded by the European Union Regional Development Fund called the International Culture Arts Network (ICAN). ICAN’s ambition is to bring “world-renowned artists to the counties at the interface of Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic” in order to “bridge barriers between current and formerly conflicted areas worldwide.”

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Posted on Friday, November 25, 2011 by Jim Norrena

"A Great Day in San Francisco" [photo: Chris Nickel]

"'A Great Day in San Francisco' is a picture of faculty, students, staff, alumni, and families and friends of the LGBT community at California College of the Arts," explains Painting/Drawing chair Kim Anno in reference to her latest project, a tribute to Art Kane's 1958 masterful photograph, "A Great Day in Harlem" (1958), that captured the historic gathering of 57 of the century's most influential jazz musicians on the steps of a Harlem brownstone.

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Posted on Wednesday, November 23, 2011 by Simon Hodgson

Lisa Mishima and Yvonne Mouser turn food into art at Sam's Movie Night

From painter to pastry chef, ceramicist to wine cellar owner, innovative CCA alumni are shaping creative niches across the world of food and drink.

Twenty people stand around a long butcher-block table. The lights above cast a pale glow on its surface, illuminating the ingredients piled in its recessed trough -- lemons, lettuce, flour, eggplants, bell peppers -- without lighting the faces of the diners. They are here for Hands On, a food-making experience in which they use their hands rather than utensils to create a three-course meal.

"Cooking is very much a form of art," says Lisa Mishima (Graphic Design 2005), who concocted Hands On together with her boss, Randall Stowell of the creative production company Autofuss, and friend Yvonne Mouser (Furniture 2006). "Both cooking and art involve concepting, crafting, and presenting a piece. But there is something about consuming one's creation that feels even more personal, immediate, and honest."

Initially, the guests are nervous, even clumsy. Flour falls to the floor. Slowly, the experimental chefs grow more confident. There are giggles around the room, then nods of approval as the dishes take shape. The menu features Caesar salad, handmade pasta with pesto sauce, and tiramisu. Some diners shape vegetables into utensils and use those instead of spoons or spatulas. Maybe there will be a meal at the end of this.

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Posted on Monday, November 14, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, "Bay Area Now 6" (video still)

Alumnus David Huffman (MFA 1998), who is a recently tenured assistant professor in CCA's undergraduate Painting/Drawing Program and Graduate Program in Fine Arts, is one of three featured artists in the current group exhibition SHIFT: Three Projects Constructing a New Dialogue About Race in America at the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery (through December 10, 2011).

Shifting Demographics, Shifting Races

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Posted on Thursday, November 3, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Social Craft builds a home on the campus of Srishti School of Art, Design, and Technology in Bangalore

$10,000: It's a daunting amount of money to a student, especially when the task is to spend it in three months on a single project. But three CCA student IMPACT teams proved up to the challenge in summer 2011.

The IMPACT: Social Entrepreneurship Awards is a new initiative at CCA, run by the Center for Art and Public Life under the direction of Center director Sanjit Sethi and program manager Rebecca Wolfe. It is one of a trio of unique programs managed by the Center that connect students with outside communities to address specific, real-world problems.

The three winning IMPACT teams had competed against numerous other contenders, and they all had what the judges were looking for: They were interdisciplinary, they had strong relationships with their proposed community partners, they were attentive to a relevant social and humanitarian need, and they balanced innovation and pragmatism.

Sanjit Sethi says, "The name of this speaks for itself. At its core the IMPACT program is about innovation, community, collaboration, and making. It celebrates the entrepreneurial drive of CCA students combined with their desire to create a tangible, positive impact within a specific community."

(Note to students: Info sessions for summer 2012 IMPACT are happening in San Francisco on Nov. 8 and 17 at 6 p.m. in the Timken reception area, and in Oakland Nov. 9 at 6 p.m. in front of A2 Cafe.)

The year-one IMPACT teams reported on their completed projects on September 29, 2011, in Timken Lecture Hall on CCA's San Francisco campus.

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