Fine Arts News

Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Jens Hoffmann leads CCA Curator's Forum tour of Istanbul Biennial (Kris Martin's work in foreground) (photo: George Jewett)

The Istanbul Biennial is a key event in the international contemporary art scene -- a highly visible, highly respected exhibition that draws more than 100,000 visitors to the city and exposes them to some of the most engaged and relevant art being made today. In its opening week, the 12th Istanbul Biennial (which remains open through November 13) was attended by almost 4,000 guests, including critics, curators, museum and gallery administrators, and approximately 400 members of the press from 50 different countries. Everything they saw (whether they realized it or not) bore the marks of a CCA affiliate's hand -- specifically two CCA curators, one CCA graphic designer, and one CCA editor. They also saw the work of one faculty member and three alumni; all three alumni had entire galleries devoted to their work.

CCA President Stephen Beal, chair of the Board of Trustees F. Noel Perry, other trustees, and several members of the CCA Curator's Forum (a dedicated group of Wattis Institute supporters) flew to Istanbul for the opening weekend. Stephen Beal remarked, standing at the biennial entrance, "It is very gratifying to see the college so prominently represented here. It is evidence of the major relevance, at the international level, of what we are doing, and the kinds of experiences and access that CCA makes available to its community."

The Curators

It was almost two years ago that Wattis Institute director Jens Hoffmann accepted the invitation to co-curate the 12th Istanbul Biennial. Beginning with that moment, what began as a single thread of connection between the college and the city of Istanbul expanded into a densely packed web involving multiple individuals.

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Posted on Tuesday, October 11, 2011 by Clay Walsh

Hello Etsy

On September 18, 2011, close to 200 people convened at CCA’s San Francisco campus to say “Hello!” to Etsy, the online marketplace where independent artists, craftspersons, and vintage sellers from around the world sell their wares directly to their customers. Visitors and locals came to CCA as part of a unique satellite conference that not only featured live streaming from the two-day Hello Etsy summit in Berlin (September 17¬-18), but also afforded the CCA campus with a full day of workshops, lectures, panel discussions with key speakers, and hands-on making sessions.

View additional photos

This first-ever conference by Etsy joined business owners and leaders in the locally made / entrepreneur community alongside artists who have invented their own products and markets to discuss innovations and challenges to succeeding in the independent and handmade movements. CCA’s fine arts and Communications administration was thrilled to partner in the programming and support of this event. Attendees ranged from crafters, CCA fine arts students, local business owners, bloggers, faculty, and dozens of CCA alumni.

The Hello Etsy event kicked off a new partnership between the college and Etsy, called I Heart Art: San Francisco. Said Etsy Director of Community and Education Vanessa Bertozzi: “Over the past few years we were seeing so much activity and energy coming out of our community in the Bay Area. After visiting CCA for the Craft Forward Symposium, it was clear to me that we wanted to partner with this school -- filled with talented faculty and students, filled with history, and new ideas.”

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Posted on Tuesday, October 11, 2011 by Allison Byers

Nomadic Rahn, 2010 (from Mirrors Series)

CCA alum Bayeté Ross Smith (MFA 2004) is a contestant on Season 2 of Bravo’s creative competition series, Work of Art: The Next Great Artist. The series seeks to discover new talent and shed light on the artistic process that typically occurs behind closed doors. Bayeté is an artist, photographer, and arts educator living in New York. His work has been exhibited with the San Francisco Arts Commission, The Oakland Museum of California, MoMA P.S.1, the New Museum, the Zacheta National Gallery of Art, and the Goethe Institute.

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Posted on Thursday, September 29, 2011 by Simon Hodgson

For an artist who has made her name celebrating the everyday, the career of Kate Pocrass (MFA 2001) is anything but ordinary. Pocrass's well-considered salute to normalcy began at CCA, when she launched Mundane Journeys, a community art project based around a telephone hotline. Art fans calling the line would hear a series of instructions directing them to a specific address in the city where they might find intriguing graffiti, a charming storefront window, or an upholstered tree stump.

"The hotline started in 2001, the year I graduated from CCA. It was in reaction to a show one of my advisors, Ted Purves, did at Southern Exposure called Sites and Expeditions. I changed the telephone message every Monday, figuring at first that it would end when the gallery show ended. I ended up continuing it for eight years, from 2001 to 2009."

Mundane Journeys led directly to a residency at the Hammer Museum. Allison Agsten, who curates the Hammer's residencies, saw a Mundane Journeys poster created for the Orange County Museum of Art's 2006 California Biennial and gave Pocrass a call.

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Posted on Friday, September 23, 2011 by Lindsey Lyons

Summer Study Abroad 2011: Iceland

The date is May 22, 2011, just one day before my flight to Iceland to join 13 other CCA graduate and undergraduate students for John Zurier's three-week Iceland: Reykjavik and the Icelandic West study-abroad course. We'll spend three days exploring Reykjavik, followed by two weeks on a remote farm on the Snaefellsness Peninsula, then three more days in Reykjavik.

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Posted on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 by Chris Bliss

Renowned writer Ishmael Reed joins the MFA Program in Writing faculty

For additional information about CCA's 2011-12 faculty hiring, read the latest Academic Newsletter by Provost Mark Breitenberg.

New Full-Time Faculty

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Posted on Thursday, August 11, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Thanks to the recent restoration at the hands of ArtCare, a partnership between the San Francisco Arts Commission and the San Francisco Art Dealers Association (SFADA), now is an ideal time to visit acclaimed local sculptor and CCA alumnus Peter Voulkos (1924–2002)'s (MFA '52) prominent spiraling sculpture that rests on the west corner lawn of San Francisco Hall of Justice at Seventh and Bryant streets.

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Posted on Monday, August 8, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Silver Curtain, 1997

Remembering Larry Sultan, Photographer and Friend

In June 2011 Photography faculty members Jim Goldberg and Todd Hido (MFA 1996) discussed the influence of their friend and teacher, photographer Larry Sultan, (1946–2009), who taught at CCA for 20 years!

Heroes & Mentors: Jim Goldberg & Todd Hido On Larry Sultan was published online by Photo District News on August 3, 2011:

Todd Hido: When did you meet Larry and what did you learn from him?

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Posted on Monday, August 1, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Untitled, 2011, acrylic gouache on wood panel 20 x 20 in.View slideshow 

"Steve Beal’s gorgeous, dare I say radiant paintings incorporate the bones of the work, the scaffolding, the process, the getting ready to take, and the contemplation before, the plunge."

— Carol Becker, Dean Columbia School of the Arts

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Posted on Monday, July 18, 2011 by Simon Hodgson

Rebecca Najdowski with Tio Lino. They created Rocinha Foto Project, a photography course for community youth

Even after the end date of her nine-month Fulbright scholarship in São Paulo, Brazil, the photographer and artist Rebecca Najdowski (MFA 2010) couldn't resist staying just a little longer to make one more trip, south to the Argentinean border, to see the legendary waterfalls of Iguaçu.

Art and travel have been soldered together in her life for as long as Najdowski can remember. She grew up in Santa Fe, a city world-renowned for its art scene. "I was surrounded by this impulse for craft. My dad was a silversmith and had a studio attached to the house. His work wasn't separate from his regular daily life. My mom was a school counselor and teacher at a public elementary school. During school holidays, she'd take off to Mexico, Honduras, Ecuador, with organizations like Save the Rainforest, and often brought me with her. I've definitely inherited my love for travel from her, the drive to really experience other parts of the world."

Movement infuses Najdowski's own artistic practice, from her Spectra photogram experiments with color and light to her photographs of rural Brazilian storefronts to her roaming investigations into South American shamanism. "Travel forces you to be really open to new people and experiences. During my time in Brazil I couldn't stop traveling, moving around to collect experiences and material. I went to Rio, to Brasília, to Recife for a folk carnival (a super cool experience), and took a three-day boat trip on the Amazon River between Belém and Santarém. The river is so massive, sometimes you feel you're on a lake. Near the northern Brazilian outpost of São Luís, I went to see a tidal bore known as the pororoca, from the word for 'destructive noise' in the indigenous Tupi language. It is an immense wave caused by salt water crashing over fresh water during the new and full moons. It's not exactly on the tourist map -- I had to go through hoops to get in touch with local surfers to reach it."

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