Fine Arts News

Posted on Monday, November 26, 2012 by Allison Byers

In 2007, Oakland artist Packard Jennings made headlines when the New York Times cited his sneaky method of placing “battle in Seattle” style Anarchist action figures for sale in local Target and Wal – Mart stores just in time for a holiday season filled with more than a few unsuspecting consumers. In the New York Times, Ian Urbana defined “shopdropping” as the act of “…surreptitiously putting things in stores, rather than illegally taking them out, and the motivations vary.”

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Posted on Friday, November 16, 2012 by Rachel Walther

Glen Helfand (in the green T-shirt) with CCA students and Creativity Explored artists

A hall of mirrors reflecting an artist's actual view of the world; sculptural train tracks coming out of the wall and into the gallery space; colorful, hanging text-mobiles that evoke psychologically charged word-clouds; a fashion magazine devoted to one fabulous model; and a pop-up shop selling equestrian-themed T-shirts, jewelry, and drawings:

These are the works that will be on view in Fabricators, the culminating exhibition for Glen Helfand's fall 2012 ENGAGE at CCA course, at Jack Fischer Gallery in San Francisco, December 12-22, 2012. The public is invited to the reception on Saturday, December 15, 3-5 p.m.

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Posted on Thursday, November 15, 2012 by Allison Byers

On Grove Street, across from the gilded, Beaux-Arts exterior of City Hall, the San Francisco Arts Commission has a space that it is no longer allowed to use as a gallery – quite. 155 Grove has been deemed seismically unsafe, which means the general public is not allowed inside, but the city does allow SFAC to put the space’s large front window to use: A rotation of artists fill the cube with site-specific installations that the public can view from outside.

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Posted on Thursday, November 8, 2012 by Allison Byers

It’s not always quite this bustling, Hank Willis Thomas tells me as we make our way into his small, fifth-floor studio located in Midtown Manhattan; it’s just when he’s gearing up for a major project or a show—which, these past few years, has been more or less his perpetual state.

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Posted on Thursday, November 8, 2012 by Matthew Harrison Tedford

The Cast of La Bamba 2: Hell Is a Drag

"I wrote a sequel to From Dusk Till Dawn when I was in seventh grade."

So began the filmmaking career of Rob Fatal (MFA 2012). His obsession with film proceeded apace, but it took him a surprisingly long time, he says, to realize that there was a person called a director -- that movies didn't just spring into existence like Athena from Zeus's head.

Inspired by Quentin Tarantino, Mel Brooks, and Robert Rodriguez, Fatal began writing screenplays at age 12. "I loved camp and sci-fi films before I even knew they were genres." At 19 he borrowed his father's camcorder and made a 30-minute film about DJs with magical turntables. "It was accidentally campy. It was accidentally bad. But it had a lot of sincerity." Much to his surprise, it did well, even getting into a couple of festivals.

Film Maker, Filmmaker, or Artist?

Fast forward a few years. Fatal was still working in film and experimenting with video art, but not quite to the point of considering himself a filmmaker, and certainly not an "artist," whatever that meant. But one day, in the midst of editing a video documenting an experimental opera by Fatal's collaborator/mentor Juliana Snapper, he recomposed portions of the footage into a new composition and showed it to CCA faculty member Cheryl Dunye. Dunye delivered the unexpected news that what he was doing was art, and urged him to apply to CCA's MFA program. The faculty there, she said, were pushing the boundaries of genres, and dealing with gender politics and racial identity -- fields of study Fatal had been researching for years in his graduate program at Sacramento State University. CCA presented Fatal with a place to finally bridge his dual love of film theory and practice.

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Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 by Rachel Walther

Zarouhie Abdalian (MFA 2010) maintains quite the hectic travel schedule. This fall she made a trip to Bergen, Norway, to participate in the Kunstindustrimuseum's Material Information exhibition, and afterward she headed to the 9th Shanghai Biennial as a participant in the San Francisco pavilion. She's exhibited work and created site-specific installations throughout the United States and eight other countries; right now you can see one of her works, The fall without the fruit, at the CCA Wattis Institute's When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes exhibition, on view through December 1, 2012.

Abdalian's work has evolved dramatically since her years as an undergraduate at Tulane University, where she focused on painting and printmaking. While at CCA she developed an entirely new way of working that is sculptural, and profoundly site specific. A new piece doesn't begin until she researches the place where it will be located. Visually and historically, her installations engage in dialogue with their viewers and -- ideally -- disrupt their typical interaction with a particular place.

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Posted on Monday, October 15, 2012 by Rachel Walther

Natasha Wheat (MFA 2011) won't let you appreciate her work sitting down. The audience is always required to engage socially in order to fully appreciate it. Wheat's installations and performances are constructed environments that examine the power dynamics inherent in modern society.

You may know Wheat from her contributions to CCA's 2011 Bean-In, an all-day event that involved free bean-based meals, lectures, and conversations centered on the idea of agriculture-as-resistance. She's one of the featured artists in the CCA Wattis Institute's fall show When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes, open now through December 1.

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Posted on Monday, October 8, 2012 by Clay Walsh

First place: "Making a 16-foot-Long Book," by Jocelyn Chang, Graphic Design

Congratulations to all the student finalists in CCA’s third annual R.A.W. Photo (real artists @ work) contest, which featured the theme “I Belong at CCA.”

Contestants were challenged to submit images that depict a project, moment, mood, or other quality of CCA life taken from a student perspective. As expected, the results were as varying as the students themselves!

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Posted on Monday, September 24, 2012 by Allison Byers

The Root 100 ranks black influencers and achievers.

Hank Willis Thomas is a contemporary visual artist and photographer whose work tackles themes of racial identity and pop culture.

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Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2012 by Allison Byers

When museum curator Nicholas Bell was putting together the show Craft Futures: 40 Under 40 at the Smithsonian Institution's Renwick Gallery, he realized the artists had something in common besides their under-40 status. Because of their youth, he felt that each of them could be classified as "post 9/11" artists.

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