Fine Arts News

Posted on Tuesday, August 14, 2012 by Allison Byers

Would Americans be so staunchly split on the issue of immigration if the outcome could cost them Optimus Prime, Superman, Wolverine, and Wonder Woman? Bay Area artist Neil Rivas’s newest project calls attention to that set of exceptional U.S. residents who have long acted as guardians of our nation, but who could be threatened with deportation due to the country’s increasingly invasive immigration policies.

Posted on Tuesday, August 14, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Brittany Luby (with friend Chhat Chea in the CCA photo booth) and Larissa Erin Greer

The following speeches were delivered by CCA students at the spring 2012 commencement ceremony.

Brittany Luby

While I am proud to have been chosen to speak to my graduating class, I had to ask myself, What qualifies me to address my own peers, the very people who spent entire nights in the studio alongside myself? What advice could I possibly bestow upon those with whom I have been growing and learning in concert . . . other than "Ginger is good for settling an upset stomach, and always drink water."

I'm not quite sure, and hopefully by the end of this something pithy yet insightful will have fallen out of my being here. But for now, I think I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on the last four years and congratulate my classmates on following through to the end.

This is for everyone who slept in their studio. For those who took poorly paying freelance jobs only to empty their bank accounts again the next day in the name of art. This is for my friends who took two buses and a train five days a week to get to their six classes and two jobs (you know who you are); for those who left home without looking back to fearlessly take charge of their own destiny. You are the reason that I keep going, keep making, keep thriving.

Posted on Monday, August 13, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Bean Gilsdorf (MFA 2011) never imagined herself as a professional advice columnist. But in a moment of levity at an editorial meeting of the art blog Daily Serving, she tossed out the idea of an art advice column, and the others wouldn't let it drop.

And once she launched the thing, it really took off. She posted her first "Help Desk" column in January 2012, and it was almost immediately picked up by KQED.org and the Huffington Post.

What have been the most memorable questions? "One was, 'I just discovered that my MFA faculty advisor is an adulterer. I find that morally reprehensible. Should I continue to trust him in our student-advisor relationship?'"

This dilemma can't be reduced to yet another case of people not living up to expectations, Gilsdorf explains, since your advisor is your designated critic-advocate, and the nuances of the trust and the power dynamic are quite specific. In other words, Dear Abby can't deal with this one. You really need the advice of another artist.

What's been the strangest question so far? "'What is the best and most humane way to skin a cat as part of an art piece, in front of an audience'’ I wrote the guy back privately and told him I wasn't qualified to give an answer."

Posted on Monday, August 6, 2012 by Allison Byers

Mia Christopher is a young San Francisco-based artist fresh out of her BFA at the California College of the Arts. Working in several different mediums, Christopher's works are an amalgamation of colors, shapes, and textures. Different types of paper, amorphous forms of latex, and simple gouache and acrylic color fields come together to form the beautifully abstract collection of images and three-dimensional objects in her portfolio.

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Posted on Monday, August 6, 2012 by Allison Byers

Tara Tucker is a Bay Area-based visual artists. Tucker studied sculpture at California College of Arts & Crafts in Oakland, receiving both her BFA and MFA from the college.

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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.

Posted on Thursday, July 26, 2012 by Victoria Deblassie

Victoria DeBlassie at the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, summer 2010

This is a story by CCA alumna Victoria DeBlassie (MFA 2011) recounting her study-abroad trip to Italy in summer 2010. It inspired her to apply for a Fulbright grant to return to Italy, which was accepted!

Learn more about CCA's study-abroad programs, hosted by the Office of Special Programs.

Tuesday, July 14, 2010: I'd been traveling throughout Italy for more than a month and had just arrived in Rome. My eyes, heavy from the long trip from Venice and the dense summer heat, glanced at the marquee of the building where I was staying, one floor of which was the Lilium Hotel. I did a double-take when I saw the neighboring proprietor's name: Di Blasi, the original Italian version of my own last name!

Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 by Allison Byers

San Francisco-based artist Mia Christopher is making leaps and bounds with her new body of work, which includes paintings and drawings made from a range of alternative materials- confetti, glitter, iridescents, eyeshadow, and lipstick. After graduating with a BFA from California College of the Arts in May 2012, Mia’s prolific process of making hasn’t slowed down for a second.

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Posted on Thursday, July 5, 2012 by Allison Byers

Mary Meyer was once a painter whose sartorial ambitions exceeded her wallet’s limitations. Thus, she began making clothes that she wanted to wear. And people just started buying it off of her. She’s still a painter. As a graduate of California College of Arts & Crafts, her fine arts skills take the place of the a design background.

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Posted on Tuesday, July 3, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Woodcut
Princeton Architectural Press, 2012
Hardcover, 128 pages, $29.95

If there is, indeed, nothing lovelier than a tree, the Connecticut-based artist Bryan Nash Gill (MFA 1988) shows us why. Creating large-scale relief prints from the cross-sections of trees, the artist reveals the sublime power locked inside their arboreal rings. Gill creates patterns not only of great beauty but also year-by-year records of the life and times of fallen or damaged logs. He rescues the wood from the property surrounding his studio and neighboring land, extracts and prepares blocks of various species (including ash, maple, oak, spruce, and willow), then makes prints by carefully following and pressing the contours of rings and ridges until the intricate designs transfer from tree to paper.

The results are colored, nuanced shapes -- mesmerizing impressions of the structural integrity hidden inside each tree. These exquisitely detailed prints are collected and published here for the first time, with an introduction by the esteemed nature writer Verlyn Klinkenborg and an interview with the artist describing his labor-intensive printmaking process. Also featured are Gill's series of printed lumber and offcuts, such as burls, branches, knots, and scrubs.

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