Maja Ruznic's painting Self Portrait as Mother of All Evil was recently featured on the cover of New American Paintings. That, plus the sudden flurry of activity that has followed (including a hefty feature on ABC news and commissions from around the world, have been extraordinary and gratifying, and the biggest break thus far since her graduation in 2009 from CCA's Graduate Program in Fine Arts.
Posted on Saturday, May 5, 2012 by Christina Linden
Maja Ruznic made up for her performance in "The Cries of San Francisco," 2011 (photo by Aimee Friberg)
Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook
Little Paper Planes: 20 Artists Reinvent the Childhood Classic
Chronicle Books, 2012
Paperback, 84 pages, $19.95
Kelly Lynn Jones (MFA 2010, Painting/Drawing 2002), owner of the online artist store Little Paper Planes (which carries work by many CCA artists!), has created this awesome celebration of a timeless pastime. The book offers constructible paper airplanes and a few other airplane-inspired crafts, taking the paper plane to a whole new level, from paper-doll planes and shark planes to plane mobiles and mix-and-match gliders. Featuring work by rising stars and indie darlings as Gemma Correll, Michael Hsiung, Julia Rothman, Alyson Fox, and Lisa Congdon. Printed on perforated pages for easy removal and assembly, the planes are accompanied by instructions, artist interviews, and loads of visuals.
Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2012 by Mitchell Schwarzer
Mitchell Schwarzer gives his introduction at the CCA faculty retreat
On February 4, 2012, the faculty at California College of the Arts gathered at the college's San Francisco campus for a retreat focused on the state of the arts across our many disciplines. In the morning, 25 short presentations offered insights into challenges and opportunities faced by practitioners and thinkers in recent times. The word aired most frequently was crisis: the crisis of the Great Recession; the crisis of Global Climate Change; the crisis of understanding and working within a discipline in our digital age.
The economic downturn has produced an economic squeeze within most of our disciplines. Art directors, as Alexis Mahrus remarks, have diminished roles in shaping an illustration. Smaller profit margins reduce the flexibility and time given over to experimentation. Branding and celebrity worship take up a larger slice of the creative pie. Some presenters, like Sue Redding of Industrial Design, see no problem in this conflation of art and business and, furthermore, dispute the notion of a crisis. Yet many presenters feel that the economic crisis is not only real but wielding dangerously asymmetrical impacts. Demand remains strong for high-end craft goods and blue-chip fine art. Some small nonprofits are struggling to survive. To Ignacio Valero of Critical Studies, the priority given over to luxury items can be attributed to the ongoing influence of classical economic policies that privilege individual decision making over collective social and natural needs. Likewise, Sandra Vivanco of Diversity Studies notes that economic inequalities have greatly worsened over the past few years, especially in the developing world. Contemporary society is forging a timeless, spaceless way of conducting business, a race for lucrative and short-term gains that concentrates investment more than ever in the hands of a few.
Posted on Friday, April 13, 2012 by Simon Hodgson
Brian Conley, Miniature War in Iraq . . . and Now Afghanistan, 2010
Fine Arts faculty member Brian Conley spent part of his fall 2011 sabbatical in the Middle East assisting in the launch of a new nonprofit organization, Sada (Echo) for Contemporary Iraqi Art. Sada was founded just last year by the Baghdad-born curator and Fulbright fellow Rijin Sahakian, who saw a critical need for support in the creation, presentation, and preservation of contemporary art in Iraq.
Posted on Thursday, April 12, 2012 by Allison Byers
Chanel barbells, meticulously re-created Prada eau de toilette packaging, a Burberry punching bag and an entire Kate Spade store replicated from scratch - those familiar with the aforementioned sculpture and installations by Bay Area artist Libby Black might be surprised to learn that her approach is far from a cerebral spoof of branding in the modern world. Rather, it hews closely to Black's own upbringing.
Posted on Monday, March 12, 2012 by Allison Byers
CCA alumna Tara Tucker’s (Sculpture 1992, MFA 1994) artwork is honest. Intricate. Thought provoking and unnerving, yet simultaneously comforting and familiar. You could also call it ambitious and unwavering, and in this sense it is an accurate embodiment of Tucker as a person. The artist’s surreal depictions of animal creatures reflect a lifetime of memories, experiences, and observations.
Posted on Thursday, March 1, 2012 by Allison Byers
Some materials have a way of not only resisting efforts to manipulate them but also almost battling back.
That seemed the case when, not long ago, S.F. artist Jonathan Runcio was attempting to work with one of the ungainly, rough chunks of concrete that he screenprints with collages of buildings. While he was printing one raw slab on a dolly, it shifted and his leg was pinned. Fortunately, before a scenario akin to an art-world "127 Hours" ensued, a friend freed him.
Posted on Monday, February 27, 2012 by Jim Norrena
Production stills from CCA's newest "drama queens": Candacy Taylor, Greacian Goeke, Susan Sobeloff, and Jennifer Roberts
"I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being." -- Oscar Wilde
In the last year a growing number of CCA graduates -- each representing a unique program of study -- has tapped into the Bay Area's richly diverse and proliferating performing arts scene to have a full-scale world premiere of their work brought to fruition. Among these impressive alumnae are:
Candacy Taylor (MFA Visual Criticism 2002)
Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2012 by Jim Norrena
CCA at CAA
Please join California College of the Arts at the College Art Association’s 100th annual conference in Los Angeles February 22–25. CCA faculty and alumni will be participating in various panel discussions throughout the conference. (See event schedule below.)
We invite you to drop by the CCA booth at the conference’s Book and Trade Fair to meet esteemed members of our faculty. We're looking forward to meeting you!
Special Reception for Alumni
Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook
5 Cities / 41 Artists / Artadia 08/09
Paperback, 168 pages, $40
This full-color publication features more than 140 artworks and comments by Artadia Awardees 2009 Atlanta, 2009 Boston, 2008 Chicago, 2008 Houston, and 2009 San Francisco. It includes biographies of the 41 artists and essays by foremost curators and thinkers in Artadia's program cities, including guest editor Franklin Sirmans (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), Andrea Barnwell Brownlee (Spelman College of Fine Art, Atlanta), René de Guzman (Oakland Museum of California), Jen Mergel (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), Stephanie Smith (Smart Museum of Art, Chicago), and Michelle White (The Menil Collection, Houston). CCA affiliates featured include James Gobel (Painting/Drawing and Fine Arts faculty), Allison Smith (Sculpture chair), Leslie Shows (MFA 2006), Weston Teruya (Painting/Drawing 2006), and Moses Nornberg (student).