Fine Arts News

Posted on Monday, March 16, 2009 by Brenda Tucker

Conrad Ruiz (Fine Arts 2009), Overload, 2009, watercolor on cavas, 77 x 110 in.

California College of the Arts will present its 2009 MFA Exhibition from Thursday, May 7, through Saturday, May 16 (10 a.m.–7:30 p.m. daily), with an opening reception on May 7 from 6–9 p.m. The exhibition features projects by nearly 50 artists graduating this spring from the college's master of fine arts program. The presentation unfolds throughout CCA's San Francisco campus, giving visitors an opportunity to tour most of the college. The exhibition and opening reception are free and open to the public.

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Posted on Thursday, March 12, 2009 by Brenda Tucker

CCA and Stanford University's Department of Art & Art History will jointly host Rising Tide Conference: The Arts and Ecological Ethics on April 17–19, 2009. The conference takes place at CCA's Timken Lecture Hall and Stanford's Annenberg Auditorium. Various satellite events, including screenings, exhibitions, performances, and lectures, will take place April 6–30 at both campuses. The full schedule and details are available at

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Posted on Friday, January 30, 2009 by Chris Bliss

Jordan Kantor, Untitled (Lens Flare), 2008; oil on canvas; 26 x 34 in.

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art recently announced the recipients of the 2008 SECA Art Award, administered by the Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art. Two of the four winners are CCA faculty members: Jordan Kantor (associate professor, Painting/Drawing Program) and Desirée Holman (lecturer, First Year Program, Media Arts, and Interdisciplinary Studies). Tauba Auerbach and Trevor Paglen are the other recipients.

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Posted on Friday, January 23, 2009 by Brenda Tucker

Jens Hoffmann arm wrestles artist Christian Jankowski while emcee Tom Colucci looks on [photo by Pablo Iragorri]

California College of the Arts delivered a strong presence at Art Basel Miami Beach 2008 with alums, faculty, and staff both in attendance and showing their work throughout the city.

Art Basel Miami Beach, the sister event to Switzerland's Art Basel, is one of the most important international art fairs. For one week each December over 40,000 attendees, including more than 250 leading galleries from around the world (presenting work by more than 2,000 artists) descend on Miami.

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Posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2008 by Sarah Owens

Chaliff Dance (read my letter and dance my words) in collaboration with Farley Gwazda, digital video, 2007

Recent alumna Dina Danish (MFA 2008) is one of 12 international artists selected for an artist residency at the prestigious Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten (Royal Academy of Visual Arts) in Amsterdam, an internationally renowned two-year residency for visual artists.

Danish's application process required several selection rounds, including on-site interviews with committee members. The interview process reduced the applicant pool from 1,500 applicants to 38, and then again down to the final 12 international and 12 Dutch recipients.

The candidates were evaluated based on the quality of their work and their potential to develop and grow. At 26, Danish is three years younger than the average awardee.

As a resident artist, Danish will receive a budget to work in her own studio for a one-year period from January through December. During that time she will participate in workshops and work among other international artists who are pursuing painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, sculpture, video, film, sound, and computer art.

Danish is thrilled to have the opportunity to study and practice in an international setting, and to collaborate with the other artists and advisors.

Danish also holds a BA from the American University of Cairo.

View Danish's work online.

Visit the Rijksakademie website for additional information.

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Posted on Tuesday, July 22, 2008 by Jim Norrena

The 13th Annual Yozo Hamaguchi Winners

2008 Printmaking Scholarship Awards

The 2008 Hamaguchi Awards exhibition was held August 27 through September 11 in the Isabelle Percy West Gallery on the Oakland campus. The six undergraduates listed below each received a $2,500 tuition scholarship. :

Anna Bunting
Mick Farrell
Maria Garcia
Sam Handleman
Savannah Lisle
June Yoon

A three-person committee juried the entries:

Rupert Garcia (guest juror), an internationally known artist/printmaker

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Posted on Friday, July 11, 2008 by Sarah Owens

CCA artists worked with students from Stuttgart, Germany

The Institute for Social Research and the Discovery of Art God started as a pedagogical experiment between California College of the Arts students and learners from the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Stuttgart, Germany, to make art while living in a self-organized commune.

The Institute for Social Research (ISR) emerged from the experiment and the result is a collection of mixed-media works: films, altars, songs, performances, truth-tellings, Art God, an idol to which to pray and ask guidance—even a sofa-Jacuzzi—all of which are currently on exhibit at the Richmond Art Center in Richmond, California, through July 26, 2008.

Artist and CCA Graduate Fine Arts Chair Brian Conley and Berlin-based, teacher-artist (and recent CCA visiting artist) Christian Jankowski initiated the collaborative exhibition by offering a for-credit class, simply titled Commune, that was based on the experience of self-organization, self-agency, and experience in an intensive laboratory-style learning environment.

The students rented a communal house between August and December in 2007 in San Francisco's Ocean Beach neighborhood in which to live and work, without set parameters for their creations. Christian Jankowski loosely supervised the group, often from overseas, offering little direction or discipline. The goal was for students to create art for the exhibition and academic advancement.

Curator and CCA alumna Erin Elder (Curatorial Practice 2007) discusses how Art God materialized: "Participating artist Byung-Chul introduced prayers to the ISR's daily regimen, asking for guidance, support, and authenticity from something called Art God. The group joined him in these strange rituals and within very little time Art God became part of the group's regular vocabulary, showing up in collaborative artworks, conversation, and even public events."

Elder's essay, "793 Possibilities and How to Make Sense of it?," is featured in the exhibition's 450-page catalogue, as are essays by Conley and Jankowski.

The ISR is planning a second exhibition at the Württembergischer Kunstverin near Stuttgart that opens in August 2008.

For more information and a complete list of ISR participating artists, visit the Richmond Art Center website.

The Richmond Art Center
2540 Bartlett Avenue
Richmond, CA 94804


Ministry for Science, Research and Art, Baden-Württemberg
Rectorship of the State Academy of Fine Arts, Stuttgart
Friends of the State Academy of Fine Arts, Stuttgart
DAAD German Academic Exchange Service
California College of the Arts, San Francisco
Staatlichen Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart
Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart
The Richmond Art Center
The German Consulate of San Francisco
Lobot Gallery, Oakland

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Posted on Tuesday, June 17, 2008 by Jim Norrena

Pierre Collier designed the official poster of the 2008 Cannes Film Festival (an adaptation of a photograph by David Lynch)

While much of the stargazing that took place at the 61st annual Cannes Film Festival (May 14–25) focused on established industry moguls—movie stars, directors, and producers—it was also an international arena wherein several CCA students, in collaboration with San Jose–based nonprofit Reel Ideas Studios, not only were selected to participate in the prestigious Cannes Student Filmmaking Program but also received highest honors for their contributions.

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Posted on Friday, March 7, 2008 by Brenda Tucker

Four CCA alumni and faculty—Robert Bechtle, Mitzi Pederson, Jason Rhoades, and Mario Ybarra Jr.—will have their artworks included in the 2008 Whitney Biennial, opening at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York on March 6, 2008. The 2008 Biennial includes 81 artists and will remain on view through June 1, 2008. Since its founding in 1932, the Biennial has become one of the most important surveys of the state of contemporary art in the United States today.

Robert Bechtle
The preeminent painter and longtime San Francisco resident Robert Bechtle (born 1932) was among the initiators of Photorealism in the 1960s. His paintings reside in many museum collections and have been exhibited at numerous American and European institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; and Documenta, Kassel, Germany. A major retrospective organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 2005 traveled to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC. Bechtle received his bachelor's degree (1954), an MFA (1958), and an honorary PhD (2007) from CCA. He taught in the painting department at San Francisco State University for 30 years.

Mitzi Pederson
Mitzi Pederson (born 1976) makes sculpture out of recycled or hardware-store-type materials such as cinder blocks, plywood, cellophane, and papier-mache. Her work explores properties that are fundamental to the medium of sculpture, such as tension and balance, and her finished pieces often seem precarious or unstable. Pederson is based in San Francisco. She received a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University in 1999 and an MFA in painting and drawing from CCA in 2004. She has had solo exhibitions at White Columns, New York, and Ratio 3, San Francisco, and she has participated in group exhibitions at New Langton Arts and Jack Hanley Gallery in San Francisco. In 2006 she received the SECA Art Award from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Jason Rhodes
Jason Rhoades was born in the town of Newcastle in Northern California in 1965 and died in Los Angeles in 2006. He was a sculptor and performance artist whose artworks contain myriad references. They are often spread out on the floor in many parts, sometimes taking up entire rooms, and examine the interconnections among reality, experience, and the media. Rhoades attended CCA in 1985–86. He went on to take a bachelor's degree at the San Francisco Art Institute, attended the summer 1988 session of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and received an MFA at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Mario Ybarra Jr.
Mario Ybarra Jr. was born in Los Angeles in 1973 and continues to live and work in that city; currently he is a visiting artist and faculty member in CCA's Sculpture Program. His sculptures and installations frequently incorporate murals or graffiti, commingling street culture and fine art, and all of his work relates in some way to his Mexican American heritage. In 1999 Ybarra earned a bachelor's degree from Otis College of Art and Design, and in 2001 he received an MFA from the University of California, Irvine. His work has been presented in solo and group exhibitions at Tate Modern, London; the Prague Biennial; the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Serpentine Gallery, London; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago; and the Astrup Fearnley Museet for Moderne Kunst, Oslo.

For more information please see the Whitney Museum press release at

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Posted on Tuesday, October 30, 2007 by Kim Lessard

Denise King, *Salty Wood*

The Graduate Program in Fine Arts at California College of the Arts (CCA) presents two events in November 2007 that complement the BioTechnique exhibition at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. The CCA events—Technebiotics on November 2 and Bioaesthetics on November 26—encourage audiences to question how technologies define our everyday actions and cultural expressions. Both events are free and open to the public and take place at CCA's San Francisco campus at 1111 Eighth Street.

Technebiotics (November 2, 2–6 p.m.)

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