Fine Arts News

Posted on Monday, January 5, 2015 by Laura Braun

After growing up in Oklahoma and earning her bachelor's degree at the University of Central Oklahoma, Dallas moved to Oakland, Calif., to pursue a career in advertising, then her master of fine arts in design at the California College of the Arts, where she developed the concept for Afrikanation Artists while working on her thesis. An encounter at a Kenyan mall with an artist who was not allowed to sell his work outside of a single gallery sparked her to turn the idea into an organization.

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Posted on Thursday, January 1, 2015 by Glen Helfand

Holland Cotter speaking at CCA's Honorary Doctorate Luncheon

Without oversight, the art world might be ruled by spectacle and sales. We hear a lot about record-setting auction prices, blue-chip artists, and art fair attendance figures. All well and good for the beneficiaries, but these are just parts of a much more nuanced arts ecosystem.

Too easily eclipsed is the fact that most art is made by people who have plenty more on their minds than making money. Which is why a critic with the humanistic temperament of Holland Cotter is so important, and so refreshing to read.

About Holland Cotter

Cotter is a Pulitzer prize–winning writer, a poet, and the recipient of CCA’s 2014 honorary doctorate in fine arts. He writes weekly reviews and more extensive essays for the New York Times, where he’s been a full-time critic since 1998.

Cotter is hardly strident -- he’s more like an endearing watchdog -- and his thoughtful writings encourage readers to consider the value of aesthetic and intellectual adventurousness. He also consistently draws attention to artists and perspectives that might otherwise be overlooked.

It’s an important role, and he carries it out with engaged responsibility and humbleness.

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Posted on Friday, December 19, 2014 by Laura Braun

Leiber’s contributions to the history of contemporary art included consulting on numerous exhibitions, collections, and publications, as well as organizing the groundbreaking exhibition and book Extra Art: A Survey of Artists’ Ephemera, 1960–1999, which opened in 2001 at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco, before traveling to the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. He was also active as an adjunct professor at the California College of the Arts.

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Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2014 by Laura Braun

I first saw Wolowiec's work at a 2013 California College of the Arts Thesis Exhibition in San Francisco. I stopped by with a friend of mine, who pointed the work out. It looked good. I missed her one-person show at Anat Ebgi in Los Angeles in 2014, so I was excited that Ebgi was bringing her work to the NADA Miami Art Fair later that year. If you only looked at reproductions, you might be tempted to lump Wolowiec in with the dozens of other artists now busy producing Process Painting, or what many have now begun to call Zombie Painting. Seeing them in person is a must.

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Posted on Monday, December 15, 2014 by Em Meine

Metamorphosis: the Transformation of Everyday Objects is a current exhibition of Jewelry / Metal Arts alumni at the Museum of Craft and Design. The exhibition is curated by CCA faculty member David Cole and features the work of 10 California College of the Arts alumni.

About Metamorphosis

What is beautiful? How do artists see the world around us?

These artworks were selected to examine the creative process of makers who choose to use common and even humble objects as their medium. Some of these things were found in thrift stores -- or the trash -- and have an entire history of manufacture and use before they were rediscovered for another purpose.

Their relationship to some previous, unknown owner and the journey of that object into and out of the life of that person, is recorded in the patterns of wear on the surfaces.

Other materials have inherent beauty that is easy to overlook because of the context in which we perceive them. The luster and radiance that would distinguish the rarest pearl is viewed quite differently when it is seen in grains of rice or pencil leads.

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Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2014 by Laura Braun

The play of light on San Francisco Bay was a major factor in his decision to settle permanently in Berkeley, where he worked as a preschool teacher and art supply cashier to support himself, finally becoming an adjunct professor for California College of the Arts. But all the paintings in the Matrix show are inspired by Iceland. CCA asked Zurier to teach a summer painting class anywhere he wanted in 2011, and remembering a horseback riding trip he once took with his wife, Nina Zurier, a photographer, he chose the far-north country.

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Posted on Friday, December 5, 2014 by Laura Braun

Artist, educator, and human rights activist Claudia Bernradi, works at the intersection of art and conflict. For 30 years, Claudia has participated in investigations of human rights violations, working with the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team in Argentina, Buenos Aires. From this experience, she recognized that art could be used to articulate the communal memories of survivors of human rights atrocities. The Disappeared Are Appearing Mural Project was created by relatives of those who disappeared during the military dictatorship in Argentina.

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Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 by Laura Braun

Jules de Balincourt was born in 1972 in Paris and currently lives in Brooklyn. He received his BFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts in San Francisco in 1998 and his MFA from Hunter College in New York in 2005. De Balincourt has exhibited both nationally and internationally, including solo exhibitions at the Rochechouart Museum of Contemporary Art, France; Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; and Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery, Nashville.

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Posted on Monday, November 10, 2014 by Matthew Harrison Tedford

While still in high school, Claudia Alvarez (MFA 2003) began a job at the UC Davis Medical Center that would shape the rest of her professional and artistic life in unexpected ways.

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As a patient escort, she encountered a diverse group of people, many of whom had very rare diseases and long-term illnesses. One of her first assignments, she recalls, was taking a body to the morgue.

But it was working with the living that caused Alvarez to look at life differently. “To make them laugh, for even five minutes, inspired me to think about life in different ways.”

The patients were sometimes children who seemed old as they grappled with extreme infirmity, and sometimes older people who became more like children as they aged. Alvarez’s conception of age expanded; she saw maturity in children and vulnerability in grown adults.

The first time she created a sculpture of a child with an old face, now a hallmark of her practice, “People freaked out. They asked where this eerie figure came from.”

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Posted on Monday, November 10, 2014 by Laura Braun

Arranged in reverse chronology, the work on view is an expansive and comprehensive look at Sultan's practice, beginning with "Evidence" (1977), a group of found black-and-white photographs, sourced and decontextualized from the archives of corporations and government agencies made in collaboration with Mike Mandel.

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