Fine Arts News

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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Posted on Wednesday, October 29, 2014 by Laura Braun

Much has already been written of Steven Leiber’s unique contribution to the artistic landscape of the Bay Area — from the collection and dissemination of arts-related ephemera, as an educator at California College of the Arts and as a generous tour guide of his own basement archive. For those of us who didn’t have the luck of forging a personal relationship to Leiber before he passed away in 2012, a recent publication attempts to give form to his wide-ranging influence and enduring legacy.

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Posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 by Laura Braun

It fits that, as the page turned and Leiber died of cancer in 2012, 14 of the artists he helped and educated as an instructor at the California College of the Arts returned past favors by contributing to “Artists & Editions,” a limited edition of 35 boxes, the proceeds of which go to the Steven Leiber Scholarship fund at CCA.

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Posted on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 by Laura Braun

Bruno Fazzolari, a painter, sculptor, and professor at California College of the Arts, is a self-trained “nose,” brewing fragrances in the comfort of his studio apartment in the Mission. Fazzolari credits mild synesthesia—a neurological peculiarity that causes him to experience scents as visuals—for his perfume passion.

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Posted on Monday, October 13, 2014 by Lindsey Westbrook

When current CCA Director of Fine Arts Tammy Rae Carland was in college, Nirvana played the rent parties she and her friends threw at their student-founded alternative gallery space. “This was before they released records and got super-famous,” she avers. “But still!”

They called the gallery Reko-Muse. The place: Olympia, Washington. “It really was a ‘build it and they will come’ kind of a scene. Everyone I knew was playing in a band, starting a gallery, putting out zines, precisely because there was nothing to do otherwise, culturally speaking. And people would drive from Seattle -- or further, even -- to come to shows. Olympia’s music scene became a really big deal.”

Carland, who was also in bands, ran a record label, and put out more than a few zines herself, is today a rock star in another realm: photography.

 

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Posted on Friday, October 10, 2014 by Kari Marboe

True collaborations come easily, especially when they combine history and clay.

Ceramics faculty member Kari Marboe, Director of Alumni Relations Jessica Russell, Director of Libraries Annemarie Haar, and CCA alumnae Eve Steccati-Tanovitz (Graphic Design 1969) and Arlene Streich (Arts Education 1961; Painting 1966) worked together to reveal the history of the college’s archived woodblocks and incorporate these historical tools at the Ceramic Program’s Open House, which took place as part of CCA’s Alumni Weekend earlier this month.

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Story of the Woodblocks

In the late 1960s, Professor Emeritus Vincent Perez was teaching woodblock printing and drawing at what was then CCAC. An Alumni Office staff member in Treadwell Hall (now Macky Hall) asked Perez if he would like to take possession of the woodblocks.

The woodblocks had been previously used to print the college’s publications (course catalogs, newsletters, and diplomas) going back to its founding in 1907 and decades thereafter.

If Perez hadn’t wanted them, they would have been thrown away.

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Posted on Monday, October 6, 2014 by Laura Braun

My wife Nina and I went to Iceland in 2001 on a horseback trip. We rode through the center of Iceland in the highlands. It was one of the most moving trips of my life. But I didn’t go back until 2011. California College of the Arts asked me to teach a summer class there and I knew I wanted to go back. As soon as I got there, I realized it was perfect. I knew I wanted to be there. We’ve been there for the last four summers, arriving in late May to teach a class for students from CCA, and then Nina and I stay on through July and then go back for Christmas.

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Posted on Tuesday, September 9, 2014 by Laura Braun

Painting came first for De Palma, who has a bachelor of fine arts degree from California College of the Arts in Oakland. But while running a craft gallery in Cambria with mixed-media artist Ruth Fash in the mid-1990s, she realized she was missing out.

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Posted on Monday, August 25, 2014 by Laura Braun

At the California College of the Arts (CCA), painting and fine arts professor Kim Anno is leading the way by developing a degree that covers the intersection of art, science, and the environment. CCA was the also first college to participate at the United Nations’ Climate Summits. Anno notes, “There is a distinction between art and activism. They do have overlaps, but they also have differences. Sometimes viewers discount the images of activism if they are too pat, too quickly understood.

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