Furniture News

Posted on Monday, May 16, 2011 by Simon Hodgson

Kevin Clarke in Macarthur B Arthur (art by Ben Carder and Rachel Kaye)

"When I was at CCA," says Kevin Clarke (Painting/Drawing 2005), "I'd be walking past the woodshop and people would be standing around a table engaged in a very physical, material problem, trying to figure out how to put a piece together. But then there was always interesting conceptual stuff going on, too. The work coming out of the Furniture Program combined craft and narrative in a way I related to."

Today, Clarke has achieved a true melding of CCA's "theory and practice" mantra, maintaining a woodshop in Alameda where he makes custom furniture, painting in his studio, and running the Oakland gallery MacArthur B Arthur.

Clarke made his first foray into the Bay Area arts community in 2003, when he set up Million Fishes Arts Collective midway through his CCA years. This Mission District-based organization continues to provide creative space and other opportunities to local artists. His CCA experience was invaluable in giving him confidence and connections. "Donald Fortescue, then chair of Furniture, was a mentor throughout. I still see and talk to him. Dee Hibbert-Jones, one of my first professors, inspired me to work outside the canonical medium of painting and be more experimental. I wanted more of a community, a 'soup' environment that would allow me to draw on the expertise of others. Jordan Kantor was instrumental in making me think about making. He helped me read texts, and had great recommendations on what to read after CCA."

Posted on Thursday, January 27, 2011 by Samantha Braman

(This is the second of four installments describing highlights of the spring 2010 ENGAGE at CCA courses. You can also download the whole story as it appeared in Glance, CCA's college magazine.)

Community Partner Organization: Lighthouse Community Charter School, Oakland

CCA Faculty Leader: Russell Baldon, Furniture

Outside Expert: Justin Champaign of Coalesse

Goal: Create functional, attractive, and affordable tables for Lighthouse’s new K–12 library

Course blog: Visit the course-specific blog

Do you remember your grade-school library? Probably fondly. Do you remember the furniture? Probably not at all.

This course set out to change that, for at least a few kids, at Lighthouse Community Charter School. Furniture chair Russell Baldon had wanted to work with Lighthouse for years, knowing that its predominantly inner-city Latino students would benefit tremendously from exposure to the design world. Even before he knew about ENGAGE's impending launch, he'd already been in touch with Lighthouse's director of development and with Justin Champaign, an industrial designer at the furniture firm Coalesse, about some sort of collaboration. (Champaign is also a CCA Furniture 2007 alum.) "When I heard the rumor that ENGAGE was coming," Baldon says, "I saw this course as a natural fit."

Posted on Wednesday, January 26, 2011 by Russell Baldon

Barbara Holmes, "Tacoma," reclaimed Redwood lath, 144 x 480 x 36 in.

Work by CCA's Furniture faculty, including chair Russell Baldon, Donald Fortescue, and Barbara Holmes, is currently on display at the Petaluma Arts Center in the North Bay.

The exhibit, which runs through March 13, 2011, includes a gallery of Furniture Program student and alumni work, featuring pieces by Noah Brezel, Liz Koener, Michele Marti, Luke Nickerson, and Andrew Perkins.

From the Petaluma Arts Center

Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2010 by Jim Norrena

Artist and furniture designer Scott Constable is fall 2010's Wornick Distinguished Visiting Professor of Wood Arts. He is a woodworker who uses his craft to explore the social and philosophical issues of everyday life. His work, ranging from furniture to architecture and environmental sculpture, has exhibited internationally and garnered numerous design awards.

Posted on Friday, June 25, 2010 by Samantha Braman

Have you ever reached out to touch a painting or sculpture . . . only to receive an immediate smackdown from the museum guard? The Oakland Museum of California Sculpture Court has temporarily dispensed with the conventional museological for display only restriction to honor the artistic intent of Shawn HibmaCronan (Sculpture and Furniture 2009). In fact, the Berkeley-based artist encourages viewers to totally engage with his art—not just visually, but physically as well.

Posted on Friday, June 18, 2010 by Marion Anthonisen

Before moving to San Francisco to attend CCA, Joy Umali (Furniture 2010) was working in southern California as a civil engineer. Attributing her decision to earn a second bachelor’s degree to a long-standing interest in both engineering and the fine arts, Joy’s mathematical background still shines through in the structural integrity and precise construction of her furniture pieces.

Posted on Thursday, April 8, 2010 by Sarah Owens

The Furniture Program at California College of the Arts proudly announces Furniture-ish, an end-of-year exhibition of senior-level work, which is expected to break ground with new and inventive furniture forms.

The exhibition dates are April 30 through May 9 at Swarm Gallery in downtown Oakland, with an opening reception scheduled for Friday, April 30, from 6 to 9 p.m.

Posted on Tuesday, January 5, 2010 by Brenda Tucker

Sanjit Sethi will head ENGAGE at CCAView slideshow 

In 2010, students at California College of the Arts (CCA) will design furniture for Lighthouse Community Charter School, Oakland; help improve communications and systems for seniors at Bethany Center, San Francisco; create protective nesting modules for seabirds on Año Nuevo Island, off the Northern California coast; and work with high school students to publish an anthology of personal essays at 826 Valencia Book Project, San Francisco. These and several other projects are part of ENGAGE at CCA, an innovative initiative that will launch January 11, 2010.

Posted on Wednesday, October 14, 2009 by Jim Norrena

Michael Cooper and his hot rodView slideshow 

Internationally known sculptor, machinist, and hot rod enthusiast, Michael Cooper came to teach how synthesis, rule breaking, and planning without a plan can be a truly liberating experience. Students were lead through a vast series of technical demonstrations and told to create parts/experiments and let the materials guide them through the building process. This approach was a radical departure from the standard design procedure that we train students to use and one that was liberating, exciting, and productive.

Posted on Monday, September 14, 2009 by Lindsey Westbrook

Mike Bianco in front of his newly renovated Airstream, near the WaypointView slideshow 

I imagine Mike Bianco (MA Curatorial Practice 2007) planting a flag in the ground in Marfa, Texas, like some kind of Arctic explorer. It's not the greatest metaphor—Marfa has been an art destination for decades, after all. But Bianco's decision to head there, of all the possible places, to establish a gallery and residency program makes him a great example of CCA's curator alumni, who are relentlessly staking out new territories.

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