International News

Posted on Monday, February 9, 2015 by Benjamin Austin

Thor (Þorfinnur) Guðnason and Lynn Kirby

In 1985 documentary filmmaker Thor (Þorfinnur) Guðnason (BFA Film/Video 1988) was just starting his career, a journey that has led him to great success, when he graduated from CCA.

Since then he has made award-winning documentaries with worldwide distribution (National Geographic, TBS, ARTE, ZDF, NRK, TVP, Discovery Europe, etc.).

And like most young artists, Guðnason had many interests when he began his career, but it wasn’t until inspiration struck that he was able to pursue his passion in earnest.

Inspired by Filmmaking

“When I saw David Lynch's film Eraserhead, something struck a nerve in me,” says Guðnason. “I knew what I wanted to do with the rest of my life: make films and tell stories.”

This revelation brought clarity of purpose, but realizing intent is only part of the process of becoming; actualization requires sacrifice.

For Guðnason it required leaving his Icelandic home, where no film programs existed, in search of cinematic opportunities abroad.

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Posted on Friday, February 6, 2015 by Jim Norrena

CCA's Oakland campus

Editor's note: CCA Graphic Design associate professor David Asari met with Art.College.Life blogger Elaine Pelz, who highlighted the benefits of a CCA education at artcollegelife.com.
 

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Posted on Friday, January 16, 2015 by Jim Norrena

In 2011 students Anna Acquistapace (DMBA 2011), Olivia Nava (DMBA 2012), and Eric Persha (DMBA 2012), launched an idea inspired by the MBA in Design Strategy program's Social Ventures course (taught by faculty member Steve Diller).

The idea involves working with members of a solar-distribution company as a partner organization to offer community members in rural Tanzania connectivity services that use renewable solar energy.

(Initially the partner organization had wanted to address better solar-powered lighting solutions in Tanzania, which evolved into the more wide-serving Juabar business model.)

"Our [CCA] education helped us realize that you don’t approach innovation by answering questions, but rather you look to understand end-users’ needs.

"So we didn’t come to that project on 'how can we better sell solar lights?' but more 'how do we understand the electricity experience of Tanzanians with little or no electricity experience?'"

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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.

Visit the artist's website »

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 Wednesday, August 27, 2014 by Lindsey Westbrook

Not long ago, while visiting a friend in Nicaragua, Aaron Poritz (Architecture 2008) stumbled upon a large source of excellent wood: vast quantities of exotic trees felled by Hurricane Felix.

Before going to Nicaragua, Poritz had designed furniture only as a hobby, but he was so impressed with the country’s local craftsmen that he decided to start his own furniture company.

The resulting 30-piece wood furniture collection has garnered important recognition from Forbes magazine, who put him on a recent Forbes “30 under 30” list. In 2013 the Red Hen, a highly popular Washington DC restaurant, commissioned Poritz to source and fabricate all of its custom chairs and bar stools, tables, benches, plank flooring, ceiling, and even baby bar stools. Each piece has expressive twists and geometric connections.

All of Poritz’s work emphasizes strength, comfort, sustainability, quality, and design. These principles, he says, were instilled in him at CCA. While a student, he participated in the design of Refract House for the 2009 Solar Decathlon.

He was recently asked to be an artist in residence at the the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, and designed a sitting stool for their gallery, He currently divides his time between New York and Managua.

Read more at the artist's website »

Article by Steffie Guan

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Posted on Thursday, August 21, 2014 by Laura Braun

What does “The Invisible Hand” mean to you?

For Leigh Markopoulos, chair of CCA’s Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice, and alumna Xiaoyu Weng (MA Curatorial Practice 2009), who were invited to participate in the 2nd Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum (CAFAM) Biennale in Beijing in February, it meant, above all, opportunity.

About the CAFAM Biennale

The CAFAM Biennale is an international tour de force that, in this second edition, put the focus on curatorial education. As curatorial practice becomes more recognized in China, CAFAM officials took the opportunity to showcase the ways in which other schools teach curation as a discipline.

“This biennial was an enlightened attempt to bring international and national art to Beijing and to allow students to participate not only through lessons, but as interns, et cetera, in the event’s organization,” explained Markopoulos.

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Posted on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 by Jim Norrena

Volatile Mutation earns honorable mention at TEX-FABView slideshow 

Congratulations to third-year MArch students Alan Cation and Dustin Tisdale and alum Tim Henshaw-Plath (MArch 2014) for earning honorable mention for their Volatile Mutation project at this year's TEX-FAB Plasticity competition.

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Posted on Monday, July 7, 2014 by Shiraz Chavan

Global outreach allows CCA to offer an arts education enriched with cultures

CCA might be closer to you than you think! Our Admissions Office representatives will be in Asia, Turkey, Canada, Central and South America this fall. View our travel schedule below and take this opportunity to make an individual appointment to get your portfolio reviewed and ask about our admissions requirements. Scheduling a on-on-one appointment with the representatives by clicking on their name below.

*Please note that we highly encourage you to RSVP for events as they fill up quickly.*

MEXICO

Guadalajara
Sept. 22

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Posted on Tuesday, July 1, 2014 by Jim Norrena

Cheryl Dunye, previous Film faculty and current graduate advisor, earned the audience award for Best Short Film for Black Is Blue (2014) at this year's San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival (produced by Frameline), which ran from June 19 to 29.

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Posted on Friday, June 20, 2014 by Jim Norrena

Scott Griffin presents the 2014 Griffin Poetry Prize to Brenda Hillman (l) and Anne Carson

Esteemed poets Anne Carson and Brenda Hillman have two things in common: Each has been a guest lecturer at California College of the Arts (Carson visited last April as part of the college's Graduate Studies Lecture Series; Hillman presented in 2007 as part of the

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