International News

Posted on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 by Nick Janikian

The Tree of Life mural project (2015)

The Tree of Life (El Árbol de la Vida) is a six-foot-high by 30-foot-long community-based mural project made in May 2015 by currently detained* undocumented immigrant Central American youths and The School of Art and Open Studio of Perquin / Walls of Hope in El Salvador (cofounded by CCA faculty member Claudia Bernardi) and students and faculty from Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia.

* The location is undisclosed to protect the unaccompanied alien children (UACs).

The mural depicts the perilous journey Central American youths face as they cross the United States / Mexico border. It also alludes to the brutality and violence that exists due to trafficking of narcotics.

Posted on Monday, May 18, 2015 by Rachel Walther

Amanda Cachia

Amanda Cachia (Visual and Critical Studies 2012) is an independent curator originally from Sydney who is currently working on her PhD at the University of California, San Diego. Her dissertation is on the intersections between contemporary art, phenomenology, and disability.

Posted on Thursday, May 7, 2015 by Jim Norrena

Friends and family encouraged to join!
Please join the CCA Pride Parade contingent Sunday, June 28, as faculty, staff, students, and alumni march in the 45th annual San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Pride Parade, described as the "largest gathering of LGBT people and allies in the nation."
 
Equality Without Exception is the theme, and we're thrilled to represent CCA and show just how much pride the college has for its diverse community.
 
We want you and your family to join us!

Posted on Monday, May 4, 2015 by Laura Kenney

Ming & Khen Soh pose with Ming's 32-pound king salmon

The following exchange between Wai Khen Soh and Wai Ming Soh -- twin brothers and each an Illustration major -- appears in the spring 2015 edition of Glance, the college magazine, as part of the How We Got Here series.

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Ming: I started thinking about my next course of action in life while I was serving my mandatory service in the Singapore Armed Forces. I had taken a diploma in digital media design in a polytechnic (which is like American community college) prior to my enlistment.

I asked myself: Shall I embark on work, or further my studies? Whatever path I pursued, I wanted to do the same thing as my twin brother, Khen, as it would be cool to see a pair of twins in the same profession.

Khen: It’s nice seeing brothers face tribulations side by side, especially when they have the same faces! Like most twins, we are always tearing at each other’s throats, only to give the other a friendly pat on the back when the going gets tough.

Also like most twins, we have similar interests. Drawing and creating stories are passions going way back to our childhood. It helped that our parents were encouraging.

I went to a polytechnic, too, and took a diploma in graphic design, and while the education was invaluable, I felt more interested in drawing and painting narratives. So we decided to take an undergraduate program in illustration together.

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.

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.
 

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?'"

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.”

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

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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