International 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.

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.

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.

Posted on Tuesday, July 1, 2014 by Jim Norrena

Cheryl Dunye and Kingston Farady discuss BLACK IS BLUE

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.

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

Posted on Monday, March 3, 2014 by Deborah Valoma

Mariano Sosa Martinez and Rafaela Ruiz Guetierrez demonstrate at the Textile Futures public demonstration at the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum. Photo by Sita Bhaumik

CCA's Textiles Program hosted two respected members of the artist collective Centro de Arte Textil Zapoteco Bii Dauu -- Mariano Sosa Martinez and Rafaela Ruiz Gutierrez -- for its 2014 biennial event, Textile Futures 2014: Conversations Around the Dye Pot.

Textiles Futures promotes cross-cultural and cross-generational dialog geared toward locating and expanding the rhetoric around textile sensibilities and practices.

This year the CCA Textiles Program collaborated with artist and curator David Wilson with his ongoing project The Possible at the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum.

Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 by Allison Byers

Team members Kristina Kotlier (MArch 2013) (left) and Raine Paulson Andrews (MArch 2014) (right) with a STAND UP supporter

In spring 2013, three CCA students came together with one common goal: to make a difference with an IMPACT Social Entrepreneurship Award from CCA’s Center for Art and Public Life.

Robert Gomez (MFA and MA Visual and Critical Studies 2013), Raine Paulson Andrews (MArch 2014), and Kristina Kotlier (MArch 2013) were indeed one of three teams who won the award for summer 2013, and the project they carried out, STAND UP with Jamaica, was a major turning point for all of them.

Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 by Rachel Walther

Meet ChuCha Santamaria: dancing siren, disco singer, and larger-than-life alter ego of CCA alumna Sofía Córdova (MFA 2010). Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Córdova has developed an artistic practice spanning sculpture and photography, installation, and video, but it is her music and performances as ChuCha Santamaria that have attracted the most attention.

In 2011, she and her husband, the musician and artist Matthew Kirkland, released their debut album ChuCha Santamaria Y Usted. (It was the central piece in an installation/performance cycle.) Reviewers were dazzled. “Fantastic, vital . . . imminently catchy,” wrote East Bay Express critic Ellen Cushing. “Singer/wordsmith Sofía Córdova sings in inglés, español, y Vocoder, carefully unfolding her melodies with stately restraint,” enthused PopMatters reviewer Josh Langhoff.

Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 by Jim Norrena

(l-r) Pratibha Parmar, Alice Walker, and Geena Davis [photo: Jim Norrena]

Pratibha Parmar is a British filmmaker, director, producer, and writer who is known internationally for her political and often controversial documentary film work. She’s also a stalwart activist within the global feminism and lesbian rights movements.

In short, her accomplishments and commitment to making art that matters makes her an ideal visiting artist (MFA in Film) here at California College of the Arts.

Before she was born, Parmar’s family emigrated from India to East Africa, and then later immigrated to London, where she was raised and went on to study at Bradford and Birmingham Universities where she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, respectively.