International News

Posted on Friday, May 31, 2013 by Lindsey Westbrook

Liz Ogbu is CCA's "scholar in residence" at the Center for Art and Public Life. She spends about four or five hours a week there; she'd love it to be more, but she's a busy woman.

As often as twice a month she's getting on a plane to attend a design or education conference somewhere around the world -- frequently as an invited speaker. She teaches one course per semester at CCA, which translates to about one day a week. She spends another day every week teaching at Stanford University's famed Institute of Design, better known as "the d.school."

She also runs an independent consultancy that undertakes short- and long-term projects; currently she's working with CCA Architecture faculty member Douglas Burnham on something for PG&E, something else for the Nike Foundation in Nigeria, and a pop-up health clinic project funded by Autodesk.

With another CCA Architecture faculty member, Lisa Findley, she’s writing a chapter on South Africa for a book on different ways of appropriating space globally.

Posted on Thursday, March 7, 2013 by Christina Linden

In the past year, Orfeo Quagliata (Wood/Furniture 1999) has designed: exterior vinyl graphics for an Aeromexico 767 airplane; sets for Mexico's massively popular annual 24-hour-long television and radio broadcast benefit Teletón; glass tiles for architectural interiors and exteriors; jewelry; window displays for Barneys New York; hotel lobbies; coffee tables; whiskey glasses; and garden features for millionaires' homes.

Quagliata was born and raised in the Bay Area; today his studio is based in Mexico City, and the world is his oyster. It is extremely unusual for a designer to operate in so many media and at so many scales of production, from a tiny piece of jewelry to an airplane exterior, but maintaining a robust and diverse practice keeps his creative energies high . . . and ensures that his design work will be in demand no matter whether the global economy is ebbing or flowing.

His schedule is typically jam-packed; when we spoke for this piece, he was getting ready to catch a plane for a new overseas commission: "I'm going to Taiwan to work on an installation on the grounds of new high-rise residential towers. The work is two reflecting pools with these big, faceted, blinged-out, illuminated glass sculptural forms. These kinds of huge commissions are always fun and overwhelming at the same time."

Posted on Sunday, January 6, 2013 by Lindsey Westbrook

"Vanya Da Dua" Glimpses of a Lost World: An American Boy in the Liberian Bush
CreateSpace, 2012
Paperback/ebook, 176 pages, $33

Erik d'Azevedo (MFA 1976) authored this window into the intimate daily lives of tribal peoples in the interior of the West African country of Liberia in a time before everything was changed by 20 years of civil wars. It is more than the experiences of American children living in the midst of a foreign culture; it is an in-depth glimpse into the deep interior of a region almost unknown to most people. Many of the indigenous villagers and their children had never before seen a white person. This journey chronicles the stories of a six-year old boy, and his personal relationship with the children he befriends, and his integration into a culture he embraces.

Posted on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 by Matthew Harrison Tedford

The Walls of Hope project in progress in Monthey, Switzerland

Claudia Bernardi (today a professor in CCA's Community Arts Program, but who also teaches in a wide range of disciplines, including Diversity Studies, Fine Arts, and Visual and Critical Studies programs) was a student at the university of art in Buenos Aires in 1976, the year the military dictatorship took power in Argentina.

"Those were very dark years -- very tragic, painful, and violent. The ones who survived learned to look at life, history, and art quite differently."

Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 by Rachel Walther

Zarouhie Abdalian (MFA 2010) maintains quite the hectic travel schedule. This fall she made a trip to Bergen, Norway, to participate in the Kunstindustrimuseum's Material Information exhibition, and afterward she headed to the 9th Shanghai Biennial as a participant in the San Francisco pavilion. She's exhibited work and created site-specific installations throughout the United States and eight other countries; right now you can see one of her works, The fall without the fruit, at the CCA Wattis Institute's When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes exhibition, on view through December 1, 2012.

Abdalian's work has evolved dramatically since her years as an undergraduate at Tulane University, where she focused on painting and printmaking. While at CCA she developed an entirely new way of working that is sculptural, and profoundly site specific. A new piece doesn't begin until she researches the place where it will be located. Visually and historically, her installations engage in dialogue with their viewers and -- ideally -- disrupt their typical interaction with a particular place.

Posted on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 by Erin Wheeler

CCA has long encouraged and cultivated the marriage of art, craft, social responsibility, scholarship, and research. Together, Career Development and Academic Affairs is excited to host an informational panel on the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, one of the foremost resources for interdisciplinary scholarship for creative individuals.

Learn more about the scholarship program »

Posted on Monday, October 22, 2012 by Matthew Harrison Tedford

Zena Adhami's 2012 Design MFA thesis presentation

During the height of the Arab Spring, Zena Adhami (MFA Design 2012) was watching from her apartment in San Francisco as revolution erupted back home.

She decided to make it the subject of her CCA graduate thesis: an examination of the specific media and technologies that were making it possible for her to stay informed from halfway around the world.

This time of upheaval also represented a culmination of Adhami's efforts to reconsider graphic design as a more politically engaged pursuit. "Every once in a while there's a degree of social consciousness among designers, but usually I feel that they're talking to themselves, and that's a failure of design intelligence," she opines.

Posted on Monday, October 15, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Work from California
Moravian Gallery, 2012
Paperback, 64 pages, $5

Graphic Design faculty member Jon Sueda curated the exhibition this catalogue documents, and edited and designed the book. It features the work of numerous exceptional graphic designers who are based in California and make work that directly interprets or reflects upon California as subject matter. The featured designers include CCA faculty members Bob Aufuldish, Jeremy Mende, Martin Venezky, Eric Heiman, Christopher Simmons, Emily McVarish, Geoff Kaplan, Brett McFadden, and Scott Thorpe, and recent alumnus James Edmondson. Graduate Design faculty member Megan Lynch also contributed interviews to the publication. The show took place at the 25th International Biennial of Graphic Design Brno in the Czech Republic in 2012.

To order the book, please email marie.pazderkova@moravska-galerie.cz.

Posted on Monday, October 15, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here
PM Press, 2012
Paperback, 300 pages, $20

On March 5th, 2007, a car bomb was exploded on al-Mutanabbi Street in Baghdad -- the historic center of Baghdad bookselling -- wounding more than 100 people and killing more than 30. This anthology, long in preparation, begins with a historical introduction to al-Mutanabbi Street and includes the writing of Iraqis as well as a wide swath of international poets and writers who were outraged by this attack. The publisher PM Press, is local, and the book is coedited by the San Francisco bookseller Beau Beausoleil with the poet Deema Shehabi. Steve Dickison (Writing and Literature faculty), is one of many contributors.

Exploring the question “Where does al-Mutanabbi Street start?,” the book looks at both communities and nations, seeking to show the commonality between a small street in Baghdad and other individual cultural centers. Chapters examine al-Mutanabbi Street as a place for the free exchange of ideas, a place that has long offered its sanctuary to the complete spectrum of Iraqi voices, and a place where the roots of democracy took hold many hundreds of years ago.

Posted on Tuesday, August 28, 2012 by Joyce Grimm

On Wednesday, September 19, 2012, CCA Film and Fine Arts faculty member Lynn Marie Kirby, together with collaborator Alexis Petty, will present The 24th Street Listening Project at the Brava Theater in San Francisco. The evening will include the screening of a new video by Kirby exploring the neighborhood through color and language mapping, a musical performance reflecting local stories and topography, a book release, and the launch of the new website, 24thStreetListeningProject.com.

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