I had a rigorous upbringing in "straight" photography during my undergraduate study at California College of the Arts and Crafts. During my time in the Bay Area, I was influenced by masters like Larry Sultan, Todd Hido, and Jim Goldberg, as well as by artists working conceptually like Tammy-Rae Carland. There is an academy-type of training happening there. I'm grateful for that because I had to know the rules before I could break them.
Posted on Wednesday, January 22, 2014 by Laura Braun
Posted on Monday, January 20, 2014 by Lindsey Westbrook
On a crystal-clear June evening in summer 2013, the sun is setting in Marfa, Texas, and a dozen CCA students -- together with a dozen more students from two art schools in the Netherlands -- are settling into the evening rhythms of their tent city.
The tents are cozily nestled in the courtyard of a former officer’s club, long abandoned by the US military. Elsewhere in the building complex, an old bar has been converted into an ad hoc Internet lounge. A spookily empty ballroom houses a broken-down old piano. The kitchen has accommodated the making of many a communal dinner.
Posted on Friday, December 20, 2013 by Laura Braun
Piston hails from the creative reaches of New York but he earned his BFA at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco with a BFA in 2006, and an MFA at UCLA in 2010. In that time his work has been exhibited in many notable artistic hubs in New York, San Francisco and of course, neighboring Los Angeles.
Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 by Laura Braun
Two of the strongest shows to open this Fall illuminate the work of two of the Bay Area's most thoughtful and talented curators, Joseph del Pesco and Natasha Boas. In "City of Disappearances," a haunting and provocative collection of works at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, del Pesco and London-based co-curator Elizabeth Neilson explore the conceptual and personal narratives created by the City - with a capital C.
Posted on Friday, December 6, 2013 by Simon Hodgson
John Chiara, “20th at San Bruno,” 2002
The issue is not at all about tackling New York's art scene; having had 2013 shows at Pier 24 Photography and the de Young in San Francisco, as well as at galleries in Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Zurich, it's clear that he is already coming into focus for an increasing audience worldwide.
Rather, New York will be a challenge in terms of the subject matter it offers up, given that until now Northern California has been such a looming presence in Chiara's work. The Bay Area infuses the photography of this San Francisco-born artist like the terroir of a vintage bottle of Saint-Emilion.
Posted on Friday, November 15, 2013 by Rachel Walther
Wenxin Zhang, "Self portrait by the lake," 2012
Wenxin Zhang (MFA 2013) is always redefining her reality. In her writings and photography, she describes her experiences&mdash growing up in China, her current life in San Francisco, and her personal relationships—in a voice that is melancholy and surreal. Images of fall leaves in an industrial landscape are juxtaposed with a young boy’s glassy stare. A description of nocturnal wanderings illuminates the artist’s haunted sense of displacement wherever she goes.
Zhang has exhibited her work throughout the United States. Here she discusses her future projects and reflects on how her time at CCA has shaped her practice.
Since I was little, I was always longing to go to a faraway place—to be a stranger in a foreign country. I was unsatisfied with my hometown of Hefei. It’s a smaller, inland Chinese city. Young souls would leave for a bigger place after high school, and there was nothing new really going on. I felt so trapped by the place.
My father was a journalist for a local radio station. He traveled a lot and often took me with him. In 2004 he gave me a digital camera, and I used it every day. I would take photos and try to interpret my environment, to create a new little world with my camera in order to get away from the mundane. When I was in high school I would take bus trips with my best friend to the boundaries of our hometown—to the suburbs and the countryside. Student bus tickets are very cheap, so we would go the furthest distance we could by bus and take pictures of each other as our own story characters.
Posted on Thursday, November 14, 2013 by Allison Byers
So don't miss this Thursday's "METAMORPHOSIS," when the talented artist/designers from the California College of the Arts transform the Academy (and possibly you) into something unexpected. Explore a multitude of industrial, interaction, illustration, fashion, furniture and graphic designers from CCA as they showcase an amazing, cutting-edge array of work, highlighting new technologies and innovative ideas that explore the concept of metamorphosis.
Posted on Thursday, October 24, 2013 by Matthew Harrison Tedford
Photographer Sean McFarland (MFA 2004) wasn't that kid who spent his youth in a darkroom, nor was he enrolled in art schools from an early age. "I actually didn't start making art until I was 21," he recalls. "And then, within six years, I'd graduated from CCA with my MFA."
Good thing he didn't miss his calling. Since then he's shown at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Berkeley Art Museum, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, and he has won numerous national art prizes.
Posted on Friday, August 30, 2013 by Chris Bliss
New Tenure-Track Faculty
Joining the Visual Studies Program is Makeda Best, who comes to CCA from the University of Vermont. Her research focuses on the history of photography, with an emphasis on the nineteenth century.
Neeraj Bhatia is teaching in the Architecture Program. His work looks at the intersection of politics, infrastructure, and urbanism, and he has previously taught at Rice University, Cornell University, the University of Toronto, and the University of Waterloo.
The Interaction Design Program welcomes Haakon Faste, who has worked for 15 years in the fields of visual art, interaction design, and virtual reality. Most recently he was on the faculty of the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.
Chris Treggiari is this year’s scholar in residence at the Center for Art and Public Life. Much of his work involves collaborations, often with local nonprofits, often with mobile stages that he brings to public events.
Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 by Allison Byers
Jim Goldberg is a Professor of Art at the California College of Arts and Crafts and a member of Magnum Photos. He has been exhibiting for over 30 years and his innovative use of image and text make him a landmark photographer of our times.