When blacksmithing is depicted in popular culture, the image tends to be one of brute strength rather than finesse: A male of Wagnerian proportions wields a hammer overhead as veins bulge and sweat drops from his protuberant brow.
Posted on Friday, February 1, 2013 by Allison Byers
Posted on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 by Allison Byers
The arts and culture publication Artforum may be used to commenting on the world of museums and galleries, but now they find themselves as the work of art itself. In her Artforum Excavation Series, Francesca Pastine carves the magazines to form colorful, sculptural pieces that seem to melt down the wall, fold in on themselves, and form sculptural structures. Using an Xacto blade, the San Francsico-based artist painstakingly carved each page creating what she calls "unsolicited collaborations."
Posted on Monday, December 10, 2012 by Susannah Magers
Pae White, muhf-uhl, 2012
Susannah Magers (MA Curatorial Practice 2011) spent five months in 2012 on site as the visitor engagement manager at the exhibition International Orange, a FOR-SITE Foundation project located in Fort Point, near San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge.
It is the latest and most ambitious project yet produced by the foundation, a San Francisco-based nonprofit dedicated to the production of art about place.
What It's Like to be at International Orange
When I tell people I work in a fort underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, their reaction usually registers surprise, followed by confusion ("Wait . . . where?"). The date is October 25, 2012, and I have spent the past five months, five days a week, on site as the visitor engagement manager at the exhibition International Orange.
Posted on Thursday, November 1, 2012 by Jim Norrena
The next time you butter your bread or pinch some salt or add crème fraîche to your coffee while dining at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, the world-renowned eatery known for using local, organic foods and credited as the inspiration for the style of cooking known as California cuisine, you'll likely be holding a piece of art made by CCA ceramicist Travis McFlynn (Sculpture 2013).
Posted on Monday, September 10, 2012 by Allison Byers
A quarter-century ago, artist Salvatore Pecoraro and a team of assistants spent all summer creating a huge sculpture of marble, travertine and bronze to mark the entrance to a stunning new house in the Danville community of Blackhawk.
Because of the scale of the piece -- about 20 feet high, resting in a reflecting pool that is 32 feet across -- every step was carefully planned. The intent, Pecoraro says, was to create a work that appeared to have been worn by time, a relic of a bygone civilization.
Posted on Monday, August 6, 2012 by Allison Byers
The machines bang to life and a rhythmic thudding echoes off the factory walls.
It sounds like the train outside, it sounds like a whole building shuddering under the effort to create a product. It sounds like industry.
This soundtrack has gone quiet in so many cities throughout upstate New York and America as factory doors continue to close. But in Hudson next week, where empty factories abound, you'll be able to hear the machines again.
Posted on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook
From Amber Cox's documentation of San Francisco's Financial District
San Francisco and Istanbul: Both built across seven hills, on peninsulas jutting into major bodies of water, where East meets West dramatically and literally-continentally. Their respective situations along major global shipping routes means that they have always been rich in trade, rich in a cosmopolitan diversity of cultures, and rich in ideas: Just as the Bay Area has been a center of forward thinking, from the 1960s Haight-Ashbury counterculture to contemporary entrepreneurial Silicon Valley culture, Turkey -- and especially Istanbul -- is facing the future culturally and politically in its unique position at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and the Arab world.
CCA and Istanbul: East Meets West
CCA has been engaging with Istanbul in many cultural exchanges in recent years. In 2011 Jens Hoffmann, director of the CCA Wattis Institute, co-curated the 12th Istanbul Biennial, which featured numerous CCA alumni and faculty. The Vehbi Koç Foundation of Turkey recently announced its pledge to support one full-time Turkish student each year in CCA's Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice. And in spring 2012, Mariella Poli's CCA course Locality and Global Discourses facilitated an exchange between 16 students at CCA and five students at Istanbul Bilgi University.
Posted on Thursday, June 28, 2012 by Amanda E. Gross
from Team JuaBar IMPACT 2012 project proposal
Within the next few weeks, the three teams of CCA students who won IMPACT Social Entrepreneurship Awards will be heading to Alaska, Tanzania, and Mexico to attempt innovative social transformations. Bolstered by the support of their $10,000 IMPACT grants and their community partner organizations, the teams -- KVAK TV, JuaBar, and 20/20 FOTO -- will work to empower three different communities to address pressing local concerns. Each team brings together a mix of graduate and undergraduate students from different academic programs.
IMPACT is one of the anchor programs at CCA's Center for Art and Public Life, providing students with opportunities to build relationships for social change. It is about innovation, community, collaboration, and making. It celebrates the entrepreneurial drive of CCA students combined with their desire to create a tangible, positive influence within a specific community.
Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2012 by Mitchell Schwarzer
Mitchell Schwarzer gives his introduction at the CCA faculty retreat
On February 4, 2012, the faculty at California College of the Arts gathered at the college's San Francisco campus for a retreat focused on the state of the arts across our many disciplines. In the morning, 25 short presentations offered insights into challenges and opportunities faced by practitioners and thinkers in recent times. The word aired most frequently was crisis: the crisis of the Great Recession; the crisis of Global Climate Change; the crisis of understanding and working within a discipline in our digital age.
The economic downturn has produced an economic squeeze within most of our disciplines. Art directors, as Alexis Mahrus remarks, have diminished roles in shaping an illustration. Smaller profit margins reduce the flexibility and time given over to experimentation. Branding and celebrity worship take up a larger slice of the creative pie. Some presenters, like Sue Redding of Industrial Design, see no problem in this conflation of art and business and, furthermore, dispute the notion of a crisis. Yet many presenters feel that the economic crisis is not only real but wielding dangerously asymmetrical impacts. Demand remains strong for high-end craft goods and blue-chip fine art. Some small nonprofits are struggling to survive. To Ignacio Valero of Critical Studies, the priority given over to luxury items can be attributed to the ongoing influence of classical economic policies that privilege individual decision making over collective social and natural needs. Likewise, Sandra Vivanco of Diversity Studies notes that economic inequalities have greatly worsened over the past few years, especially in the developing world. Contemporary society is forging a timeless, spaceless way of conducting business, a race for lucrative and short-term gains that concentrates investment more than ever in the hands of a few.
Posted on Monday, March 12, 2012 by Allison Byers
CCA alumna Tara Tucker’s (Sculpture 1992, MFA 1994) artwork is honest. Intricate. Thought provoking and unnerving, yet simultaneously comforting and familiar. You could also call it ambitious and unwavering, and in this sense it is an accurate embodiment of Tucker as a person. The artist’s surreal depictions of animal creatures reflect a lifetime of memories, experiences, and observations.