Sustainability News

Posted on Thursday, August 11, 2011 by Clay Walsh

Join or create a student group or organization today!

What do CCA students do when they’re not studying, making, designing, building, creating, or writing? Well, a variety of things of course, including growing a number of CCA student groups and organizations that provide ample opportunities for students to engage in student body planning or socialize, or both.

Depending on your interest and commitment, chances are good there’s a student organization or group that’s right for you.

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Posted on Monday, July 18, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Team CCA's efforts will help benefit dozens of Bay Area AIDS services

Team CCA Meets Goal, Places Among Top 50 Fundraising Teams!

California College of the Arts joined AIDS Walk San Francisco 2011 held in Golden Gate Park Sunday, July 17, which marked the 25th anniversary of the event. Team CCA exceeded its $5,000 fundraising goal by almost 20 percent, contributing $5,810 to the largest AIDS fundraising event in Northern California that attracts hundreds of thousands of donors from the Bay Area and across the country.

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Posted on Monday, July 11, 2011 by Simon Hodgson

Adam Green, "Boy in Bed," 2010

Adam Green's (Sculpture 2010) current summer job with AmeriCorps, teaching high-risk youth, represents for him a creative coming of age. "I guess you could have considered me a high-risk youth. I was sent to a military academy in Georgia for part of high school." In AmeriCorps' program in Providence, Rhode Island, Green is involved on the administrative side and is also teaching drawing, sculpture, and glassblowing.

The medium of glass was Green's own artistic liberation. "Working with glass takes intense focus. There's a huge learning curve, and a lot of failure. Making a perfect cup is like chasing a dragon. You have this balance between an unreachable goal and a meditative exercise. It's physically intense, and also cathartic. And when it works, it's extremely gratifying."

The quest to create order from chaos is a touchstone in Green's personal fine art practice. His Rocket Grids depict unfurling orthogonal patterns of spaceships, arrayed almost like windows in a skyscraper. Why rockets? "I've always built rockets: from latex, milk, rubber, or wax. As a kid, I was always more interested in science than art. I had a computer at a really young age and loved to take it apart and look at the circuit boards. The grid format is a natural for me in terms of classification, lists, and free association. To me, rockets represent a fantastic metaphor for manhood. NASA in particular is this gigantic phallus-obsessed institution, focused primarily on penetrating the atmosphere. All those failed test flights in the 1950s and 1960s are a huge inspiration for my work. They represented to me an erectile dysfunction in American society. My Rocket Boy costume, this ridiculous red and yellow rocket rig, uses humor to lower viewers' defenses. It's a self-portrait without being too serious."

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Posted on Tuesday, July 5, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Architecture faculty and students investigate CCA's facilities as part of innovative course

What better way to measure the energy output of the college than to start from within?

Well, that’s exactly what Architecture students did while taking the Energy Analysis seminar; they methodically measured the energy levels of existing campus buildings to document where and how energy is being used within the 25 facilities on the college’s San Francisco and Oakland campuses.

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Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Water Matters: Why We Need to Act Now to Save Our Most Critical Resource
AlterNet, 2010
Paperback, 232 pages, $19.95

Water Matters, designed by CCA alumna Robin Terra (Graphic Design 1985) of Terra Studio, includes more than 80 photographs and 17 thoughtful essays by leading writers, artists, and activists. The book is intended to make readers fully appreciate the life-sustaining value of water and inspire them to do everything in their power to preserve and protect our threatened water resources. The essayists are Barbara Kingsolver, Bill McKibben, Maude Barlow, Tina Rosenberg, Sandra Postel, Elizabeth Royte, Cynthia Barnett, Wenonah Hauter, Jacques Leslie, Jeff Conant, Paula Garcia, Christina Roessler, Eleanor Sterling, Kelle Louaillier, William Waterway, Brock Dolman, and Erin Vintinner and Tara Lohan.

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Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2011 by Jim Norrena

The 2011 Annual Fashion Show has come and gone. Get all the highlights, plus an interview with Fashion Design chair Amy Williams

The Annual Fashion Show 2011 at California College of the Arts, the capstone experience for Fashion Design seniors, unfolded Friday, May 13, with all the characteristic grandstand presentation the college and its community have come to expect. And once again, with 800 persons in attendance, the shindig was completely sold out!

Watch the slideshow » (Select "show info" in the upper right-hand corner to see the name of the designer.)

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Posted on Thursday, May 19, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Amy Williams, chair of CCA's undergraduate Fashion Design Program [photo: Jim Norrena]

As part of my recent review of the 2011 Annual Fashion Show, I sat down with Fashion Design chair Amy Williams to chat about her most important event of the year. She's passionate about her work, and I had no difficulty getting her to discuss what truly matters most at the end of the, er, runway: the students and their careers.

Q: So what does it take to plan the Annual Fashion Show? And what’s next?

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Posted on Monday, May 16, 2011 by Simon Hodgson

Kevin Clarke in Macarthur B Arthur (art by Ben Carder and Rachel Kaye)

"When I was at CCA," says Kevin Clarke (Painting/Drawing 2005), "I'd be walking past the woodshop and people would be standing around a table engaged in a very physical, material problem, trying to figure out how to put a piece together. But then there was always interesting conceptual stuff going on, too. The work coming out of the Furniture Program combined craft and narrative in a way I related to."

Today, Clarke has achieved a true melding of CCA's "theory and practice" mantra, maintaining a woodshop in Alameda where he makes custom furniture, painting in his studio, and running the Oakland gallery MacArthur B Arthur.

Clarke made his first foray into the Bay Area arts community in 2003, when he set up Million Fishes Arts Collective midway through his CCA years. This Mission District-based organization continues to provide creative space and other opportunities to local artists. His CCA experience was invaluable in giving him confidence and connections. "Donald Fortescue, then chair of Furniture, was a mentor throughout. I still see and talk to him. Dee Hibbert-Jones, one of my first professors, inspired me to work outside the canonical medium of painting and be more experimental. I wanted more of a community, a 'soup' environment that would allow me to draw on the expertise of others. Jordan Kantor was instrumental in making me think about making. He helped me read texts, and had great recommendations on what to read after CCA."

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Posted on Monday, May 9, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Technically it's not a dump, it's a transfer station: the 44-acre Recology site where most of San Francisco's garbage and recyclables pass through on their way to either a landfill or a recycling plant. To those who work there, know it, and love it, it's the dump. And for many local artists, including an impressive array of CCA alumni and faculty, it has been the site of a four-month-long scavenger hunt. Recology hosts a one-of-a-kind, intensely competitive residency program where for four months, 40 hours a week, a few lucky artists find inspiration, a literally endless stream of raw materials, a wide array of tools, and 2,000 square feet of studio space, leading up to a culminating exhibition event. The program just celebrated its 20th year. Not all of the artists make work that is specifically about reuse, but no one leaves without having been profoundly affected by the experience, without thinking about life and culture (and trash) in entirely new ways.

On May 20-21 Recology will host the final exhibition of current residents Alex Nichols (soon-to-be alumna from CCA's MFA Program in Writing), Scott Kildall, and Niki Ulehla. That such an obviously object-oriented residency welcomed Nichols, a writer, is an indication of how it continues to evolve and push the envelope of what "art" and "scavenging" mean. Some of the best-known works to come out of the residency have included Nathaniel Stookey's Junkestra (2007), which subsequently performed to a sold-out audience at Herbst Theater in San Francisco and released a recording, and the Styrofoam Hummer made by Andrew Junge (MFA 2002), which has gone on to tour numerous exhibition venues all over the country and has achieved legendary, mythical status among the dump workers.

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Posted on Tuesday, May 3, 2011 by Simon Hodgson

Jay Nelson, "The Golden Gate" (Electric Camper Car), 2009 (photo by Jack Halloway)

On Tuesday, April 19, a Google Street View car was spotted in the Sunset neighborhood of San Francisco. If the crew was lucky, it might have glimpsed San Francisco's most unique vehicle, an old, white hatchback that looks like a snail.

The Honda CRX with the distinctive wooden shell on the back belongs to Jay Nelson (Painting/Drawing 2004), artist and surfer. "I got the car for 200 bucks," he says. "I wanted to create a multifunctional work vehicle/camper. It became a kind of accidental artwork. Vehicles have no boundaries, so they can reach out and create an audience instead of needing the audience to come to them. When you build a house on the back of a car, everyone has an opinion about it, and it becomes a starting point for conversation." The vehicle (along with its owner) was featured on the cover of ReadyMade magazine earlier this year.

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