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Posted on Thursday, July 18, 2013 by Matthew Harrison Tedford

This year, the San Francisco metal arts and jewelry gallery Velvet da Vinci celebrates its 23rd anniversary. Its cofounders, CCA alumnus Mike Holmes (Jewelry / Metal Arts 1984) and his business partner Elizabeth Shypertt, originally met in 1984 in a studio class at the de Young Museum. Both had had some success selling their jewelry work independently, and it seemed like a natural idea to start a gallery to capitalize on that momentum.

"We found this wonderful little storefront in Hayes Valley," Holmes remembers. "The smallest one on the sunny side of Hayes Street!" It was a fortuitous moment: just after the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake had damaged the Central Freeway there, but before the freeway had actually been torn down and rents started to rise.

(The name "Velvet da Vinci," in case you are wondering, was inspired by an old Perry Mason television episode.)

Posted on Thursday, July 18, 2013 by Allison Byers

"My Country Has No Name"

The work of 28-year-old Nigerian-born artist Toyin Odutola (MFA 2012) may literally be black portraiture with ballpoint pen ink, but speaking figuratively, her work speaks volumes. Addressing issues of identity, race, and nationhood, her art resonates strongly with her audiences.

Posted on Monday, July 8, 2013 by Rachel Walther

An "elective" at art school is in many ways the opposite of what the term means for a traditional university student. Rather than taking a painting class for fun in between economics and political science, art students have to decide what math class to fit in between their painting courses.

All undergraduates at CCA (except Architecture majors) are required to take 51 units of Humanities and Sciences coursework, which by the time they graduate ends up representing about a third of their total units.

All of these courses are highly rigorous. Some are essential and required (for instance writing and art history) but many are creatively designed electives open to students in all majors. In "Bad Science at the Movies," for instance, professor Christine Metzger uses preposterous representations of geology and climate change in popular films to launch an in-depth survey of environmental science.

Posted on Monday, July 8, 2013 by Jim Norrena

The Craft Carriage by Patima Pataramekin (Industrial Design)

Patima Pataramekin is a second-degree junior in CCA's Industrial Design Program. Her work, coined The Craft Carriage, was exhibited in CCA's booth at the Bay Area Maker Faire (May 18-19).

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Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2013 by Jim Norrena

CCA's booth at Maker Faire received two Make magazine editor's choice awards

Ever since the college was founded in 1907, making art has defined what we do at California College of the Arts -- both what we create and how we create it.

Today we have a new challenge to how we create art. The Bay Area has become a vast melting pot of innovation driven by the demands of technology-reliant and design-savvy enthusiasts.

We live in the innovation corridor -- a unique stomping grounds where the doers and makers are integrating time-honored principles of craft into the ever-changing technological landscape.

Posted on Monday, July 1, 2013 by Susannah Magers

Aviary (2013)

Tim Bishop (MBA in Design Strategy 2010) works for Parallel Development, a Brooklyn-based design and fabrication studio. The five-person company specializes in collaborating with digital designers, artists, and architects to bring their visions to life.

"We develop the electrical and mechanical platforms they require for their works," Bishop explains, "The works take many forms and might have various levels of interactivity. Frequently they are custom 3D LED displays."

Posted on Friday, June 21, 2013 by Jim Norrena

A new guest lecture series presented by MFA in Comics!

In celebration of the arrival of the inaugural MFA in Comics class, California College of the Arts will host "Comics in the City," a summer guest speaker series featuring four of the most talented creators in comics today.

Each Friday in July, the speaker series will highlight various aspects of the comics medium -- from independent publishing to the craft of writing the most iconic superheroes.

Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2013 by Lindsey Westbrook

Owen Smith, the new chair of CCA's Illustration Program, got his first New Yorker cover commission when he was a senior at Art Center College of Design. "I'd entered a work in a juried competition, and it was published in American Illustration, and Françoise Mouly, the art director of the New Yorker, saw it and called me. I was lucky. But I suppose it's also true that you make your own luck, as they say."

So, what is Smith's advice for students looking to break into the field?

"They should enter their work in juried competitions, like those run by the Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, and Communication Arts. They have categories for unpublished work and student work. It is a great way to get your art seen alongside the art of very successful, senior professionals."

Posted on Friday, June 14, 2013 by Jim Norrena

In December 2012, luminary filmmaker Werner Herzog (third from right) taught a Film master class at CCA.

Last fall, on December 4, 2012, the Film Program, in association with CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, brought renowned German film director, producer, screenwriter, actor, and opera director Werner Herzog to California College of the Arts as a featured guest in its Cinema Visionaries lecture series.

Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 by Allison Byers

Last month my institution, California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco, selected scientist Amory Lovins to deliver the commencement speech and to receive an honorary doctorate. I'm sure many people in the audience were wondering why CCA, a school of the arts, chose a scientist for this honor. What could a world-renowned physicist say that would resonate with a group of artists, architects, designers, curators, and writers? Plenty, as we all found out.

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