Featured News

Posted on Friday, January 30, 2009 by Chris Bliss

Jordan Kantor, Untitled (Lens Flare), 2008; oil on canvas; 26 x 34 in.

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art recently announced the recipients of the 2008 SECA Art Award, administered by the Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art. Two of the four winners are CCA faculty members: Jordan Kantor (associate professor, Painting/Drawing Program) and Desirée Holman (lecturer, First Year Program, Media Arts, and Interdisciplinary Studies). Tauba Auerbach and Trevor Paglen are the other recipients.

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Posted on Friday, January 23, 2009 by Brenda Tucker

Jens Hoffmann arm wrestles artist Christian Jankowski while emcee Tom Colucci looks on [photo by Pablo Iragorri]

California College of the Arts delivered a strong presence at Art Basel Miami Beach 2008 with alums, faculty, and staff both in attendance and showing their work throughout the city.

Art Basel Miami Beach, the sister event to Switzerland's Art Basel, is one of the most important international art fairs. For one week each December over 40,000 attendees, including more than 250 leading galleries from around the world (presenting work by more than 2,000 artists) descend on Miami.

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Posted on Thursday, January 15, 2009 by Lindsey Westbrook

A student works in the garden

Fast food generally isn't healthy. But it is easy, quick, and cheap.

You could say the same about the synthetic chemical dyes that are used to color our clothes. And just as the "slow food" movement first took hold in the Bay Area—where the population is more socially sensitive, health conscious, and willing to experiment—the Bay Area is also home to the "slow textiles" movement, promoting sustainable, whole-systems thinking in the realms of textiles and fashion.

Sasha Duerr has emerged as a key player in this.

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Posted on Thursday, January 15, 2009 by Lindsey Westbrook

Victoria Montgomery's earring-back necklace

"Garbage in, garbage out," or so they say. But CCA's students this past fall turned out some impressive exceptions to the rule.

San Francisco was the third city to host the Radical Jewelry Makeover, coordinated by Ethical Metalsmiths in conjunction with multiple Bay Area art schools, galleries, and metalsmithing groups.

First came a Bay Area–wide call for donations of unwanted jewelry. "We filled a table with it," says Curtis Arima, a faculty member in the Jewelry / Metal Arts Program, "not just gold and silver but lots of junk jewelry, earrings without mates, et cetera. The students had a great time picking through everything and selecting parts for their projects."

Every student currently enrolled in a Jewelry / Metal Arts course spent 10 intense days remaking the jewelry into new creations—either collaging existing elements together, or completely melting them down and re-forming them. Their finished pieces were exhibited and sold at Velvet da Vinci in San Francisco, a highly regarded jewelry and metal sculpture gallery. Donors received a discount in proportion to their contributions. Everything that hadn't been appropriated was sent on to the next stop on the project's tour.

Switching up the script

The Radical Jewelry Makeover was a great way to start the semester, as one student put it, by "switching up the script." CCA's program usually emphasizes a balance between concept and craft; weeks might be spent articulating what a new piece will communicate before any physical work begins. The Makeover's 10-day time frame demanded a dramatic shift in both aesthetics and modus operandi.

Many reported feeling a sense of collaboration with unknown jewelers of the past, and with the pieces' anonymous former owners. Sophomore Jean Saung observes, "I wanted people to recognize some of the parts taken from the old jewelry, and to appreciate the recombination of their past and history to create new meanings. I made a necklace from pieces of an old watch by prying apart the metal wrist links and re-forming them into cubes, which I slipped onto a neck wire. I wonder if people will recognize the 'beads' for what they truly are.

"Certain parts, which used to belong to completely different pieces, actually seemed like they were meant to be together. I was also surprised to find myself gravitating toward the costume jewelry and the non-precious materials. I liked the idea of making something that was not very valuable into something someone would want to keep."

Senior student Victoria Montgomery agrees, "Metalsmiths, just like any other artists, sometimes get stuck in their own ways of creating. That week was a way of breaking free from the rut. It felt like a week dedicated to play. The studio came alive with a constant buzz of artists sharing materials and ideas.

"Some of the donated items were over-the-top costume jewelry. They were visually daunting, but once I started simplifying, that's when my pieces started to take form. For example, the donation box contained endless costume earrings from the 1980s, most missing a mate. I started collecting all the clip-on mechanisms and studs and treated them as links in a large chain. I liked the surprise of something so forgettable as the back of an earring suddenly taking the stage."

Mining the drawers

Ethical Metalsmiths views this project as a way to get young jewelers thinking early about their materials—first and foremost mined metals such as gold and silver, but also the stuff at the back of people's drawers that would otherwise become landfill. The organization is working on several aspects of mining reform, including the establishment of standards for certified recycled metal, which can be advertised to consumers who want to buy responsibly.

A trip to Malakoff Diggins up in California's gold county is a reminder of how destructive mining is. According to Ethical Metalsmiths, to mine the gold for one new ring creates a staggering 20 tons of waste rock. Mining is a core industry in many countries, and the arsenic, lead, and other chemicals required to process ore cause serious health problems and pollute the land and the water supply. Not to mention the terrible child labor practices and other human rights violations that often plague mining economies. In the United States, hard-rock mining produces more toxic waste than any other industry, and 80 percent of all mined gold is used to produce jewelry.

Senior student Russell Larman found great inspiration not only in the project, but also in the organization behind it. "It's important to remember that the history of our new pieces did not begin with the people who made the donations," he says. "They were only temporary custodians in a larger life cycle. Objects have an inherent history that often becomes separated from them when they are packaged as consumer products. As consumers of gold, silver, platinum, and gemstones, we have a responsibility to make sure we're not supporting unethical labor conditions in the communities that make these materials available to us."

Sustainability in metalsmithing

Surprisingly, even though gold and silver seem expensive, many jewelers do not recycle their metals. The Radical Jewelry Makeover was an occasion for an open dialogue about issues of sourcing, and for Arima to give demonstrations to the students showing how easy it is to melt down gold and silver and reuse them.

MFA student Anna Adair remarks, "The project's focus on sustainability and our ethics as practicing jewelers was, for me, the most important component. It's not something we can afford to ignore, on either a commercial or a conceptual level. A couple of years ago I wasn't thinking about my studio practice in these terms, aside from basic recycling and proper disposal of chemicals. Scrutinizing my studio habits was an eye-opener."

Saung echoes, "I had thought about sustainability and reuse for some of my smaller crafts and hobbies, but I never really had the motivation or courage to incorporate the concept into my studio work. My jewelry metal was always just processed metal I could easily buy. Now I am changing that, and I think it was my experience with this project that gave me the courage."

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Posted on Wednesday, January 14, 2009 by Sarah Owens

Guillermo Galindo, associate professor in Diversity Studies and Graduate Program in Design

Associate professor Guillermo Galindo (Diversity Studies and Graduate Program in Design) was awarded the ASCAPlus Award (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) late in 2008, part of the approximately $2.7 million in cash awards dispensed by the Society's ASCAPlus Awards Panels.

ASCAP is a 330,000+ membership association of U.S. composers, songwriters, lyricists, and music publishers. The ASCAPlus Awards Panels are composed of impartial music experts.

The reputable award is bestowed upon ASCAP members whose music falls into an open-ended array of musical genres. Also, awarded musicians are typically at the early or midlevel range of their careers, and their unique contributions to the music industry typically have generated more prestige value, as opposed to monetary compensation. Many of the award candidates have yet to showcase their work or have it reviewed in mainstream broadcast media.

ASCAP President Marilyn Bergman commented on the awards: "Since 1960, the unique ASCAPLUS Awards program has provided deserving music creators with something meaningful and tangible in the form of recognition and money." Award amounts are determined by the judging panel and each award amount is specific to each recipient.

Galindo's work spans a wide spectrum of artistic expression: symphonic composition, musical computer interaction, electro-acoustic music, opera, film scores, instrument building, multimedia installation, and sound design. His music and work has been performed and shown at major festivals and art exhibitions throughout the United States, Latin America, Europe, and Asia.

Galindo's most recent work focuses on music as ritual, live audience interaction, the creation of cyber-totemic/interactive sound objects, symbolism, and site-specific sound environments.

Additionally, Galindo has written two operas: Califas 2000, with text and performance art by MacArthur Fellow Guillermo Gómez-Peña; and Decreation: Fight Cherries, which includes text by MacArthur Fellow Anne Carson (and premiered at CCA in 2001).

For more information visit www.ascap.com/ascapplus.

Also visit Guillermo Galindo's website: www.galindog.com.

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Posted on Tuesday, December 9, 2008 by Brenda Tucker

President Stephen Beal (second from right) on a tour of the Forbidden City in Beijing

My recent trip to China was fascinating. I was part of a small delegation of art school presidents (including representatives from the Rhode Island School of Design, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the San Francisco Art Institute, Glasgow School of Art, the University of Bern, and the University of New South Wales) invited to participate in an international symposium on art education.

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Posted on Monday, December 8, 2008 by Kim Lessard

Sandstrom placed runner-up in the “Chuck it or Keep it” global student competition, part of the Fashioning the Future summit (sponsored by the Centre for Sustainable Fashion at London College of Fashion)

CCA Fashion Design student Stephanie Sandstrom was a runner-up in the "Chuck it or Keep it" global student competition, part of the Fashioning the Future summit held October 27–28, 2008, in London. Sandstrom was awarded in the innovation category (materials being the other category) for her One Night Stands design—a temporary yet more sustainable shoe specially designed for one-time-only occasions, after which each can be recycled. As a runner-up she received 500 pounds.

Another CCA Fashion Design student, Lauren Devenney, joined the 26 "Chuck it or Keep it" finalists in presenting her work on the runway for the fashion industry elite. The competition and first-time summit garnered international media attention. (Read "Sustaining Fashion," Vogue, October 28, 2008.)

Sponsored by the Centre for Sustainable Fashion at London College of Fashion, in conjunction with Adili.com, the Fashioning the Future summit competition united established fashion designers, students, and opinion-makers from around the world to explore answering the challenging question: can we bring about long-term lifestyle change and create better lives through a more sustainable fashion industry?

The "Chuck it or Keep it" competition judges included renowned London Times fashion journalist Colin McDowell; Caryn Franklin, host of the popular U.K. television program The Clothes Show; head of London College of Fashion Dr. Frances Corner; and Sim Scavazza, creative director of Adili.com.

Sustainable and Disposable?

The idea of a temporary shoe can at first seem antithetical to sustainable fashion goals, but according to Sandstrom women do typically purchase shoes with the intention of wearing them only once—for such standalone events as weddings, proms, award shows, or just a special night out.

Most shoes are produced outside the United States (typically in China). The extra energy involved in manufacturing and shipping, in addition to the bleaching and dying of the leather or textiles, contribute to industry practices that are far from sustainable.

Made entirely from a single piece of polypropylene plastic, One Night Stands are easily recycled because, unlike a typical shoe, the components (rubber, fabric, glue) do not have to be broken down and separated. Sandstrom even conceptualized the disposal of the shoes; the consumer sends the shoes, including the box (made of the same material), using a prepaid mailer to be recycled into a new pair of One Night Stands.

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Posted on Monday, November 24, 2008 by Brenda Tucker

Academy Award–Winning Best Documentary (1985)

The International Documentary Association (IDA) has awarded independent filmmaker, writer, producer, and director (The Times of Harvey Milk) Rob Epstein, current Media Arts Program cochair* and professor, its prestigious 2008 Pioneer Award. The award signifies Epstein's far-reaching contributions in film direction, and will be presented in a ceremony with other distinguished IDA award recipients at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles December 5, 2008.

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Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2008 by Jim Norrena

The Entire Earth and Sky: Views on Antarctica (University of Nebraska Press, 2008) by Leslie Carol Roberts

Leslie Carol Roberts is a faculty member in both the MFA Writing and Graduate Design programs. She's also the first-ever Fulbright Fellow in Antarctic Studies! Roberts will be promoting her book, The Entire Earth and Sky: Views on Antarctica (University of Nebraska Press, 2008), in the Bay Area with planned readings. (See author's website and bookstore links below for details.)

According to Roberts: "This book pieces together the tragic and heroic tales of nineteenth-century exploration, interviews with scientists, and the author's personal observations. The result is a remarkable collage that evokes the beauty and the complexity, the perils and the rewards of a lifelong engagement with the earth's last wilderness."

Additionally, Roberts has delivered talks and papers on her multidisciplinary work at the Stanford Linear Accelerator and the New Zealand Studies Association (London), as well as to scientific groups at universities in the United States and abroad.

Roberts, who's been invited as a distinguished writer in residence at St. Mary's College in 2009, has written hundreds of articles and essays for magazines, newspapers, and literary journals, including the Bellevue Literary Review, The Christian Science Monitor, and the Sydney Morning Herald. She has written hundreds of articles and essays for magazines, newspapers, and literary journals, including the Bellevue Literary Review, The Christian Science Monitor, and the Sydney Morning Herald.

Join Roberts at Mrs. Dalloway's in Berkeley on Friday, November 21, at 7:30 p.m. for a reading and signing.

Read the East Bay Express article.

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Posted on Thursday, November 13, 2008 by Jim Norrena

The Path to 9/11, with Lindsay Daniels's animation and design support, was nominated for an Emmy

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences tonight (Saturday, September 8, 2007) awarded
the 2006–7 Creative Arts Primetime Emmys for programs and individual achievements at
the 59th Emmy Awards presentation at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

Eric Anderson, creative director; Josh Bodnar, editor; Lindsay Daniels, designer; Colin Davis, main title producer

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