Featured News

Posted on Saturday, November 1, 2008 by Jim Norrena

Indhira Rojas Sanchez, Feminine Resistance (2006), digital photography

Graduate Design student Indhira Rojas (Indhira Susana Rojas Sánchez) earned top prize in the Fine Art Photography category at the XXII Eduardo León Jimenes Competition of Art (Concurso de Arte Eduardo León Jimenes). The exhibition is organized by Centro León in Santiago, Dominican Republic.

Indhira Rojas's diptych digital photography piece, Feminine Resistance (2006), reflects on themes of sexuality and aggression and will become a part of the institution's permanent collection.

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Posted on Wednesday, October 29, 2008 by Chris Bliss

California College of the Arts has engaged the innovation and design firm IDEO to assist with its strategic planning process.

"We're delighted to have one of the most innovative companies in the world guiding us in the development of our next five-year strategic plan," states Stephen Beal, president of CCA. "IDEO's human-centered, design-based approach will help us achieve our goal of engaging a broad sector of the CCA community—alumni, donors, faculty, staff, students, and trustees—in envisioning the future of the college."

"IDEO is extremely excited to be collaborating with CCA on their five-year strategic planning process. Our organizations are closely aligned around common passions such as art, design, education, and innovation. The opportunity to be part of shaping an institution that is building the next generation of creative thinkers is an honor and a privilege," comments Erik Moga, project lead for IDEO.

Project Scope and Structure
IDEO has designed a highly collaborative 17-week project structure. Core development teams from CCA and IDEO (see below) will be joined by members of the CCA community and a larger group of IDEO designers who will participate in the project. This collaborative structure will allow broad segments of the CCA community to engage in the development of the strategic plan and will give those involved a greater awareness of collegewide values and vision, with the goal of greater participation in decisions affecting the college's future.

Over the course of this project, there will be several opportunities for members of the CCA community to participate, including facilitated visioning sessions, meetings, and interviews. We have set up a project blog to help spark conversation among the participants.

Project Time Frame
The core development team met in early October 2008 to design the project plan. Research will take place from October 27 through November 7, with IDEO staff conducting stakeholder interviews and leading group discussions on both CCA campuses. A project plan outlining the 17 weeks of activity will be posted soon.

Core Development Team

CCA
Susan Avila, senior vice president for advancement
Stephen Beal, president
Melanie Corn, interim provost
Mik Gaspay, educational technology services user support manager
Pamela Jennings, vice president for student affairs
Barbara Jones, fundraising services manager
David Kirshman, senior vice president for finance
David Meckel, director of planning and research
Noel Perry, CCA trustee
Robynne Royster, director of undergraduate enrollment
Nathan Shedroff, MBA in Design Strategy program chair
Deborah Valoma, director of fine arts

IDEO
Holly Bybee, transformation practice
Dana Cho, associate partner
Brianna Cutts
Erik Moga, human factors
Sandy Speicher, transformation practice

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Posted on Tuesday, October 28, 2008 by Sarah Owens

Yee Jan Bao, untitled, 2008, 36 x 48 in., oil on canvas

Painting faculty member Yee Jan Bao received a praiseworthy $25,000 individual support grant from the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Inc. Bao was awarded the grant in honor of his status as a mature artist—defined by having spent a minimum of 20 years in the specific fields of painting, sculpture, or printmaking—who has dedicated his life to his work.

Established in 1976, the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Inc.

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Posted on Tuesday, October 28, 2008 by Jim Norrena

CCA's R.A.W. Video student competition yielded some rather raw interpretations. See for yourself!

The winning short films in CCA's R.A.W. (real artists at work) Video student competition are now available to view and share with family and friends (well, maybe just your friends).

Congratulations go out to five inspired CCA student filmmakers who won the first CCA-juried student video competition. Each artist receives $500. The challenge? Create a short interpretive film that captures the CCA experience from the student's perspective.

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Posted on Thursday, October 23, 2008 by Jim Norrena

Hard work and artistic vision paid off for Andy Nicholson (MFA Writing 2008) who was awarded the 2008 Schaeffer Fellowship in poetry

Congratulations to Andy Nicholson, 2006 graduate of CCA's MFA Program in Writing, who is a recipient of the Schaeffer Fellowship in poetry. This fall he began the PhD in English program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).

UNLV's PhD in English with a creative dissertation focuses on English and American literature with the goal of preparing students to pursue writing careers—be they instructional at the college or university level or based in editing or publishing. The Atlantic heralded the program as among the top five in the nation.

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Posted on Thursday, October 16, 2008 by Brenda Tucker

Jeesun (Arys) Hur (Interior Architecture 1997)

Seoul has become something of a home away from home for numerous CCAers. In cyberspace and, occasionally, on terra firma, about 150 Korean alumni, students, and prospective students meet, mingle, and network in what has become the CCA Korean Alumni Group.

While giving members the opportunity to reminisce about the thrill of artistic victory and the agony of critique, the club also introduces the school to newly accepted students, offering them a way to meet classmates before they hit the California coast. "Our members also make professional connections," says Sooah Choi (Fashion Design 1998), current club president. "Alumni sometimes refer projects to others working in the same career, and they post information about internships." The group meets about five times a year in Seoul, and a couple of times in Oakland.

Last year, in honor of CCA's centennial, the club hosted a special evening event for Korean alumni. Graduates, prospective students, parents of students, and Korean faculty from the likes of Seoul National University and Samsung Art and Design Institute attended the gala along with Stephen Beal, then CCA's provost (now president), and Michele Rabin, director of international student affairs. That memorable evening, held at Minjoo Kang's (Ceramics 2002) wine and coffee house, included speeches and discussions about promoting the school in Korea. "We were proud and excited that CCA created such a beautifully organized event all the way over in our part of the world," Choi says.

The Korean Alumni Group emerged out of informal gatherings organized by a dozen or so Korean students who graduated in the early 1990s. In 2000, Heewon Chang (Graphic Design 2001) opened an online community for the group. As the gathering grew, Junho Kim (Graphic Design 1991) was elected its first president, followed by Younmo Kim (Illustration 1990), and, most recently, Choi. As of fall 2008 CCA has 29 Korean students, who comprise more than a quarter of the college's international student population.

"What I like most about participating in the group is seeing everyone doing so well at their work," says member Sunghwan Moon (Film/Video 2003). "Just as fellow students were always my greatest teachers, keeping me alert and awake at school, they continue to inspire me to work harder." Moon is now an editor at the Korean animation studio DigiArt; his latest project is Garfield: Pet Force.

Jeesun (Arys) Hur (Interior Architecture 1997) was working for an interior design firm in Tokyo and had already demonstrated a clear passion for the field before she managed to convince her parents that CCA would be a good move. They reluctantly gave her permission to go to school so far from home. Now she's the CEO of her own firm, ArysArchiDesign, based in Seoul with clients as far-flung as Japan and Africa. "The group allows me to meet those I didn't know while I was in school, and reconnect with others I rarely get to see now," she says. "Whenever CCA alumni happen to pass through Seoul, we gather to eat, drink, and enjoy a nightlong chat. Staying connected allows us to talk about what we're doing in art and art-related fields, and helps keep us excited and focused."

A few months ago, Yunjung Kil (Interior Architecture 1997) participated in CCA's orientation for new Korean students in Seoul under the auspices of the group. "I had the chance to tell students about my career and work, which was fun for me and, I hope, meaningful for them," says Kil, whose interior design firm, GIL Design Inc., is branching out into the area of environmental design.

Meanwhile, in and around freelancing as a fashion designer (she has designed uniforms for past Korean Olympic competitors, among other high-profile projects), lecturing at universities, and earning nothing less than a PhD in clothing and textiles, president Sooah Choi has big hopes for the future. "I want us to hold alumni group exhibitions with various media and majors represented," she says. She invites anyone interested in finding out more about the Korean Alumni Group to visit ccac.cyworld.com, where an account can also be opened in English.

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Posted on Monday, October 6, 2008 by Brenda Tucker

Linda Geary (middle), Painting/Drawing faculty, works with students during critique

As part of CCA's Painting/Drawing studio course, faculty member Linda Geary traveled with students to New York for three weeks during June/July. The goal? To take advantage of the New York Studio Program, which moved to DUMBO (a real-estate term that denotes Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass).

Students not only toured the city's seemingly endless art collections but also visited with established resident artists, often in the artists' glamorous studios.

The designated 10-block DUMBO district is flanked by the Fulton Ferry and Vinegar Hill neighborhoods and lends dramatic views of Manhattan. The locale is populated with artist-focused real estate projects such as arts organizations and studios. It is an area steeped in creative and artistic expression, and its influx of world-class visual and performing artists offers a particular vitality that has made it the fastest-growing neighborhood in New York.

During the three-week residency, each student was provided with a spacious and beautiful studio in which to work independently. The focus of the class was not only to engage with the work of established artists but also to develop a body of work. Such studio visits generated excitement among the students, as evidenced by their often late-night hours. Weekly group critiques also contributed to their momentum to create new work.

While students were reaping the rewards of this artists' haven, Olafur Eliasson created and installed his New York City Waterfalls, which made their proximity to the Brooklyn Bridge that much more exciting.

Outside of class or critique, Painting/Drawing faculty member and artist Linda Geary led her students around Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Long Island to showcase work and pick the brains of practicing local artists. Through personal exchanges students learned about how their practices have changed over time as well as how living and working in the internationally acclaimed New York art world informs their practice.

Students also took advantage of New York's tremendous cultural offerings, from museums and galleries (such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Morgan Library and Museum, and the Frick ) to actual studio visits with such acclaimed artists as Polly Apfelbaum, CCA alum Jules De Balincourt, Rachel Hayes, Jim Hodges, Raj Kahlon, Jonathan Lasker, Elisa Lendvay, Mary Meyer, Stephen Mueller, Eric Sall, James Siena, and Laurel Voss.

For information regarding Linda Geary's summer 2009 New York studio course, please contact the Office of Special Programs at 510.594.3773.

About Linda Geary
Geary has exhibited recently at Pulliam Deffenbaugh Gallery, Portland, Oregon; HP Garcia Gallery, New York; and Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco (reviewed in ArtForum, February 2007). She also was a resident at Art Omi, New York, in 2007. Geary is the recipient of an Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts grant and the Pollock-Krasner Award.

Read Linda Geary's complete bio.
Learn more about CCA's Painting/Drawing Program.

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Posted on Friday, October 3, 2008 by Jim Norrena

Director Wayne Wang filming A Thousand Years of Good Prayers (Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.)

(Yiyun Li will speak at CCA as part of the MFA Writers' Series on November 21 at 3:30 p.m. in the Writers' Studio.)

In a recent interview with CCA alum and celebrated writer/director/producer Wayne Wang (The Center of the World, The Joy Luck Club, Smoke), who has been making films for the past 30 years (starting when still a student at CCA) and who has remarkable influence on aspiring Asian filmmakers, he discussed his recent departure from Hollywood big films to focus more on smaller, independent films:

"I got on this treadmill of studio movies and I had fun, made a lot of good money, but I was having a hard time getting off of it so I sort of consciously just got off and said, 'How can I go back to some of my own films, independent films dealing with the Chinese in America again?' I found first of all one of the big changes with the Chinese community here is that there are a lot more new immigrants from China, and second, I found Yiyun Li's book, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers. There were two stories that I really liked in there, so I ended up . . . making two films." (Read the full interview with Wayne Wang.)

Two stories indeed. "A Thousand Years of Good Prayers" and "The Princess of Nebraska" are each featured in Li's award-winning collection of short stories, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, which impressed Wang.

Oakland-based Yiyun Li's debut collection of short stories won the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, PEN/Hemingway Award, Guardian First Book Award, and California Book Award for first fiction. She was recently selected by Granta as one of the Best Young American Novelists.

Li grew up in Beijing and came to the United States in 1996. Her stories and essays have been published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Zoetrope: All-Story, Ploughshares, The Gettysburg Review, Glimmer Train, Prospect, and elsewhere. She has received grants and awards from Lannan Foundation and Whiting Foundation.

So it's not so surprising that a director as talented as Wang would recognize talent in a writer like Li.

Li was able to work extensively on the screenplay for Thousand Prayers (Magnolia Pictures); however, she was knee-deep working on her first full-length novel, and thus less involved in the film production of "The Princess of Alaska," which Wang codirected with Richard Wong under the same title.

The films had a back-to-back screening (as a single feature) at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival. Then Thousand Prayers opened the 2008 International Asian Film Festival. But it was only recently that Thousand Prayers had its theatrical release opening at the Lincoln Plaza Cinemas in New York September 19. (Interestingly, in France the two films were released simultaneously with theater venues offering viewers a choice of either or both.)

However, nowadays when a film releases is less intriguing as how it releases: on October 17 YouTube's Screening Room will air the U.S. premiere of The Princess of Nebraska, also from Magnolia Pictures. (Watch the exclusive YouTube Princess of Nebraska trailer.)

Much like the subject matter of either short story, Wang hopes the innovative release strategy will serve multiple audiences, thus uniting different generations and cultures—be it symbolically or otherwise.

"A Thousand Years of Good Prayers is classical and is being distributed classically," Wong says. "It's about an older generation. The Princess of Nebraska is about a new generation. It's shot in a very contemporary way. It was very guerrilla style, and we used a lot of cell phone stuff, and it made sense for [the film] to go to the Internet." (Listen to the complete NPR interview. Approximately five minutes.)

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Posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2008 by Sarah Owens

Chaliff Dance (read my letter and dance my words) in collaboration with Farley Gwazda, digital video, 2007

Recent alumna Dina Danish (MFA 2008) is one of 12 international artists selected for an artist residency at the prestigious Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten (Royal Academy of Visual Arts) in Amsterdam, an internationally renowned two-year residency for visual artists.

Danish's application process required several selection rounds, including on-site interviews with committee members. The interview process reduced the applicant pool from 1,500 applicants to 38, and then again down to the final 12 international and 12 Dutch recipients.

The candidates were evaluated based on the quality of their work and their potential to develop and grow. At 26, Danish is three years younger than the average awardee.

As a resident artist, Danish will receive a budget to work in her own studio for a one-year period from January through December. During that time she will participate in workshops and work among other international artists who are pursuing painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, sculpture, video, film, sound, and computer art.

Danish is thrilled to have the opportunity to study and practice in an international setting, and to collaborate with the other artists and advisors.

Danish also holds a BA from the American University of Cairo.

View Danish's work online.

Visit the Rijksakademie website for additional information.

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Posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2008 by Brenda Tucker

CCA's undergraduate and graduate Chair and Director of Architecture Ila Berman sits with world-reknowned architect Renzo Piano

On September 26, 2008, architecture students from UC Berkeley and California College of the Arts attended a special lecture that featured internationally lauded architect Renzo Piano, the Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate and 2008 American Institute of Architecture (AIA) Gold Medal recipient who has been heralded by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people.

In 1971 Piano joined with Sir Richard Rogers to form the Piano and Rogers Agency. The agency went on to collaborate on Paris's Centre Pompidou project, which brought the two designers international acclaim.

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