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Posted on Monday, July 7, 2014 by Rachel Walther

Emily Eifler (MFA 2011) has little time for sleep. She writes, directs, edits, and stars in her own YouTube channel, works full-time for a software research lab, and is a freelance columnist for KQED. Every aspect of her life has a common thread: her lifelong fascination with technology and culture.

On her YouTube channel, Blink Pop Shift, she posts new videos weekly on topics pertaining to her enthusiasms -- the history of search engines, say, or GIF artists -- in a way that’s funny and accessible.

“I was really interested in the possibilities of YouTube -- what you could do with good writing and ideas,” she says of her original inspiration for the series. “I started thinking about my personal relationship to technology, and my first videos were based on that. Literacy today is more than reading text. It’s reading interfaces and functionality as well.

“Discussing the history of technology gives people context for what we think of as the ‘digital revolution.’ To describe it as a singular event is an inaccurate representation of all the work that’s been done to get us to this point.”

The channel currently has more than 4,500 subscribers. Eifler is committed to keeping it online rather than migrating to some other format. “Putting my videos on TV would be a terrible idea. This channel is meant for YouTube, and I want it to be a really great web channel, not a stepping stone to old media. There are some cool collaborations in the pipeline, and some funded projects that I’m very excited about.”

Posted on Thursday, July 3, 2014 by Chris Bliss

Shalini Agrawal, new Center director

Shalini Agrawal has been appointed director of the Center for Art and Public Life at California College of the Arts (CCA), it was announced today by Provost Melanie Corn. Agrawal had been serving as interim director of the Center for the last year, and was selected after a broad national search.

Corn commented, "Shalini has done an impressive and exemplary job as interim director. Her extensive experience facilitating diverse communities at local, national, and international levels makes her the ideal person for the job. I'm looking forward to working with her in this capacity."

About Shalini Agrawal

Agrawal is cofounder and principal of MAC Studio, a practice that engages communities through landscape architecture. MAC Studio was selected as one of the few firms to complete the San Francisco Unified School District Green Schoolyard Initiative for middle and high schools. 

Posted on Tuesday, July 1, 2014 by Jim Norrena

Cheryl Dunye and Kingston Farady discuss BLACK IS BLUE

Cheryl Dunye, previous Film faculty and current graduate advisor, earned the audience award for Best Short Film for Black Is Blue (2014) at this year's San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival (produced by Frameline), which ran from June 19 to 29.

Posted on Monday, June 30, 2014 by Simon Hodgson

Photo: Zack DeZon

How does an engineer reinvent himself? One possible answer: at art school.

In 1996, just a year after graduating from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in civil engineering, Bruce King-Shey felt lost.

A lifelong musician, he switched tracks from engineering to take an entry-level job at the Annapolis Symphony. But when his career in arts management began to feel stalled, he wasn’t sure where he should turn next.

Today King-Shey (Industrial Design 2004, MA Visual Criticism 2005) is vice president of design innovation at food and beverage giant PepsiCo.

His circuitous career path offers much insight into how an arts education can unlock hidden talents.

Posted on Wednesday, June 11, 2014 by Lindsey Westbrook

Critical Studies faculty member Christine Metzger is a crafty scientist. She’s “crafty” in the CCA sense of the word, but she’s also “canny” and “astute,” having spearheaded, along with faculty member Stuart Kendall, former faculty member Rachel Schreiber, and former staff member Kathy Butler, a very long but very happily concluded campaign for a National Science Foundation grant.

The grant of $200,000 was not only more than they’d requested, but also one of the largest NSF awards ever made to an art college.

Over three years, it will support Exploring Science in the Studio, an innovative project dedicated to the idea that science at CCA should be more than just a general education requirement. The aspiration is to integrate science into the arts, enabling art and design students to develop an understanding of their native fields from a science-based perspective.

Posted on Thursday, June 5, 2014 by Allison Byers

Inspiration comes in many forms for designers. But for Matt Dick (Individualized Major 1997) inspiration comes from a simple act that takes place all over the world, every day. “People getting dressed. Everywhere. Then and now. That is what inspires my work.”

Dick is the founder of Small Trade Company, a San Francisco–based workshop and studio, begun in 2010. “We develop products of our own, and we develop projects with other people,” Dick told Station to Station.

“I try to keep this space really without parameters. The team works on everything.” His designs are in stores and boutiques all over the world: Tokyo, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Dallas, and all around the San Francisco Bay Area.

Recently, Dick has collaborated with Levi's XX, the brand’s premium division, and on restaurant uniforms for Blue Bottle Coffee, State Bird Provisions, and Bar Agricole.

The famed event designer Stanlee Gatti has gone on record with the San Francisco Chronicle that he calls on Dick “for everything wearable. I just love the ease with which he greets people and situations.”

Posted on Wednesday, June 4, 2014 by Jim Norrena

The students in CCA’s MFA in Comics program have returned to San Francisco for their second year of study.

To celebrate their return, California College of the Arts will host its second annual Comics in the City, a public summer guest-speaker series featuring four of today's most celebrated comics creators.

Join us each Friday in July when Comics in the City will highlight various aspects of the comics medium -- from independent publishing to the craft of writing and the future of digital comics.

Posted on Thursday, May 22, 2014 by Simon Hodgson

David Gissen, Mound of Vendôme

Whereas most folks look at Paris and see the Eiffel Tower and the river Seine, the architectural historian and CCA faculty member David Gissen sees many different Parises, sequenced and layered, pockmarked and potholed by history.

Gissen has an eye for the vestigial histories of cities and their landscapes -- the parts that are buried, forgotten, or unseen. The decay of 1970s Manhattan, the underwater landscape of London’s River Thames, and the revolutionary landscapes of the Paris Commune have all come under his idiosyncratic scrutiny.

Posted on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 by Laura Braun

Mimi Pond is a career cartoonist, illustrator, author, and mother

Chances are likely you're already familiar with cartoonist and illustrator Mimi Pond's (Drawing 1978) work.

Of her five books, The Valley Girls’ Guide to Life is a 1980s cult classic, and she holds the credit for writing the first episode of The Simpsons -- a job Matt Groening, the show’s creator, personally offered her.

Pond's latest book, Over Easy, released in April to rave reviews.

And her résumé contains a veritable laundry list of pop-culture favorites including such popular television series writing credits as Pee-wee’s Playhouse and Designing Women.

She also furnished Seventeen magazine with a full-page comic for each issue during the early 1980s as well as worked with National Lampoon, the Village Voice, the New York Times, Adweek, and many more publications.


Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2014 by Jim Norrena

(l-r) Stephanie Smith, Erin Wheeler, Kate Dey, and CCA President Stephen Beal

Right on the cusp of CCA's commencement exercises this Saturday, May 17, at the San Francisco Concourse Exhibition Center, a timely WalletHub article, "Best & Worst Entry-Level Jobs," includes expert career advice from CCA's Career Development Director Kate Dey.

The featured article is written by Evolution Finance senior editor and writer John Kiernan and uses information sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Indeed.com, and Salary.com.

More on Career Development at CCA »