Featured News

Posted on Friday, February 29, 2008 by Brenda Tucker

Ryan Duke of CCA's Industrial Design Program presents to Gucci

PPR French worldwide group is sponsoring a series of design studios at California College of the Arts (CCA) during the 2007–8 academic year. Students in CCA's Architecture, Industrial Design, and Graduate Design programs are examining a variety of design issues while working with representatives from three PPR brands: Gucci, Puma, and Redcats.

"We are delighted to be working with PPR," stated Stephen Beal, provost of CCA. "This partnership enriches our design curriculum considerably and provides our students with unique opportunities to interact with top international professionals."

Sponsored studio courses at CCA give students the prospect of conceptualizing design within the context of a particular brand. They also give the retail, manufacturing, and design industries access to the fresh perspectives of next-generation designers. Other recent sponsored studio collaborations at CCA have included a sustainability studio with the international design firm IDEO and a pet product studio with the Turkish design firm Gaia&Gino.

About PPR
PPR develops a portfolio of high-growth global brands. Through its general consumer brands and luxury brands, PPR generated sales of EUR 19.8 billion in 2007. The group is present in 90 countries with approximately 93,000 employees. PPR brands include Fnac, Redcats Group (La Redoute, Vertbaudet, Somewhere, Cyrillus, Daxon, Ellos, The Sportsman's Guide, The Golf Warehouse and brands of the plus-size division), Conforama, CFAO, Puma, and the luxury brands of Gucci Group (Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Yves Saint Laurent, YSL Beauté, Balenciaga, Boucheron, Sergio Rossi, Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney). Explore the universe of PPR brands at www.ppr.com.

Founded in 1907, CCA offers studies in 20 undergraduate and eight graduate majors in the areas of architecture, business, curatorial practice, design, film, fine arts, and writing. The college offers bachelor of architecture, bachelor of arts, bachelor of fine arts, master of architecture, master of arts, master of business administration, and master of fine arts degrees.

Posted on Friday, February 22, 2008 by Jim Norrena

On Wednesday, February 20, Bay Area news broadcaster ABC-7 (KGO) featured California College of the Arts as a contributing influence to a growing trend among local artists—creating art that reflects ecologically responsible, sustainable practices.

The broadcast segment, "The Bay Area Gives Birth to New Renaissance," is posted on its website at ABCNews7.com. Local artists and professionals who embrace eco-friendly awareness discuss why this issue is relevant to today's art buyers.

According to Kim Anno, a featured CCA faculty member: "They want to see how art and design can give a glimpse of what's happening and straddle contradictions in a way that science couldn't. They want to be part of, I think, a movement of change, that provides a kind of tipping point for our culture."

Sustainability awareness is a critical component of a well-rounded curriculum for preparing students as innovators of the future. CCA offers such a focus on sustainability throughout its various design programs (industrial design, architecture, fashion, and others).

The Summer Institute in Sustainable Design (June 15–27), a two-week, hands-on opportunity that includes fieldwork and in-class lectures with instructors and innovators in sustainable design, illustrates CCA's applaudable commitment to incorporate green into its curricula.

To learn more about the Summer Institute in Sustainable Design, visit the newly launched website at www.cca.edu/sustainable.

Posted on Monday, February 4, 2008 by Sarah Owens

The History Channel's "City of the Future" Competition

Faculty members of California College of the Arts Architecture Program shared their visions of what San Francisco might look like 100 years from now in a nationwide "City of the Future" design competition. CCA faculty were involved in five of the eight teams, with IwamotoScott, a firm co-owned by CCA associate professor Craig Scott, placing first.

Also, Pfau Architecture, owned by CCA adjunct professor Peter Pfau, received the IBM Innovation and Technology award, as well as an honorable mention.

The "City of the Future" competition is sponsored by The History Channel, IBM, and Infiniti with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) as partners. The annual competition takes place in three U.S. cities. This year featured Washington, DC, San Francisco, and Atlanta. Each city has eight design firms that compete regionally for a $10,000 first prize, including the chance to advance to the national level of the competition (decided by online vote). Successful teams were invited to participate following an initial competition jury's selection of their design portfolios.

While several of the firms were robust enough to handle the extra workload the competition created, intensified by its one-week time limit, others recruited additional assistance from CCA students. The pressure accelerated as the teams had only three hours to assemble their 3D models and set up their public presentations at the San Francisco Ferry Building. The event was filmed for The History Channel.

The featured design work, including last year's competition that included New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, will likely be presented in a forthcoming book supported by the event's sponsors.

Honorable mention recipient and CCA adjunct professor Peter Pfau found this a refreshing experience to step back from routine architectural design and explore the future of San Francisco's makeup was refreshing: "Speculating on the possible future allowed us to leave behind our usual world of complex approvals processes, codes issues and tight budgets . . . and focus on broader thinking about the city."

The competition had a few stipulations that required competitors take into account such issues as infrastructure, transportation, commerce, housing, security, and the environment. CCA's newly appointed Chair of Architecture, Ila Berman, says, "The proposals were innovative, provocative, and extremely compelling, allowing us to imagine the future of San Francisco at the juncture of ecology, technology, and urbanism."

IwamotoScott united ecology, technology, and urbanism in its winning design that addressed the problems of the whole, with a specific focus on water and energy collection and distribution. IwanmotoScott's vision of the future presents a new nano-tube system, called "HYDRO-NET," featuring an underground network for hydrogen-powered cars, energy-producing algae ponds, and fog harvesters. Iwanmotoscott co-owner and CCA professor Craig Scott explains: "At key waterfront and neighborhood locales, HYDRO-NET emerges to form linkages between the terrestrial and subterranean worlds.

The eight San Francisco entries will be on display at CCA San Francisco campus February 4–15, 2008. An opening reception and panel discussion is scheduled for Wednesday, February 6 from 7–9:30 p.m.

The work of the competing teams and competition winners will be on view on the History Channel's website on February 4, 2008. The national-level competition will be decided online later in February.

To vote in the national competition visit The History Channel's website.

Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 by Kim Lessard

CCA fashion student Cydney Morris gets in touch with a module of seed cottton

Cotton, a natural fiber, brings to mind images of whiteness, cleanliness, crisp bed sheets, sterile puffs in a clear glass jar. But it is actually one of the most toxic crops grown in the United States.

Every year, Fashion Design faculty member Lynda Grose travels with the Sustainable Cotton Project (SCP) farm tour, taking several CCA students and as well as several professionals through California's San Joaquin Valley to expose them to the big-picture questions surrounding cotton cultivation and to help them connect these issues to their individual practices. This last October the tour was also attended by a member of the Environmental Protection Agency and representatives from Gap, Horny Toad, and the local San Francisco company Blue Marlin. Grose, a pioneer in the sustainable fashion movement, is a consultant for the SCP and devotes much of her time to advocacy and outreach, convincing clothing manufacturers to use more sustainable and locally grown cotton in their products.

The first stop was an organic cotton farm—one of only two in the entire state—in the small town of Firebaugh. After a short presentation on alternative pest management, each participant received a small muslin bag of ladybugs. Minutes later they were waist-deep in a field of cotton blooms, unleashing their bags of natural aphid predators.

Despite its obvious earth-friendly appeal, making the transition to organic growing is economically difficult for many American cotton farmers. They have to compete with growers in China and India, where the hand labor to weed and check for bug infestations is much cheaper, and pesticides are so expensive that they have never come to be relied upon to the degree they are here. The SCP helps these farmers convert to biological farming methods and significantly decrease their use of chemicals, which has great environmental benefits (in 2006, almost six million pounds of chemicals were applied to cotton in California) as well as health benefits (the San Joaquin Valley has the third-highest rate of asthma in the nation as well as disproportionate cancer rates, largely due to all of the farming chemicals).

Some SCP farmers are experimenting with varieties of colored cotton. In the United States these are rare, highly regulated crops that must be cultivated far away from fields of white cotton to avoid contamination (students were warned, even, not to take any samples with them for fear they would accidentally disperse the seeds). Right now the fibers of the colored cotton do not grow as long as those of the white, but the benefits of experimenting to perfect them could eventually be significant, since they eliminate one of the most impactful steps in the textile manufacturing process: dyeing. Grose utilized them in some of her early-1990s Ecollection designs for Esprit.

At another farm, a harvest was under way. While the farmer explained what was happening, massive harvesting machines moved through the field, pouring and compressing the crop into freight-car-size blocks called modules. Individual workers moved among the machines, shoveling up stray clumps that resembled fluffy snowdrifts. In a distant field, a crop-duster airplane dipped and released a dramatic plume of pesticides in what seemed like the final gesture of a grand, synchronized performance.

After lunch the tour concluded with a visit to a local cotton gin. Amid the deafening roar of the machinery, the group walked through wall-to-wall stacks of 500-pound cotton bales. Each bale can produce 750 men's dress shirts, 240 women's dresses, 215 pairs of jeans, 4,321 socks, 690 bath towels, 230 bedsheets, 1,256 pillowcases, or 313,500 dollar bills.

Crystal Titus, one of the students on the tour, was awed by scale of it all: "Some of this information I knew already, but actually seeing how large an acre or a bale is, right there in front of you, is eye-opening. It's important to understand how and where the materials you're using come from, whether it's fabric, wood, or technology. That knowledge can only benefit you and your practice."

Finding truly sustainable solutions for the fashion industry requires a holistic understanding of everything from the economics of raw commodities such as cotton to the cultural values of consumers.

"Understanding end-user behavior and emotions is key," says Grose, who focuses not just on organic growing methods but the entire life cycle of the fashion industry. "Buying vintage is one of the most sustainable things a person can do, even more than dropping off their used clothes at thrift stores, since that doesn't change the way our culture manufactures clothes or our attitudes about consuming them. Buying vintage is a cyclical process, with a single garment used over and over. We hope to inspire students to research all kinds of new ideas for products and businesses that are cyclical rather than linear—that have the potential to influence our culture of consumption, from the fashion industry to prevailing business models and the cultural needs and wants of end consumers."

Titus agrees: "The apparel industry is so focused on being new and exciting and ever-changing because people get bored with their clothes easily. I can understand that. But clothing can be reused, and people need to open themselves up to bearing some of the responsibility for recycling fabric waste. The mindset of both the industry and the consumer is at odds with sustainability, and that has to change."

The 2007 Sustainable Cotton Project Farm Tour was made possible in part by the California Initiative, a program generously funded by a CCA trustee who wishes to remain anonymous. Grose received a grant for her class that allowed CCA to cosponsor this year's tour with the Gap and provided funding for students to make the trip.

Posted on Thursday, November 29, 2007 by Kim Lessard

Boat ride, West Lake, Hangzhou

CCA's first study-abroad program in China took place in summer 2007, with an interdisciplinary group of 13 undergraduate and grad students led by faculty member Pauline Yao and the Beijing-based independent curator and critic Carol Yinghua Lu. Yao and Lu's insider knowledge of cutting-edge artists and architects working in China enabled the students to get an intimate look at the dynamic, thriving art scene in Shanghai, Beijing, and beyond.

During the three-week program, the group attended morning lectures by a wide array of artists, curators, designers, and architects working at the forefront of their respective fields. In the afternoons they visited museums, galleries, studios, and architectural sites.

"We also gave the students individual field assignments in Beijing and Shanghai," said Yao. "The end results were quite successful despite some initial fears with going out alone in such a large and unfamiliar place."

The group was granted special entree into private openings at art spaces both mainstream and off the beaten path. They attended screenings of student films and viewed new-media installation work at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, and they visited an NGO (nongovernmental organization) working on architectural preservation in Beijing. They also, of course, made time for the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and other major attractions.

"One of my favorite experiences," says MFA student Danielle Colen, "was seeing Pauline Yao perform in a conceptual art band called the Contractors at Borderline Festival for Moving Images in Beijing. They used music and images to describe the close relationship in China between the art market and real estate and consumerism. It was amazing having teachers who knew Beijing so well and were so involved with local artists and curators and could help educate us about the cultural and political issues operating both in the art world and outside of it."

One of the students' most exciting encounters with the new Chinese architecture was made possible through Yao's connection with the office of the prominent architect Steven Holl. They got an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the construction site of the Grand MOMA housing complex in Beijing, one of the few such projects being designed and built inside and out—interior design as well as exterior and construction—by an American architectural firm (most major foreign building projects in China are commercial real estate or Olympic venues).

Says Peter Hyer, an Architecture student: "With more than 80 percent of all the building in the world taking place in China, there is no place more volatile and exciting in architecture. The sheer volume of construction is both exciting and terrifying. The cities of the 21st century are being formed now; they operate on a different scale and under different rules."

Other summer 2007 CCA study-abroad programs took students to Amsterdam, Argentina, Italy, Mexico, and Switzerland. "Study abroad is incredibly important and I highly recommend it," Hyer continues. "As artists, designers, and practitioners we aim to engage the larger world through our work. Since we can never be truly free of our own cultural, social, economic, and physical perspective, it makes this kind of interaction even more valuable and productive."

For more photos and commentary on the 2007 Art & Culture in China course, visit Pauline Yao's photo album and Kristin Murtagh's blog.

For information about studying abroad in summer 2008 or to inquire about CCA's semester study-abroad options, contact the Office of Special Programs at 510.594.3710 or visit www.cca.edu/academics/abroad.

Posted on Thursday, November 15, 2007 by Sarah Owens

Micah Landworth, Lab Coat, 2007

Lab coat designs by CCA students took the runway on October 11, 2007, at the first annual Above & Beyond Gala at the San Francisco Design Center. The creatively reinterpreted hospital garments, worn by live models, were designed by CCA students in courses led by Textiles adjunct professor Richard Elliott and students from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. The coats were bold conflations of art and science, ranging from bright green to pink with patterns mimicking cancer cells, bacteria, and stitches.

The Above & Beyond Gala also featured a performance by Gregangelo and Velocity Circus, a theatrical and acrobatic troupe led by CCA alumnus Gregangelo Herrera (Individualized Major 1989). Their spectacular show invoked the beauties of science with acrobats and dancers decked out in costumes whose patterns, under black light, showed images of the inside of the human body. Their props were inspired by iconic scientific images such as the double helix.

The gala benefited NCIRE, the Veterans Health Research Institute, the country's largest nonprofit research institute associated with a Veterans Administration medical center. For more information on the NCIRE please visit www.ncire.org.

Photos by Gitty Duncan

Posted on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 by Chris Bliss

Simone LeBlanc

Simone LeBlanc, who was a CCA Fashion Design student from 1995 to 1998, is a featured designer this season on Bravo's Project Runway. The popular television reality show begins its fourth season on Wednesday, November 14.

Simone was raised in the Bay Area and transferred to CCA from the College of Marin. She was among the first class of students in CCA's Fashion Design program, which launched in fall 1995. In summer 1998 she participated in an exchange program in Paris and stayed there to finish her fashion education at Parsons Paris School of Art and Design.

Posted on Wednesday, September 26, 2007 by Brenda Tucker

Earlier this year we sat down with three of CCA's former presidents, Neil Hoffman (1985–93), Lorne Buchman (1994–99), and Michael Roth (2000–2007), to talk—and reminisce—about their respective tenures at the college.

Neil Hoffman is now president of the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. After leaving CCA he served as president of Otis College of Art and Design from 1993 until 2000. He went on to become associate director of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and he also spent five years as a consultant in college and nonprofit development. He is writing a book on the management of nonprofit institutions.

What program, event, or decision do you think was the most pivotal or far-reaching for the school during your presidency?

There were two. Soon after I arrived at the college, Oakland's mayor, Lionel Wilson, asked me to lead the city's cultural planning process. The comprehensive plan we devised—which actually got implemented—was totally inclusive. It encouraged people to give their best thoughts and look to the future. I realized that if 300 or 400 people who don't even know each other can work together for a common outcome and be pleased and excited by it, we certainly ought to be able to do that at CCAC. The process involved everything from curriculum development to fundraising to enrollment management. It also tied into the need to find a permanent home—that we would own—for the architecture and design schools in San Francisco. We were looking to buy the Greyhound building when I was there. I'm disappointed that I wasn't the guy to be able to do that.

What was the other pivotal development?

The Board of Trustees at that time was a fairly small group of people, very dedicated and loyal. They knew they needed to expand and bring in a broader constituency, take a leadership role in fundraising, and get their committees directly involved in the oversight of the institution. The result: The board today compares favorably with any of the best boards in the country.

What was the biggest challenge you faced as president?

When I arrived the college had an accumulated operating deficit, it had no endowment, enrollments were low, morale was low, and faculty salaries were low. So we needed to manage the enrollment. We needed better graphics and better communications, and of course our own Graphic Design faculty was a major part of that change. In seven years it became a more selective institution, able to attract very good new faculty. And it became very viable financially, attracting annual funds and creating the base for the kind of fundraising it now enjoys.

Is there a particular achievement of which you're most proud?

That turnaround, and also the realization of the best dreams. Everyone made some very distinct decisions about what the priorities were. The standards and aspirations were always there. The ability to realize those aspirations took time to develop, but they did it. That's on every front: faculty, staff, board members, and the community. In the first year, I think nine of ten foundations bellied up in support of what we were doing. Another part of it was commitment to diversity. Not just attracting and retaining the best students and faculty of color, but also diversity of thought.

Is there a particularly funny moment or incident that you want to share?

It wasn't as much funny as it was rewarding. When the NAAB accrediting team came to review the Architecture school, they insisted on meeting in private with the students. So they went in a private room, closed the door, and the team actually said, "Now is your opportunity to bitch." And the students took them to task for it. After a long conversation the team asked the students, "What would you like us to say to Neil about how this school can be improved?" And the student leader answered: "If we want to talk to Neil, we'll just talk to him. We don't need you." I'm very proud of that.

At the end of the process, the head of NAAB said, "Let me put it this way: Unless there's an earthquake that takes this entire school out, you're going to be NAAB accredited. This is an amazing place."

What advice would you give students who are interested in art and architecture school?

Find your voice. Find your passion. That's it.

Lorne Buchman is now president of Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center in San Francisco. After leaving CCA he served as president of Kaplancollege.com School of Education and as interim CEO of the San Francisco Art Institute. He is also currently the principal and founder of a consulting firm that provides organizational development and strategic leadership to a wide range of nonprofit and public entities.

What was the most important event or program during your presidency?

The strategic plan of 1994 was bold, ambitious, grand, and, in retrospect, completely audacious. Given no history of a major campaign, a somewhat anemic annual fund, relatively low enrollment, and an uneven academic infrastructure, we were certainly reaching to think we could realize the objectives of that plan. But Neil Hoffman and John Stein had done such good work before I arrived and prepared the institution so well that the stage was set, courageously, for something very exciting to happen.

One key to our success was that the strategic plan had its inspiration in solid educational values and principles. The faculty had a clear picture of the exceptional education CCAC could envision for its future, and the plan was invented and driven by the teachers themselves. Every dollar we raised, every building we explored as a possible new campus, every conversation about new programs, growing enrollment, new faculty, stronger library resources, technology, equipment for studios—all of it was in service of educational values and mission.

Our plan worked for many reasons but, at its core, it was always serving education and learning. So, for example, we never looked at enrollment growth just for the sake of growth. We imagined programs that would add to the vitality and dynamism of the education we offered. Similarly the new campus in San Francisco was, at the end of the day, not about some abstract glory or prestige. We simply needed the space to grow and to provide a better learning environment—to teach the critical mass of students that would be part of the great school we envisioned.

What is the achievement of which you are most proud?

I suppose the most significant achievement was the recognition that, in the end, true success did not simply rest with the tenacity and force of Thom Weisel (who generously chaired our capital campaign with the enthusiastic Emily Carroll); or the devotion of Tecoah Bruce (the platonic ideal of the Great Board Chair); or the luminous creativity of Steve Oliver; or the penetrating insights of Ron Wornick, George Saxe, Simon Blattner, Jeanne Wente, Barc Simpson, Shep Pollack, Mary Jo Shartsis, and David Kirshman. True success for me can be summed up in two words: Helen Frierson.

CCAC was the experience of my life, even though I was only about 12 years old when I was appointed president. The learning and personal growth for me were extraordinary, and I'm grateful to the entire community for the opportunity to be part of something so exciting, dynamic, and meaningful.

Tell us about something that you wanted to do but couldn't implement and why.

I wish I could have moved further along in faculty development. The Architecture and Design programs were built on the heroic contributions of a dedicated, part-time, professionally practicing faculty. We desperately needed their involvement and participation, but I don't think we ever fully recognized or compensated them for their efforts. The "ranked," or tenured, faculty were not exactly sitting pretty themselves. And yet the part-time faculty often were not subject to the same performance reviews and scrutiny. Reconciling all of this, setting up proper governance and classification, recognizing contributions adequately, and bridging the gap between the culture of architecture and design on the one hand (the "San Francisco programs") and fine arts and humanities and sciences on the other (the "Oakland programs") was exceedingly difficult.

What are some adjectives you would use to describe CCA during your time as president?

Bold. Dedicated. Ready. Daring. Generous. Creative. Naive. Goofy (charmingly so). Lucky that Montgomery Securities was bought out. And not ready to drop "crafts."

Talk about some of the people you hired who made a difference at the college.

John Stein. I didn't hire him but what a stroke of incredible fortune to work with him. Steve Beal. His experience, wisdom, calm, focus on enrollment, understanding of art and art education, friendship, support, humor, and love of students made a huge difference. Margie Shurgot. Without her boldness and ambition, our fundraising efforts would never have succeeded; she worked tirelessly behind the scenes, set the stage, made the calls, and threw the best parties this side of the moon. Joan Majerus, in her quiet way, was a fabulous CFO. Focused, hardworking, completely skilled and responsible. Larry Rinder. Without him I would have never been able to launch the Institute for Public Programs (now the Wattis Institute), which was so important to my vision for the college. We hired a lot of inspiring faculty members as well—too many to list here.

What was the funniest moment of your presidency?

There were several:

Getting lost in a parking lot (looking for my car) for an hour with Tecoah Bruce. These were the people running the school?

The power outage in the tent at the big campaign launch party at Thom Weisel's house. In the middle of my passionate plea for support, the power went out, the mic went off, and nobody heard or saw a thing. The gardener, apparently, had shorted something. It was later determined that, in an effort to save some of their own philanthropic funds, certain board members (who shall remain nameless) had colluded with said gardener.

Getting locked in the Greyhound building during a donor tour (wasn't funny at the time).

Watching Julie Milburn pour hot chocolate for a crowd of students on the morning of the first day of classes at the new San Francisco campus. Truth be told, we were waiting for our occupancy permit to come through from the city. It was political (and it also wasn't too funny at the time). The permit finally came through about 20 minutes after classes were scheduled to start.

Gaining a pound for every million dollars we raised. I was a chubby president by the end.

What advice would you give to students interested in art school?

Know that great art and design schools feed the mind even as they teach the creative work in the studio. The two (creativity and intellectual study) are mutually nourishing and together form the fundamental paradigm for the best art and design education.

Michael Roth left CCA in June 2007 to become president of Wesleyan University, his undergraduate alma mater. He earned his doctorate in history at Princeton University in 1984 and began his teaching career at Scripps College and Claremont Graduate University. In 1987 he became founding director of the Scripps College Humanities Institute, a center for intellectual exchange across disciplines, and in 1997 he became associate director of the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles.

What event or decision do you think was the most important for the school during your presidency?

There were two: reorganizing the college to promote cross-college and interdisciplinary work. With no more schools of Fine Arts, Architecture, and Design, we could facilitate work on a collegewide curriculum. The second was the name change to California College of the Arts, which allowed us to clarify our mission and identity to a broader public, particularly beyond the Bay Area.

What was the biggest challenge you faced as president?

The economic and educational necessity of enrollment growth. We decided to become a more robust, two-campus school, and that meant we needed to increase the size of the student body and the number of programs.

What adjectives would you use to describe CCA during your time as president?

Nimble. Innovative. Inclusive. Humane. Ambitious.

What is the achievement of which you are most proud?

The expansion of the applicant pool and the internationally recognized work of our faculty, our alumni, the Center for Art and Public Life, and the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts. The development of residential life on the Oakland campus and the collaborative work of our First Year Program were great additions to the college. In San Francisco, progressing from a building to a campus will ensure a great future to those who create and learn there.

Tell us about something that you wanted to do but couldn't implement and why.

Swim team and equestrian club. No pool. No horses.

Convocation. We just couldn't bring enough students and faculty together in a community event at the beginning of each term.

Talk about some of the people you hired who made a difference at the college.

Susan Avila has built a first-rate Advancement department that has reinvigorated fundraising and alumni relations. Ralph Rugoff made an international reputation for the Wattis Institute during his tenure as director. Larry Rinder is a first-rate academic leader, and it was a great boost to bring him back to CCA. Sonia BasSheva Mañjon has put the Center for Art and Public Life on the map as one of the great community arts organizations in the entire nation. And Yves Béhar is an extraordinary designer, teacher, and departmental leader for Industrial Design.

What advice would you give to students interested in art school?

Learn through the arts to follow your passion, to discover what you really love to do. When you make this discovery, you can acquire the skills to continue to pursue this work in a way you can build on for the rest of your life.

What will you remember as the highlights of your tenure?

Building a board of generous, thoughtful trustees who love CCA and work hard to advance its mission. Developing a national reputation for the school that will benefit alumni and faculty as they continue to make work that will shape the culture of the future. Creating partnerships with local arts and community organizations on both sides of the bay, and connecting with nationally and internationally with schools and companies that foster creativity.

The great highlight, of course, was teaching the inspirational CCA students each semester.

Any final thoughts on your time at CCA?

I am very proud of what we—trustees, faculty, staff, students, alumni, and donors—accomplished during my time at CCA. The college's position in arts education has never been stronger, and interest in its academic programs, public programs, and exhibitions only continues to grow. I would like to thank the entire CCA community for the support, creative spirit, and collegiality they showed me throughout my seven years at the college.

Posted on Friday, September 14, 2007 by Kim Lessard

Ryan Pierce, Lofoten (detail), 2007

Ryan Pierce, a 2007 graduate of CCA's Graduate Program in Fine Arts, was one of just 15 students nationwide to receive a $15,000 MFA grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation in 2007.

This grant program was created in 1997 to help MFA painters and sculptors transition from academic to professional studio work upon graduation. The candidates are nominated by members of the academic art community across the United States. Images of their artworks are evaluated by an anonymous jury, which this year convened in April at the New York Foundation for the Arts.

The Joan Mitchell Foundation was established in 1993 as a nonprofit corporation following the death of the artist Joan Mitchell in 1992. The foundation seeks to demonstrate that painting and sculpture are significant cultural necessities. It aids contemporary American painters and sculptors by providing grants, stipends, and scholarships as well as organizing colloquiums, workshops, and other educational activities.

Posted on Monday, August 20, 2007 by Kim Lessard

This past spring, two CCA alumni participated in cinema's most prestigious event, the Cannes International Film Festival in France, May 16–27.

Ignorance is Bliss, an animated short film by Miriam Wilson (Illustration 2005) and her production company, Animated State, was shown in the short film corner.

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