2017 MFA Thesis Exhibition

CCA presents the 2017 MFA Thesis Exhibition

Exhibition showcases work of 35 emerging artists from CCA's graduate program in Fine Arts.

On view March 29 through April 22, 2017
Opening receptions: Friday, March 31, 5 – 8 p.m.; Friday, April 14, 5 - 8 p.m.

35 emerging artists from CCA’s graduate program in fine arts debut work at notable off-campus art venues in Dogpatch arts district

San Francisco, Calif., March 20, 2017 – Showcasing diverse visions at the forefront of contemporary art, 35 artists will present new installation, painting, sculpture, video, photography, and performance in the annual MFA in Fine Arts graduate show at California College of the Arts (CCA).

The school’s 2017 MFA Thesis Exhibition is organized as a two-part series, featuring two waves of concurrent group shows held off campus between March 29 and April 22. The exhibitions are free and open to the public.

The two exhibition venues — both within easy walking distance of CCA’s main campus in the Dogpatch / Potrero Hill arts district — include Fused Space, founded and directed by CCA alumni Yves Béhar and Jessica Silverman; and the Perry Family Event Center, located adjacent to the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts.

Organized by writer, critic, and CCA faculty member Glen Helfand, with assistance from fellow faculty member Ranu Mukherjee and Kim Nguyen, the recently appointed curator and head of programs at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, the exhibition features work in all media and addresses topics such as family lineage, queer identity, sex and technology, shamanic tradition, architectural influence, and the collapsing natural environment.

A sampling of featured artists and specific concerns:

  • Shaghayegh Cyrous addresses conditions of displacement and otherness. Her new mixed-media installation — a dreamlike exploration of communicating with her family in Iran — incorporates traditional Iranian geometric patterns, domestic objects, and a recording of a video call home.
  • Woody De Othello, named among “20 artists to watch” at the 2017 Armory Show in New York, creates surreal, theatrically oversized ceramic sculptures of everyday household objects — a telephone, a water jug, a neti pot — and arranges them in witty tableaux.
  • Yvette Dibos creates humorous and incisive videos that deal with marketing and female identity. Enacting a series of spokesmodel characters who engage with strange sculptural objects, she seduces and disturbs with varied views of self.
  • Janet Eo’s paintings mix symbol and narrative. Proposing similarities between computer screens and the process of mental recollection, she riffs on family lineage, religion, culture, and power, each canvas an exploration of layered histories.
  • Courtney Trouble's exhibit includes a fifteen-year archive of photography in four forms, one of which is two artist-designed hard drives to preserve the records in secret locations.
  • Tescia Seufferlein’s installation work offers a tribute to the pop-up memorial that so often appears on roadsides and outside homes of celebrities. Fake flowers and kitschy accessories congeal into a colorful and powerful statement on sentiment.
  • Rachel Weidinger considers the ways people are navigating new political realities and engaging in activism. Her performative consultation and resource-based installation offers useful tips on how to protest effectively, with a focus on digital vulnerability.

“It’s important to us to offer students the experience of presenting work in a real-world, professional gallery setting,” says Helfand. “The extended viewing timeframe allows for deeper critical evaluation from faculty and outside arts professionals. Smaller presentations featuring fewer artists allow each body of work to shine and give audiences more intimate viewing experiences.”

An artists’ book featuring work and writing by all the graduating artists will be published at the show’s conclusion and available in May during commencement festivities. The publication will be designed in collaboration with Gold Collective and produced by Colpa Press.

Part 1

March 29 through April 8, 2017
Concurrent opening receptions held at both locations: Friday, March 31, 5 – 8 p.m.

FUSED SPACE | 1401 16th Street, San Francisco
Regular hours: Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Exhibiting artists: Nathan Becka, Gabrielle Hill, Charmaine Koh, Woody De Othello, Amy Tavern, Courtney Trouble, Rachel Weidinger

PERRY FAMILY EVENT CENTER | 350 Kansas Street, San Francisco
Regular hours: Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Exhibiting artists: Janet Eo, Marissa Geoffroy, Tracy Harp, Tania Houtzager, Ryan Frank Hueston, Amy Lange, Richard Nelson, Hadley Radt, Karina Angélica Rubio, Prima Sakuntabhai

Part 2

April 12 through April 22, 2017
Concurrent opening receptions held at both locations: Friday, April 14, 5 – 8 p.m.

FUSED SPACE | 1401 16th Street, San Francisco
Regular hours: Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Exhibiting artists: Danielle Andress, Kirsten Brehmer, Susana Eslava, Mary May-Yuarn Fong, Piper Grosswendt, Dionne Lee, Tamara Suarez Porras, Tescia Seufferlein

PERRY FAMILY EVENT CENTER | 350 Kansas Street, San Francisco
Regular hours: Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Exhibiting artists: Shaghayegh Cyrous, Yvette Dibos, Michael Gordon, Maggs Dao Hanson, Xudong Li, Yee Li, Clancy Magnuson, Kevin Valor, Kimberly Volkmann, Oriane Wedd

Special Event

Something Strange: 2017 MFA Mini Film Fest
Wednesday, April 19, at 7 p.m.
Held in the Nave of CCA’s San Francisco campus at 1111 Eighth Street
Curated by graduating MFA student Courtney Trouble, an evening of short films and live performances showcases new and recent work from fellow 2017 graduates across disciplines of Fine Arts, Writing, and Curatorial Practice. Admission is free and open to all.

About CCA’s Graduate Program in Fine Arts

Central to CCA’s Graduate Program in Fine Arts is the idea that developing a sustained critical practice is essential to creating a dynamic career as a professional artist. The program helps students gain a deeper understanding of their own ideas and practices, increase their awareness of the global context of contemporary art, and develop the presentation skills needed to pursue a career in the visual arts. Notable alumni of the program include Pablo Cristi (2009), Harrell Fletcher (1994), Rebecca Najdowki (2010), Maja Ruznic (2009), and Hank Willis Thomas (2004). For more information, visit cca.edu/fine-arts/mfa-fine-arts/.

About California College of the Arts

Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts (CCA) educates the creative leaders of tomorrow to make powerful contributions to society. CCA’s distinctive project-based educational model emphasizes interdisciplinary experimentation, risk-taking, and innovation.

CCA offers a rich curriculum of 22 undergraduate and 12 graduate programs in art, design, architecture, and writing taught by a faculty of expert practitioners and attracts promising students from across the United States and from 54 countries around the world. Graduates are highly sought after by companies such as Pixar/Disney, Apple, Intel, Facebook, Gensler, Google, IDEO, Autodesk, Mattel, and Nike, and many have launched their own successful businesses. For more information, visit cca.edu.