A “silver lining” is what we call a positive aspect of a bad situation. Like the silver lining of a dark storm cloud. Though we’re disappointed that the pandemic is keeping us apart this fall and we want to get back to campus ASAP, we also know that artists, designers, architects, and writers are distinctly equipped to find the creative opportunities—the bright side, the silver linings—of a low point. We are the people who help the rest of the people see problems in a new light.
This page is dedicated to sharing these positive insights; to tracking our community’s creative achievements, breakthroughs, inspirations, events, stories, and even small moments of simply sharing space with each other in the cloud.
At CCA, we’re, ahem, weathering the pandemic storm together, even though we’re spread out around the globe. Here’s what we’re working on, dreaming up, and celebrating this week. Got something you’d like to share? Tell us everything
Featuring: BFA Interaction Design student Amanda Liu
As part of her CCA Instagram spotlight this month, Amanda Liu (BFA Interaction Design 2022) highlighted some of her latest work, including cloud and sky drawings from a road trip she took in August. We just had to share them here, too. Enjoy.
Interested in being featured? Drop us a line
Featured POV: Amanda Liu (BFA Interaction Design 2022)
Artist of the Year accolades
Alum Toyin Ojih Odutola (MFA Fine Arts 2012) was just named Artist of the Year by Apollo Magazine, which says her “gift for world-building has set her apart as a graphic artist of extraordinary imaginative power in recent years.”
A Warhol win
Alum Bean Gilsdorf (MFA Fine Arts 2011) was recently awarded a prestigious grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation to write a series of essays that examines how artists in the Pacific Northwest are dealing with contemporary realities, such as increased costs of living and the commensurate loss of spaces and resources.
Outdoor art adventure
Visit the Ruby Wine/Aurora Alimentari Parklet in the Potrero Hill neighborhood (at the corner of 18th and Connecticut), a public community space created by CCA student Cole Ryder (MArch 2022). Ryder designed the parklet to incorporate methodology taught in Graduate Architecture Chair Brian Price’s formalist studio, including an interrogation of poché and the utilization of form to create ambiguity between the programmatic designation of spaces and exterior and interior relationships.
The CCA Art + Craft Fair continues! Visit the annual event virtually this year, and support CCA students, staff, faculty, and alumni selling their work through online shops. Check out the artist vendor list and plan your gift giving accordingly. 🎁
Bookmark the Homecoming at Home podcast right now! In this collection of oral histories, alumni from the 1950s through the 1970s share stories and memories about the spaces, people, work, and activity that happened during their time at CCA.
Special thanks to the Alumni Engagement team, CCA Libraries and Archive staff, Oakland Campus Legacy Committee members, and generous volunteers who conducted the interviews at various college events in the past few years. What a gift for our community. 🎁🎁
Great (non-holiday) tunes
Where can you find Solange, Rilo Kiley, Etta James, The Black Keys, and more? On the Silver Linings Spotify Playlist, of course! We’re compiling a cloud-sourced playlist to inspire and connect us from afar. Give the songs a spin, and then send your own suggestions our way via Instagram (@cacollegeofarts).
Here’s one of our favorite silver linings of a remote semester: Many of our international guest lectures, scholarly critiques, event series, artist interviews, and social gatherings are now virtual, open to the public, and accessible to more of us than ever before. See you soon.
We want to feature your silver lining! Send us news, story ideas, updates, happy thoughts, whatever—if it’s happening in our community on the cloud, we want to shout it from the stratosphere.
You can submit your stuff using the link below or, because we know you might work differently on your cloud, send it to us via email.
You can also send us your photos. What kinds of photos? Cloud photos, for example. ☁
Send them with a timestamp and location so we can see what the world looks like from everyone’s POV.
Are you, instead, finding micro moments of wonder on the ground? Has the change of pace and presence influenced your practice? How have you set up your home workspace and why? How are you adapting and finding inspiration during this time? We’ll share all those stories here, too.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Isn’t this all a little fluffy? Sure. But it’s also important to honor how our community is sticking together during this challenging time apart.
Week of November 16
- Daily practice. Meet Claire Tomasi (MFA Comics 2020), who says CCA’s graduate Comics program “changed my life. It gave me the toolkit I needed to follow my dreams of being a graphic novelist.” Her consistent drawing practice helps, too! Don’t miss this IGTV spotlight about Tomasi’s daily webcomic, A Little Claireity, featuring her loyal and friendly dog, Ticket.
- Changemakers. Meet leading artists seeking social justice through their work, as selected by California Home+Design magazine. The feature spotlights alum Woody De Othello (MFA Fine Arts 2017). “The work is helping me process what this year has been,” De Othello says of his paintings that evolved during quarantine.
- Homecoming at Home. This year has been weird, it’s been hard, but it’s also given us new space to explore and reflect. CCA’s Alumni Association has used the time to ask, “How has CCA created a home for so many of us over its 113-year history? What has changed over those years and what has endured?” Definitely make time to visit the result of their investigations, now on view in the Homecoming at Home digital collections. We’ve been loving the Posters, Periodicals, and Publications: Visual Identity by Decade, which shows the evolution of the college’s visual identity and gives a snapshot of events, exhibitions, community dialogue, and culture throughout key moments in CCA’s history.
- New York exhibition. Congratulations to student Michon Sanders (BFA Painting and Drawing), who was recently named a finalist in the AXA Art Prize exhibition. Her painting, Repast to Follow, will be on view at the New York Academy of Art and in an online exhibition through November 18. Sanders was one of 40 undergraduate and graduate students selected for the shortlist from the 400 artists, representing 125 schools, who applied for this year’s $10,000 top prize. The jury included curators from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and Isamu Noguchi Museum.
- International recognition. Architecture alumni Lawrence Davidson (MArch 2013) and Eduardo Dana Cohen (BArch 2013) were both selected for L A M P 2020, an international lighting design competition. You can vote for Davidson’s work Moonrise and Cohen’s work Umigame in the Professional category of the Online People’s Choice Award, now through November 20.
Week of November 9
- Homecoming at Home. This week marks the launch of Homecoming at Home, Alumni Engagement’s 2020 celebration of CCA’s 113-year history featuring archival images, ephemera, oral histories, and new conversations with leaders in our community. Check out the virtual exhibitions and podcasts at cca.edu/homecoming.
- Virtual convos. In this recorded event between Associate Professor of Film Kota Ezawa and Rail magazine Editor Constance Lewallen, Ezawa discusses the thought process behind his hand-drawn computer animation work, including The Simpson Verdict and The History of Photography Remix. “I gravitate toward subject matter that people might already know about to make it a more inclusive or broad conversation,” Ezawa says.
- Make.Act.Resist recordings. Be sure to explore the Make.Act.Resist website, part of October’s teach-in on borders and migration, led by faculty members Kim Anno, Jose Brunner, and Irene Cheng. Some reccos to get you started:
- Podcast: Led by Adjunct II Professor Patricia Maloney, experience a collection of student self-portraits and stories fundamental in shaping the narrators’ identities, many of which speak to immigrant experiences.
- Video artist talk: Senior Adjunct Lydia Nakashima Degarrod discusses her work as both a visual artist and a cultural anthropologist, creating installations that blur the line between ethnography and art in order to convey experiences of extraordinary nature and address issues of social justice. Her latest work, Geographies of the Imagination, explores the inner images of exile.
- Podcast: Adjunct II Professor Jose Brunner, originally from Tijuana, Mexico, works at the axis of research, speculation, and practice within architecture. Learn how Brunner developed a practice within a bilingual, bicultural, and binational environment that both embraced and questioned the state of duality.
- Monumental decision. The San Francisco Arts Commission voted unanimously to reinstate designs by alum Lava Thomas (BFA Ceramics 1999) for a monument dedicated to literary icon Maya Angelou. “Throughout this process, I have tried to uphold the principles of Maya Angelou,” Thomas says of the back-and-forth experience. Read the full story in the New York Times.
- Online success. Four 2015 graduates of CCA’s DMBA program—Tony Jimenez, Isabelle Shu, Dave Korstad, and Mike O’Hagan—recently launched an online, nut-based drink company called JOI (Just One Ingredient). They’re expected to achieve $3 million in sales this year, the Star Tribune reported last week.
Week of November 2
- Time in the tub. HAMAM, a new quarterly print publication, celebrates the art and culture of bathing, featuring contributions from CCA alumni and students: Trent Davis Bailey (MFA Fine Arts 2015), YeRin Kim (MFA Fine Arts 2015), Rob Bailey, Sarah Thibault (MFA Painting/Drawing 2011), Don Porcella (BFA Painting/Drawing 2001), and Naz Cuguoğlu. “We started HAMAM because there wasn’t a magazine out there that cared very much about a good soak,” says co-founder and editor-in-chief Ekin Balcıoğlu (MFA Fine Arts, MA Visual + Critical Studies 2016).
- Civics lessons. Don’t miss this Bay City News feature on the [email protected] Artwork Campaign exhibition and the importance of the vote, including interviews with Faculty Coordinator Sam Vernon, Director of Exhibitions and Public Programming Jaime Austin, and alum Amy Tavern (MFA Fine Arts 2017).
- Alumni career advice. The Building an Artist’s Life 2020 series, presented by the Career Development office, features interviews with CCA alumni and is dedicated to helping Fine Arts students build sustainable careers in the arts. Learn how to: navigate the art world as an emerging artist with Tracy Ren (BFA Ceramics 2018), build a career through community with Holly Samuelsen (BFA Textiles 2008), run an independent jewelry business with Olivia Shih (BFA Jewelry and Metal Arts 2014), use creativity to build a career with impact with Larissa Erin Greer (MFA Studio Art 2012), and get started with art consultants with Chandra Cerrito (MFA Sculpture 1994).
- Student support programs. Two CCA programs, including one new initiative, are supporting the agency and aspirations of BIPOC students at the college by providing opportunities that build skills, nurture growth, and promote success at CCA and beyond. Learn more about both the Artist’s Network Valuing Aspiring Scholars (CANVAS), which launched in 2018, and the new DesignCreate Career Mentorship Program, which focuses on preparing students for successful creative careers after college.
- Making amid the pandemic. In this interview with Associate Professor of Comics Justin Hall and Instinct magazine, Hall muses on the future of LGBTQ comics and how comics could be effected by the pandemic: “The advantage is that they’re not a performance art, so we can still continue making material and putting it out into the world.”
- Video distractions. In a review for KQED, Sarah Hotchkiss (MFA Painting/Drawing 2011) wrote that Jeffrey Gibson’s Nothing is Eternal for the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts is “perfectly chaotic” in how it distilled the forking paths of the many different possible futures after election day. Watch Nothing is Eternal now at wattis.org. A new exhibition of work by Toyin Ojih Odutola (MFA Painting/Drawing 2012), titled Tell Me A Story, I Don’t Care If It’s True, is on view at Jack Shainman Gallery. Here’s a preview with the artist. CCA’s Creative Citizens in Action is archiving video recordings of some of its virtual presentations! Explore the playlist here.
- Awesome awards and accolades. Zarouhie Abdalian (MFA Fine Arts 2010) was named one of the 2020 Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant recipients. Each year, the foundation awards 25 artists with $25,000 each in unrestricted funds. Olivia Shih (BFA Jewelry + Metal Arts 2015) won the Women’s Jewelry Association 2020 Cindy Edelstein Jewelry Design Scholarship. Shaelyn Hanes (MA Curatorial Practice) was announced as the di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art’s 2020–2021 Richard A. Ward Education Fellow.
Week of October 26
- Civic action and radical joy. Joy to the Polls, a student-led “Get out the vote” event in Oakland on October 24, featured painting, postcarding swing states, voter registration, music, projections, and more, all socially distanced and safe! Shoutout to Carissa Lillian Clark (BFA Individualized Studies 2021) for the tip: “In the big picture we’re working to get out the vote for so many reasons: for racial justice, for the environment, for democracy, and for the nitty gritty of the local and YES for RADICAL JOY.” An accompanying exhibition by Lena Wolff and Michele Pred (BFA Interdisciplinary Fine Arts 1990) inside Dream Farm Commons presented an evocative text-based sidewalk-looking-in-installation and included an appearance of Jenny Holzer and Tabitha Soren’s “Vote Your Future” billboard truck.
- International recognition. Congratulations to CCA Fashion Design student Xi Wan, who was selected as a finalist in the 19th International Arts of Fashion Competition hosted at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris. Wan is one of only 50 finalists chosen from 397 fashion students representing 30 countries and 103 schools and universities.
- Protest art. All Power to All People by CCA alum Hank Willis Thomas (MFA Photography, MA Visual Criticism 2003) is an eight-foot-tall sculpture depicting an Afro pick with a Black Power fist raised to the sky. It is also, according to a new list by T Magazine, one of the 25 most influential works of American protest art since World War II.
- A new residence hall. Though perhaps one of the most unpredictable years in CCA’s 113-year history, 2020 also marks the beginning of the college’s firm grounding in San Francisco with the fall opening of Founders Hall and ushers in a new era of CCA as a fully residential campus. Don’t miss this first-look video tour and the Founders Hall Digital Mural Exhibit, created by CCA Libraries.
- A new ecosystem. Members of CCA’s Architectural Ecologies Lab are helping the Presidio Trust and National Park Service restore native oyster habitats at Crissy Field by installing specially designed fiberglass panels. Their work was recently featured in the San Francisco Chronicle.
- A new video. Nothing is Eternal, an immersive video work by artist Jeffrey Gibson newly commissioned by CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, launched October 22 at Tenderloin National Forest. Conceived during this pandemic era, Nothing is Eternal “depicts the American flag in unsettling stillness, as a marker of territory, and projected onto bodies, while set to a heartrending soundtrack. … The slow transformation through time, color, and form reflects both a distillation of our social collapse and the reinvention of self and community, referencing the movement and change that is so desired for this nation.” Did you miss the video’s debut? No worries. Nothing is eternal. ;) On-site presentations of the piece are being streamed online October 20 through December 12. Check out the full list of dates and times.
- “Strokes of insight.” For a feature story in 48Hills, Victoria Wagner, senior adjunct faculty member in CCA’s First Year Core Studio program, says she didn’t work with wood until a piece of a tree being cleared “fell nearby, giving her what she describes as a ‘stroke of insight.’” The experience inspired Wagner to explore the phosphorescence of salvaged redwoods for the sculptures in her solo show, Everglow, recently on view at Maybaum Gallery.
- Virtual convos. Watch now: Alum Amanda Hunt (MA Curatorial Practice 2011) discusses contemporary visual culture with artist Jordan Casteel in a 2020 Frieze Talks conversation moderated by Mark Guiducci, creative editorial director of Vogue.
Week of October 19
- [email protected] Artwork Campaign. We may be physically distant, but we are united through our work as Creative Citizens in Action. On view now through December 1 in the windows of CCA Hubbell Street Galleries and online, the [email protected] Artwork Campaign lets you explore artwork and poster designs by CCA students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Each work expresses creative activism and promotes democratic participation in the lead-up to Election Day and beyond. Be sure to download free printouts of your favorite pieces to hang up in your own windows.
- Democracy lives! The deadline to register to vote in the 2020 General Election is Monday, October 19. If you miss this deadline, you can still register to vote in person at early voting locations or on Election Day and then file a provisional ballot. Learn more about the process or, if you’re not voting in California, find key deadlines for your state.
- A CCA first. The first-ever CCA Film Week is happening October 19–23. Join the CCA Film program as we investigate, reflect on, and celebrate the power and potential of the moving image with an all-virtual symposium of screenings, artist talks, seminars, and discussions related to racial and social justice in the field. Check out all the events, including talks with CCA students and alumni.
- Online lecture. Graduate Graphic Design Chair Jon Sueda (BFA Graphic Design 1998) is giving an online lecture at Letterform Archive from noon to 1:30 pm PT on Tuesday, October 20. Register now to attend and watch Sueda discuss his multifaceted practice as a designer, curator, publisher, and educator. He’ll dig into how this way of working has allowed him to create design, generate discourse around the discipline, and help prepare designers for a constantly changing field. The lecture will cover a range of topics, including publishing, exhibition-making, alternative histories, and unrealized projects.
- Student work ftw. A project developed by students Parker Crumley (BFA Industrial Design 2021) and Sarah Jane Walcutt (BFA Textiles) in this spring’s Ecology of Clothing course received honorable mention in Fast Company’s 2020 Innovation by Design Awards, Students category. The honor recognizes Crumley and Walcutt’s work as one of “the best student-designed projects of 2020.” The project, “Wearable Technology for the 21st Century,” proposes a dual tag system using machine-readable optical labeling and allows for the development of a streamlined fiber recycling system. It could incentivize brands to take responsibility for their products post-first sale and support the production of intentionally designed and sustainable goods.
- A 3D virtual tour. The MOTO MMXX motorcycle exhibition, designed and curated by Assistant Professor of Design Hugo Eccles, is on view at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco through January 3, 2020. The exhibition was scheduled to open in May but was delayed due to the pandemic. The reconfigured opening includes a 360-degree virtual tour of the showcase, starring 20 “extraordinary custom motorcycles from some of the best builders in the world, many never seen before in the USA.”
Week of October 12
- Creative activism. The [email protected] Artwork Campaign launches October 13 at Hubbell Street Galleries! Featuring work by members of CCA’s alumni, faculty, and staff, the project is a showcase of our community’s talent and civic values. P.S. Have you voted?
- New stories. Professor of Writing Faith Adiele wrote two episodes of HBO Max’s new series A World of Calm. Adiele’s contributions include episode eight, “A Horse’s Tale” narrated by Kate Winslet, and episode 10, “Water: Giver of Life” narrated by Mahershala Ali.
- Material explorations. The 2020 Dezeen Awards selected two projects by Adjunct Professor of Architecture Alex Schofield’s practice, Objects and Ideograms, for its Sustainable Design Category: Coral Carbonate, which uses calcium carbonate to create 3D-printed sustainable underwater homes for coral reefs and other marine life, and Caffeinated Architecture, which explores how reused coffee grounds can be transformed into design materials using digital fabrication technology like 3D powder printing and CNC routing.☕🤖 Industrial Design Assistant Professor Hugo Eccles was also recognized in the 2020 Dezeen Awards for Untitled Motorcycles’ XP Zero, an electric motorcycle that produces double the torque of a superbike, delivered linearly and without gears.
- Defining values. Assistant Director of Career Development Nicole Mueller is the co-host of Beyond the Studio podcast, which will be participating in the first virtual Art World Conference, happening October 16 and 17. The conference, titled DEFINING VALUE(S) in the Art World, will bring together speakers to discuss today’s urgent questions, like “How do we define value in the art world?” and “How can we work toward greater equity and a solidarity economy?” Register now to watch; artist and student discounts are available.
- Collaboration on view. Featured in Manifesta, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art, is an installation by Professor of Film Lynn Marie Kirby and filmmaker Trinh T. Minh-ha (to whom the Wattis dedicated its last research season). Their work In Transit: Between and Beyond “is a tribute to the love of poetry, to the state of between-ness and renewal innate to the experience of Marseille as a city of transit—and more specifically to the Villa Air-Bel as a site of refuge and encounter for poets, artists, activists, and thinkers.”
- Alumni on the rise. Tanya Zimbardo (MA Curatorial Practice 2005) curated a new exhibition at SFMOMA. Future Histories: Theaster Gates and Cauleen Smith is on view October 17, 2020, through May 23, 2021. The exhibit includes Gates’ video exploration of the Black Madonna through reworking three decades of archival images, including Ebony and Jet magazines, and Smith’s feminist reimagining of an unpublished photograph from a 1966 Life assignment. Diedrick Brackens (MFA Fine Arts 2014) is one of 37 artists to receive a $5,000 fellowship Art Matters Grant from the New York–based nonprofit. Also in the 2020 awardees is the collective #XMAP: In Plain Sight, which includes Dean of Humanities + Sciences TT Takemoto and alum Hank Willis Thomas (MFA Photography, MA Visual Criticism 2003
Week of October 5
- Knowledge sharing. Sharpie Sessions, brought to us by the MDes Interaction Design community, are student-led learning and networking events centered around creative skill building and idea exploration. Topics range from how to grow your own food to street photography 101 to tips for freelancing. Bring your own Sharpie.
- Mindfulness practice. At this point, who couldn’t use a quiet, 20-minute practice of yoga- and Qigong-informed exercises? Check out MINDFUL MONDAYS: Reboot + Refocus from the Learning Resource Center. The breathing, stretching, and gentle movement techniques can help you de-stress and re-energize. Each week’s program is focused on a different theme to support your journey as a mindful learner.
- Virtual performances. CCA alum Lee Mingwei’s (BFA Textiles 1993) durational work OUR LABYRINTH became the site-specific guide for new contributions by choreographer Bill T. Jones. The interactions were live-streamed over three weeks from The Met’s galleries, featuring a range of dance styles, including ballet, hip hop, modern, vogue, and more. The performances are now available on YouTube.
- Recognition. MFA Fine Arts students Consuelo Tupper Hernández and Zhongyu Yuan were awarded Murphy & Cadogan scholarships from SOMArts Cultural Center and the San Francisco Foundation. Their winning work was presented at The Annual Murphy & Cadogan Art Awards Exhibition on October 1 during a SOMArts virtual celebration. <Insert Zoom megaphone party reactions here! 🎉>
- Reimagination. CCA alum Tosha Stimage (MFA Fine Arts 2015) created the first installation in a series for the public curated by YBCA for Yerba Buena Gardens Conservancy. Stimage’s installation, Infinite center, infinite sun, is part of an ongoing project to envision new creative and inclusive ways for YBCA audiences to safely come together during the pandemic.
- Joyful return. The de Young Open is scheduled to open October 10. IRL! Many CCA community members are among the 762 Bay Area artists featured in the juried exhibition.
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Nov. 25, 2020
💡📦💥 Talk about out-of-the-box thinking... Students in our @cca_fyp 3D Core Studio course made these cardboard wearables as part of the Protest Prosthetics project. Each design creatively advocates for an issue the student cares about, like supporting renewable energy and recycling more responsibly.
Work by #CCArts students Bruno Ventura (@brunobvc, Film), Pamela Alcala (@artepamela, Fashion Design), Lily Chin (@lilyy.chinn, Industrial Design), and Myrranda Mora (@_my.rrandizzle, Fashion Design), as led by faculty Margo Majewska (@margomajewska_cca), Margaux Schindler (@sizlstudio), Chris Loomis (@christopherloomis), and Erik Scollon (@erikscollon).
@cca_fyp @ccastudentlife_ @cca_sustainabilityclub #MakeArtThatMatters #ProtestProsthetics #CCAfyp #CCAfirstyear #📦
Nov. 21, 2020
Big congratulations to #CCArts student @michonsandersart, who won first prize in the 2020 @axaartprize competition! 🎉🎉🎉
When asked about applying to the #AXAArtPrize, Sanders said, "I believe that my work offers a unique perspective on the narrative that would be an asset to the exhibition. It is my desire to share the images of Black life, and I would like to show us just 'being' with as many people as possible."
Learn more about the artist's practice and award-winning painting, ‘Repast to Follow:' bit.ly/3poFnhX
#michonsandersart #axaartprize #CCArts #painting #CaliforniaCollegeOfTheArts
Nov. 19, 2020
🍂☔🍂Things we miss this fall: being on campus, watching the leaves change, and you. 〰️ Same? Swipe for a familiar view of Oakland campus, taken in 1926, then follow @ccartsalumni for more Homecoming at Home memories from the archives.
#ThrowBackThursday, #CCArts, #CaliforniaCollegeOfTheArts
Nov. 18, 2020
Meet Interaction Design student @amandaliu_design. 👋 Head to our stories for a spotlight Q+A about what (and who!) is inspiring her work right now.
View more of Amanda’s work: thisisamandaliu.myportfolio.com/
Amanda Liu (BFA Interaction Design 2022)
1. Courtesy of the artist.
2. business card designs / 09.16.2020 / Adobe Illustrator
3. sky that I drew on a road trip / 08.08.2020 / Procreate Pocket
4. Self portrait, 2020. Procreate.