San Francisco, December 26, 2020. By Connie Jeung-Mills, staff.

Silver Linings

An ongoing gathering of projects, pics, stories, events, and updates from our campus on the cloud. 🌤️

San Francisco, CA. 4:30 pm, November 6. By Nicholas Lea Bruno, staff.

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.

Happening Now

This week’s activities and feel-goods

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

Interested in being featured? Drop us a line

A generous grant

CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts is one of the recipients of the 2020 VIA Grantee Relief Fund, which is awarding a record-breaking total of $1.5 million in grants to artists, collectives, and institutions like the Wattis.

Saving the birds ✅

The colony of rhinoceros auklets (a burrowing seabird closely related to the puffin) on Año Nuevo Island hadn’t grown significantly since the mid-1990s. They were struggling to fledge their chicks because of soil erosion, predation, and trampling by sea lions. So in 2010, researchers from Oikonos, a nonprofit coastal research group, and CCA students and faculty teamed up to prototype and create ceramic nesting habitats for the auklet.

The restoration has officially been deemed a success: “Last year, some 600 rhino auklets nested on the island, a 129% increase since the project began,” writes the Santa Cruz Sentinel. Oikonos reports that hundreds of seabirds have raised their chicks in ceramic nests that CCA students help design.

New role

MAK Center for Art and Architecture recently appointed its new director: Jia Yi Gu, visiting faculty in the graduate Architecture program. “She will take on directorial and curatorial responsibilities with her wide-ranging expertise in architectural curation, history, research, and design leadership,” according to Archinect.

New “Neighborhood Characters”

History of Art and Visual Culture Professor Mitchell Schwarzer spoke with the San Francisco Chronicle about new housing developments in the Bay Area that challenge the notion that new apartment buildings are a visual snoozefest. Speaking about Wardenclyffe, a condo building in North Oakland that’s an homage to Nikola Tesla, Schwarzer says, “If you look at our fascination today with video games and fantasy television, there’s an audience in architecture for that kind of wacky stuff.”

Studio views

The latest issue of Luxe Interiors + Design featured alum Rachel Kaye (BFA Painting/Drawing 2004) about her practice, her process of starting with notebook sketches before painting, and what she loves about her San Francisco studio—built by her husband and fellow CCA alum Jay Nelson (BFA Painting/Drawing 2004).

Meaningful places

Baltimore Woods Nature Center is presenting oil paintings by alum Diane L. Menzies (BFA Individualized Studies 1987) in a physical and virtual exhibition, Woodlands and Water: Paintings of Meaningful Places. The paintings are based on scenes near Menzies’s home and in the Adirondack Mountains.

Gallery interaction

Root Division Studio Artist Bonny Nahmias (BFA Sculpture 2016) presents a new body of work in the solo virtual exhibition Shirat Ha’Yam, which is also on view in the Frank Ratchye Project Space through January 22. Viewers have the opportunity to answer a collective question: “What dream did you have at sea?” In response, Nahmias will mail participants a small artwork.

AIA recognition

Architects Rosannah Harding (BArch 2007) and Matthew Ostrow of HardingOstrow were recognized with a Merit Award in this year’s AIA New York Design Awards for their project “Perch.” It offers an architectural proposition for the Brooklyn Bridge, adapting the historical structure to better serve those who walk on it through materiality and design.

Virtual Events

There’s room for everyone up here

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.


Share your silver lining

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.

A photo of a pink and blue sky with a few clouds.

Oakland, 7:55 pm, August 21. By Nicholas Lea Bruno, staff.

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.


Let’s cloud hop, shall we?

January 2021

Week of January 11

  • Make art that matters. Alum Breena Nuñez (MFA Comics 2019), whose autobiographical comics explore gender, sexuality, and race, spoke with KQED Arts about zines and feeling seen as an Afro-Latinx comic artist. “Using comics as a way to make people feel less alone, is what I realize at the end of the day is what I’m constantly doing with my work,” she says.
  • On the radar. Artsy’s January list of “5 Artists on Our Radar” includes alum Troy Chew (MFA Fine Arts 2018) and his Slanguage still-life series. “Painted in the style of 16th- and 17th-century Flemish vanitas still lifes, the works imagine a history in which Black culture was recognized within fine art, especially during a period in which it was excluded and unrepresented.”
  • Creative heroes. Alum Daniel Lorenze (BFA Photography 2006), head of creative for North America at Just Global, spoke with Little Black Book about his creative hero, the late Larry Sultan, CCA distinguished professor of Photography. “I worked closely with him to develop and hone the conceptual underpinnings of my [thesis] project over the course of several years,” Lorenze says. “Larry was an incredible and thoughtful teacher, and always challenged me to think in new ways, and expand my scope of vision.”
  • Major metals. Tastemakers at Design Milk featured alum Hannah Jewett (BFA Individualized Studies 2012), spotlighting the artist’s “jewelry for a post-pandemic world: one part Terminator, all dripping metals and menace, and one part Blade Runner, at the meeting point between inorganic materials and deeply sensuous shapes.”
  • Sustainable business tips. In an interview with ideamensch, alum Elizabeth Brunner (BFA Fashion Design 2007) shared her process, inspiration, and future plans for StereoType, her line of one-of-a-kind, high-end pieces that reuse discarded sample swatches from larger fashion houses.
  • An exercise of imagination. Bloomberg Green invited architects known for their focus on sustainability, including alum Casper Mork-Ulnes (BArch 1997), to imagine dream homes of a green future. They were to “pick a place in Europe, design a single-family home to suit that climate, and make it produce more energy than it uses.” Mork-Ulnes’s design, Stabbur House, was inspired by Norweigan buildings that have stood for hundreds of years.
  • A welcome return. In a Women’s Wear Daily article championing “The Return of Designer-Activists in 2021,” Fashion Design Chair Lynda Grose discussed her work in the late 1980s creating the Esprit Ecollection, a women’s clothing line that created products from the brand’s fabric waste; used low-impact dyes and organically grown cotton and linen; and included a small-run of sweaters that were produced by women in rural Appalachia.
  • Market Street art. Associate Professor of Comics Justin Hall was honored as the fourth and final artist to create work visualising historical LGBTQ moments for the San Francisco Art Commission poster series, which is being displayed on bus stops along downtown Market Street.
  • Design discussions. Chair of Interior Design Amy Campos contributed thoughts to an interiors + sources article about how to adapt design thinking to ensure a healthier, sustainable, and connected future.
  • Rethinking history’s first draft. In Mother Jones magazine, Writing + Literature Distinguished Professor Ishmael Reed writes about how the white power curriculum is spread, from the New York Times to Hamilton.
  • Remaking built environments. On a recent edition of WNYC’s On the Media podcast, Vanessa Chang, adjunct professor of Critical Studies, discussed how pandemics of the past have been instrumental in shaping architecture. She also covered the topic for Slate last spring, writing that “in the deadly wakes of cholera, tuberculosis, and flu pandemics, early 20th century architects saw design as a panacea to the sickness of overcrowded cities. Just as those scourges scarred and then reshaped cities, so will ours.”
  • Art is always possible. Critical Ethnic Studies Professor Claudia Bernardi spoke with Forbes about her frescoes on paper, developed by burying maps beneath pigments. The practice is informed by her earlier work visualizing and drawing archeological maps of areas in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Ethiopia where human remains were exhumed. “Art is always changing and always possible,” Bernardi says. “Even if the images are sad, the creative process is a remarkable opportunity.”
  • A fresh start at Clifton Hall. Oakland campus’s 63-unit residence Clifton Hall, which the City of Oakland bought last year, has been transformed into community housing: “The top two floors are permanent housing for at least 42 seniors, the second floor is a 20-household family shelter, and the ground floor provides services and support for homeless families,” the Mercury News reported.
  • New year, new video. Don’t miss this new video feature about CCA’s three-year Master of Architecture program. Students, faculty, and alumni reflect on the college’s collaborative and hands-on environment, opportunities for cross-disciplinary research, and the benefits of studying architecture in the San Francisco Bay Area.

December 2020

Week of December 21

  • Silver Linings is going on winter break and will brighten our outlook once again in mid-January 2021. We wish you a happy—and healthy—holiday season, from the Bay Area and beyond. Miss you already.

Week of December 14

  • Graduating student work. The Fall 2020 Showcase is now live on Portal! Check out capstone projects from graduating students in programs across the college. We couldn’t be more proud of their dedication, despite all that 2020 wrought. Be sure to visit the showcase on winter break and explore final projects by graduates from every division.
  • 50 years of Critical Ethnic Studies. Founded in 1970, CCA’s Critical Ethnic Studies program continues to be unique as the only dedicated program of its kind at an arts and design college in the United States. Visit Homecoming at Home on Portal to learn more about the program’s history and its community-wide calls to action for the future.
  • CCA’s first virtual mural. Students in Senior Adjunct Professor Eduardo Pineda’s Mural Project course have swapped bricks for pixels this semester, visualizing CCA’s Creative Accord into a mural for the college’s websites. After interviewing CCA community members, from staff to leadership, about what the principles of the Creative Accord mean to them, the students then set to work. Throughout the semester, their designs changed and took shape in a unique way. “We had only brief communication throughout the process,” says Lauren Brown, an Illustration major, “so when we opened the shared Google Drive it was like a little present waiting for us. Because of this process we were each able to be alone with the piece and surprise the others with what we had contributed.”
  • Bay Area art. More than 100 CCA community members were selected to participate in this year’s de Young Open exhibition. Faculty member Thorina Rose calls the show “a riotous explosion of imagery that represents the diversity of artmaking in the Bay Area.” The entire Open exhibition can still be explored in a very 2020 way—virtually, online.
  • Awesome alums.
    • The mural in the windows of Spunk Salon in the Castro was made by former Painting + Drawing student Tanya Wischerath and honors LGBTQ+ activist Martha P. Johnson and homeless advocate Margo Antonetty. The piece is part of the Castro Art Project, which “seeks to connect local artists with closed businesses in an effort to reimagine boarded-up and shuttered storefronts.”
    • Alexandra Grant (MFA Painting/Drawing 2000) has work on view now at the Orange County Museum of Art. The exhibition, Telepathy is One Step Further than Empathy, explores Grant’s ideas about mutual generosity and exchange and features a pop-up shop in the museum’s lobby supporting her philanthropic work through the grantLOVE project.
    • Study Breaks featured Gender Queer author and artist Maia Kobabe (MFA Comics 2016) in a recent feature story, calling their book about the journey to identifying as nonbinary and asexual as a “revolutionary graphic memoir.”
    • Still looking for gifts for kids (or kids at heart)? Adventuretown Toy Emporium owner Annamarie von Firley (BFA Wood/Furniture 1996) spoke with UncoverLA about her fashionable career journey, how she landed in the world of toys, and some of her top gift picks.
    • A textile work Diedrick Brackens (MFA Fine Arts 2014) made in February responds to a startling statistic about the ongoing AIDS epidemic. New York Times’s T magazine interviewed him about the piece. Brackens says, “It was inspired by the ongoing AIDS epidemic. There is a CDC statistic from 2016 that reads, ‘If current HIV diagnoses rates persist, about 1 in 2 Black men who have sex with men (MSM) and 1 in 4 Latino MSM in the United States will be diagnosed with HIV during their lifetime.’ It was startling. I made a series of pieces inspired by the statistic. The work is a meditation on healing, ritual and disease.”

Week of December 7

  • 100 years of Architecture. The Architecture division is celebrating 100 cumulative years at CCA! Listen as alums and faculty, past and present, share stories and celebrate the milestones of each program with Homecoming at Home.
  • Student reviews. Missed a virtual program this fall? Catch up with Review Review Respond, a digital space where students write about this semester’s lectures, panels, screenings, and roundtables and dive deep into how the ideas discussed affect their practice, communities, and fields of study.
  • Visual ASMR. That’s what we’re calling the process videos we’re posting on our ~new~ TikTok account. Follow @ccaofficial for some soothing end-of-semester content. TL;DR: CCA is on TikTok. 📲✨
  • The perfect gift. 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. 🎁
  • Ted Purves-inspired tees. It’s difficult to quantify the impact Ted Purves had during his 15 years at CCA. He shaped the graduate program’s curriculum, started the Social Practice workshop, and taught students who have carried his ideas all over the world. In his honor, members of the CCA community have designed limited-edition T-shirts to raise funds for the scholarship in Purves’s name. The designs are inspired by the former teacher and the spirit of his life and work.
  • The future of work. Now watching: This video by Interaction Design student Ryan Koble describes their environmental design concept Cumulus, a subscription service that gives access to “cumulus clouds,” park-based spaces for remote workers to conduct focused or collaborative work. How soon can this be real?
  • Alumni in the news
    • Alum Diedrick Brackens (MFA Fine Arts 2014) has been commissioned by Museum Of Fine Arts Boston for a forthcoming edition of The Banner Project, an annual series of exhibitions that engages artists to create large-scale banners to hang from the glass ceiling of the I. M. Pei-designed Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art.
    • Alum Troy Chew (MFA Fine Arts 2018) spoke with KALW for an audio feature about his practice. The station writes, “Troy Chew brings unique style to the canvas. His artwork is Black urban and African Diaspora cultures meets European painting traditions. He talks about how hip hop and Black American slang inspire his work.”
    • Alum Keyvan Shovir (MFA Fine Arts 2018) was featured in an article about Iranian arts by the Frontier Post, which described them as “one of several promising Iranian artists living outside the country laboring to make a difference in how their home country is viewed.”

November 2020

Week of November 30

  • Fall 2020 Showcase. Launching Wednesday: CCA’s Fall 2020 Showcase! This semester’s graduating students from Architecture, Design, and Fine Arts have continued their studies, reached their capstone moment, and finished their thesis projects in the face of unprecedented (!) circumstances and difficult events. We couldn’t be more proud of their dedication, despite all that 2020 wrought. Be sure to visit the showcase throughout December to follow their final projects.
  • Cool projects. First-year students in the 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. Talk about thinking outside the box...
  • Emerging artists. Creative Boom recently named alum Guang Lim (BFA Illustration 2019) one of 28 emerging illustrators to watch in 2021. Boom! “With clients including WIRED, Quartz, Medium, The Believer, Narratively, and Waxsimile Records,” the publication writes, Lim “delivers creative ideas and moods through the use of expressive strokes and shapes.”
  • Escapism through art. Alum Lisa Wong Sook Kuan (BFA Illustration 2015), whose work was exhibited in Paris’s Louvre Museum Carrousel Galleries last year, spoke with the Daily Sun about finding inspiration in the ubiquity of art. “I want to provide a form of escapism,” she says. “I have the power as an artist to create a world cemented in reality, but at the same time is disconnected from it. Art is a means to play with our definition of reality.”
  • Making sense. How do we sense—and make sense—in times of extremes? That’s the question explored in Sensory Orders, an exhibition and publication organized and curated by Adjunct Professor Erik Adigard and Chris Salter. On view through January at the Laznia Centre for Contemporary Arts in Poland, Sensory Orders features work by 32 international artists, designers, and researchers, including three from CCA faculty and alumni: Yangyifan Dong, Wioleta Kaminska, and Ignacio Valero.
  • New publication. Among the 2020 publishing accomplishments of Ishmael Reed, distinguished professor of Writing + Literature: a new book of poetry, Why the Black Hole Sings the Blues; two audio books, The Fool Who Thought Too Much and Malcolm and Me; and a play, The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda. #goals

Week of November 23

  • 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.
  • Holiday tradition. 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. 🎁
  • Recommended listening. 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. 🎁🎁

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
  • 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 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.

October 2020

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.

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).

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Jan. 19, 2021

This week, the United States will witness history as we inaugurate the 46th president and the first female vice president. 🇺🇸⁣⁠
#CCAFaculty Benjamin Shaykin (@bshaykin) designed this graphic to support @fairfightaction, translating activism into his practice and, more broadly, commemorating Inauguration Day’s date, January 20 (or 1.20.2021). Had you noticed before you saw this that the date is a palindrome? It’s the same when read forward and backward—like “civic,” “wow,” and... “madam.” ❤️

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Jan. 12, 2021

Did you know that the influential sculptor Viola Frey became interested in color because of an assignment from CCA (then CCAC) in the late 1960s? 🌈 “I was asked to teach a color workshop in the painting department, which was almost unheard of,” said Frey, a #CCArts alum and professor emeritus, decades later. Her ensuing study of painting, she added, “was influenced by my background in ceramics.” #InterdisciplinaryArtWin⁠
#Regram via @violafreyarchives⁠
Installation view of Weeping Woman, 1990-91, next to drawings by Viola Frey at Nancy Hoffman Gallery, New York, in 1991. Weeping Woman is in the collection of Norton Simon Museum, West Palm Beach, Florida.⁠

Art © Artists' Legacy Foundation / Licensed by ARS, New York. ⁠
#CCArts #ViolaFrey @ccartsalumni #ceramics @cca_ceramics #TriviaTuesday

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Jan. 3, 2021

Making moves in the new year? Get inspired by Annika Bastacky's (@annika____eva) MFA Design thesis project, "Movement Is(n’t) Just Movement." We're moving on a video feature with Annika that we'll share later this month!⁠

In the meantime, tap the link in our bio to read reflections from CCA's Interaction Design program leaders on what it's like to practice the future *right now*. @ccadesignis @ccadesignfutures @ccamdes⁠
Annika Bastacky, "Movement Is(n’t) Just Movement," 2020 MFA Design Thesis, Futures Lab Fellow. Courtesy of the artist.
#annikabastacky #ccarts #mfadesign #ccadesignis #speculativedesign #interactiondesign #design

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Jan. 1, 2021

2021! Finally. ⁠

Happy New Year from our campus on the cloud. This year, sky's the limit. Things are looking up. Better days are on the horizon. Etc. ☁️ Send us your cloud pics so we can all enjoy your view. ⁠

1. San Francisco. Nick Lea Bruno, staff.⁠
2. Oakland. By Nelson Chan, student.⁠
3. San Francisco. By Helen Maria Nugent, dean.⁠
4. Somewhere above the U.S. (between CA and NY). By Jennifer Siu, staff.⁠
5. Downtown Oakland. Nick Lea Bruno, staff.
#NewYear #CCArts #2021 #bayarea #sky