Silver Linings

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

A photo of a purple sunrise with a layer of clouds.

Diamond Heights, San Francisco, 7:02 am PT, October 5. By Helen Maria Nugent, faculty.

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

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.

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.


Let’s cloud hop, shall we?

October 2020

  • [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.”
  • 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.
  • 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


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.

Follow us on Instagram

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Oct. 26, 2020

Everything's better with a side of boba.🥤 Even the already-rad [email protected] Artwork Campaign.⁠⠀
Are you voting in person this year? Our San Francisco campus will be open from 7 am–8 pm on Election Day as a polling place. Stop by Hubbell Street Galleries while you’re here to see the [email protected] work, too! BYOBoba.⁠⠀
Pictured: Students, Emma Brand, Josh Jackson, Elliot Aiena, and Samantha Thomes. Photo by Founders Hall Resident Advisor Riah Trevino.⁠⠀

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Oct. 22, 2020

Make some noise for (and with!) @drob.dsgn and @namaste_or_die’s sound-making objects. 🔊 When #COVID19 closed campus, #CCArts students in Corey Jones and Sung Kim’s Acoustic Objects course shifted from the woodshop to Zoom, crafting imaginative instruments with the resources and materials around them. Read more about their acoustic adventures at⁠⠀
Image 1: Daniel Escobar’s PVC drum set⁠⠀
Images 2-3: Kate Greenberg’s lupini harp plays with the wind⁠⠀
#californiacollegeofthearts #chimeraMADE

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Oct. 21, 2020

#CCArts alum @sajidasilva reflects how their experience abroad with @remakeourworld influenced their work: “My involvement with ‘Made in Mexico’ fundamentally changed my approach to fashion and design. I was faced with the fact that every piece of clothing being sold is hand-made and carries with it the story of suffering and exploited women. As a result I began to wonder what kind of a connection people would have with their clothing if they knew all that went into making a garment. My thesis collection looks at the type of energy a garment can carry depending on how it was produced.”⁠⠀
Hear more from Sajida at ⁠⠀
About Sajida’s thesis collection “A Través el Río Mopan”: Inspired by a community of people exchanging knowledge of craft, this collection blends flowing silk and curated yarns to create muddy, rooted, sprawling garments with a vibrant and raw color palette reminiscent of the winding Mopan River, beautiful Belizean horizons, and dizzying days in the sun. In an age where people are becoming re-interested in the journeys their “products” take to reach them, I aim to inspire individuals to gain and develop new skills and cultivate collaborative practice as a form of nourishment that each fiber of the garments carry. Because I wonder: What type of energy do garments made by enslaved women of color carry?⁠⠀
#californiacollegeofthearts #chimeraMADE

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Oct. 19, 2020

🗳️ #CCAvotes, how about you? 🗳️ California voters, today is the last day to register online or by mail to vote in the #2020election! Head to to make sure your voice is heard. ⁠

➤ Not sure you’ll make the deadline? You can conditionally register and vote after the 15-day voter registration deadline at these locations:⁠

➤ Not voting in California? Visit to find instructions for your home state and check your registration status.⁠

➤ Want tips? Check out our guide on how to vote in four steps: ⁠

Image credits: [email protected] artwork installation including work by Katayoun Bahrami, Ashley Adams, Devone King, Jenna Rosenthal, Sarah Dunham, Joseph Perez-Green, Lizzie Wallack, Leslie Gutierrez Saiz, and Robin Dintiman.⁠

#creativecitizensinaction #CCArts #californiacollegeofthearts #chimeraMADE