2007 Curatorial Note

The CCA graduate exhibition, Centennial edition, is a show that brings together a group of artists, designers, curators, critics, writers, and architects who have taken their practices to the next level through their MFA, MA, and M’Arch studies at CCA. Seen together, this multitude of Masters projects – in Fine Arts, Design, Curatorial Practice, Visual Criticism, Writing, and Architecture – is an uncommon opportunity to survey an astounding range of visions and explorations. What unifies them all is a sense of community, place, and time. The 135 graduates are part of a cultural and artistic zeitgeist. Their work is filtered through the dialogs and exposure to ideas – there has been a stellar range of visiting makers and thinkers during this period of studies – and through the social interactions that are an inherent part of the educational process. The school environment is one that allows for responses to and conversations about the curious, sometimes ominous turns of contemporary culture in a wonderfully concentrated way, and that’s all reflected in what you’ll see in the exhibition and on this website.

You can look at the projects in this show with the intent of finding visual and thematic threads – there are indeed a few – but to my mind, the exciting thing about this edition of the CCA Graduate Exhibition is the impressive range of well-articulated visions, be they addressing socio-political concerns, perceptual phenomenon or the articulation of personal systems. There isn’t a dominant style or concern. Ideas flow freely between disciplines, which speaks to the way individual expression is fostered and thrives at CCA.

In coordinating this exhibition, I’ve had the privilege of meeting with just about everyone in this graduating class. It’s an inspiration to have conversations with people so willing to make the commitment to the arts, and so gratifying to witness the shifts and evolution of the students’ work during their programs. While the exhibition marks a culmination, it’s ultimately a moment of beginning, and one that’s cause for celebration.

Glen Helfand
Exhibition Coordinator
©2007 California College of the Arts. All rights reserved.