Maio Alvear was born in San Francisco, grew up in Quito, the capital of Ecuador, and returned back to his birthplace after fourteen years. His interests have been in a constant process of definition since he re-migrated to the Bay Area and started to study at California College of the Arts. In November 2012, he declared Sculpture as his major.
Kellie Arceneaux isn't from anywhere. She moved around a lot as a child and because of this focuses on the concepts of home, place and space within her work. She is a senior in the individualized program between sculpture and photography, although she doesn't know much about it, she thinks it's fun. She also works with film and writing. Currently, she lives and works in Oakland, CA and sometimes she feels like a cat with a drinking problem. She totally has plans after graduating that are super epic.
Ava Barez is a Writing and Literature major and Visual Studies minor at CCA, graduating in Fall 2012. She enjoys writing fiction and short works with a focus on visual culture, fashion and media. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Jenna Blengino is an aspiring writer, illustrator, and traveler. When she's not day dreaming, she's staring off into space. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Zoe Brezsny is a fourth year Writing and Literature major at CCA. She is a Bay Area native who likes black metal drives along the coast. She spends her Wednesday nights spinning strange jams for taxi drivers and insomniacs.
Jeffrey Bussey, a Bay Area transplant from Phoenix, is currently a Writing & Literature major at California College of the Arts. He likes his women to smell of fresh paint and his men to smell of fettuccini alfredo. He has had two dreams in which he spoke entirely in a southern accent. He believes the term "extraterrestrial" is pretty offensive. He has a scar on his chest from drooling. When it comes to the ancient argument of puppy licks versus kitten licks, he sides with puppy licks. He believes kitten's tongues are far too rough to really even stand a chance. He used to love Mary-Kate more than Ashley, but now wonders what the fuck happened and is rather indifferent about both starlets.
Jonah Carothers is a twenty year old nervous system of gender complexities and traumatic diction, scraping the heavens for the ability to write about any of it. Spawned from the tiny pool of Lompoc, CA and crawling xir way up to the big city, xe spends most of xir time attempting to make a better life for beings like xirself by writing, discussing, and researching many queer and neurodivergent topics all while downing several burgers in one sitting. That brings xir interest pool to a meager contribution of social justice and fast food, and as every good being's interest pool must include, cats. Many themes bounce around in xir work but quite often the most prevalent are the concept of 'other,' mental and social isolation, and fashion/appearance as identity. Xe has found most people just chalk it up to 'weird and ambiguous writing, what the heck does this even mean?'
Nathanael Cho is a graphic designer and writer whose main interest is exploring how design and writing can be used to help others. He also enjoys long walks, but doesn't see the point in walking when you could bike instead.
Cella Costanza is a painting major at cca. She was born in Taos NM and has a gold tooth.
Haegen Crosby is human. He likes having fun like other humans. Born from his mother, he grew up eating all his vegetables. With a moon-bound mind he always thought he was going to president one day...yeah right...who has time to smile and wave all day when you could be frolicking freely as a citizen of earth. Haegen likes making things out of stuff. He takes photos sometimes and dreams a lot, usually bad ones. He has weird love affairs that surpass his human consciousness. He also likes listening to elevator music from the future and smoking doobies.
Kevin Demery is a Bay area native and visual artist that actively participates in bridging the gaps that exist between performance and the fine art world. He draws from a variety of source material in creating written works and seeks to have poetry be an ever-present fore in his visual endeavors. Kevin will be graduating from California College of the arts in 2014 with his BFA in Painting and Drawing.
Tristan Donato is a senior Writing and Literature student at CCA, who uses being a poet as an excuse for just about everything.
Will Durkee is 20 years old and is from the Bay Area. His life was spent in a spaceship of colorful bricks, weirdos comics, alien invader pigs and hawaiian shirts. By age 13 Will had decided to become a hippie by staring at a lava lamp. Within a year he had found a way to collect his own dandruff. Will loves nature, and somewhere in a forest in Vermont there is a birch tree with his DNA on it. In college, he took a poetry class and ever since has received strange orange visions of beach-havens from beyond the western mountain. One of Will's friends commented, "Will often forgets what day it is, which makes it difficult to make plans with him". Nowadays, Will spends his time crying to Toy Story 3 and reading such underground classics as Horny Biker Slut #6!
"Between the time
When the oceans drank atlantis,
And the rise of the sons of aryas,
There was an age undreamed of.
And onto this, Wilson,
Destined to wear the jeweled crown
Of aquilonia upon a troubled brow.
It is I his chronicler,
Who alone can tell thee of his saga.
Let me tell you of the days of high adventure!"
Born and raised in the Dominican Republic, Rayniel Estrella shares an equal passion for photography, creative writing, and design. His work is influenced by his Latin American roots; communicating fluently in Spanish shapes the way he approaches every experience. He's almost always smiling and he's almost always laughing, at anything. He relocated to The Bay Area from New York City in 2010, and is happy to call San Francisco his new home.
Will Giovacchini is an artist whose beginnings start in a small town in the Pacific Northwest, populated with about 2500 residents and home to tall mountain peaks and engrossing nature. Much of his time was spent reading comic books and exploring the environment around him, learning to appreciate nature, solitude, and how to kindle his imagination through his artwork. He moved down to Oakland, California and enrolled into CCA in 2009 as a Film Major, but has dabbled with Illustration periodically throughout the years. Will's art ranges from different mediums, such as pen illustrations, films, and writing.
Sami Graf likes to make prints.
Let me attempt to sum up the main motivations and influences of Nicholas Heskes in a non linear fashion. Born august 15th 1991 in Alamo California, he started life in one of the the worst ways possible. It's pet name is "blue baby" syndrome, but is commonly referred to as Tetralogy of fallot. A very rare (however becoming more prevalent) form of infant congenital heart disease. He had four major heart and lung surgeries before the age of one, the most morbid being lung surgery without anesthesia.
He had a shunt put in to fix the missing valve, and a quarter of a lung removed, a happy kid right? No, as result of this trauma at birth, as early as two, he started drawing crude pictures of horrible monsters, some resembling doctors. At the age of six he starts having night terrors, hears delusions, has somnambulistic fits, now wiped from his memory; however many of the visions from that time stick with him to this day.
By age eleven these experiences move far beyond acceptable, and a phycologist is needed. After seeing one before that claimed he had turrets, his parents sought out another that diagnosed it as simple anxiety. He was put on antidepressants and weekly therapy until he was seventeen.
In the mean time, around age twelve the shunt wears out, and a replacement surgery is needed. Instead of humiliating himself at the bar mitzvah that he learned hebrew for, he spent a week in the hospital recovering from open heart surgery and withdrawing from antidepressants. Six weeks was the full recovery time.
During the early chaos of his childhood he had to interact with others, adults and children, who never had experiences of that nature. He drifted from friend group to friend group never keeping the same friends for more than a year or two at a time. As a result he spent most of his youth by himself, drawing, hiking in the nearby woods, writing, reading and watching television.
Stating at a very young age his interests gravitated towards more dark and imaginative content, having stories like Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, many of Grimm's Fairytales, and Treasure Island read to him as a small child. As one could imagine he ended up developing a taste for literature, beginning his "out of school" reading list in second grade (along with Doctor Seuss and Shel Silverstein) with The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. At the time he was drawn to the book initially by Jules Feiffer's loose pen and ink illustrations in each chapter. From reading this book several times during his childhood, he learned the basics of drawing and began to do it impulsively, strongly identifying with the main character Milo he also developed a dreamer archetype self image.
His grades were poor in elementary school. Teachers could never keep his attention for very long since he was always doodling and daydreaming in class. His parents, worried as any good parent should be, had him tested for ADD.
What most people don't know about the way they test for ADD is that there is no clear cut identifier like with a virus or more serious mental disorders. They instead look for inconsistencies between IQ and grade point average, and visual, auditory, and kinesthetic sensitivity. They found after an IQ test that he had an adult level vocabulary at the age of ten, and his IQ was higher than his grades suggested.
A year after the fifth surgery he found himself going on a school trip to the Galapagos islands, then another year later to Baja for science class. As rough as these trips were for him, getting sick after the first with a life threatening blood infection, he found them inspiring to no end instilling in him a love for nature.
During this time to his reading list gradually expanded as well starting with the collected works of Edgar Allan Poe. By fifteen he was reading Franz Kafka and Anton Chekov, writing himself short Gilgamesh inspired myths and a surreal short story in his sketchbooks. But his main interest was drawing, having a talent for it his mother signed him up for art camps and when he got older, high school level figure drawing classes at the CCA Oakland campus. At he was seventeen he was drawing nude models and painting murals in his high school student lounge.
Last two years of high school he got into theater, performing lead rolls in three of his drama teachers avant garde plays, versions of Bram Stoker's Dracula, and the classic B movie Monos the Hands of Fate, then after high school a science fiction Antonin Artaud inspired performance written by his Drama teacher. Also during this period he eases his way into the Oakland punk scene, spending much of his senior year in the shanty high school darkroom developing black and white photos of his weekend squat venue excursions. This two year period of his life built for him the confidence to stride through the gates of CCA where after two and a half years here he finds himself, like most CCA painters, lost in the void of postmodernism.
At the moment he is painting and drawing constantly, writing poetry, reading philosophy, and finding himself stumbling into all sorts of odd living situations and friend groups. With another expected heart surgery just over the horizon, a growing anxiety about the current state of the world, and a very open minded art practice, he is completely and utterly bewildered; then again who isn't now a days.
Zoë Ozma was born in the Santa Cruz Mountains but grew up in Seattle, cultivating the mystique of their rural hometown. They cast spells, paint nails, and get tender in a bedroom with nothing underneath it. Zoë is majoring in Community Arts.
Jessica Christine Padilla is not a vegan, eats meat and loves eggs, but feels guilty about it. She dedicates this piece to her one-eyed dog named Pirate, and her roommates who dedicate their little free time to political activism.
B. Andreina Prado exists. She was born on this planet. She is her parents' daughter. She's grown up. She will never get used to something as extraordinary as living.
Bennett Rust was a 12-year old acrobat, the youngest of a family act called "Rusts in the Wind". Gangster Boss Zucco, who was extorting money from the circus, killed Rust's parents by sabotaging their trapeze equipment, as a warning against defiance. Out of the darkness of this tragedy a caped crusader rushed to the aid of Rust, taking on the investigation of his parents' murder and the responsibility of custody as Rust's legal ward. Rust played a vital role in bringing Boss Zucco to justice, and fights crime to this day for work-study.
Nicholas Sazani is a young artist from Lompoc, California, currently attending California College of the Arts. Although his area of study is animation, Nick engages himself in a wide variety of interests, including illustration, writing, fashion, graphic design, and eating pies. Of his interests, it is the latter that compels him most. Decorating the walls of his room, the shelves of his refrigerator, and the pages of his sketchbook are countless, seemingly endless amounts of pies. In his twenty-one years, Nick has indulged himself in a wide variety of pies, including but not limited to: Cherry Pie, Apple Pie, Lemon Meringue Pie, Pizza Pie, Banana Cream Pie, Mississippi Mud Pie, Blueberry Pie, Coconut Cream Pie, Blackberry Pie, Bacon Pie, Peach Pie, and Raspberry Pie.
Describing himself as a "pie enthusiast", he explains that "there's nothing more rewarding in life than finding those precious people who bake pies and who are willing to give you those pies for simple or mundane tasks." You can maybe imagine, then, the sheer joy on Nick's face when he found Humble Pie, and the promise of one free slice of pumpkin pie following the submission of a selection of his artwork.
Two weeks following the swallowing of the free slice of pumpkin pie, Nick was notified by email that he was required to submit a self written biography of himself to accompany his artwork in the annual Humble Pie publication. Nick's immediate sensation accompanying this news: betrayal. "It's like they tricked me," he said. "They didn't say anything about having to write a biography."
Since learning about the need for the written biography, the number of pies in Nick's sketchbook have dwindled. His friends have expressed on multiple occasions a notable change in the young artist's behavior. "There's been a concerning amount of free space in the refrigerator lately." remarks one of Nick's roommates. "I just want him to smile again," says another close friend. Perhaps this seemingly small episode in Nick's life has caused a dramatic shift in the way the young man relates with pies. Perhaps what was once the purest of purities and the epitome of inspiration for the artist, has become tainted - corrupted - stained with a distinguishable flavor of "bamboozlement ". If there's one thing that can be learned from Nicholas Sazani, it is his new maxim: "There's no such thing as a free pie."
Sela Shiloni is a writer, actor, and cartoonist. He was born in the San Fernando Valley for some reason, and raised in Sonoma County. When he was 15 he transformed into a baying hound in search of a white harron. When he was 17 he transformed into a truffle pig in search of a ten ton truffle. When he was 20 he transformed back into himself and all of his memories were replaced by years of high school graduation.
Danielle Smith was born in Monterey, California and is currently a senior studying painting and minoring in writing and literature. Her chosen medium is oil paint on canvas and mainly works in the realm of realism along with traditional painting processes.
The art that Sam "Treetrunks" Thompson creates is inspired by her own lost thoughts and trying to hold on to the collection of her memories that seem to always slip away. most of her work is gathered from personal experiences such as trying to understand ones own emotions and she demonstrates this through her figures that are commonly broken down or limbless and also playing with idea of distant relationships in her work. throughout her entire process she aims to provoke certain questions such as: what does this place have to offer you? does anyone ever just sit and listen to the dust whisper? who do you dream about? where is that hum to fill this incurable silence? do we ever really forget?
Diana Valenzuela only wears black boots because all of her other shoes fell apart at the exact same time (that's why). She still has a tattoo of an "X" on her left thumb from a short-lived straight-edge period. She is twenty-one, four months, one week and two days. Once, a rock fell out of her ear. She writes.
Nina Veaco is 3rd year photography major. She grew up in San Francisco and found her passion for photography her freshman year of high school. Go to her Blog: http://ninaveacophotography.blogspot.com/ She's a cat lady.
Jacob Warren wakes up every morning thinking he's still in Kansas City, though he's heard every Wizard of Oz joke from here to goddamn Munchkinland. Then he sees the gas prices and remembers where he is.
Woodrow White was born in Los Angeles, and is currently a Junior pursuing a BFA in Painting at CCA. Aside from painting, he makes films and comics. Woodrow also recently found out that it's strange to dream in color, which he thought was normal up until now.
Megan Yamanaka spends half of her time in Oakland, CA and half of her time in Los Angeles, CA which makes her like Persephone except instead of getting kidnapped by Hades she just went to college. She's majoring in Professional Lying (which most people call Writing and Literature), she likes key lime pie, and she's totally not a timelord, where did you hear that?
Shou Yuan is a wandering explorer. He may or may not have been born in a shoe. Perhaps it was a boot. He illustrates and makes art, and wonders why sometimes these are thought of in his mind as clearly separate activities. But alas, chagrin! He's only a minor in writing, and simultaneously feels intimidation from and pity for writing majors. It's okay, though. He went to Italy last summer. And saw David's... You know. Anyway.