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Distinguished Alumni

Last updated on Feb 22, 2021

It is estimated California College of the Arts has over 20,000 active alumni. Collectively, our alumni have had a profound impact on our culture over the last 100+ years.

Our distinguished alumni are directing nonprofits, constructing buildings, running their own businesses, and working with underserved communities. In short, they are using their arts education to shape the world.

The following list of distinguished alumni is by no means intended to be exhaustive; the list has been curated to reflect a wide cross-section of accomplished artists, designers, architects, and writers who serve as exemplars in their field of study.

David Ireland House, 500 Capp Street [photo credit: Henrik Kam]

Erik Adigard ('87) and Patricia McShane ('87): designers and founders of the design firm M-A-D, created original design of Wired magazine, won prestigious Chrysler Design Award in 1998.

Andre Andreev ('05), G. Dan Covert ('03), and Jennifer Hung ('01): award-winning graphic designers, their clients include MTV and VH1.

Robert Arneson ('56): sculptor recognized for his pivotal role in establishing ceramics as a medium for contemporary sculpture.

Lawrence Azerrad ('95): designer and principal at LAD, design and art direction studio; former art director for Warner Brothers Records; and faculty member at Art Center College of Design.

Patrick Arrasmith ('94): illustrator whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and numerous magazines and books.

Jules de Balincourt ('98): artist, his work is shown at the Saatchi Gallery in London.

Giorgio Baravalle ('92): designer and founder of design firm de.MO; has published 13 books mainly on photojournalism.

Robert Bechtle ('54): prominent Photorealist painter, his well received retrospective organized by SFMOMA toured nationally in 2005.

Joseph Becker ('14): curator, writer, and educator; Associate Curator of Art and Design at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, has contributed writings to many prominent publications, CCA's Distinguished Alumni Speaker in 2018.

Billy Al Bengston ('55): painter and central figure in the 1960s art scene in Los Angeles, his work has been described as "at the intersection of Pop and Color Field."

Garry Knox Bennett ('61): studio furniture maker of work with unexpected shapes and combinations of color and material.

Libby Black ('01): artist, known for her drawing and sculptural representations of objects in the world of fashion and luxury.

Ralph Borge ('52): painter and faculty member, recognized for his sweeping landscapes of the Bay Area.

Gaby Brink ('91 & '95): designer, founder, and chief designer of Tomorrow Partners. Named AIGASF Fellow in 2014.

Kathan Brown ('68): printmaker and founder of Crown Point Press; has worked with prominent artists such as Diebenkorn, LeWitt, Marden, Marioni, and Thiebaud.

Tecoah Bruce ('74 and '79): art consultant, former board chair, and current trustee.

Raul Cabra ('90): designer and principal of design firm Cabra Diseño; published a series of books on designers for Chronicle Books.

Squeak Carnwath ('77): artist and recipient of numerous honors and awards, including SFMOMA's SECA Art Award, Guggenheim Fellowship, and NEA Grants; current faculty at UC Berkeley.

Patrick Coyne ('83): editor and designer of Communication Arts magazine.

Tomie dePaola ('69): illustrator and author of more than 200 books; winner of Caldecott Honor award for his book Strega Nona.

Anthony Discenza ('00): artist, his work appeared in the 2000 Whitney Biennial.

Terry Dougall ('72): president and founder of Dougall Design Associates, the top theme and interior design firm in the U.S. gaming industry.

June Felter ('58): painter and printmaker, part of the Bay Area Figurative Art movement.

Harrell Fletcher ('94): artist, works collaboratively and individually on socially engaged projects; work included in 2004 Whitney Biennial.

Viola Frey ('56): leading figure in contemporary ceramics, known for her monumental, intensely colored figurative sculpture; faculty member for 34 years.

Bob Gardiner ('72): artist and early claymation innovator, won an Academy Award for his animated film Closed Mondays.

Max Geiser ('97) and Linda Malhewson Geiser ('97): founders of Fold Bedding.

Gia Giasullo ('94) and Erez Steinberg ('91): principals of Studio eg, an industrial and graphic design firm committed to the use of recycled, reused, and non-toxic materials.

Charles Gill ('55): painter and printmaker, faculty member for 39 years, and founder of 's printmaking program.

Ralph Goings ('53): one of the original members of the Photorealist movement.

Dave Gonzales ('80): illustrator and creator of the "Homies," a line of toy figurines.

Neil Grimmer ('95): founder and CEO of Plum Orgnics (ranked as a Forbes magazine top most-promising companies)

Nadja Haldimann ('97): former product designer at Microsoft.

Eric Heiman ('96): graphic designer, cofounder of Volume Inc. design firm, and faculty member.

Todd Hido ('96): photographer exhibiting nationally and internationally; has three monographs published by Nazraeli Press.

Wade Hoefer ('72): painter who is best known for his landscapes, which have been described as "visual poetry."

Nancy Howes ('05): metal artist and trustee.

David Huffman ('86, '98): painter and faculty member; his painting presents human experience with a social and historical perspective.

Gary Hutton ('75): interior designer and furniture designer, his work has been published in Architectural Digest, House & Garden, and Metropolitan Home among others.

David Ireland ('53): one of the most important and critically acclaimed artists working in the arena of conceptual and installation art.

Jennifer Jerde ('92): founder of Elixir Design.

George Jewett ('96): architect, founder of Jewett Design, and trustee.

David Karam ('91) and Gigi Obrecht: faculty, graphic designers, founders of Post Tool design, and winners of SFMOMA's Experimental Design Award in 2001.

Marc Katano ('75): painter, exhibits nationally; SECA Art Award winner.

Larry Keenan ('67): photographer, best known for chronicling the Beat Generation; his works are in the Smithsonian's permanent collection.

Naomie Kremer ('93): artist known for her abstract "moving" paintings.

Lawrence LaBianca ('94), sculptor who works with metal, ceramics, wood, and glass; faculty member.

Judith Linhares ('70): painter known for her imaginative figurative work and faculty member at Yale University School of Art.

Maurice Logan (studied at California School of Arts and Crafts): faculty member 1935–43, trustee 1936–62, trustee emeritus 1964–77; painter and member of the Society of Six, a group of plein air *landscape painters in the early 20th century.

Tina Manis ('88): architect and owner of Tina Manis Associates in New York; architecture faculty member at Columbia University.

Bruce McGaw ('57): painter, active in the Bay Area Figurative movement; current faculty member and former chair of painting at San Francisco Art Institute.

Jack Mendenhall ('70): prominent painter in the Photorealist movement and faculty member.

Mike Mignola ('82): illustrator and creator of Hellboy comic books.

Lee Mingwei ('93): installation and performance artist; work included in 2006 Liverpool Biennial.

Richard McLean ('58): painter and prominent artist in the Photorealist movement.

John McCracken ('62): internationally renowned artist of abstract painted sculpture.

George Miyasaki ('58): painter, printmaker, and faculty member at UC Berkeley for many years.

José Montoya ('62): artist and preeminent Chicano bilingual poet.

Ann Morhauser ('79): owner and president of Annieglass, an international glass design and production firm; trustee.

Manuel Neri ('56): figurative sculptor and winner of the 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Sculpture Center.

Robert S. Neuman ('51): painter, known for his abstract work; taught for many years at schools in the Northeast, including Brown, Harvard, and Keene State College.

Nathan Oliveira ('52): prominent painter in the Bay Area Figurative movement; taught at Stanford University for over 30 years.

Patricia Olynyk ('88): artist known for her interactive installations exhibiting nationally and internationally; Florence and Frank Bush Professor of Art at Washington University; Medicine + Media Arts Fellow at UCLA’s Art|Sci Center.

Dennis Oppenheim ('65): artist, one of the key figures in American Conceptual Art; his work includes installation, performance art, mechanized sculpture, and earthworks.

Rita Organ ('87): executive director, Indiana Museum of African American History.

Jim Parkinson ('63): type designer, created logo for Rolling Stone and other publications; hand-lettered logos for rock bands of the 60s and 70s; collaborated on design for ITC Bodoni typeface.

Mitzi Pederson ('04): artist and recipient of a 2006 SECA Art Award.

Tim Perks ('91): architect, designs retail stores for Nike worldwide.

Richard Posner ('76): artist, his large-scale sculptures have been installed at science museums, federal buildings, hospitals, and numerous private locations nationwide.

Steve Purcell ('82): cartoonist and creator of Sam & Max.

Orfeo Quagliata ('99): industrial designer and founder of Phuze, a glass design company.

Laurie Reid ('96): artist, her work has been shown in group and solo exhibitions, including the 2000 Whitney Biennial; 1998 SECA Art Award winner.

Adam Richardson ('92): strategy director at frog design.

Jake Rivas ('97): footwear design director at North Face.

Sara Roberts ('88): director of integrated media, California Institute of the Arts; her interactive sculpture is installed in San Francisco's Moscone Center.

Christina Lei Rodriguez ('02): artist, work has been featured in the Art Basel Miami art fair.

Jon Rubin ('93): artist known for his collaborative projects; has received numerous public commissions and is a faculty member at Carnegie Mellon.

Raymond Saunders ('61): artist and faculty member since 1987; his work is in numerous museums, including the MOMA, Metropolitan Museum, Whitney Museum, and SFMOMA.

Alan Scarritt ('72): artist, known for his sound, video, photography, sculpture, and installation work.

Rick Schmidt ('71): filmmaker, his acclaimed films have shown at Sundance and other film festivals; author of Feature Filmmaking at Used Car Prices.

Leslie Shows ('06): artist and recipient of a 2006 SECA Art Award.

Louis Siegriest ('19) painter and prominent member of the Society of Six, a group of plein air landscape painters in the early 20th century.

Jennifer Sonderby ('02): design director at SFMOMA.

M. Louise Stanley ('69): painter, known for her surrealist, humorous works that draw on Renaissance art for inspiration.

Hugo Steccati ('38): photographer, one of the most important architectural photographers to document modern Bay Area history.

Henry Sugimoto ('28): painter, received major retrospective at the Japanese American National Museum in 2001.

Lucille Tenazas ('79): designer, selected as one of the I.D. Forty, AIGA national president 1996–98, and founding chair of CCA's Graduate Design Program.

Hank Willis Thomas ('04): photographer, work included in Bay Area Now 4 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; received a Skowhegan fellowship in 2005.

Judith Thompson ('91): founder and owner of Thompson Brooks, Inc., one of the most successful general contractors in the Bay Area.

Steven Utz ('97): architect and recipient of a fellowship from the Enterprise Foundation to help revitalize the city of Meadville PA.

Kathryn Van Dyke ('90): artist and SECA Art Award recipient in 2000.

Michael Vanderbyl ('68): designer and president of Vanderbyl Design, AIGA medalist in 2000, IIDA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006, and faculty member since 1973.

Henry Villierme ('57): painter and part of the Bay Area Figurative Movement.

Anna Von Mertens ('00): artist, known for her bold, modernist quilts.

Peter Voulkos ('52): artist and pioneer in the field of ceramics, his work emphasized mass and weight; established ceramics department at Otis College of Art and Design.

Kelly Walker ('97): editor of Arcade, the foremost architectural journal in the Pacific Northwest.

Wayne Wang ('73): film director, writer, and producer; his feature film credits include Chan is Missing, The Joy Luck Club, Smoke, and The Center of the World.

Stan Washburn ('66): painter, his etchings and paintings are in major collections worldwide.

Ann Weber ('87): artist, known for her large-scale cardboard sculptures.

Anne Wilson ('76): chair of textiles department at School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Charly Wittock ('92): architect and principal of CW Architects in Brussels, Belgium.

Paul Wonner ('41): artist, associated with the Bay Area Figurative group; his works are in major collections worldwide.