Professor Vanderkindren to participate in ArtSpan Open Studios

Root Division is thrilled to be participating in this year’s ArtSpan Open Studios! We’re proud to be providing subsidized studio space for 31 emerging artists in the heart of the city! Come by and see what our Studio Artists have been up to!

Studios will be open Saturday & Sunday from 11 AM – 6 PM. Plus get a sneak peek of the 15th Annual Benefit Art Auction in our gallery! Preview works here:
Current Studio Artists

Kimberley Arteche, BGSTF
Lizzy Brooks
Natasha Carlos
Leigh Ann Coleman
Alice Combs
Susa Cortez
Rea Lynn de Guzman
Eliza Dennis
Eva Enriquez
Hunter Franks
Shisi Huang
Nicholas Hullibarger
John-Mark Ikeda
Paula Lucia
Claire R. Lynch
Eli McNally
Kelley O’Leary
Elena Patiño
Alejandra Pérez
Nicholas Price
Ignacio Rojas
Centa Schumacher
Emmanuel Sevilla
Alex Shepard
Saree Silverman
Rebecca Simon
Sofia Sinibaldi, LTAF
Margaret Timbrell
Indira Urrutia, LTAF
Naomi Vanderkindren
Xiao Wang

Solo Exhibition: Long Cheng “Strangers”


Shadows are strangers, interesting and mysterious. When I look at them in my photographs, I wonder who they are and what they are doing. They could be anyone, maybe the one somewhere in my heart. Even though they are all one dark shade, they are very emotional for me. Because they are only shadows, they can fit to anyone who has the same feeling. I hope they can be the thing that can lead viewers to somewhere in their hearts.

Photography by Long Cheng
On display at Gallery Obscura
October 19th – November 19th, 2016

Reception: Wednesday October 26th, 6-7 pm

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Faculty Spotlight: PhotoExhibition by Prof.Andrea Schwartz Massalski

“Local Trees”
Photography Exhibition by Professor Andrea Schwartz Massalski

Andrea Schwartz Massalski

Please join Andrea Schwartz Massalski for a solo exhibition of her photographic series titled LOCAL TREES. This series was done over a few years living between Capitola, CA and Berlin, Germany. The work represents a conceptual idea of place and beauty. Blaise Rosenthal wrote about these photographs, “Massalski’s impulse to isolate begets a process of composition based on editing, involving removal and emphasis, that demands that formal considerations are taken into account. But what allows these images to succeed beyond simple pleasantly or formal exercise is the unique combinations of contrasting aspects that coexist within them. The photographs express both an innocent earnestness as well as a wry and deadpan sense of humor. They seem to be the product of an intense curiosity restrained by the resolve to neglect and resist interruption into their space.”

Andrea would be happy to greet you at the show. Please contact her if you would like to join her at the gallery to view and discuss the work in person. Contact:

Andrea Schwartz Massalski

Closing Reception | October 29, 2016 | 1:00-3:00

2125 Delaware Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95060


Alumni Spotlight: Bryan Sillorequez

Classes at CCSF Photography helped jump start Bryan Sillorequez‘s education at Brooks Institute of Photography where he received the Brooks Institute Achievement Award and his BFA. Since then, in addition to focusing on his own photography career, he has been working with top photographers and magazines and is now currently working at the Annie Leibovitz Studio in New York City.

© Bryan Sillorequez

We asked Bryan to share some his wisdom and experiences that helped him get to where he is now!

How do you think CCSF prepared you for art school?

There were a few classes that helped prepare me for art school. First were the beginner 101 courses and the film classes which helped me get familiar with Lightroom, manual settings, and composition. This helped me get advanced placement so I didn’t have to start at the beginning, saving thousands on tuition.  The lighting studio class prepared me for the basics on how to use studio equipment which I was able to build on and the view camera class helped me slow down and think about my images before I shot them.  I wouldn’t say you would need all these to transfer to an art school, but having done so gave me a helping hand.

© Bryan Sillorequez

What advice do you have for CCSF students wanting to transfer to an arts college?

My advice for CCSF students wanting to transfer to an arts college is to stop and think before you make the transition and ask yourself if this is the direction you would like to take.  If you’re motivated and you think that this is where you’d like to go, go for it.  Also research the art school that you want to go to.  Make sure it is the type of photography that you want to do.  If this is seen as a hobby, I would think long and hard since art schools are quite costly.

© Bryan Sillorequez

How is Assisting a professional like Annie Leibovitz different than being in school and what advice do you have for students wishing to assist after school?

Assisting a professional like Annie Leibovitz, you learn a lot from the other assistants and get to experience how a large budget photo shoot operates.  Learning from the Assistants, you learn many techniques that you may or may not learn in school.  There is also nothing like being on set.  It can be high stress or it can be the most chill day you’ll ever have, regardless that experience is something you don’t learn in school.

My advice for students wishing to assist after school would be to start assisting while you’re in school.  Once I transferred to Brooks, the first thing I did was look for assisting jobs and found one.  From there, I started getting recommendations to other people in Los Angeles and now I’m in New York.  It doesn’t matter if you have experience or not, just find someone who you can assists (anyone really) because there is always something you can learn from other photographers.  You don’t have to be done with school to assist.

© Bryan Sillorequez

Finally – what is a typical day for you like?

There is no such thing as a typical day nor a typical week in this business.  I find my hours to be sporadic and everything can change in a moments notice.  There have been many times where we had a day all planned out and sometimes a few minutes to a couple hours into the shoot everything changes and you just have to be flexible with whatever comes your way.

© Bryan Sillorequez
See more of Bryan Sillorequez’s beautiful photography:
Instagram: @bvs.dng

Solo Exhibition of Spring 2016 Cherkis Scholarship Recipient – Joseph Johnston

Struggling with Addictions

Photographs: Joseph Johnston
Paintings: Francisco Rosas Pulido

On display at Gallery Obscura
September 12th – October 15th, 2016
Gallery Reception September 22nd, 4-7pm

There is no one I can talk to about Francisco…not my sisters or my old friends (they want nothing to do with him and no longer visit us), not our neighbors, nor the people I work with. Francisco is an alcoholic and drug addict. We no longer invite people over to our house because we don’t know what state he will be in.  Our lives would be easier if Francisco was living somewhere else, but pushing him out would mean he would join the ranks of troubled homeless people. This is the story of his/our struggle.

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PH52 Fall 2016 Lecture Series “Photographers and Their Images” Announced


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The Fall 2016 line up for “PH52: Photographers and Their Images” featuring professional photographers who come to lecture and show their work at City College of San Francisco (CCSF) Monday nights throughout the year has been announced. Be sure to register for this one unit course to secure your seat. This series of lectures is available to be taken for one college credit and there are no pre-requisites. Lectures this semester are free and open to the public as indicated as part of CCSF’s Concert and Lecture Series, otherwise all others require registration. Register online now or stop by the photography issue room (160) to pick up an add code week. If you would like to repeat the course, you can do so as a continuing education student, show up to the first class. The fee is $105.  The public is also invited but a donation to CCSF’s Photo Department to help support this series is appreciated.  REGISTER HERE

PH52-501 “Photographers and Their Images”, (1) CRN 71101  (transfers CSU)
Watch streaming presentations from previous artists here. 

10/10 Bénédicte Lassalle: Bénédicte Lassalle was born in Provence, South of France in 1975 and lives and works in the San Francisco Bay area. WEBSITE

In her work, she finds poetry in the surroundings and objects of ordinary, everyday life. She is inspired by traces of individuality, timelessness and composition. Her work, influenced by photographic journalism, aims to capture its subject’s sensations – to record rather than embellish. Bénédicte has won several awards, has been exhibited in the U.S. and Europe. Her work has been published around the world in The Boston Globe, Leica World Magazine, Azart Photographie, L’Humanité, Libération, La Croix, Marie Claire, Télérama, EducPro, Notre Temps, Enfant Magazine, Mother & Baby, Jungle World, Wir Eltern, Eltern Family. She is represented at home by Gallery Kayafas in Boston and abroad by Agence Révélateur, Maison de Photographs (France) and Plain Picture (Germany). She is currently working on The Coming Out Project, which was recently shown at the Brush Gallery, curated by Jen Mergel, Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA.

10/17 Oliver Padilla: Oliver Padilla is an artist from San Francisco and alumni of the CCSF Photo Department currently living in Tucson, Arizona. He received a Bachelor’s of Fine Art from California College of the Arts, and is currently a Master of Fine Art Candidate at the University of Arizona. Padilla has shown work both locally and internationally. His works are often displayed as artist books and printed photographs, however he also does installations, performances, and video art. Padilla has received various academic awards including the 2016 Medici Scholar Award. His Master of Fine Art thesis exhibition will be at the University of Arizona Museum of Art in Spring 2017. WEBSITE

Padilla’s largest body of work is the Excelsior Archive, which he started in 2011. He has consistently photographed the main street in the Excelsior neighborhood, tracking the visual change the neighborhood has gone through. From the rise of the recession and into the economic surge the San Francisco Bay Area has experienced. The Excelsior Archive is meant to encapsulate and show the changes in storefronts, buildings, and people who inhabit the neighborhood.

10/24 David Pace: David Pace is a photographer, filmmaker and curator. He received his MFA from San Jose State University in 1991 and taught photography for more than twenty years throughout the Bay Area. Pace served as Resident Director of Santa Clara University’s study abroad program in West Africa from 2009 – 2013. He has been photographing in the small sub-Saharan country of Burkina Faso annually since 2007, documenting daily life in Bereba, a remote village without electricity or running water. Pace’s images of rural West Africa have been exhibited internationally and have been published in The New Yorker, The Financial Times of London, National Geographic, NPR’s The Picture Show, Slate Magazine, The Huffington Post, Verve, Feature Shoot, PDN, Wall Street International, Camera Magazine (Germany) and Lensculture. A monograph of his project Sur La Route was published by Blue Sky Books in the fall of 2014 and an exhibition catalog was published in 2016 by the Center for Photographic Art in Carmel, CA. He is represented by Wirtz Art (formerly the Stephen Wirtz Gallery). WEBSITE

10/31 EXTRA CREDIT no class. Watch and write about a past lecturer here.

11/7 Liz Steketee: Liz lives in the San Francisco with her husband and two children where she maintains her own art practice. Liz is a member of the photo faculty at the San Francisco Art Institute where she specializes in digital imaging, compositing, and the handmade book. In 2005, Liz completed her MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute. At SFAI, Liz received the prestigious John Collier Award of Excellence for her Masters thesis project. This project was based on the turbulent circumstances surrounding the birth of Liz’s first child, Emma. After completing her graduate studies, Liz dedicated her work fully to art practice and teaching. Liz’s personal work focuses the notions of photography and its role in family life, memory, and our sense of self. Her work ventures into the realms of mixed media, book arts, and photography, often combining these areas as one. WEBSITE

11/14 John Lee: John Lee is a photographer based in San Francisco. He works primarily as a food and portrait photographer, but his roots are in photojournalism. He was a staff photographer for the Chicago Tribune from 1996 to 2005 — covering presidential campaigns, the rise of China, civil unrest in Haiti, Islamic fundamentalism in Pakistan and Indonesia, and the war in Iraq. Lee left the Chicago Tribune in 2005 to pursue culinary photography and portraiture in his hometown of San Francisco. Since then, he has photographed more than a dozen cookbooks. He approaches food photography from a gastronomic and cultural anthropologic perspective. WEBSITE

11/21 Judy Walgren: Judy Walgren is the Editorial Director for the visual storytelling start-up, ViewFind, where she manages a team of photo editors, writers and designers. From 2010 to 2015, Walgren was the Director of Photography at the San Francisco Chronicle, where she managed a staff of visual content producers, photo editors and pre-press imagers for print and digital platforms. She has also worked for the Denver Post, The Rocky Mountain News and the Dallas Morning News. Walgren received a Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting with a team from the Morning New for their series dealing with violent human rights against women. She received her Masters in Fine Art from the Vermont College of Fine Arts in January 2016. Walgren lives in San Francisco. MORE INFO

Solo Exhibition: Elaine Moreno “Concrete Memory”

Concrete Memory

Many of the areas that I photograph have transitioned from business or military structures, to kick-it spots for locals to unwind and explore as they make their way through life in such an ever changing home. These photos are a collection of dreams and memories that have stuck with me over the years. Taken with a 4×5 view camera.

Black and White Photography by Elaine Moreno
On display at Gallery Obscura
August 16 – September 10, 2016

Reception: Wednesday August 31st, 6-8 pm

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Elaine Moreno Photography Website