Razan Al Sarraf (Art MFA '22) is a visual artist based between Kuwait and New York. Through painting and video-making she covers the social, cultural and spiritual climate of the Arab world. She graduated with honors from the School of Visual Arts in New York, with a BFA in Fine Arts.
Mahedi Anjuman (Art MFA '22) is practicing interdisciplinary art in Santa Clarita, California. She was born in Bangladesh, the land of the mystics. So, while the school taught her contemporary art forms, nature taught her mysticism. Her artwork was selected in a contextual art event OGCJM2012 (Only God Can Judge Me). Also, a group exhibition to represent Bangladeshi contemporary art, ‘OPEN 15’ (International Contemporary Sculpture and Installation Exhibition) in Italy with artist Yoko Ono. She participated in many national and international film festivals, video art exhibitions and artist residencies. Recently her short film screened at the Nevada Museum of Art. She is very involved in the conceptual/contextual art process and her curiosity about the fundamental connection and communication between humans.
Hanul Bahm (Film/Video MFA '12) is a Seoul-born, Atlanta-based writer and filmmaker working at the intersection of external realities and inner truths. She is grateful to have gone to CalArts with theatre folks, musicians, dancers, writers, designers, filmmakers, and artists of all persuasions. It was her dream to.
Haaris Baig (Film/Video MFA '12) is a Pakistani American filmmaker and editor. His work explores the intersection of technology, identity, and the surreal. Being raised in Pakistan and moving to the United States in his late teens, Haaris brings a unique perspective and dual cultural identity. He draws from a wide array of learnings and experiences including his study of motion graphics, design and theater in his undergrad to experimental cinema at CalArts and his decade of industry work as an editor for theatrical marketing campaigns. He is currently an in-house trailer editor for Netflix.
Joana P. Cardozo (Photo & Media MFA '22) is a Brazilian visual artist based in Los Angeles and São Paulo. Her art practice is rooted in rituals and spirituality, exploring ideas of mortality, domesticity, and identity through photography, mixed media, installation, and performance. Her photographs create unconventional portraiture by examining the relationship amongst domestic spaces, their inhabitants, and their objects. Her installations discuss the futility of human attachments in an impermanent world. Cardozo has won numerous awards and has most recently exhibited at Bareiss Gallery (Taos), photo L.A. (Los Angeles), Texas Contemporary Art Fair (Houston), Foto Relevance (Houston), Klompching Gallery (New York), San Francisco Bay International Photo Show, and Rencontres d’Arles (France). She graduated from the International Center of Photography in 2015. Cardozo is represented by Foto Relevance in Houston.
Amy Chiao (Scene Design MFA '22) is a multidisciplinary artist and designer working in performance, video, soft sculpture, and installation. Based in Los Angeles, California, Chiao comes from a family of Cantonese musicians and composers, Opera singers, and mannequin manufacturers. Her work uncovers the fictitious nature of society and explores speculative design narratives of public and private spaces.
Caleb Craig (Art & Technology MFA '21) is a multidisciplinary artist who often works on large productions that explore the applications of digital technology in performance and on the body. They work with media including music, motion capture, virtual reality, photography, animation, etc. to explore new forms of aesthetic production.
Pepi Eirew (Experimental Animation BFA '23), a CalArts Lillian Disney Scholar, explores the human experience, strange beings, and surreal landscapes in her work. She is based in Vancouver and California. Pepi’s animations have been selected for film festivals in Mexico, Italy, Russia, Greece, the Caribbean, the US, and the UK.
Fabian Vasquez Euresti (Film Directing MFA '10) is a writer/director based in Southern California. The youngest son born to Mexican immigrants, he grew up in California’s San Joaquin Valley. His films have screened at more than 20 festivals worldwide. Fabian is a documentary programmer for Slamdance and is currently co-developing an animated series for television.
Rosa Evangelina (Voice Arts, Creative Writing MFA '22) is a Mexican-American vocalist, poet, composer, and performance artist based in Los Angeles. As a vocalist, she has performed most recently with Pacific Opera Project, Brown Fist Productions, Santa Monica College Opera Theater, Kerry Irish Productions, as well as the CalArts Opera Theater, Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, and Salsa Band. Her work investigates the performative capabilities of voice, text, and movement, often drawing from language and energetic traces left behind by her ancestors, including her past self. Rosa grew up in Ontario, California and has also lived in Brazil and Mozambique. She holds a bachelor’s degree in History and Literature from Harvard and is a first-generation college graduate in her family.
Isaiah Ferguson (Experimental Animation BFA '22) has had his work featured in venues such as the 2016 White House Student Film Festival, and Walt Disney Studios. His previous credits include Mattel Inc. and Driver Digital for music composition and visual effects animation.
Rachel Handlin (Photo & Media BFA '20) was born in New York City, grew up in Manhattan Beach, California, and now calls Hawai‘i home. She is a 2015 alumna of St. Andrew’s Priory in Honolulu. Rachel is a multi-modal artist who works in large-format film and digital photography, screenprinting and lithography, and ceramics. She is a keen observer of the world and its people, whose unique perspective reveals dimensions, beauties, and truths others may miss. Rachel is a loyal friend, a lover of films, and a joyful dancer. Although she adores Paris, she currently divides her time between Kailua, Hawai‘i and southern California. She will begin her studies toward her MFA degree in Fall 2021. This is her first film.
Lydia Marie Hicks (Film/Video MFA '15) is a professional filmmaker and multi-media artist known for her video and place-based installation Black in the Water (2018) and her experimental documentary Rediscovering the Scientist (2016). She holds a BS in Zoology from Humboldt State University. Her projects seek to explode identity-based historical narratives and promote healing by historicizing alternate concepts of western culture and celebrating the overlooked and undervalued contributions of marginalized groups. Her work has been featured on National Geographic and premiered at Sundance Film Festival. She has been supported by the EarthFire institute, WildSumaco Biological Station, Interlochen Academy of Arts, Guild Hall, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.
Anna Hogg (Film/Video MFA '16) is an artist and filmmaker working within a hybrid narrative-documentary framework to explore and tease apart the layered textures inherent in the act of telling a story. Much of her work addresses the context and history of a story, focusing on the transformations that manifest because of time, memory, adaptation, translation, preservation, censorship, or public opinion. In her films, the layers of a story become embodied through image and sound, light and movement, texture and form, gesture and place. Her films have screened internationally, including the Kasseler DokFest, Chicago Underground Film Festival, and Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. She was awarded the Jury prize for Best International Work at the 2017 WNDX Festival, and nominated for the Golden Key award at the 2017 Kasseler DokFest. She now teaches film history, art theory and practice, as well as film and video production and post-production.
Ruth Johnson (Creative Writing, Film Directing MFA '23) is a writer, director, actor, editor, and much, much more. She considers herself a jack of all trades and a master of none, but she’s hoping her time at CalArts will help her become a master in at least one of the above fields…or something else. She likes assembling films from preexisting footage, but she also enjoys making any type of art with a speculative or slight experimental bent. She wants her work to involve an intimate sort of emotional truth. Ruth also works as an entertainment journalist for Comics Beat and as a writing center tutor for CalArts. She received an MS in Television-Producing and Writing from Boston University and a BA in English Literature-Creative Writing, Political Science and Theatre from Agnes Scott College. She is a lifelong learner but not a lifelong remember-er.
Herry Kim (Art MFA '22) is a visual artist with an interest in the tradition of visual culture-information culture and the physical and metaphysical interface. She has a background in painting and sculpture and is currently working with various materials and software to build computer-generated experiences and animatronics.
Qianyi Ma (Creative Writing MFA '21) is a writer and visual artist. Her writings play with fiction, poetry, and experimental pieces. And she has been working on the combination of images and texts by illustrated stories and videos. So far, the inclination to imagine liminal space has started to mark her creative experiences. Basically, she concentrates on short fiction with a collection of five illustrated writings, Stumbles\ into Neurons, Fall into Hell, Heart, the World Divided and A Red Heel, and other textual fiction, Surrogate Friend, Bubbles, and A Documentary Wandering at Midnight. Meanwhile, she is tiptoeing in the field of filmmaking, continuing her style of floating and wandering.
Martina Mattar (Film/Video BFA '22) is a Brazilian filmmaker based in São Paulo and Los Angeles. She brings to Cinema, her academic field of study, concepts and materials commonly handled in Fine Arts. Although Martina fluctuates between different aesthetics and media, her personal work rests on well-defined themes: sexuality, intimacy and sensitivity, often in relation to the collective. She is committed to the recognition and strengthen of Brazilian cultures and draws inspiration from creators and scholars of Latin America.
Christian V. Mejia (Lighting Design MFA '21) is a lighting designer and digital artist in the School of Theatre. Telling stories by creating dynamic, engaging, and emotionally-driven environments is central to his artistic practice. His lighting design work encompasses theatre, immersive entertainment, and architecture.
Gabriella Mykal (Film/Video MFA '23) treats mundane, personal experience as an access point to social hyperreality through film, video installation, writing, and sculpture. She combines narrative and experimental techniques to explore vulnerability, femme friendship, romance, and sexual disfunction as grounds for political discourse. Her work perceives trauma as both a subject and an access point. It is belittled, held close and befriended. Fabricated and inherited. And humor too. To romanticize. To dramatize. To deflect. When they come together, they strike notes familiar yet alien, bringing viewers to a place where the experience of female distress is as casual as it is frightening.
Jamie Naqvi (Film/Video MFA '12) is an artist/filmmaker based in the Greater Los Angeles area. Born in Pakistan to Anglo-Pakistani parents, he moved to California at a young age where he’s remained ever since. His work has shown in festivals and galleries internationally.
William Orellana (Film Directing MFA '12) is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker and videographer. He studied Political Science and Spanish at the University of Southern California. After his undergraduate studies, he went to film school at the California Institute of the Arts. His CalArts thesis film, Apartar, was screened at the 2016 Glendale International Film Festival. William has worked as a freelance subtitle transcriber for different organizations and independent documentary filmmakers. He currently teaches ESL classes online, and resides in Palmdale, California.
Matthew Pagoaga (Art & Technology MFA '21) is a Los Angeles based artist and technologist. His work interprets datasets toward aesthetic revisualizations and embodied experiences utilizing a combination of mixed-media, technology, public art, and light and space installations. His work probes elements of shared exploration, self-history, and collaborative play. At the same time, his work also interprets processes of archival degradation, social justice, and disruption. He is a recipient of multiple Honoraria awards from the Burning Man organization, MOZAIK Philanthropy, the CalArts Commission on Sustainability (CCS), and others. Matthew is actively creating work that hybridizes gallery installation work with a post-studio, public art practice.
Jennie Park (Art, Creative Writing MFA '22) is a Korean American artist, writer and curator interested in interdisciplinarity, integrated approaches to healing and honesty, and structural social change. She contributes to Artillery and other arts publications, and her film and art works have received awards at the local and national level. In the past year she has shown work through Torrance Art Museum, Imagine Entertainment, MOZAIK Philanthropy, CSU Long Beach, Las Laguna Gallery and Other Places art fair, and has upcoming group shows at the Lancaster Museum of Art and History, SoLA Contemporary and with Art in the Park.
Leonardo Pirondi (Film/Video) was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil. He is a Brazilian-Portuguese filmmaker based in Los Angeles, California. He has created a diverse body of work, including narrative films, an episodic documentary series, music videos, and is currently working with experimental and documentary films. His films have played at the Milwaukee Underground, Brooklyn Film Festival, San Diego Underground, Festival Ecrã, and Moviate Underground.
Alex Rohr (Experimental Animation MFA '23) focuses, in animation, on blending technical/experimental methods with character-based design and narrative storytelling. More broadly, he enjoys writing, helping with conceptual dev/edit/critique as well as playing music, and can't wait to get out to a show whenever social distancing limits ease up.
Freddy Ruiz (Art MFA '20) is a mixed media artist with a background in computer graphics and illustration. While he was questioning aspects of the human condition, e.g., religious beliefs, philosophies, and art, his love for art and thinking about complexities grew tremendously. He was drawn to create work that opens philosophical arguments about cognition, consciousness, perception and meaning-making in relationship to art.
Erica Sheu (Film/Video MFA '22) is an experimental filmmaker who works with celluloid. Her interests include everyday objects, abstract audiovisual emotion/expression, isolation/belongingness, and Taiwanese identity politics. Her art practice is greatly inspired by the spirits of artist-run film labs and the DIY micro-cinema scenes.
Ruoyi Shi (Art MFA '21) is an interdisciplinary artist working with object/sculpture and video installation. Inspired by folklore, oral history, and personal memory, she combines humor and fiction to construct her poetic world.
Kensaku Shinohara (Choreography MFA '22), born in Sapporo, Japan, is an artist who brings an education in anthropology to bear on his work as a choreographer/performer. He has presented his works in New York City, Valencia (CA), Tucson (AZ), Milwaukee (WI), Pittsburgh (PA), Toronto (Canada), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Tainan (Taiwan), and Tokyo, Yokohama, Akita, and Sapporo (Japan). Shinohara is a recipient of a 92Y Harkness Dance Center AIR, Exploring the Metropolis AIR, Queens Arts Fund New Work Grant, Japan Foundation New York Grant for Arts & Culture, to name a few. He is currently at CalArts under the President's Aspiring Artist Scholarship. He is also a dad of an 11-month-old son, Joe.
Sara Suárez (Film Directing MFA '18) is a filmmaker and sound artist based in Los Angeles. Her work explores collective memory and sensory perception, and has screened at Slamdance, the Film & Video Poetry Society, Los Angeles Filmforum, ICDOCS, and Alchemy Film & Moving Image Festival, among other venues. She also creates sound compositions for film and installations, and co-organizes the experimental platform virtual care lab.