ArtCenter Premieres Student Self Portrait Video Series

Product Design student Miguel Harry

Product Design student Miguel Harry

ArtCenter has launched a new video series featuring student self portraits, providing a glimpse into the creative journeys of five of our students.

“In their process of researching colleges, most prospective students plan a campus visit, browse the website, or make an appointment with an admissions counselor,” said Kit Baron, senior vice president of Admissions and Enrollment Management for ArtCenter. “While these experiences are valuable and provide a great way to gather information, hearing directly from ArtCenter students to learn about their stories and their lives provides yet another deeper level of sharing. We’re often asked ‘What’s it really like to be an ArtCenter student?’ We hope the stories of these five talented individuals helps answer that common question and provide prospective students with a realistic glimpse into their world.”

Illustration Student Cristina Wilson

Illustration Student Cristina Wilson

The five students were asked to share their creative journeys and reveal personal details such as their early inspiration, decision to attend art school, current projects and long-term goals. All production in the field was completed by the individual students, who were commissioned to spend 12 weeks meeting once a month to workshop their projects, from proposal through final cut, while undertaking the challenging process of capturing their own creative evolution in a professional quality video—all in addition to their demanding studio and academic course load. Light guidance was provided throughout the creative process by a small team of staff from Admissions and Marketing and Communications. The result is a series of video self-portraits that truly capture the student’s intimate voice, motivations and distinctive viewpoints.

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Admissions staffer Tom Stern publishes his second novel

MyVanishingTwinBookCover (1)

Vice President of Admissions Tom Stern has just published his second novel, My Vanishing Twin and will be celebrating its launch at Vroman’s Bookstore in Old Pasadena on Monday, June 19 at 7:00 pm.

My Vanishing Twin tells the story of Walter Braum, who is pregnant with his own twin brother. It is an exceedingly freak manifestation of a rare medical condition called Vanishing Twin Syndrome. But it is also a sudden thorn in Walter’s psyche, bringing into question most everything he thought he knew about himself and his life.

We checked in with Stern about his book and his writing process on the eve of its launch:

Campus News: How do you have time to write when you have such a demanding job?

Tom Stern: For me, it’s the inverse. The time I invest in writing affords me the ability to navigate a demanding job and busy life.  On my good days, I can even navigate them reasonably well, occasionally getting a thing—or even two—right. On my bad days, well… the time I carved out to write helps me keep some modicum of perspective

CN: The premise of your book, the Vanishing Twin Syndrome, is kind of an obscure medical condition. Is there a reason behind this choice? Was there a lot of research involved?

TS: The medical condition was a piece of information I must have quietly tucked away in the back of my brain.  As the initial pages I was writing began to coalesce into what would become My Vanishing Twin, it dawned on me that I was about to write a book about a man who discovers he’s pregnant with his own twin brother who, once born, is obsessed with acquiring his MBA.  A classic tale, I know…  But as I puzzled over this direction, Vanishing Twin Syndrome surfaced in my thinking. I remembered having read articles about fairly unsettling instances of the phenomenon.  So I dug back into these and other articles to sort of flesh out the concept, taking much poetic license with it, of course.

CN: Both of your novels are about regular guys with regular lives whose lives turn when faced with something extraordinary. Do you write yourself into your books? Are you headed for an extraordinary adventure? Or is writing your extraordinary adventure?

TS: I like that assessment a lot. I would tweak it a bit, though. I think that both of my books are about regular guys who discover something extraordinary in what they had considered banal about their own lives. I think my books are about people coming into self-knowledge in the way that most of us do: begrudgingly. They are confronted with realities that they cannot immediately accept, having built their lives on a belief in a contrary truth. In this regard, I think I’m no different than my protagonists. They just get to experience more poetic or metaphorical manifestations of this process than I do. That said, I think our personalities are quite different.

CN: Are you working on the next book? Any hints at the direction?

TS: I am always working on something.  Right now I’m working on a few things that I think are shaping up into books. And I’m also writing some articles in support of the release of My Vanishing Twin. One essay that I’m really proud of will be published on The Los Angeles Review of Books Blog in July.

CN: Anything else you would like the community to know about your writing career?

TS: I’ve learned an incredible amount from experiencing the variety of ways that our various departments approach their creative disciplines. It has undoubtedly made me a much better writer.

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Two ArtCenter faculty receive prestigious AIGA Fellow awards

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Alum and Graphic Design faculty member Wayne Hunt of Hunt Design and Humanities and Sciences faculty Errol Gerson have been awarded the prestigious Fellow award for 2017 from AIGA Los Angeles.

The Fellow award program is a means of recognizing designers who have made a significant contribution to raising the standards of excellence in practice and conduct within their local or regional design community as well as in their local AIGA chapter. The areas of education, writing, leadership and reputation, as well as the practice of design are given equal consideration in measuring significant contribution.

The last current ArtCenter faculty member to receive this award was Petrula Vrontikis (2007). Former faculty Agustin Garza was named a Fellow in 2012. This is the first time that two ArtCenter faculty have received this honor in the same year.

They will be honored at a ceremony June 22 at the Millwick in the Arts District in Downtown L.A.

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Fine Art faculty Kerry Tribe wins Herb Alpert Award

Kerry_Tribe_headshotresizedFine Art faculty member Kerry Tribe was one of five winners of the 2017 Herb Alpert Award. The award is given to “risk-taking mid-career artists working in the fields of dance, film/video, music, theater, and the visual arts,” and includes an unrestricted award of $75,000.

Tribe, who lives and works in Los Angeles, frequently examines the themes of memory, time, and the ethics of representation through a variety of media including multichannel videos, 16-mm films, installations, sculpture, performance, and photography. Her subjects have ranged from an urban river, aphasia, and a butterfly’s wing to a man with a twenty-second memory, the night sky, and her senile grandfather.

“I started out thinking I should try to ‘change the world.’ I don’t know how often art can do that, and I think there are more practical ways to channel one’s energies into social change if that’s the goal. But I do think that the ethics of representation count, and I hope that the representations I make provide opportunities to think critically about topics that matter, free from the demands of more traditional, instrumentalized or commercialized media,” explains Tribe, in conversation with Diana Nawi, associate curator at Pérez Art Museum Miami.

Read the entire interview here.

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Alum Antoinette Adams Gives Back to Fine Art Students and Alumni

AntoinetteAdamsforBlogAntoinette Adams is the first to admit she’s not your typical art student. Just before her 50th birthday, she made a life-changing decision to go back to school as soon as her youngest child was old enough to drive. The bold choice to enroll at ArtCenter seemed an impossible dream after a long career as an attorney.

With trepidation based on the 20-year plus age gap between her and fellow Fine Art majors, she persevered and happily established lasting bonds with a close-knit family of artists.

Forever moved by the thrill of stepping onto campus and the encouraging, yet brutally honest, community of artists she’s now firmly a part of, Adams is giving back to the college that changed her life forever. She recently donated $50,000 to fund scholarships and Study Away travel expenses for an annual art sojourn to Berlin, Germany.

“We’re grateful to Antoinette for this generous gift to help our talented current students cover their educational expenses as well as provide vital support to recent alumni with the launch of their careers as working artists,” said Tom Knechtel, chair of the undergraduate Fine Art department at ArtCenter College of Design.

The gift from Adams, who graduated with her degree in Fine Art in 2015, is set to fund two new programs that will benefit enrolled students and recent alumni of the Fine Art department. Adams is a resident of downtown Los Angeles and also has a home in Berlin.

Kicking off this fall (2017), the Antoinette Adams Alumni Award will provide a recipient with studio space in ArtCenter’s 35,000 square foot building at 870 South Raymond Avenue, a thriving collaborative nucleus for the visual arts. The alumnus, to be selected by faculty, will receive a $2,000 stipend for two 14-week terms. Additionally, the chosen individual, who will have been out of college for at least two years and no longer than 10, will curate an exhibition of student work, help seniors prepare solo shows and present a talk about their own work.

“We anticipate that when alumni with life experience come to work in our studios alongside current students, they’ll engage in useful conversations about life after ArtCenter,” said Knechtel.

The gift is also set to provide travel stipends to make a Berlin trip possible for several students and alumni through the College’s robust Study Away program. During the excursion, students and alumni will have the opportunity to experience the depth and excitement of the museums, galleries and cultural life of Berlin. Covering expenses such as airfare and museum passes will be a tremendous relief for ten artists in the Fine Arts community. Adams plans to host both “welcome” and “farewell” dinners for the group at her home in Berlin.

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Spring issue of Dot magazine available on campus

DotMag for blogThe Spring 2017 issue of Dot magazine is now available. You can find copies at various locations around campus including the Library, CSE, the DCO, the Faculty Lounge, the President’s office and the Provost’s office. Magazines are also available at the security desk of each building. Dot magazine is published by ArtCenter’s Department of Marketing and Communications. Stories are published online throughout the year, and a print edition comes out twice a year. 

ArtCenter is a community of bold imagination and innovative spirit, and the creative contributions of our alumni faculty and students inspire pride and energize our growth. As the College’s flagship publication, Dot magazine explores and celebrates their far-reaching influence within professional disciplines and on culture and society as a whole. The magazine’s wide readership includes alumni and donors; corporate and foundation supporters; industry, educational and cultural partner; and local officials.

What follows is President Lorne Buchman’s introduction to this issue.

“Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” That bit of dialogue from Casablanca, spoken by Humphrey Bogart’s Rick Blaine to Claude Rains’ Captain Renault, is perhaps the most famous final line in cinematic history.

As you peruse this issue, you’ll encounter similarly recognizable works by ArtCenter alumni that have become part of our national, if not international, cultural fabric—from the silhouetted surfers of John Van Hamersveld’s Endless Summer poster, to the brightly hued world Kendal Cronkhite created for last year’s animated Trolls, to Ignacio Gomez’s striking poster for Zoot Suit, featuring El Pachuco looming large over Los Angeles.

Looking through this issue you’ll also discover work by several alums that have recently reached out to us. For example, the mesmerizing photomontage featured on the cover was sent to us by Wing Chan via Untold Stories, our website where all our alumni friends can share, in their own words, their stories and latest projects.

Additionally, much of the work highlighted in the 4 x 4 gallery—from Ranee Henderson’s highly textured painted portraits to Nora Shields’ mind-bending, site-specific sculptures—first appeared on our website’s Alumni Now page, a digital destination featuring timely updates from our graduates.

We couldn’t be happier with all the stories you’ve been sending our way, and it’s truly an honor to share them with both our community and to a wider audience.

Another collaborative project we’re proud to share with you in this issue is Create Change 2.0, ArtCenter’s strategic plan for the next five years. The plan was unanimously and enthusiastically approved by the Board of Trustees this past October and officially adopted earlier this year.

A natural extension of Create Change 1.0, the new plan focuses on how the College creates value for its students while realizing its mission. The plan was a major undertaking—assembling thoughtful input from multiple voices across ArtCenter over a period of 18 months—but the results are compelling and promise to have positive ramifications well into the future.

So sit back, enjoy this issue, and keep those submissions coming! Because, as Rick Blaine might put it, without your stories this crazy world wouldn’t amount to a hill of beans.

 

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Product Design faculty member Krystina Castella on the serious business of designing for play

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAIf there is a fountain of youth, full-time faculty member Krystina Castella may have discovered it. Castella, whose youthful appearance and intense enthusiasm for everything she does belies her years of experience, has been teaching at ArtCenter 25 years, the last 12 of them full time.

A Product Design faculty member, she also leads sponsored projects and Designmatters Transdisciplinary Studios (TDS). Additionally, she teaches business classes in the Humanities and Sciences department, materials classes in the Integrated Studies department, classes about the manufacturing and licensing process for ArtCenter at Night and a t-shirt start-up class for the ArtCenter for Teens program.

A graduate of RISD’s Industrial Design program, Castella also studied cognitive developmental psychology and cultural anthropology with a focus on children’s culture at UCLA. Which leads us to the one thread that has been constant in her lengthy professional career—her work’s focus is often centered on creating and designing for kids.

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Graphic Design Jesus Jacobo’s Yo Soy ArtCenter connects Latino/a students across disciplines

Yo Soy ArtCenter, the first latino graphic design show at HMCT.

Jesus Jacobo at Yo Soy ArtCenter’s Graphic Design Group Exhibition. Photo: Juan Posada

Student leader. Graphic Designer. Latino.

Jesus Jacobo, graduating this term with honors and a degree in Graphic Design, is all of these things

As a student worker in the Alumni Relations and Career and Professional Development (CPD) office, Jacobo gained exposure to students, alumni and other professionals outside his major of study. He came to recognize the usefulness of making connections beyond his major at the College

And he noticed a lack of community for Latino/a students

Last year he co-founded Yo Soy ArtCenter, a network of Latino/a students across diverse disciplines who share a cultural heritage. The student group recently hosted and curated Yo Soy: Graphic Design Group Exhibition, the first Latino/a graphic design group exhibition at ArtCenter, organized and curated by Michael Rosales, with support from the Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography.

We caught up with Jacobo during his final term at the College to find out more about Yo Soy, his favorite ArtCenter projects, and what he’d like to do after graduating.

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Ready! Set! Graduate!

HILL_121015_586cc“April hath put a spirit of youth in everything. (Sonnet XCVIII)”William Shakespeare

This Saturday, following a sometimes exhaustive, always intensive, memorably vigorous and astonishingly creative commitment to making and learning, ArtCenter is going to release a new crop of youthful graduates into the world.

As the day approaches, let’s celebrate these creative and talented individuals who are about to take on the world. Here’s the lowdown for the week:

Thursday, April 20: Graduation Show Preview, MDP Receptions and Grad Art Open Studios, Fine Art Exhibition

Thursday activities start in the morning, when students get to meet select potential employers during Recruitment Open House. In the evening, industry leaders, employers, corporate partners, donors and alumni get the first look at the Spring term’s graduating artists and designers at the invitation-only Graduation Show Preview, held from 6–9 pm.

Undergraduate candidates from Advertising, Environmental Design, Film, Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography and Imaging, Product Design and Transportation Design will be showing at Hillside Campus. Graduate Environmental Design, Graduate Film, Graduate Industrial Design and Graduate Transportation Systems and Design master’s candidates will also have work on display at the Hillside Campus.

Graduate Media Design Practices and Graduate Art will be holding a reception and open studios at the 950 Building at South Campus and Undergraduate Fine Art students will have an exhibition at the 870 Building at South Campus. The South Campus locations will be open from 7–10 pm.

Saturday, April 22: Graduation

ArtCenter’s Spring graduation ceremony begins at 10 a.m. at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.

Following welcoming remarks by President Lorne Buchman, the baccalaureate and master’s candidates—along with faculty, staff, family and friends—will hear from this term’s Student Leadership Award recipient. The Student Leadership Award is given out each term to a student who exemplifies standout leadership qualities and accomplishments. This term, a committee of students, faculty, and staff affirmed the values of this award by selecting to Product Design major Jeff Smith. Faculty member Fridolin Beisert, in nominating Smith, said “I have had the distinct pleasure of seeing Jeff mature into a leadership role where he is guiding and inspiring student across disciplines, genders and cultural backgrounds. To me he represents the ideal candidate for this important award.”

Those assembled at the Civic Center will also hear from valedictorian Eliot Eames Saarinen, who is graduating with a degree in Fine Art. Fine Art Director Mitchell Kane noted that, “Eliot is a meticulous maker and thinker of objects with visionary tendencies tempered by real world practicalness.”

Following the student awardees, special guests Janice Feldman and Story Musgrave will be bestowed with honorary degrees (Doctorate in Fine Arts) from the College and Musgrave will present the graduation address. Feldman and Musgrave, two diverse individuals whose work is informed by their sense of “space,” spoke with President Lorne M. Buchman before a select audience as part of a Full Circle event on Thursday night.

Trained artist and interior designer Janice Feldman is the founder and CEO of JANUS et Cie, an industry leader in residential, contract and hospitality design. A visionary in the field of sustainability and material innovation, Feldman opened her first JANUS et Cie showroom in the Pacific Design Center in California in 1978, and has since transformed the company into a full-service design resource with extensive and varied collections.

Graduate Industrial Design faculty Story Musgrave, a NASA astronaut for more than 30 years, has flown on six different spaceflights. He performed the first shuttle spacewalk on Challenger’s first flight, was a pilot on an astronomy mission, conducted two classified DOD missions, was the lead spacewalker on the Hubble Telescope repair mission and, on his last flight, operated an electronic chip manufacturing satellite on Columbia.

Saturday, April 22: Graduation Show

After the ceremony, Graduation Show opens to the public at both Hillside and South Campuses from 1–6 p.m., where work by the newest ArtCenter graduates will be on display. The show features student projects from major fields of study at ArtCenter, including Advertising, Environmental Design, Film, Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography and Imaging, Product Design, Transportation Design, Graduate Film, Graduate Industrial Design and Graduate Transportation Systems and Design at Hillside Campus. Work from Graduate Art and Graduate Media Design Practices graduates will be on display at the 950 Building and Fine Art graduates will be showing at the 870 Building at South Campus.

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President Buchman updates the community at All Hands Meeting

buildings and facilities-3797Approximately three times a year, President Lorne Buchman holds an “All Hands” meeting to update the community on the status, plans and priorities of collegewide initiatives. The All Hands meetings are customarily scheduled shortly after Board of Trustee meetings to allow the President to announce any decisions or areas of focus for the Trustees. On March 16, President Buchman updated the group on current priorities for the Trustees and College leadership.

Space planning and facilities upgrades are always moving targets. The College is mindful of the fact that moving is stressful and disruptive and the Facilities and Campus Planning department is spending considerable time looking at alternative scenarios to achieve a planned end result with the least disruption. One of the big issues presented to the Board of Trustees was the question of whether to prioritize building out academic spaces and completing essential building upgrades over building student housing. The College and the Trustees recognize that student housing is a significant concern for the student body and entering students. On the other hand, it is critical that the College create appropriate space for each academic program, including providing necessary shops, equipment, other student services and galleries.

The College decided on the following drivers for decisions regarding sequencing and implementation of facilities updates

  • Must be education focused
  • Must include removal of the Annex
  • Make all possible efforts to move programs only once
  • Balance interim needs with permanent spaces
  • Consider available space
  • Maintain maximum classroom counts
  • Achieve long term vision of redistribution
  • Consider financing strategies and constraint

Most importantly, should the College decide to update academic spaces prior to building on-campus student housing, the Trustees intend to launch a simultaneous initiative to address housing and affordability issues for students. Preliminarily, there are discussions surrounding the option of providing housing allowances or pre-leasing buildings in the surrounding area or along the Metro Gold Line. Any initiative surrounding student housing will have affordability as its primary goal. You can see various scenarios for who will be housed and where on the walls of the break room on the fourth floor of 1111 and will be posted on the Facilities and Campus Planning section of Inside ArtCenter later this month

President Buchman also reported on the ways ArtCenter is taking action regarding issues of diversity, equity and inclusion as detailed in a recent campuswide email from the Council on Diversity and Inclusion:

  • Personnel—the College is actively recruiting for a new Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation Administrator and Title IX Coordinator; two new outside Contract Title IX/Discrimination, Harassment & Retaliation investigators; and is currently drafting a job description for a new Coordinator of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, that will report directly to the President.
  • Training—We are exploring training options for employees, including exploring mandatory diversity training for all staff and faculty. We are also simultaneously exploring cultural sensitivity training for all students and/or expanded intercultural co-curricular programs; and piloting a design culture immersion program during the Summer term to help international English language learners to adapts to ArtCenter and the U.S.
  • Communication & Support Systems—Art Center is committed to better communication with student, faculty and staff; streamlining existing reporting structures; exploring best practices in regards to sexual harassment, based on the work of fellow institutions; looking at issues of access and affordability; and developing new strategies with the Board of Trustees to address issues of homelessness and chronic hunger, as well as catastrophic loss of financial resources

The President also reminded the community about the upcoming WSCUC accreditation visit and reported on the results of the Shared Governance Assessment Task Force. The complete All Hands address to the community, as well as earlier All Hands meetings, can be viewed here.

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