Statement on Japan by Art Center President Buchman

by March 15th, 2011

On behalf of the Art Center College of Design community, I would like to express our deep concern for the impact the devastating earthquake and resulting tsunami in Japan has had on all those affected by these tragic events.

Art Center has maintained close ties with Japan since the 1950s when the first design students sponsored by JETRO came to study at the College. In recent years, students from Tama Art University and Art Center have collaborated on several projects, including a study on earthquake safety, in an effort to design more effective approaches to education, preparedness and recovery. As we hear the news of this catastrophe, we are reminded of the common ties that bind those of us along the Pacific Rim.

Our shared vulnerability compels us to offer comfort; our long history provides a pathway to deliver it. Please know that we are reaching out to our many alumni, corporate and academic partners in Japan so that we can lend support where it is most needed. At the same time, we have dedicated resources to assist those students, faculty and staff on campus who are coping with losses from these events.

As the effects of Friday’s earthquake continue to unfold, our friends in Japan are foremost in our thoughts.  We mourn those who were lost and send our heartfelt wishes for a rapid recovery to all who survived.

Sincerely,

Lorne Buchman
President
Art Center College of Design

Image by designer Nick Nawroth. Prints are available for purchase, with half of the proceeds donated to the American Red Cross relief efforts in Japan.

* Editor’s note 3/16: Nawroth has contacted us to let us know that 100% of proceeds will be going to Japan relief efforts.

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7 Responses to “Statement on Japan by Art Center President Buchman”

  1. Half? Where’s the other half going?

    If you want to donate 100% you can buy W+K Studio’s poster at http://wkstudio.bigcartel.com/pages/japan-relief

    or directly to the Red Cross at

    The Red Cross operates 92 hospitals in Japan and has deployed 700 medical relief volunteers across the country already. Donate here:
    http://www.moveon.org/r?r=206960&id=26515-10623611-5Er2DQx&t=2

  2. Selling a poster w/o the entire proceeds being donated just seems terribly exploitive and in such poor taste at the present time…shameful even. Oh, and did I read the following correctly in the your letter that “HALF of the proceeds donated to the American Red Cross relief efforts in Japan”? I am shaking my head at Art Center’s apparent greedy stinginess. You can do better that this for your “friends” in Japan-as your letter calls them! At the very least, It looks really, really bad…

    Oh and while I have your attention, it’s pretty weird that Art Center has chosen a poster to represent them (for whatever reason) that is not designed by a student or an alumnus…

    You blew it. You did not think this through.

    Loren & Susan Stirling

  3. Jered Gold says:

    Hi Susan — Thanks for your thoughtful messages here and on our Alumni Relations Facebook page. You read correctly: half the proceeds from the sale of Nick Nawroth’s prints are going to the American Red Cross relief efforts in Japan. BUT Nick and his project are unaffiliated with Art Center in any way and the College doesn’t benefit at all from the sale of his work.

    Honestly, we needed an image for the blog post, and we needed one quickly. We had thought about using a generic image of Japan’s Rising Sun but having seen the same HOW article that Ophelia referenced (about designers creating ways for the world to give through their art) we reached out to a couple of those individuals who were featured. Absent a response from those artists giving 100% we’re happy that Nick gave us his OK. Frankly, knowing half his proceeds are going to the Red Cross, in my opinion, is better than using a generic image to accompany the blog post which would not generate any relief at all.

    We work with students, alums and faculty whenever we can. They are why we are here and we’re quite proud of all of them. But given the subject matter, running a “call-for-entries” or asking a student to turn something around quickly seemed inappropriate. That said, we’re assisting Art Center Student Government with some meaningful outreach regarding Japan relief efforts and we’ll share that ASAP. Stay tuned!

    Ophelia — Since the artist is not affiliated with Art Center in any shape or form, we can’t say where the other half of his proceeds are going. But, as I mentioned to Susan above, with permission to use his work we thought half the proceeds going to the Red Cross are better than none.

    Like you, we encourage individuals to donate to Japan’s relief efforts regardless of how they choose to do so. Buy a poster. Donate directly. Any amount. In any fashion. Thanks for the links you provided both here and on Facebook.

    Jered Gold
    Director, Public Relations and Communications
    jered.gold@artcenter.edu

  4. Folks, my apologies. I goofed. 100% of the profits will go to the Red Cross. In my enthusiasm to get this project out in the world, I didn’t use my whole brain. I’m sorry if I offended anyone. I meant no disrespect to our friends in Japan.

  5. Jim Caccavo says:

    Of every US dollar donated to the Japanese Red Cross, ninety-one cents goes to the Japanese Red Cross with nine cents going to expenses. Most of us here and abroad working with the Red Cross are unpaid volunteers. Be sure to indicate on your check or credit card that your donation is for the Japanese Red Cross Earthquake/tsumami relief, and it will move faster to that action.

    Jim Caccavo, photo, 1972
    Red Cross Photographer, Vietnam War (1968-70)
    Volunteer Public Affairs, First Aid/CPR First Responder Instructor
    Los Angeles Chapter

  6. Here is a creative solution to help Japan offering many, many choices…

  7. [...] Art Center has maintained a close relationship with Japan dating back to the 1950s when the first design students sponsored by JETRO came to study at the College. In recent years, students from Tama Art University and Art Center have collaborated on several projects, including a study on earthquake safety, in an effort to design more effective approaches to education, preparedness and recovery. Please help us send desperately needed aid to Japan. [...]