Monthly Archives: June 2011

Imagining New Worlds with Patrick Hruby

Last year we told you about the amazing collaboration between Venice-based Blik and Art Center Illustration alumnus Patrick Hruby.

We’re excited to announce that Blik has just launched a new wall graphic designed by Hruby. The graphic, Imaginary Castle, is the same design that Hruby created for his final project at Art Center, on display in the Student Gallery last year.

Hruby first paired up with Blik in 2010 when he was a graduating student and Art Center’s Spring 2010 valedictorian. Earlier in the year, Blik had mentored Hruby’s fellow Art Center peers in the Advanced Illustration Studio class. 

This serendipitous connection led Hruby to turn to Blik to manufacture his final project, Imagine Something Beautiful.

Each year, the Art Center gives the wall in the main school entranceway to one star student to display their final project during Graduation Show. Hruby’s project was selected for the space in spring 2010, and he approached Blik to help execute his vision and overcome the challenge of placing the design on the school’s grad wall. The transformation of Hruby’s illustration into a wall graphic was easy as Imaginary Castle was always conceived as a wall decal.

“I wanted to create a magical place that was large enough to make you feel as if you were there,” Hruby says. “Imaginary Castle pays respects to my Eastern European heritage and grandparents. I’ve always been fascinated with that design aesthetic and wanted to try my hand at it.”

The punchy colors add dimension to the large-scale design, making the decal “pop-off” the wall and appeal to children’s vivid imaginations and fairy tale sensibilities.

“We were captivated by Patrick’s style,” says Blik co-founder Scott Flora. “Imaginary Castle is a vibrant cityscape reminiscent of Mary Blair’s It’s a Small World. With its interesting shapes and modern aesthetic, we envision Imaginary Castle transporting kids into a color-filled playground. Keep your eye on Patrick, he is definitely an illustrator to watch.” 

Imaginary Castle is available in two sizes: a 36-inch wide wall decal and a 6-foot wide wall decal at Blik.

Find Out How Your Garden Grows

Have you ever wondered how to grow a tomato? Are you looking for new ingredients to add spice to your cooking? Would you be willing to share your gardening secrets? Interested in learning more about sustainable growing practices?

Whether you have a green thumb, or are a gardening novice, EcoCouncil and Art Center invites the Art Center community to grab a trowel, put on your gardening gloves and plant with us. Our new campus garden is intended to be a learning, teaching and recreation space for the College community that allows us to experience what it means to live in harmony with our environment. It is a space for experimentation, investigation and exploration of concepts of lifecycle and sustainability.

The garden is the result of careful planning, partnership with Art Center Student Government and facilities, and the support of the College president and senior staff. This collaboration has resulted in a unique and beautiful garden design incorporating low-impact materials.

Become a “founding grower” and begin your garden! We’ll provide the soil, sunshine and water. Individual students, faculty and staff, or student groups can sign up for a planting bed, which can be used to grow organic food plants or ornamentals. Eat what you grow, or share your harvest. Go to the Garden’s Facebook page for more information and to reserve a plot. Spaces will be assigned for the term in the order received.

Artist Margaret Wertheim on HYPERBOLIC: Reefs, Rubbish and Reason


Last week, Art Center celebrated the opening of exhibition HYPERBOLIC: Reefs, Rubbish and Reason—on view through August 21 in the Williamson Gallery—with a reception and a pair of presentations in the Ahmanson Auditorium by Jerry Schubel, president and CEO of the Aquarium of the Pacific, and Margaret Wertheim, writer, artist and co-curator—along with her sister Christine Wertheim—of the Hyerpbolic Crochet Coral Reef project.

We spoke with Wertheim following the reception about what’s new in the coral reef, the mysterious Midden Monsters and growing an installation.

Dotted Line: The crochet coral reef project has travelled around the world. What’s the most unique thing about this project as it appears here in the Williamson Gallery?
Margaret Wertheim: We decided for this show that we wanted to make the plastic a major feature. Not only did we have a lot more of the plastic than we’ve had before—we’ve been collecting it for four years—but here we also had the space. That big pile of trash in the main room is new. We have shown the trash in a very small form once before, but here it’s a huge new element of the exhibition. Another new feature is the Coral Forest room. That is completely new. No version of that has ever been shown before. In fact, we built that in situ. And finally there’s the mathematics room. We’ve never had a whole room devoted to the math before. So three of the four rooms in this exhibition are completely new.

Dotted Line: Are some of the organisms in this particular installation a mutation of the Midden Monsters?
The Midden Monsters are pieces crocheted out of plastic trash. When they’ve been shown in the past—which is rare—the Midden Monsters have been pinned to the wall surrounding it. What happened in this case was that many of them got incorporated into the big white plastic piece in the Coral Forest room. The Midden Monsters, as a flock, transformed themselves into one giant Midden Monster. This show has a tendency to be very organic and, like living things, it evolves and morphs in response to the room that it’s in. The whole show grows to fit its environment. And since each environment is different, things have a tendency to come into being in new ways in each space.

Dotted Line: You mentioned in your presentation Wednesday night that the installation needs to grow into each space that it shows.
This work is very transmutable. It really is organic in the sense that it doesn’t have a fixed-down form. There are parts of it that do, like the bleached reef, which has pieces that look more literal than the others. That’s what we call our “classical work” and those are now fixed. We basically congealed those over the years into their perfect state. But all the rest of it changes each time we do the show. So every time we do it, it really is different. And the work encourages that because each piece is handmade, and that handmade philosophy extends to the exhibitions as a whole. A way to think of these exhibitions is that each exhibition is a handmade installation.

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In Case You Missed It

Photo by Eric Curry

As you know, there’s always something going on when it comes to Art Center alumni, students and faculty.

Some of the latest:

San Diego, Here We Come!

Art Center’s Office of Alumni Relations hits the road today for a trip to San Diego, where they’re hosting an alumni event tonight at Nissan Design America.

San Diego alumni chapter co-chairs Chuck Pelly PROD ’58 and June Rubin ILLU ’84 will welcome Art Center President Lorne Buchman and Transportation Design Chair Stewart Reed TRAN ’69 to America’s Finest City to meet with alums and share the latest about the College’s strategic plan and Transportation Design program.

San Diego alums, see you there!

Tonight! HYPERBOLIC Opening Reception and Panel

The opening reception and panel discussion for the Williamson Gallery‘s newest exhibit, HYPERBOLIC: Reefs, Rubbish and Reason, is tonight. A panel discussion will be held featuring Jerry Schubel, president and CEO of the Aquarium of the Pacific and Margaret Wertheim, HYPERBOLIC co-curator, science writer and author. The panel and reception are free and open to the public. RSVP to

HYPERBOLIC uses crochet to create sculptural form and mathematical complexity, forming a crochet coral reef. The extraordinary structures are tantalizingly beautiful, yet provocatively challenging in their commentary about the current health of Earth’s oceans. The exhibition is the creation of twin sisters Margaret and Christine Wertheim, directors of the Institute for Figuring, a nonprofit organization pioneering new methods for educating the public about scientific and environmental issues.

HYPERBOLIC: Reefs, Rubbish and Reason Opening Reception
Wednesday, June 22, 7 p.m. (panel), 8 p.m. (reception)
Williamson Gallery
Art Center College of Design Hillside Campus

Film Students Receive Honors

Our undergrad and graduate film students have been busy—several have garnered awards and recognition for their work recently.

Two Film students won Young Director Awards at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival: Y-C Tom Lee for his AIDS public service announcement and John X. Carey for his Voices From the Field documentary.

The Association of Independent Commercial Producers held their annual AICP Awards Show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York on June 7. Numerous film schools across the country competed in the Best Student Commercial category, and seven of the 10 national finalists were current Art Center film students. Undergraduate film major Ian Kammer won the highest honor— Best Student Commercial—with his North Face: Hibernation spot.

Other Art Center student winners included:

Undergraduate Film:
Gevorg Karensky: Adidas – Impossible Is Nothing
Y-C Tom Lee: Gatorade
Ted Marcus: Laphroaig Scotch Whiskey – Winter Revel

Graduate Broadcast Cinema:
Erik Anderson: Red Bull — Small Can of Big Whoop-Ass
Paul Linkogle: Band-Aid – Beginnings
Michael Lutter: Roaring Lion Energy Drink (shown above)

Congrats on these well-deserved honors!