Monthly Archives: December 2011

Looking Back on a Year of Change

Art Center President Lorne M. Buchman.

Earlier this year, Art Center College of Design launched Create Change, our strategic plan for becoming the preeminent college of art and design in the 21st century.

With Fall graduation events set for tomorrow and the winter break nearly upon us, we felt it was the perfect time to sit down with Art Center College of Design President Lorne M. Buchman to hear his thoughts on the past year, get an update on the strategic plan and find out what’s in store for the coming year.

Dotted Line: Looking back at the past year, what are your first thoughts?

Lorne M. Buchman: I’d like to begin by expressing how deeply gratified I am by all that we’ve accomplished. This has been a banner year for Art Center. We’ve seen record enrollment of talented and gifted students, we launched our strategic plan and we are set to begin new degree programs in Fall 2012. We’re closing in on the purchase of the post office property adjacent to South Campus, a facility for which we’ve raised significant funds to purchase. We’ve built the Board and we’ve recruited some dynamic new faculty. We are connecting with alumni the world over. We’ve offered some fabulous new courses and we’ve made significant strides in acquiring new technology and equipment for our students. I could go on and on. It’s been remarkable. And all of this doesn’t happen by accident. The driving force of our success is the focused and diligent work of our trustees, faculty and staff. We should recognize with much gratitude the quality of this extraordinary community.

More questions with President Lorne M. Buchman after the jump.

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Two Days of Peace, Love and Music (Part 2 of 2)

Feeling groovy at Woodstock, a recreation of the West Canyon Concert of 1976. Photo: ACSG.

As mentioned last week, Art Center Student Government (ACSG) recently organized a half-day music festival that recreated the West Canyon Concert, a Woodstock-inspired event that took place on Art Center’s Hillside Campus 35 years ago.

For the recreation, dubbed “Woodstock,” students in the Sculpture Garden grooved to tunes by six musical acts, all featuring at least one Art Center student per lineup. Performers included: bossa nova headliner Sister Rogers, featuring Environmental Design student Carlos Vides on keyboard; The Big Bidnis Experience, aka Advertising student Andrew Kapamajian; Baba Ghanoush, featuring Graphic Design students Michelle Cho and Danny Park; EJ and the Fooldogs, featuring Advertising students Agustin Sanchez and Sean Thomas; and Marmamen, featuring students Alex Nassour (Advertising), Jom Rivers (Fine Art), Graphic Design alumnus and faculty member Ryan D’Orazi and one of the event’s main organizers, ACSG President Erik Molano (Graphic Design).

“This year Student Government really wanted to bring new experiences to campus,” said Molano, who pointed out that busy Art Center students might not always have the time or resources to go to a music festival. “Bringing a festival on campus was both a good way to utilize a space that often goes unused and a great opportunity to bring the community together.”

Given the success of the event, can students expect another concert? Before 2046?

“Well, I’m graduating next term, so I’ll be gone,” said Molano. “But it would be nice if they did a music festival once a year. Maybe based around different themes. I’m hoping the legacy continues.”

Additional pictures after the jump.

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Fall 2011 Graduation Events

The creative energy and anticipation around campus is in high gear as we prepare for our series of Fall graduation events.

Technical Skill Center

Students complete final projects in the Technical Skill Center.

Thursday, December 15

If you’re lucky enough to be on the invite list for Graduation Show Preview, you’ll get a sneak peak at the work of the next generation of artists and designers. From 6:00 to 9:30 p.m., Graduation Show Preview gives potential employers, alumni, donors and industry professionals an opportunity to preview the Graduation Show and meet our graduating students.

All guests are invited to a reception hosted by Alumni Relations immediately following Graduation Show Preview to officially welcome our graduating students into the alumni family.

Fall 2011 Graduation Show Hallways

Students prep the hallways for the Fall 2011 Graduation Show.

Saturday, December 17

Join us from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. as we celebrate the accomplishments of our newest graduating class, and present the Art Center Alumni Awards to three outstanding alumni.

  • Lou Danziger ADVT ’48 will receive the Lifetime Achievement Alumnus Award in recognition of significant professional and creative achievement
  • Wendy McNaughton FINE ’89 will be awarded the Outstanding Service Alumni Award in honor of her impact on humanitarian issues
  • Jonathan Jarvis GMD ’09 will be recognized with the Young Alumni Innovator Award for his innovative professional and creative work

Can’t join us at Hillside Campus for the graduation ceremony? Watch our live online webcast.

After the ceremony, Graduation Show opens to the public from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. so everyone can check out the work of our newest Art Center graduates.

Let the celebration of our creative community begin!

Fall 2011 Graduation tent

The tent is up and we're getting ready for the Fall 2011 Graduation ceremony.

Gloria Fowler’s AMMO-nition

The cover of the new Edward Weston monograph, published by AMMO Books.

On campus, Gloria Fowler ‘87 may be best known as a beloved Environmental Design instructor who has taught at the College for the last 20 years, helping students explore their creative potential. But equally impressive is her work off-campus, where she runs the thriving boutique art-house publishing company AMMO Books with her photographer-turned-publisher husband, Steve Crist, and business partner Paul Norton.

Launching a specialty book business is a risky venture, even more so in today’s age of declining book sales. But AMMO, which is based in Pasadena and Santa Barbara, Calif., has succeeded where others haven’t, publishing a number of coveted titles including the limited edition monographs Gonzo and Charley Harper, mid-priced options like Locals Only and Spike Lee: Do the Right Thing and a children’s line of board books, puzzles and more. Enviable press coverage and robust sales have followed.

The Dotted Line recently sat down with Fowler to discuss several new AMMO releases just in time for the holidays, as well as her experience running AMMO and working with emerging talent straight from the studios of Art Center.

Is there a story behind the name, AMMO?

When Steve and I decided to break out on our own and launch a new publishing house [he previously worked as a photo editor at Taschen], we realized that there weren’t that many visual-arts publishers based in the U.S. We also wanted to celebrate American artists and designers. So we came up with AMMO, which is short for American Modern Books. But we do publish international artists/designers as well.

What’s new at AMMO this holiday season?

We recently published a limited edition, coffee-table size monograph on the photographer Edward Weston in celebration of his 125th birthday. Weston is a hero of Steve’s and one of the most important photographers of the 20th century. Steve worked with the Center for Creative Photography in Arizona, which manages Weston’s archive, to choose 125 of Weston’s most iconic photographs. The book was beautifully printed in Italy and comes in an exquisite European gold cloth slipcase. Then we have Alexander Girard, edited by Todd Oldham. Girard was a seminal and prolific midcentury designer who produced work in so many disciplines—textiles, typography, graphics, illustration, furniture and architecture. He was a contemporary of Eames who, for whatever reason, hasn’t received the same recognition. We hope this book will change that. It’s massive—672 pages and 15 lbs(!)—and it’s at the level of Charley Harper in that the book is a very comprehensive overview of Girard.  And in conjunction, we’ve released some children’s products featuring Girard’s designs—a memory game, giant floor puzzles, a board book and more on the way.

Catch a glimpse of the new Girard book here:

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Last Week for “No Teachers! No Grades!”

Edward A. "Tink" Adams working on a drawing in class, circa 1936. Photo: Irene Vermeers PHOT '37.

The posters around campus announcing No Teachers! No Grades! may seem like a cruel joke, wishful thinking or both during finals week. But in reality what they’re advertising is an exhibition titled No Teachers! No Grades!: Art Center on Seventh Street, 1936-1946, curated by Art Center Archives‘ Robert Dirig and on view in the Library until December 17.

Students able to pull themselves away from their final projects for a few minutes will be rewarded with a rare look at items from the first chapter of Art Center’s history, when it was located on Seventh Street in Los Angeles’ Westlake District. Objects on view include: a 1941 catalogue for Art Center Center School, as it was then called; a number of photographs taken at the Seventh Street campus (including the image above); founder Edward A. “Tink” Adams’ business card, circa 1936; and a Caltech flyer announcing aircraft production illustration courses, which were offered at Art Center during World War II when the College ceased normal operations to assist in the war effort.

As for the exhibition title, the text on display in the Library explains, “The early catalogs boast, ‘No teachers! No grades!’ signifying that Art Center is not a typical school. That proclamation was not to say that it was effortless for students. From many accounts students were thrown out of the school if their work did not meet the Art Center standard.”

So much for the “good ole days,” right?

Taschen Publishes Mark Ryden Retrospective

A spread from Taschen's limited edition Mark Ryden "Pinxit" Retrospective.

Looking for the perfect holiday gift for the Mark Ryden fan in your life?

Venerable art book publisher Taschen has worked closely with the pop surrealist pioneer and Illustration alumnus to create a limited edition retrospective of his work titled Pinxit, which is available for pre-order now.

Taschen promises that Pinxit, whose title refers to the Latin word meaning “painted by,” is the ultimate retrospective of Ryden’s fine art career. And it’s easy to see why. The 366-page Collector’s Edition volume is limited to 1,000 signed and numbered copies, and includes more than 100 paintings, dozens of drawings, a new essay by culture critic Kristine McKenna and collected essays by artist Yoshitomo Nara and curator Carlo McCormick, among others.

In its review of Ryden’s show The Gay 90′s: Old Tyme Art ShowThe New York Times wrote that the artist’s “zany pictures hint at what creepy psychic stuff might pullulate beneath the sentimental, nostalgic and naïve surface of modern kitsch.”

More hints of “creepy psychic stuff” after the jump.

Two Days of Peace, Love and Music (Part 1 of 2)

Art Center's West Canyon Concert, December 1976.

Next week is the last week of the Fall 2011 term, which means the current stress level on campus is higher than usual. But if you’re “freaking out,” just remember, man, to take it easy. You know, like The Beatles said, ”turn off your mind, relax and float downstream?”

Okay, perhaps that’s not the best academic advice, but a similar thought did fuel two Art Center student-led events held nearly 35 years apart.

Earlier this term, Art Center Student Government (ACSG) organized a Woodstock-inspired concert featuring musical performances by Art Center students. During the event, students lounged in the Sculpture Garden atop orange blankets, enjoyed cotton candy and grooved to music by bands like Sister Rogers. But what they may have not realized is that they were also participating in a recreation.

In December of 1976, Art Center students organized the West Canyon Concert, a Woodstock-inspired event that allowed students to take a break from their rigorous studies. When Fine Art student John Dewey saw a photo from that event in the Art Center Archives, he shared the idea with ACSG President Erik Molano and the seed to bring back the spirit of that collaborative event was planted.

“We have a lot of musical creative talent here at school,” said Erik Molano on why recreating the West Canyon Concert made sense. “And ‘mellowing out’ is definitely something that Art Center students are looking for.”

We’ll share some more thoughts and pictures on the 2011 event next week, but for now, enjoy a selection of images from the original West Canyon Concert.

Additional images, courtesy of Robert Dirig in the Art Center Archives, after the jump.

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Meet Art Center at Night Student Roberto Galicia

ACN student Roberto Galicia. Photo: Mike Winder

Nobody walks in L.A.?

Don’t tell that to Roberto Galicia.

After taking Introduction to Product and Transportation Design at Art Center at Night (ACN), Galicia decided to pursue design as a career.

The only problem? He lived in Ontario, the courses he needed were in Pasadena and he had no car.

We sat down recently with Galicia to get his full story; here’s what he told us:

“Where I went to high school in Rancho Cucamonga, everybody seemed to get a brand new car as soon as they turned 16. But not me. Ever since I was a little boy I loved cars and dreamed of one day designing cars. But I never had the means to own a car, so I took the bus everywhere.

“After high school and some community college classes, I signed up for Art Center at Night’s Introduction to Product and Transportation Design with Rimon Ghobrial. Rimon was a great instructor, and when he learned what I wanted to do with my life, he suggested I also enroll at Pasadena City College (PCC) to take classes with Stan Kong and Albert Yu, both Art Center alumni. I knew I had to take those classes, but I was worried about transportation. I didn’t have a car, so how was I going to get there? I enrolled at PCC and eventually figured it out, but the solution was ridiculous.

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Don’t Miss Design Runway This Friday

Environmental Design student Belle Shang will present her BeWild winter accessories at Design Runway.

This Friday, Art Center College of Design will hold its annual Design Runway show at the College’s Hillside Campus. The show, which is free and open to the public, focuses on how industrial design and visual art students are expressing themselves through apparel design.

“This is a runway show unlike any other,” said Design Runway instructor Justine Parish of the event which marks the culmination of the course of the same name. “Apparel design at Art Center is less about fashion than it is an outlet for students from all departments to explore a new medium for their creativity. As a result, we have Product Design students creating performance sportswear for space travel, Illustration students creating jewelry, Transportation Design students creating high fashion shoes and everything in between.”

Continued after the jump.

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