Monthly Archives: February 2012

Feeling Social? Art Center Has You Covered.

"Death is Lonely" by alumna Maya Assad ILLU '10.

When it comes to networking, nothing beats good old-fashioned person-to-person communication.

But it’s nice to know that at Art Center, you’re never more than a click away from several online social networks.

Official College pages include:

Of course there are many additional pages created for specific departments and majors.

How do you use online social networks? Which networks would you like to see us embrace? What would you like to see Art Center do in the social realm?

Let us know in the comments below.

Get Involved! Make Friends! Join a Club or Organization at Art Center

The life of an Art Center student can be stressful. Find a group of people who share your passion and understand your stress by joining a club or organization. The Center for the Student Experience sponsors and supports twenty-five different student clubs and organizations. Students had an opportunity to check out all the clubs and organizations at the Club & Organization Fair last Wednesday in the Cafeteria. It is not too late to join even if you missed the fair. Please visit the Center for the Student Experience to find out how to contact any of the clubs or organizations.

Students getting together on Cafe Lawn. Photo: Juan Posada/Art Center College of Design

Here brief descriptions of this term’s registered clubs and organizations:

  • Art Center Chinese Student Association the Chinese Student Association (CSA) exists to bring together the Chinese student community at Art Center. CSA holds a series of social and peer mentor related events throughout the term that enhance the student experience.

  • Art Center Christian Fellowship – The purpose of the Art Center Christian Fellowship is twofold: to provide a place on campus for the body of Christians and all interested people to grow in community, share their struggles, pray, worship and discuss biblical ideas; and to engage the greater Art Center community in dialogue about the convergence of art, design and spirituality.
  • Art Center IndieArt Center Indie’s aim is to explore the world of Indie film making (past, recent, and current) through regular screenings at various locations in homes or in theaters.
  • Assa Korean students at Art Center join together to build relationships, share information and explore their common culture. ASSA helps students strengthen their self-awareness and individuality, and also assists students in making connections.

Continue reading

Exhibit and New Book Offer Retrospective of Alumnus and Former Faculty Member Richard Bunkall

Richard Bunkall Portrait

Richard Bunkall in his studio, 1996

This Sunday, March 4 at 5:00 p.m., the Pasadena Museum of California Art (PMCA) will host a book launch celebration for Richard Bunkall, The first published survey of the artist’s remarkable 25-year career as a painter and sculptor. In his shortened career, Art Center alumnus and former faculty member Richard Bunkall (ILLU ’75) created a significant body of artwork that was both original and emotionally compelling.

The definitive 300-page book features over 200 color plates of Bunkall’s work, with essays by art critics Peter Frank, B.R. Gilbert and Peter Clothier. This Sunday, Frank will be joined by artists Ray Turner and Kenton Nelson as they discuss the life and art of Bunkall, whose life ended prematurely at the age of forty-five from ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The book launch coincides with the PMCA exhibition Richard Bunkall: A Portrait, currently on view through April 22. The exhibit examines the many ways Bunkall conveyed adventure and described mystery through his artistic vision, for which he was honored with Individual Painting Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts twice within five years.

For museum hours and admission information, as well as details about the book launch, visit the PMCA website or RSVP directly by calling 626.568.3665 x17.

"Richard Bunkall" Book Jacket

"Richard Bunkall" Book Jacket

Students get up close and personal with the “laser”

Nick Locaino led students on a tour of Art Center's lasers.

Did you notice the flyers in the Student Dining Room encouraging students to attend a “laser” demonstration in Room 229A? Our curiosities at the Dotted Line were piqued, so we attended yesterday to see what exactly was going down.

“Some people are disappointed it’s not a gun mounted on a tripod,” said Art Center’s Nick Loicano, a staff member in the Technical Skills Center, when introducing one of the College’s laser-cutting machines. Loicano led the group of 13 students through a two-hour tour of the machines, which included: a walkthrough on setting up a graphic for laser-cutting; laser-cutting a design onto a three-by-three-inch keychain; and, perhaps most importantly, an overview of Art Center’s policies regarding fair and safe usage of the machines.

For additional information on the Technical Skills Center, visit Art Center’s website or the Model
Shop and 3D Labs’ Facebook page.

The Art and Culture of Black History Is A Constant Presence

As Black History Month comes to a close next week, we wanted to take a moment to recognize the many organizations that encourage and promote the work of African American artists and designers in our community throughout the year. Some of the most notable include:

California African American Museum

Image courtesy of California African American Museum.

The California African American Museum (CAAM) is located at the “crossroads of the Los Angeles community,” alongside the California Science Center, Natural History Museum, and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Sports Arena in Downtown Los Angeles’ Exposition Park. The California African American Museum researches, collects, preserves and interprets for public enrichment the history, art and culture of African Americans.

Located inside a fully operational Macy’s store at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, The Museum of African American Art is believed to be the only museum of its kind in the nation. The Museum is a nonprofit cultural and educational institution dedicated to the interpretation, promotion, and preservation of art by or about people of African descent and their contributions to world culture. (Macy’s. Who knew?)

Watts Towers Arts Center, located in the heart of Los Angeles’ Watts community, is the curator of the Watts Towers structure, consisting of seventeen major, historic sculptures. The Watts Towers Arts Center provides diverse cultural enrichment programming through tours of the Towers, lectures, changing exhibitions, and studio workshops for both teachers and students. [Art Center has close affinity for the Watts community, having recently collaborated on the Watts Art? project under the aegis of our Designmatters and Fine Art programs.]

Watts Towers

Image courtesy of Watts Towers Arts Center.

Beyond these major cultural organizations, there are a number of smaller gallery and exhibition spaces throughout Los Angeles, which highlight and champion African American artists and designers. One such example is the Tilford Art Group (T.A.G.), which is devoted to promoting the emerging artist from the United States and abroad, while providing a sacred space for artistic discussion, education and celebration. In doing so, T.A.G. endeavors to continuously recognize the Master artist, particularly those of the African Diaspora and Latin America, from whom many of the young and emerging artists have drawn their inspiration.

Los Angeles is also home to The Pan African Art and Film Festival, which is considered America’s largest and most prestigious Black arts and film festival. The festival presents and showcases the broad spectrum of Black creative works, particularly those that reinforce positive images, help to destroy negative stereotypes and depict an expanded vision of the Black experience in an effort to foster communication between peoples of diverse cultures, races, and lifestyles.

Closer to home, the Jackie Robinson Center in Pasadena, which organizes the City’s Black History Parade and Festival, is a multipurpose social service delivery center that provides assistance to a culturally, economically, and socially diverse population in the Northwest area of Pasadena. In addition to a number of health and wellness services, the center offers educational programs and recreational and cultural activities throughout the year.

In the words of Golden Globe Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman, “Black history is American history” and we’re fortunate to live in a region wherein the art and culture of African Americans is a constant presence.

Graduate Art Seminar Brings Distinguished Speakers from the International Art World to Art Center

Tuesdays. 7:30 pm. Los Angeles Times Media Center.

Currently underway, the Graduate Art Seminar at Art Center  welcomes internationally recognized artists, critics, art historians, architects, filmmakers and writers to Pasadena to share their insights into the world of contemporary art. The seminar—a core component of Art Center’s Graduate Art program—takes place Tuesday evenings throughout the term and is free and open to the general public.

Carroll Dunham, Tree with Red Flowers 2009. Mixed media on canvas, 75 x 90 inches. Courtesy of Gladstone Gallery

Acclaimed Vancouver photographer Jeff Wall launched the series this term, with a roster of distinguished artists to follow, including noted philosopher, theorist and University of Lille professor Thierry de Duve (March 6); City University of New York’s Distinguished Professor Wayne Kostenbaum, the poet and celebrated author of such provocative titles as The Queen’s Throat: Opera, Homosexuality, and the Mystery of Desire; Jackie Under My Skin, and the newly released The Anatomy of Harpo Marks; (April 9*), and painter Carroll Dunham, who will speak on the occasion of a survey of his drawings at L.A.s Blum & Poe Gallery(April 17).

The series culminates with a special symposium titled “Changing the World” spearheaded by one of today’s most influential thinkers Alain Badiou (May 19). Badiou will be joined in conversation by noted professors Kenneth Reinhard (UCLA), Nathan Brown (UC Davis) and Jason E. Smith (Art Center).

For a full list of speakers, please visit the Grad Art website.

*Wayne Kostenbaum’s seminar will take place on a Monday

Send Our Behance Student Ambassadors to New York

In an effort to get increased exposure for students, alumni and faculty, Art Center launched its own branded network on Behance, the world’s leading platform for creative professionals to showcase and discover creative work online.

Much of that effort has been spearheaded by Art Center students Youmna Chamcham and Kevin Wansa. As official Behance Student Ambassadors, they have had the opportunity to work as an extension of the Behance Team and gain professional and leadership experience.

What’s next for Youmna and Kevin? You can help send them to New York to rep Art Center at the 99% Conference. All you have to do is sign up and create your own Behance profile–and it’s completely free! The more folks they get to sign-up, the better their chances at going to New York. (Don’t tell anyone, but Pratt Institute is currently in the lead!)

Go directly online to create your Behance profile or meet Youmna on Wednesday, February 22 at the South Entrance to sign-up in person. Youmna can answer all your questions, and she also has discount cards for those of you that want to try out the advanced features on Behance’s ProSite.

Want more info about Behance and how it can benefit you as an up-and-coming creative? Check out this video produced by Kevin and Youmna!

We Took Action: Art Center’s Second Successful Day of Service to the Community

Volunteers Receiving Instruction before working for Arroyo Seco Foundation. Photo Lucia Loiso/Art Center College of Design

Continuing a volunteer initiative launched in celebration of the College’s 80th Anniversary in 2010—and in support of the National Day of Service inspired by the life of Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.—Art Center is proud to sponsor its second day of service.

“Art Center Takes Action: A Day of Service in Pasadena” kicked-off at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 18 at the College’s South Campus with a breakfast with College Provost Fred Fehlau and representatives from participating organizations. Volunteers picked up commemorative tee-shirts and mingled with leaders from the community organizations. “Designers, while expressing their own points of view, are also always working in service of others. This day is just an extension of what we as a community do all the time,” Mr. Fehlau told the group at the breakfast.

Moving Mulch for the Pasadena Boys & Girls Club. Photo Lucia Loiso/Art Center College of Design

From there, teams of Art Center volunteers grabbed a boxed lunch and were dispatched to locations around the city to take on such tasks as collecting food, facilities improvement, environmental cleanup, beautification projects and special activities.

Working in the garden of the Pasadena Boys & Girls Club. Photo Lucia Loiso/Art Center College of Design

Working in the garden of the Pasadena Boys & Girls Club. Photo Lucia Loiso/Art Center College of Design

We were reminded of President Lorne Buchman’s remarks at our first Day of Service, “when the Art Center community comes together to participate in volunteer initiatives such as this, we help elevate Art Center’s reputation not only as a good neighbor, but as a meaningful place to pursue an art and design education.”

Volunteers visited with the residents at the Villa Gardens Retirement Community, helped beautify the The Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena, removed invasive plant species from near Art Center for the Arroyo Seco Foundation and acquired goods and donations for the AIDS Service Center.

Volunteers came from the ranks of students, faculty and staff. All those involved expressed great satisfaction in being able to help the community in some way.

“In reaching out to local organizations—even more than those that participated in the Day of Service—we’ve already begun to build a volunteer network for future collaborations,” said Dean of Students Jeffrey Hoffman.

AIDS Service Center Food Drive. Photo Lucia Loiso/Art Center College of Design

Alumnus Emerson Terry Broke Down Doors, He Just Didn’t Realize It

Art Center Alumnus Emerson Terry

Art Center alumnus Emerson Terry.

It wasn’t the end of World War II, new job opportunities in the defense industry or the region’s cultural awakening that drew him to Los Angeles in the mid-1940s. It was the weather. “After I was discharged from the Navy, I went home to Ohio and then on to Detroit to work on the assembly line,” 86-year old Pasadena resident and Art Center alumnus Emerson Terry (ILLU ’53) recalls. “It was cold in Detroit, so my brother and I decided to move to Los Angeles.

“We arrived in Pasadena on New Year’s Eve in 1946. It was something, driving down the boulevard with people lined up along the street and banners flying in the air. Neither of us had heard of the Rose Parade before and we felt that spirit of celebration.” [ed. note: Art Center didn’t move to Pasadena until 1976.]

In 1948, when Terry was taking art classes at Los Angeles City College, a former classmate told him he had enrolled at the Art Center School (as the College was then known) and invited him to visit. “I was blown away by the quality of the students’ work,” Terry says of visiting the school’s Third Street campus in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. “I realized that type of artwork was what I really wanted to do, and I wasn’t going to learn it at City College.”

Having been admitted under the strength of his portfolio and the G.I. Bill, Terry began taking classes. “The Art Center experience was unlike anything being offered by other colleges or universities at the time. It really was a school where the instructors were all industry professionals. That in itself made the learning very concise. And I dare say, it was a different experience than learning from people who had only gone to school, matriculated and started teaching.”

Emerson Terry at Art Center 1953

Emerson Terry at Art Center's Third Street campus in 1953.

Terry was among the first African-American students to attend Art Center. In fact, one of his fellow classmates, Bill Moffit, was both a friend from his earliest days in Los Angeles and also the first-ever African-American student admitted to the school. But according to Terry, the dearth of African-Americans on campus didn’t affect his experience. “I made new friends at Art Center and didn’t feel out of place. I was able to compare my abilities to other people’s abilities. That’s where we acknowledged each other’s differences: the quality of our work.”

While Art Center prided itself on providing its students a professional working environment, the real world was a bit different. “It was one thing to get into school with government money and a decent portfolio,” Terry stated. “But when it came time to take my portfolio and knock on the doors of studios and agencies—that’s when segregation and racism reared its ugly head. This was before the Civil Rights movement of the ‘60s. It was before Martin Luther King and sit-ins and fighting for inclusion.

“By the time I finished Art Center I felt I was a very capable artist. And while my instructors said I would do quite well, they failed to realize what circumstances I would face. It was very difficult for me to see my Caucasian friends walk right into job openings that I knew I was qualified for.”

Despite the challenges of the time, Terry went on to work with a number of prominent companies. His first full-time job was with aerospace firm Douglas Aircraft Company. “I used a lot of what I learned in Hamilton Quick’s perspective drawing class on that first job,” Terry recalls.

Drawing defense industry contractor General Dynamics

Terry produced award-winning work for defense industry contractor General Dynamics.

Other companies Terry worked for throughout his illustrious career include: Revell, a leader in plastic model kits; defense industry contractor General Dynamics; The Film Designers Division, and NBC’s print media department. He also served a stint as Treasurer of the Society of Illustrators, during which he created significant work for the United States Air Force Art Program.

Terry also worked at some of the top agencies of the ‘50s and ‘60s, including Stephens Biondi deCicco, Diener/Hauser/Bates, and Group West Studios alongside top-notch illustrators Ren Wicks and Art Center instructor Joe Henninger.

In part, it was his Art Center network that provided him jobs. “I had a lot of Caucasian friends with whom I got along with quite well. There have always been some people that have never had that racial bias or that racial hostility. They accepted people for who they were. When they got into positions at studios or companies, they gave me the work I wouldn’t get otherwise.”

At the same time, Terry started what would become a successful freelance career.  “I was freelancing all the time,” he said. “Technical illustrations, exploded drawings, production design, book covers, small paintings. When you’re out there hustling, you take what you can get and you make the best of it. Eventually, through my freelance work, I was able to get better employment opportunities. When I look back, I did a lot of extraordinary things.”

Inside Hollywood Cover for Simon & Schuster Pocket Books

"Inside Hollywood" book cover for Simon & Schuster's Pocket Books.

Terry’s enthusiasm for learning is still strong. “All this new technology is fantastic. A few years ago, I signed up for computer classes at Glendale Community College. I’m learning how to build websites and eventually want to start drawing and painting on the computer. I’m just sorry I didn’t get into it sooner.”

While still learning, Terry already has a couple of websites under his belt: a portfolio site he continues to update with previous and current work; and a site dedicated to the history of African Cowboys, which features his own art prints and reproductions about notable African-American men and women of the Old West.

In addition to his interest in history and websites, he works with his daughter Sharon Terry, who also attended Art Center, on a line of greeting cards. “When I see a student that has talent, or the possibility of talent, including both of my daughters, I tell them to learn to draw. Once they learn to draw, they can concern themselves with the bigger questions about where they want to study or what type of job they want after college.

“Sharon got a scholarship to attend Art Center’s Saturday High program, and that was really the beginning of her career. That type of access—access to classes and quality instruction—is the best thing for students today.”

And Terry is particularly proud that both his daughters have successful careers in art and design. “I was able to guide both of my daughters through some of the doors that I had to break down on my way up. Of course, I didn’t realize I was breaking down doors at the time. I just wanted to find a job as an artist.”

Art Center for Kids Students Imagine Life on Mars

Art Center for Kids students get up close and personal with a Mars Rover model.

This August, NASA’s Mars Rover Curiosity will land on the surface of the Red Planet. Armed with a geology lab, cameras galore and a rock-vaporizing laser, Curiosity’s mission will be to find conditions favorable for life.

This Spring, all students enrolled in Art Center for Kids—Art Center College of Design’s program for students in grades 4–8—will have a special opportunity to work with Curiosity engineers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to imagine what a future community on Mars might look like.

It’s all part of the Imagine Mars Project, an interdisciplinary program sponsored by NASA and the National Endowment for the Arts—and of which Art Center is a proud partner— that takes kids on a virtual mission to Mars and brings them back with a new outlook on community, science and the arts.

Art Center for Kids students in "Architecture from the Inside Out" design buildings suitable for the environment on Mars.

Every Spring term for the past six years, all Art Center for Kids classes focus on one common theme: imagining a future life on Mars. In these classes, young artists and designers, in cooperation with scientists and engineers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, translate this theme through a variety of disciplines.

“Here on Earth we take certain things for granted, like gravity,” says David J. Delgado, Art Center alumnus and Lead on the Imagine Mars Project for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who says the main skill Imagine Mars students develop is creative problem solving, “We ask the students to dig into their imagination and come up with things that have never been seen before.”

Delgado says the wide array of disciplines taught at Art Center for Kids means those ‘things that never seen before’ take on infinite variations—whether they’re group projects built in Architecture from the Inside Out (“How do you design buildings to fit into the environment on Mars?”), constructing narratives in Cartooning Technique (“What kind of people will live there? What will they do?”) imagining how pets would survive on Mars in Animal Sculpture (“The students have come up with some really fun spacesuits for their animals.”) or capturing images of life on Earth in Photography to remind residents on Mars of their roots.

Delgado also points out that the lessons learned in class go far beyond simply learning about Mars, “The instructors at Art Center for Kids use Imagine Mars as a jumping-off point to get really creative. Not only are the students learning about Mars, but they’re also learning skills for their specific medium, say photography. And they’re not just learning how to take a photograph, but they’re also learning about how tell stories through pictures. All the classes do a really good of that.”

Art Center for Kids Spring classes begin February 19; register today!

David J. Delgado, lead of the Imagine Mars Project at The Jet Propulsion Laboratory.