Monthly Archives: August 2012

Art Center at Night: Register now for Fall courses

Untitled by Lori Dedeyan. Created in "Photography as Contemporary Art" with instructor Bia Gayatto.

Plato once said, “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”

Sometimes breaking free of old patterns can be a scary prospect. Know what’s even scarier? Getting stuck in a rut out of a fear of trying something new.

At Art Center at Night, we offer more than 150 courses—taught by award-winning instructors who are practicing artists and designers in their field—that can help you step out of your comfort zone, learn a new technique and expand your creative horizons.

New courses offered this Fall include: Personal Branding; Children’s Picture Books; Meditation and the Creative Mind 2; Traditional Letterpress: Analog; Introduction to zBrush; Introduction to Motorcycle Design; and Creating Content for Automotive Media.

Courses start September 10; register today!

Ready to step into the light?


Meet Art Center at Night student Arotin Hartounian

Just call him Stan: Art Center at Night’s Stan Kong

Tony Luna: Making Change Happen

Valedictorian Roy Tatum Shares with Graduation Crowd Lessons He Learned at Art Center

Valedictorian Roy Tatum addresses the Summer 2012 graduation crowd.

At last Saturday’s Summer 2012 graduation, Graphic Design graduate and Art Center valedictorian Roy Tatum shared with the assembled crowd some lessons about life, learning and the design process that he picked up while at the College.

Here are a few highlights.

On his high school aspirations:

While everyone I went to high school was making plans for college, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to attend [college]. I hadn’t found something I was passionate enough about to devote a significant amount of time.

On something a fellow musician told him:

I had just finished playing a show and I was talking to the drummer of the band that had played after us. He had gone to an art and design school in Los Angeles and he told me about his experience and I thought, That doesn’t even sound like school. That just sounds awesome.

On Art Center’s Public Programs:

Like many of you, I started by attending Art Center at Night. I remember being so excited and eager to learn from the teacher during the first night of class. I came home and thought to myself, This is what I love, this is what I’m passionate about. I was so excited I couldn’t wait to apply to the day program.

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Meet Product Design Graduate Jenn Kuca, Winner of the Summer 2012 Student Leadership Award

Summer 2012 Student Leadership Award winner Jenn Kuca. Photo: Chuck Spangler

Each term, Art Center presents the Student Leadership Award to a deserving student from the College. The award is a distinguished honor granted to a graduating student who exemplifies leadership qualities and accomplishments that stand out above their peers.

“This person has been nothing short of outstanding,” said Dean of Students Jeffrey Hoffman when presenting the award to Product Design graduate Jenn Kuca at Saturday’s Summer 2012 Graduation. “From her very first term, she chose to be involved and to lead us all to a better place.”

During her first year at Art Center, Kuca became an officer of the student chapter of Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) (and later, its president), where she organized the first annual IDSA Clash, a mixer event that brought together design professionals and students from multiple Southern California colleges.

As president of EcoCouncil, she convinced the administration to formalize the College’s long-term commitment to an eco-friendly future by participating in the STARS/PALS sustainability programs. And as a student representative for the College’s Facility and Technology Committee, she helped strategize improvements to support Art Center’s long-term strategic plan and educational mission.

“And those are only the highlights,” said Hoffman, as he listed an impressive string of Kuca’s accomplishments as a student.

When Kuca took the stage, she shared with her peers some of the insight she gained about Art Center, design and life in general.

On the implicit challenge of Art Center:

“From my very first visit to Art Center, I’ve felt that the implicit challenge to do better and to rise above is what sets this school apart. When I became a student, I discovered the best part, which is that my fellow students had the same expectations of themselves and of me.”

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Three Boys From Pasadena: A Tribute to Helmut Newton Opens at the Williamson Gallery

UPDATE:  You’re invited to the closing party Thursday, Aug. 23 at 7 p.m.
Last chance to see exhibition honoring Helmut Newton

Join the photographers, models and friends for a celebration of this critically praised exhibition featuring the photography of three Art Center alumni who were mentored by Helmut Newton.  Please RSVP to or call 626.396.2368 for more information.

Art Center’s Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery is proud to present Three Boys from Pasadena: A Tribute to Helmut Newton curated by June Newton. The show features the photographs of Helmut Newton’s proteges Mark Arbeit, George Holz, and Just Loomis, exploring both their individual talents and their longstanding friendship with Newton and each other. In June 2010, Three Boys from Pasadena premiered at the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin. An expanded version of the original show will be on exhibit in the Williamson Gallery, opening June 14, 2012 and continues through August 26, 2012.  The opening reception and panel discussion at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 14 is free and open to the public. A companion book originally published in France with a foreword by June Newton, will be available for purchase. If you wish to attend, please RSVP to

Photographers Mark Arbeit, George Holz and Just Loomis first met Helmut Newton in 1979 while students at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. All three became Helmut’s assistants during one of the most exciting and prolific times in his career. For almost thirty years, as each went on to his own professional lives as photographers, they kept in touch and shared their personal work with both Helmut and June Newton. After Helmut’s death, his widow and longtime artistic collaborator June conceived of a tribute exhibition for Helmut by showcasing his influence on their “three boys.” In her words: “They were the only three assistants who worked with him and became photographers in their own right. Each had a unique relationship with Helmut. They’ve become his offspring – each with his own voice. It was a special time in their lives, and I was the witness.”

This show is a homecoming, arriving back at the site of the first meeting between the Boys and Helmut. The exhibit consists of each photographer’s individual work, as well as several vitrines of memorabilia, consisting of snapshots, handwritten notes, journal pages, contact sheets, and other souvenirs. In the sensual, striking fashion editorial and portraiture by Arbeit, Loomis and Holz, the viewer is able to trace a direct line of influence from Newton to his apprentices. Three Boys from Pasadena: A Tribute to Helmut Newton is an unusual memorial to one of the 20th century’s most iconic photographers, and an exceptionally revealing look at personal and professional relationships among artists and proteges.

Mark Arbeit trained under Irving Penn as well as Newton and is the author of Mark Arbeit Work (2009), featuring an introduction by June Newton. Many of the pieces in the show come from his exquisite ‘Artist Atelier’ series, in which Arbeit shot female nudes in Parisian artists’ studios, posed next to sculptures or draped on canvases. His work, much of it composed in natural light, is concerned with the abstract interplay of light and shadow, of empty and filled space. He has shot for InStyle, Marie Claire, Vogue Paris, People, Forbes, and many other publications.

George Holz’ work betrays a sensuous, nuanced vision, especially in the black and white nudes that he has been perfecting since 1974. In the mid-90′s, Holz began a unique project of photographing nudes with animal bones and antlers, contrasting living flesh with ancient relics. Like Newton, George Holz has moved smoothly between personal projects and commercial work. Having published his imagery in Vanity Fair, Vogue Italia, Madame Figaro, Harper’s Bazaar, Interview, and The New York Times Magazine, his forthcoming book of celebrity portraiture, Holz Hollywood, will be published by Damiani.

Just Loomis worked as a fashion photographer for Harper’s Bazaar and The New York Times Magazine before turning to documentary work. His uncompromising portraits of people in the American West – from diner waitresses and cowboys to strippers and skate punks—are at once stark and compassionate, and were recently collected in his monograph As We Are, published by Hatje Catz.

All three artists are represented by Fahey/Klein Gallery in Los Angeles.

Founded in 1930, Art Center College of Design is recognized as a global leader in art and design education. The Photography and Imaging department dates back to the College’s earliest days, with such notable instructors as Will Connell, Charlie Potts, Fred Archer and legendary photographer Ansel Adams.  The 4,600 square-foot Williamson Gallery draws inspiration from all the fertile domains of Art Center’s educational programs, producing three major exhibitions per year. Previous exhibitions in the Williamson Gallery have focused on the work of photographers Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Andre Kertesz and alumnus Hiroshi Sugimoto, but Three Boys from Pasadena is the first group showcase of its kind.

Formula-E Race Goes Global After Scholarly Exchange

Beijing Team “Ghost” Top Winner in 7th Annual Design Competition

For the first year ever, the Formula-E Race has gone global. Known as the race where the rubber meets the road, Formula-E is the annual contest of rubber band-powered miniature cars designed by teams from Art Center and Pasadena Community College.  But 2012 will be remembered as the year the Department of Industrial Design at Beijing University of Technology joined the competition – and when the dust settled, the international visitors smoked the locals.

Devoted race fans endured sweltering heat at the August 9th event on Art Center’s Hillside campus to witness Beijing’s team “Ghost” take first place in two races plus Best in Show.  Art Center’s team “Ahn and Ahn” took first in The Sinclair Hill Climb track and the team from Pasadena Community College won The Eckles Design, Build, and Approach Award.

A highlight of Art Center’s Graduate Industrial Design (GradID) program, the race is judged by a panel of distinguished industry leaders. This year, the panel included designers from Honda R&D, Disney, BMW Group Designworks USA, LEGO Concept Lab, Tesla Motors, Fisker Automotive, Mattel Hot Wheels, Calty, and Nissan. Judging was based on a variety of criteria including quality, craftsmanship, materials, style, engineering, branding, innovation, and, of course, performance.

Sweating it out as MC for the event was the humorous Matt Gallant, host of ABC’s American Inventory and Animal Planet’s The Planet’s Funniest Animals.

The purpose of the class project is to teach lessons in strategy, product development, science, engineering, design, fabrication, branding, communications, and event planning through a fun and real world product-development experience. In the process, students learn about competition, teamwork, setting goals, and creating design plans that are then executed to varying degrees of success. Continue reading

Summer 2012 Graduation Events

The creative energy around campus is kicking into high gear as the College prepares for its series of Summer graduation events.

Thursday, August 16
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. Held from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m. at Hillside Campus, the preview gives potential employers, alumni, donors and industry professionals an opportunity to preview the Graduation Show and meet our graduating students.

Immediately following the preview, all guests are invited to a reception hosted by Alumni Relations to welcome our graduating students into the alumni family.

Saturday, August 18
Join us at Hillside Campus from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. as we celebrate the accomplishments of our newest graduating class and present the Art Center Student Leadership Award to Product Design student Jenn Kuca.

We will also be presenting the Great Teacher Award to: Product Design instructor Pascual Wawoe (New Teacher); Environmental Design and Humanities and Design Sciences instructors Penny Herscovitch and Dan Gottlieb (Part-Time Faculty); and Illustration and Entertainment Design instructor Will Weston (Full-Time Faculty), who will also deliver the graduating class commencement address.

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

After the ceremony, Graduation Show opens to the public from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. so everyone can enjoy the work of our newest Art Center graduates.

Let the celebration of our creative community begin!

Phas running shoes, designed by graduating Product Design student Jenn Kuca.

“Tron” at 30: How Art Center Helped Power the Grid

A tender moment from "Tron," which this year celebrates its 30th anniversary.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Disney’s Tron, the movie which introduced a generation to light cycles, identity discs and a glowing spandex-clad Jeff Bridges. It was also the first time most filmgoers marveled at computer-generated special effects.

The history and evolution of Tron wouldn’t be the same without the work of a number of members of the Art Center community who were involved in the groundbreaking film, its 2010 sequel Tron: Legacy and the current Disney XD animated series Tron: Uprising.

To celebrate three decades of “the grid,” let’s take a look at how Syd Mead TRAN ’59, Eric Barba TRAN ’92 and current Entertainment Design student Annis Naeem helped shaped Tron’s digital frontier. Continue reading