Author Archive

Civic improvements: Spring 2015 Graduation claims a new location and starting time

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015
Photo credit: Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau, Jamie Pham

Photo credit: Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau, Jamie Pham

In February 1932, during the lowest ebb of the Great Depression, the new Pasadena Civic auditorium was dedicated “to the citizens of Pasadena, whose efforts and sacrifices have made the erection of this beautiful and useful building possible.” In the decades since its dedication, the Civic has seen millions of patrons from several generations of Southern Californians pass through its doors. As a home for ballet, symphony, popular music, musical comedy and television programs, the Civic has hosted a wide variety of special events.

On Saturday, April 18, 2014, the 2,997-seat auditorium will serve as the new venue for Art Center’s graduation ceremonies. The Spring 2015 graduating class will be the first Art Center cohort in a long time who will not face off against the elements—rain, sun, wind or cold—as they prepare to collect their diplomas. The gathering is at long last moving to a climate-controlled indoor home with permanent walls and floors. It is also conveniently centrally located between Art Center’s Hillside and South campuses.

As the day approaches, let’s celebrate these creative and talented individuals who are about to take on the world. Here’s the lowdown for the week:

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Alumna Marisa Howenstine’s “film in a frame” images nab prestigious Graphis honors

Thursday, April 9th, 2015
Girl with Curious Hair. Photo: Marisa Howenstine.

Girl with Curious Hair. Photo: Marisa Howenstine.

Marisa Howenstine (BFA 10 Photography) has had a great run the past two years with three images selected by Graphis for its prestigious Photography Annual, this year grabbing a Gold for “Ecce Homo: Behold the Man” and a Silver for “Modern Nature” and last year earning a Silver for “Murder of Crows.” The Dotted Line took this opportunity to catch up with her and find out a little more about this artist and her work.

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Kickstarter powers epic journey across Argentina for artist Antrese Wood

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

The Dotted Line caught up with Alumna Antrese Wood (BFA 94 Illustration) at the opening of her show, “A Portrait of Argentina” at the dA Center for the Arts in Pomona.

Perito Moreno glacier. Antrese Wood.

Perito Moreno glacier. Antrese Wood.

Dotted Line: What have you been doing personally since you left Art Center?

Antrese Wood: I’ve had a windy path.

I left Art Center and worked for Disney for about 12 years. I got that job by being extraordinarily persistent, possibly stalker-ish. Sometimes, I wondered if they hired me so I’d finally leave them alone.

Working at Disney allowed me to mature and continue to develop skills I learned at Art Center. The real lesson in all the class critiques is not so much about the details of the work itself; it’s about being able to objectively talk about the work. To listen to other people’s opinions about your ‘baby’ without taking it personally or getting defensive. Part of my job at Disney was providing art direction for video games. I can tell you the people who did not pick up that skill were not happy and did not make it very far.

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Furniture designers square off on Spike TV’s “Framework,” featuring Product Design alum Nolen Niu

Thursday, March 5th, 2015
Common, Nolen Niu, Brandon Gore. Image courtesy Spike TV.

Framework judges Common, Nolen Niu, Brandon Gore. Image courtesy Spike TV.

When a casting agent called Product Design alumnus Nolen Niu (BS 99) asking if he would be interested in participating as a judge on a Spike TV show, he said “Hell yeah!” A fan of such shows as Bar Rescue and Catch a Contractor, Niu didn’t even ask what the show was about before agreeing to participate. That enthusiasm, and his well-earned reputation as a furniture designer, landed him a stint as one of three judges on the furniture design reality competition, Framework, Spike TV’s newest reality show, where contestants vie to be named best furniture maker—and win a $100,000 prize. There is still time to binge watch the entire series online before the finale, which will air March 10th.

At first it was a bit surreal for Niu to see himself on TV and to get recognized at some of the most random places. Overall though, “[this] has been one of the best experiences I’ve had during my career as a designer, says Niu. “The opportunity to judge a competition and hold a position of authority related to design was an absolute honor.”

In tune with the current maker movement, Framework offers a glimpse into the process of creating handcrafted goods. “The design and build process is very analog in nature compared to the completely digital lifestyles that we live in today. It’s important that these shows continue to be produced since it shines light on the level of complexity of the work we as designers and makers perform,” notes Niu.

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The redeeming power of Unlovable, a graphic novel by alumna Esther Pearl Watson

Monday, December 15th, 2014
Behold the cover of Esther Pearl Watson's teen angst graphic novel

Behold the cover of Esther Pearl Watson’s teen angst graphic novel

“This is going to be the best summer ever…I know my hot guy is sitting on a couch or mat and wondering if some fine lady is dreaming about him,” muses Tammy Pierce, the unlucky underdog of Unlovable, a graphic novel series by Illustration alumna Esther Pearl Watson.

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Conjuring the magic of art and design for kids at the Boys & Girls Club

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014
Alvin Oei teaching at Pasadena Boys & Girls Club.

Alvin Oei teaching at Pasadena Boys & Girls Club.

Be passionate about what you do. Be thorough and thoughtful doing it. Be a leader. Make something. Make a difference. These are core Art Center values and Environmental Design student Alvin Oei embodies all of them.

Oei’s enthusiasm about art and design drives his desire to share his knowledge and excitement for the disciplines with kids, most of whom attend schools with no art curriculum. He accomplished this in a big way for the children at Pasadena’s Boys & Girls Club when he conducted an intensive two-week workshop. The mini-Art Center boot camp challenged the youths to design different stores in Diagon Alley from the film “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” through storyboarding and physical model making. The project was designed around the popular book and movie series to help make it resonate. Kids “have this unabashed no-limit imagination” says Oei, who is inspired by their energy.

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Holy grand slam, Batman! Batmobiles times four on display at Car Classic

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014
1966 Batman TV Series Batmobile designed by George Barris

1966 Batman TV Series Batmobile designed by George Barris

Four authentic, full-scale Batmobiles will roll onto the field at Art Center’s Street to Screen: Car Classic 2014 event this Sunday. Exploring the impact transportation and entertainment design has had on Hollywood and the entertainment industry—on camera, on the road and behind the scenes—this year’s Bat-tastic concours confab will host a critical mass of the caped crusader’s legendary vehicles.

Art Center’s ties to the Dark Knight extend well beyond transportation. Entertainment Design Chair Tim Flattery designed the Batmobile Val Kilmer used in the 1994 film Batman Forever. Alumnus Harald Belker (BS Transportation Design 90) created the 1997 Batmobile George Clooney drove in Batman and Robin and Illustration Chair Ann Field worked on character design for Uma Thurman’s Poison Ivy in that same movie. Alumnus Zack Snyder (BFA Film 89) has added the great detective to his latest Superman epic, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, scheduled to be released in 2016. And who owns Batman/DC Comics? None other than Warner Bros., led by Trustee Greg Silverman, who reigns as its President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production.

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A celebration of dedication: Art Center employees recognized for years of service

Friday, October 10th, 2014
Hillside Campus in 1978. Image courtesy of College Archives.

Hillside Campus in 1978. Image courtesy of College Archives.

Martina Navratilova defeated Chrissie Evert for the “ladies” championship at Wimbledon, Sony introduced the Walkman and Midnight Express was playing in theaters. The year was 1978, when Hillside Campus had been occupied for about two years, South Campus didn’t exist and three people started their careers at Art Center.

One of those people is Stephen Nowlin, vice president of the Williamson Gallery. “I’ve been pretty fortunate to have watched Art Center from up close through the years—first as a high school student visiting the little hallway gallery on 3rd street; then as a graduate student at the Pasadena campus; and as an Admissions counselor, teacher, web producer and, for most of that time, as the Williamson Gallery’s director. The most impressive thing for me through all those years and roles, I must say, has been the consistency of high quality in the work produced by Art Center’s students. It never ceases to amaze me.”

Every year Art Center celebrates employees who have reached significant milestones in their careers. On September 23, 2014, almost 60 individuals were recognized for having 2013 work anniversaries of 10 or more years. The occasion was commemorated with a formal luncheon and presentation of the service awards hosted by the Human Resources Department. Earlier this year a luncheon was held to commemorate those having work anniversaries in 2012.

“Art Center students are supported by dedicated staff and faculty who do everything they can, directly in the classroom or indirectly behind the scenes, to help students achieve their goals to become professional artists and designers,” said Nancy Duggan, Executive Director, Human Resources. “It is our pleasure to honor these individuals.”

Art Center President Lorne M. Buchman kicked off the presentations with a word of thanks, which was followed by the awards ceremony.

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Fall 2014 Orientation: Ready. Set. School!

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014
New students touring campus with peer mentors

New students touring campus with peer mentors

“Life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

This week, 450 new undergraduate and graduate students will meet with key staff members who will aid in their transition to Art Center, get to know peers, mingle with upper term students from various disciplines, receive insight from faculty members and have a chance to get acclimated to campus life through a networking gathering. This is Art Center orientation—expertly crafted and designed by the Center for the Student Experience (CSE) to prepare the entering class for success in their studies.

It is a week defined by securing ID cards and parking passes, touring the campus, eating, listening and observing. Everything planned this week will help the rookies succeed at Art Center. But one of the most important ways to prepare for what lies ahead is to listen to those who have done it. In the spirit of learning from others’ mistakes and successes, The Dotted Line gathered some nuggets of expert advice (solicited on Facebook from current and former students) for the newcomers among us:

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Summer 2014: Countdown to commencement!

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014
0811GSP1

Getting ready for Grad Show. Photo: Lucia Loiso

The computer labs are packed. The shops are humming at all hours. Visitors from sponsoring companies and organizations are streaming through campus to attend final presentations. And the Student Gallery is full of projects in and out of the coveted space. These telltale sights and sounds can only mean one thing at Art Center: Week 14 has arrived.

The state of the campus is a visual reminder of the frenetic energy generated by Art Center students sprinting toward finals. The end of the term is here; and for 111 students, this week marks their last. Saturday evening, after countless all-nighters, critiques, finals, internships and hopefully some fun, 100 undergraduate and 11 graduate students will be awarded their degrees. As we count down to commencement, we celebrate these creative and talented individuals who are about to take on the world and honor the great teachers who have guided the way. Here’s the lowdown for the week.

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