Author Archive

Artworld luminaries hail Stockholm debut of Sculpture After Sculpture, curated by Grad Art’s Jack Bankowsky

Friday, October 24th, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 1.21.52 PM

By all accounts, Sculpture After Sculpture, an omnibus exhibition curated by Art Center faculty member, Jack Bankowsky,  is a major event, capturing nothing short of a pivotal moment in the evolution of modern sculpture. The show opened last week at Stockholm’s Moderna Museet to great fanfare, including this piece in Artforum. For those who can’t make it to Sweden, the following catalog excerpt offers a glimpse at the compelling story this audacious show tells about sculpture’s relatively recent past and possibly its not-so-distant future.

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Under the influence of Richard Pietruska: 40 years training the world’s top car designers

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014
Richard Pietrushka

Richard Pietruska

As we prepare to celebrate Richard Pietruska’s remarkable accomplishment of 40 years as an instructor at Art Center, we are receiving numerous notes and images from his former students expressing their appreciation for his impact on their lives and careers.  I just received a particularly heartfelt and personal email from our alumnus Chris Bangle.

As you may know, Chris is one of our most notable Transportation Design alumni who has had an amazing career (still in progress) – first, as a designer for Opel, then Fiat, then a long and distinguished career leading the BMW global design team.

I greatly value Chris’ authentic and kind words about Richard, which are undoubtedly echoed by many.­

– Stewart Reed, Chair of Transportation Design

It was my great fortune to have had Richard as an instructor during my time at Art Center. And judging by his perennially youthful looks today, it must have been around that time he painted his own “Portrait of Dorian Gray” and gave it to another instructor to lock away forever (they tend to do that).

Richard was inspiring in content and method of instruction: one of the first really empathetic instructors I encountered after quite a few semesters experiencing the terrorizing “boot-camp” teachers who were pulling our collective hair out (theirs included) trying to get us neophytes over the hump of learning the basics.  Richard treated us as young professionals who should already know which end of the pencil to sharpen but had not been challenged by the illustration techniques and depths of composition assignments he had in store.  I still have the paintings I did in his class on my walls and still tell stories of their creation with pride.

Perhaps more importantly Richard was (and no doubt still is) the eye level reference-professional for young designers; someone who speaks their language and can absorb their angsts and talk through their dreams over a beer––not from behind a lectern.  For many of us he was a psychological anchor in a maelstrom of real and imagined stresses; the one you could always go to with a problem or when in need of an ear that was really listening and who’s encouragement was authentic and heartfelt.

To know the man is to know Art Center College of Design at its best.

For all that caring––besides the sharing of his craft––I am deeply indebted to Richard Pietruska and very proud to call him friend.  I am sorry I am far away (but not in spirit!) on his big day but wish him well and hope he has the opportunity to tour the world of his ex-students and glow in the spirit he has sown.

Congratulations Richard!

–Chris Bangle is Managing Director Chris Bangle Associates SRL, Clavesana, Italy

Art Center will hold a reception for alumni, fellow instructors and the broader community to honor Pietrushka’s 40 years with the College on October 24, from 7pm to 9pm. RSVP

The creativity of environmental and social accountability: Q&A with artist Amy Balkin

Friday, October 17th, 2014
Amy Balkin

Amy Balkin

Complex questions about our relationship and responsibility to the physical world we inhabit lie at the heart of Amy Balkin’s creative process and the work itself. Balkin, who studied with Fine Art Chair, Vanalyne Green while attending Art Institute of Chicago, recently visited Art Center to speak about the ideas that inform her creative practice, which explores issues of environmental justice, legal borders and the geopolitics surrounding the land we inhabit and the air we breathe.

Her major projects include This is the Public Domain, an ongoing bid to create a public commons from a piece of land she purchased in Central California; Public Smog, a clean air park she opens periodically by purchasing carbon emissions; and A People’s Archive of Sinking and Melting, a collection of items from places under threat of disappearance due to political, physical and economic shifts.

Just prior to her talk at Art Center, Balkin sat down with Dotted Line to discuss her approach to these ambitious works.

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Seeing stars with Dan Goods: NASA’s resident wizard of wonderment and REALSPACE exhibitioning artist

Thursday, October 16th, 2014
Dan Goods and David Delgado Refraction, 2014 on view in REALSPACE. Courtesy of the artists.

Dan Goods and David Delgado, Refraction, 2014; on view in the Williamson Gallery’s REALSPACE show. Courtesy of the artists.

What are you doing with your special moment in time today? This pointed challenge culminates an inspiring TEDx Talk by Graphic Design alumnus Dan Goods, who works as a visual strategist (aka resident artist) at NASA’S Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena. Here’s how Goods answers his own question: “I’m creating experiences for people that give them a moment of awe and wonder about the universe we live in.”

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Street to Screen Car Classic 2014 is around the corner. Start revving your engines!

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

On Sunday, October 27 2013, Pasadena’s rustic hillside played temporary home to an array of fierce creatures nonnative to these bucolic climes. On Art Center’s lawn alone, there were reported sightings of Barracudas, Mako Sharks, Stingrays, Cobras, Beetles and a herd of Italian bulls of the Lamborghini variety.

Last year’s “Inspired by Nature” theme of Art Center’s annual classic car confab inspired the above video, directed by Graduate Film student Tatyana Kim. And we have little doubt that this year’s version of the event, “Street to Screen,” celebrating the automotive stars of screens big and small, will similarly gun engines, spark plugs, charge batteries and maybe even catalyze converters.

This year’s fleet of cinematic concept cars will include Batmobiles through the ages, Bumblebee from the franchise (directed by Art Center alum, Michael Bay) and Herbie the Love Bug, among many others. Festivities kick off on October 26th at 11 am at Art Center’s Hillside campus. Advance tickets and information can be found here.

For more than 10 years, Art Center’s Car Classic has examined automotive culture and vehicle architecture through the lens of design. More than just another high-profile car show, this popular public event celebrates the very best in automotive design, showcasing the College’s strong ties to industry and honoring many of our noteworthy alumni.

This year, transportation designers, car collectors, filmmakers and auto and lifestyle enthusiasts will converge at Art Center’s annual event to hear from and meet the people who design the vehicles that we love to see cruising Sunset Boulevard, coasting along scenic byways or roaring to life on the big screen. This daylong celebration will provide attendees an up-close-and-personal look at a carefully curated selection of innovative vehicles, rare automobiles and stunning concept cars.

For those who can’t attend, keep your eyes on this space for our own video tribute to the icons of LA’s two defining industries, each dedicated to stylishly transporting us into other realities, literally and figuratively.

Change/Makers video: Crossing borders and disciplines with Graphic Design and MDP alum Rebeca Méndez

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Rebeca Méndez holds Art Center degrees in two different disciplines, Graphic Design (BFA, ’84) and Media Design (MFA, ’97). Her life and work stand as a testament to defying the conventions of those fields by expanding the definition of what it means to be a working artist and designer. She has forged her own path through punishingly uncharted terrain that’s taken her to the arctic tundras of the earth’s poles, as well as many untamed territories.

For these reasons among many others, Méndez was chosen to be the subject of the latest installment in the Change/Makers series of video profiles, which explores the ideas and passions informing the creative practices of some of Art Center’s most innovative and inspiring alumni.

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Uses of mapping (and failure) in design: The Toyota Lecture Series hosts theorist Peter Hall at Art Center

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014
Peter Hall

Peter Hall

The second installment of Art Center’s Toyota Lecture Series delivers a distinctly a wide-angle perspective on the present and future state of design, tracking its evolving and expanding impact and application. Design writer and educator, Peter Hall will present a talk on Thursday, October 9 at the Los Angeles Times Media Center at 7:30 pm.

The uses of Failure. Mapping as a design process.” “Weapons of Mass Persuasion: Collaborative Planning with Loaded Tools and Wicked Problems.” “Disassembly & Immateriality: How We Make Stuff Disappear.” This is just a sampling of previous lectures by the relentlessly interesting, Dr. Peter Hall, a design writer and thought-leading authority on the manifold uses of design thinking. Hall is also the design department head at Griffith University Queensland College of Art, where his research focuses on mapping and visualization.

Hall has taught at the University of Texas at Austin and Yale School of Art. He co-edited with Jan Abrams the book, Else/Where: Mapping—New Cartographies of Networks and Territories and worked as a journalist for Metropolis and I.D. Magazine. He wrote and co-edited the books Tibor Kalman: Perverse Optimist and Sagmeister: Made You Look. In 2005 he co-founded DesignInquiry, a non-profit organization devoted to researching design issues.

MDP + UNICEF: make AND break designs empower Ugandan youth

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014
Peer-to-Peer Mentoring: VJs Shafic, Venas, and Bashir learn basic circuitry in a workshop facilitated by a peer mentor. Photo credit: Tina L. Zeng / 2014.

Peer-to-Peer Mentoring: VJs Shafic, Venas, and Bashir learn basic circuitry in a workshop facilitated by a peer mentor. Photo credit: Tina L. Zeng / 2014.

The following story, by Media Design Practices post-grad fellow, Tina L. Zeng, was originally published on UNICEF’S Stories of Innovation blog. The inspiring innovations reflected below are the result of the independent graduate work she began conducting in Kampala, Uganda in September 2013, supported by the UNICEF Innovation Lab.

What if technology was made to break?

What?

I recently wrote a post about a project that disrupts the current product-oriented mentality for designing technology for development. This project, weDub, is a set of platforms for youths in a slum area named Kamwokya in Kampala, Uganda to make, instead of consume, technology. weDub is a locally developed audio mixer and preamplifier that youths make to perform live improvisations of media content they reinterpret to an audience; this is locally known as VJing. I talk about the three key outcomes of the project here.

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Critical Faculties: Meet Art Center’s 2014 Faculty Enrichment Grant recipients

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014
"January, Julia F. Parker, Yosemite Visitors Center" Photo by Jonas Kulikauskas.

“January, Julia F. Parker, Yosemite Visitors Center”
Photo by Jonas Kulikauskas.

Providing a top notch education in art and design requires an intricate ecosystem comprised of state of the art facilities, a driven and talented student body and, perhaps most of all, a broad body of skilled faculty members committed to engaging students and their own creative and professional practices in equal measure.

It’s no accident that Art Center’s faculty is comprised of working artists and designers, many of whom are game changing iconoclasts and leading innovators in their fields. In addition to being steeped in the most up-to-date best practices in any given field, Art Center’s faculty members offer incentive to students to continue pursuing their creative dreams.

But maintaining dual careers requires a surplus of passion and resources, both temporal and financial. To that end, Art Center’s Faculty Council has has marshaled funds to help out with the latter in the form of its annual Faculty Enrichment Grant program, which distributes up to $40,000 to faculty members actively pursuing projects “related to creative or professional development.”

Last month, the Council announced the seven recipients of its 2014 Faculty Enrichment Grants. Each will receive an award of up to $5000 to support their work outside of the classroom. The Dotted Line reached out to each of the seven recipients to learn more about their award winning projects. Here’s what we learned:

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Ike Morgan’s portraits of cultural icons inaugurate Art Center’s newest exhibition space

Friday, September 5th, 2014
Ike Morgan's paintings are the first to grace the walls of South Campus' Hutto-Patterson Exhibition Hall

Ike Morgan’s paintings are the first to grace the walls of South Campus’ Hutto-Patterson Exhibition Hall

In 2014 Art Center College of Design opened a new home for two of its dynamic visual arts programs—Fine Art and Illustration—at the College’s South Campus in Pasadena. Renovation of the former post office was made possible in part due to the generosity of the Hutto-Patterson Charitable Foundation, providing a dramatic atrium space in the center of the building to showcase the work of Art Center students and visiting artists through a rotating series of exhibitions.

On Thursday, September 11, the Hutto-Patterson will unveil its inaugural show: California’s first solo exhibition of self-taught, Texas-based artist Ike Morgan, which will remain on view through December 5, 2014. “U.S. Presidents and the Mona Lisa” features 16 unframed paintings on paper and two larger works on canvas, reflecting Morgan’s enduring interest in making pictures of George Washington and Mona Lisa.

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