A mutual interest in installation art brought photographer Evelena Ruether and painter William Kaminski together as friends and sometime collaborators in Art Center’s Fine Art program. After graduating in 2009, and sharing a desire to maintain the strong community of fellow artists they had bonded with at Art Center, the pair co-founded Control Room, an independent artist-run space that facilitated artist projects and group exhibitions in industrial downtown Los Angeles. Ruether and Kaminski went on to graduate school while pursuing their own work and curating Control Room shows. The space was active for four years, attracting mid-career artists and ushering in a nascent arts district in the area.
Fine Art alumni Evelena Ruether and William Kaminski on curating, creating and releasing Control RoomMonday, July 28th, 2014
As a visual interaction designer with Google Creative Lab, 2012 Graphic Design alum Daniel C. Young can’t talk about the specifics of his confidential work. Rather he describes it in general terms, as “product vision, a kind of subfield within both visual design and interaction design. We design interfaces for a vision of what, for example, Google might do five years from now. It’s somewhere between a real product, real digital product design and science fiction.”
Soon after graduating and completing an additional Art Center Honors Term, Young landed his new job with remarkable speed. This self-described simplicity evangelist found his calling. “Let’s just say it this way: I feel like I’m impacting the actual direction of where everyday computing might happen and how to make technology less annoying and more kind of delightful and fun and playful.”
As soon as Kevin Bethune earned his master’s degree in Art Center’s Industrial Design program in 2012, he joined colleagues in establishing a digital innovation boutique to help Fortune 500 clients in health care, retail, consumer products and other industries “figure out how to incubate new ventures within their large corporations,” Bethune said. In early 2014, Bethune and his team relaunched as BCG Digital Ventures inside The Boston Consulting Group.
The new company’s stated mission: to establish “strategic partnerships with the world’s leading companies to create disruptive digital platforms” through “digital innovation, product development and commercialization.”
Edmund Liang is a multidisciplinary artist specializing in transmedia narratives and multi-sensory spatial experiences. Last fall, Liang was named one of Complex Art+Design’s 25 People Shaping the Future of Design and his projects—video games, interactive media, film and animation, motion graphics, photography—are as eclectic as his client list, which includes the Famous Group, Jim Henson Company, Dreamworks, Psyop, Imaginary Forces and Logan.tv.
A self-described “provocateur” in his field, Liang was once an “art kid” in high school who had no idea that there was a world of design. “I didn’t know that the keyboard in front of me was designed,” he recalled. “I didn’t know that the video games I was playing had people behind them.”
By the time it came time to consider colleges, Liang was first attracted to Art Center’s Illustration program and touring the campus prior to enrolling, he said, “I got the impression that it was a very rigorous and serious school. That’s what I wanted.”
Taylor Peden and Jen Munkvold met as Photography and Imaging students at Art Center, fell in love and in 2006 teamed up creatively as Peden + Munk. This inspired partnership now counts among its credits photo essay-style editorial and commercial work — including covers — for Bon Appétit, Sunset Magazine, Glamour, GQ, Food and Wine, The New York Times Magazine, Langham Hotels, William Sonoma and Crate & Barrel and other major companies and magazines, chefs, restaurants and hotels.
Just in time for summer, the pair’s trademark color-saturated, sumptuous food photography can also be seen in The Grilling Book: The Definitive Guide from Bon Appétit; Sweet, by Los Angeles-based baker Valerie Gordon; and A New Napa Cuisine, Peden + Munk’s most recent collaboration with three-star Michelin chef Christopher Kostow, is forthcoming in October from Ten Speed Press. They also recently launched their motion work with this piece for Bon Appétit, profiling Martha’s Vineyard restaurateur, Chris Fisher.
One of the first students to enroll in the Furniture and Fixtures track of Art Center’s Graduate Environmental Design program when it launched, Hines Fischer specializes in “people-centric” furniture design for office spaces. He is among a select group of students to represent the College at both the 2013 and 2014 International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) during New York Design Week.
Last year, he says, “it was really nice to get the chance to go to a show like this before I had jobs on the line, so that I could kind of take in the landscape. I took a lot of notes and met a lot of famous designers, which was an incredible experience.” Fischer also reconnected there with people he had met while interning at a furniture company prior to coming to Art Center. “I reminded them that I would be graduating soon.”