Author Archive

History in a box: Unpacking Art Center’s industrial design photography collections for the world

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Over 100,000 photographs, 2,000 films and videos and 500 linear feet of print materials—all documenting aspects of American design history—make the Art Center Archives a treasure trove for exploration by scholars, faculty, students and the general public. But making those materials accessible to a world beyond campus raises challenging questions: Who decides what to preserve first? Once digitized, where should a collection live online? How does one prepare for inevitable changes in technology?

To begin tackling questions like these—and to start the process of bringing the Art Center Archives to the world—the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2013 awarded the College a prestigious grant to launch a pilot project to digitize, preserve and make accessible a portion of Art Center’s industrial design collection. As the project wraps up one year later, Bob Dirig shares his thoughts about collaboration, unexpected outcomes and the future of the College as a locus of art and design scholarship.

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Art Center Students First: Faculty and staff come together to support scholarships

Thursday, September 11th, 2014
Fine Art faculty member, Tom Knechtel

Fine Art faculty member, Tom Knechtel

When Fine Art faculty member Tom Knechtel and director of real estate and campus planning Rollin Homer were asked to sign a faculty and staff appeal for Art Center’s Annual Fund this past spring, they came up with a better idea: create a scholarship fund for Art Center students that would last forever.

Their idea become the Art Center Students First Scholarship, the College’s first-ever scholarship endowment supported entirely by College faculty and staff. The goal is to bring the fund up to the endowment level of $50,000 so that it can continue provide support for students every year—for as long as Art Center is around.

Our brief chat with Tom sheds some light on the impact that scholarships like Art Center Students First can have on young artists and designers and on the College.

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Donghia scholarship winners draw inspiration from nature, food, and love

Thursday, August 28th, 2014
Austin Yang's Green Chair won the Editor's Award for seating at ICFF 2014

Austin Yang’s Green Chair won the Editor’s Award for seating at ICFF 2014

Good design has its rewards. In the case of Environmental Design students Haidy Gong and Austin Yang, reward comes in the form of $30,000 in scholarship support from the Angelo Donghia Foundation. Gong and Yang are among only 12 winners of the 2014 Student Scholarship Program in Interior Design, which gives awards to rising college seniors pursuing bachelor degrees. We checked in with the winners to get their reaction to the scholarship and to find out what makes for an award-winning design.

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Illustration alumnus creates scholarship to give students foundational skills

Thursday, August 21st, 2014
Watercolor by Illustration alumnus, Frank Lanza

Watercolor by Illustration alumnus, Frank Lanza

Frank L. Lanza (BFA ’57 Illustration) has had his finger on the pulse of advertising illustration for nearly 60 years. Working almost exclusively as a freelancer, he survived the new dominance of photography in print in the 1960s, experienced the pungent impact of the Magic Marker on storyboarding, and witnessed the revolutionary impact of computers on layout and design. His wide-ranging career has included packaging design for Crown Zellerbach and book illustration for Sunset Magazine and the first Del Monte Kitchens Cook Book. He also storyboarded for commercials and TV shows.

Frank Lanza

Frank Lanza

Lanza credits the solid fundamental toolkit he acquired at Art Center with laying the groundwork for his creative versatility and professional durability. “I was able to last as a freelancer thanks to the strong foundation of drawing skills I received at Art Center,” he says. He now hopes to return the favor to future artists with a gift of $1 million to the College to establish the Frank L. Lanza Scholarship Endowment, providing them the same lifelong artistic foundation. The endowment supports students of exceptional talent in the Illustration and Fine Art departments.

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Talk to the brand: A scholarship recipient says goodbye to Brandcamp

Friday, August 15th, 2014
Sidney Li presents at Brandcamp

Sidney Li presents at Brandcamp

Art Center interviewed a young designer transitioning from high school to college before, during, and after attending a Summer Intensive at Art Center’s Saturday High. This interview is the third and final posting in this series.

For four weeks in July, soon-to-be Art Center undergrad Sydney Li has been swimming in the creative waters of Brandcamp, Saturday High’s Summer Intensive focusing on Advertising and Graphic Design. She was able to attend without financial concern thanks to scholarship support from the Richard and Jean Coyne Family Foundation.

We caught up with her one last time at the end of Brandcamp, just as she was coming up for air.

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I’m with the brand: A scholarship recipient reaches Brandcamp’s high intensity half-way point

Thursday, July 24th, 2014
Brandcamp branding copy

Brandcamp branding copy

Going from high school to Art Center’s highly intense undergraduate degree program can be a challenge for even the most ambitious student. Recent high school graduate Sydney Li is bridging that transition by participating in Brandcamp, Saturday High’s four-week Summer Intensive focusing on Advertising and Graphic Design.

Thanks to scholarship support from the Richard and Jean Coyne Family Foundation, Sydney is able to pursue her classes without financial concern. She agreed to check in with us before, during and after Brandcamp to share her experience. This is our second conversation with her.

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Brand and deliver: A scholarship recipient’s takeaways from Brandcamp

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Saturday High’s four-week Summer Intensives are known for their, well, intensity. The rigorous, four-week programs immerse students in studio classes and lectures on disciplines like Industrial Design, Entertainment Design, Advertising and Graphic Design, ending with a final exhibition of student work.

Recent high school graduate Sydney Li is one of a handful of students to receive a full scholarship to attend Brandcamp, Saturday High’s Intensive focusing on Advertising and Graphic Design beginning July 7. We asked Sydney to share her experiences before, during and after Brandcamp to get her impressions of the experience.

Here is the first of three conversations with Sydney:

Art Center:  Congratulations on Brandcamp and on your scholarship, which was created by through support from the Richard and Jean Coyne Family Foundation. Will this be your first Saturday High experience?

Sydney Li: I’ve taken Saturday High classes in Graphic Design and Advertising, as well as Design 360, which looks at different design majors. Brandcamp will be my first Summer Intensive.

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Donor scholarship enables South African student to realize her artistic dreams

Thursday, February 6th, 2014
Therese Swanepoel's final envisions a electrifying vision of Coachella

Therese Swanepoel’s final envisioned a electrifying vision of Coachella

Therese Swanepoel understands better than most people how a scholarship can change a life. The second-term Environmental Design major was on the brink of dropping out of Art Center due to unexpected financial hardship when she learned that she had been selected as the first recipient of the Joseph and Rebecca Lacko Annual Scholarship.

She was visiting her parents in her home country of South Africa when she got the news via email.  “I simply started crying,” Swanepoel recalls. “My family assumed something bad had happened and soon found out that my tears were tears of joy.”

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Art Center friends and alums get creative with gifts-in-kind

Thursday, January 9th, 2014
Monotype's donation of fonts expands student designers' toolbox

Monotype’s donation of fonts expands student designers’ toolbox

Not every act of philanthropy to Art Center involves writing a check. It should come as no surprise that friends and alumni of this artistic mecca are naturally predisposed to get creative with their giving. Sometimes gifts come in the form of goods and services. Computer software, fonts and even lighting are some of the in-kind commitments made to the College that are powerfully shaping the Art Center experience.

A recent sizeable gift of 3D design software and training services from Autodesk is providing Art Center students with hands-on experience using the same technology preferred by professionals in industry. The software is currently installed on Art Center’s 500 Macintosh and Windows personal computers and accessible to all undergraduate and graduate students. The donation benefits designers in every program, particularly those in the departments of Environmental Design, Film, Product Design and Transportation Design.

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Veterans enlist at Art Center to influence hearts and minds through art and design

Friday, November 8th, 2013

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Art Center’s reputation, culture and even the school’s site in Pasadena have been shaped by the military veterans who have come through its doors. From the post-World War II student population burst, sparked by the GI Bill, that led the College to move from its Seventh Street location to the larger Third Street campus, to many notable alumni and faculty, Art Center’s history has been enriched by individuals who honorably served their country.

Today, servicemen and servicewomen—whose discipline and desire to make a positive impact align closely with the College’s educational mission—continue to distinguish themselves as students and alumni.

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