Author Archive

Los Angeles Times praises Art Center’s “smart growth” to meet increased demand for fresh design talent

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014
The newly purchased Mullin Building, at 1111 Arroyo Parkway

The newly purchased Mullin Building, at 1111 Arroyo Parkway

We’ve been talking with Los Angeles Times’ higher education reporter Larry Gordon for a few weeks  about businesses aiming to sharpen their competitive edge by hiring top design talent. Gordon was intrigued by the notion that corporate leaders have realized market domination in the new innovation economy requires a brain trust of superior design thinkers. Savvy consumers have become more and more discriminating in their choices when purchasing everything from smart phones to urban mobility devices.

Art Center’s record enrollment growth since 2009 is a clear signal of the global increase in demand for innovative design education. The booming interest in design also illustrates corporations’ recognition of the expanding importance of the creative professions to a healthy global business climate. And this increasingly design-centric paradigm is exemplified by Art Center’s continued physical expansion, with the completion of the new HQ for the Fine Art and Illustration Departments at 870 Raymond and the announcement of the purchase of the Mullin Building at 1111 Arroyo Parkway.

Read on to see what Gordon discovered in his conversations with Art Center students and faculty about how the recently opened “Post Office Building” is meeting their needs for light-filled visual art making spaces, and what President Lorne Buchman had to say about the College’s latest acquisition along Pasadena’s “Innovation Corridor.”

Tequila Avión’s $10,000 video competition challenges Art Center students to induce thirst

Thursday, June 19th, 2014
Image from video by finalist, Tatyana Kim

Image from video by finalist, Tatyana Kim

Tequila Avión, in collaboration with the Film Department at Art Center College of Design, has challenged students to create a commercial or viral video for a chance to win a $10,000 grand prize. Through this partnership with one of the world’s premiere design schools, Tequila Avión encourages fans to tune in to the Tequila Avión YouTube Channel to vote for their favorite video. In mid-July, Tequila Avión will announce both the winning viral video and winning commercial, rewarding each with $10,000.

To kick-off the competition, Ken Austin, Founder and Chairman of Tequila Avión, visited Art Center College of Design to share the Avión story.  Film and Advertising students were challenged to create a commercial video or viral video inspired by the “World’s Best Tasting Tequila.” Entries were narrowed down to compete for the $10,000 grand prize in each category.

(more…)

Grand Theft Auto: RISE places Film grad in the driver’s seat of a Jaguar spot

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Grand Theft Auto: RISE – Live Action Short Film from Gevorg Karensky on Vimeo.

A lifelong fan of cars and games, Gevorg Karensky has fashioned a filmmaking career that brilliantly blends both passions. Born in Russia, he emigrated to the United States in 2002 at the age of 14. For his undergrad Transportation Design thesis at Art Center, the aspiring-surgeon-turned-filmmaker collaborated with Film classmate Cathy Peng (BFA 10) on the game and live action hybrid Grand Theft Auto: RISE.

It became an immediate viral sensation, generating more than 13 million YouTube views and earning Karensky a spot in Saatchi & Saatchi’s New Directors Showcase at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. Critics praised his raw talent. “[It] blows every other fan-made project I’ve ever laid eyes on completely out of the water” (Sam Gibbs, Gizmodo UK).

Karensky recently wrapped A New Dawn, a launch film for the Jaguar F-TYPE R luxury sports car, which bears his filmic signature that at times blurs the lines between the real and the virtual.

“Art Center opened the doors for me to start creating my very first projects and to experiment,” he says. “It was my home and I was there every single day from morning to night. [It] also gave me a great platform for entry into the real world.”

__

This story originally appeared in Art Center’s Spring 2014 Dot magazine, where you can read more about alumni and faculty achievements.

Art Center arrives in force at New York Design Week 2014

Thursday, May 15th, 2014


With New York Design Week in full swing, the city is teeming with design lovers and luminaries seeking a competitive edge on leading talent and trends. Art Center is featured at two major events: the high-profile International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) and WantedDesign. Attracting nearly 30,000 tastemakers in the worlds of interior design, architecture, retail, manufacturing, distribution and developers, ICFF is considered North America’s premiere showcase for contemporary design.

(more…)

Film alum’s Mother’s Day commercial, a finalist in Chevy competition, set to debut Sunday

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Jake Viramontez was busy making documentaries until a contest announcement, sponsored by Chevrolet, calling for spec commercials tying family cars to Mother’s Day inspired him to expand his portfolio into a genre best described as doc-style promotion (aka the heartwarming, triple-hanky TV spot).

He quickly settled on a concept — a dad takes his crying baby out for a joyride in the family Chevy to give mom a moment to rest — derived from his sister’s bout with new-parent fatigue. He then submitted the idea and was picked as a finalist among nearly 300 entries from 34 countries. Now Viramontez’s spot, ‘The Extra Mile,’ will air on Mother’s Day during The Today Show and Good Morning America. “We chose ‘The Extra Mile’ because it’s a beautiful tribute to what Mother’s Day is all about: a day to honor mothers and show appreciation for all of the special things they do every day,” said Paul Edwards, vice president, Chevrolet Marketing at General Motors.

(more…)

New librarian Mario Ascencio disrupts the bookish stereotype

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

 

Mario Ascencio named new librarian. Photo by Jason Hornick

New college librarian Mario Ascencio. Photo by Jason Hornick

As a first-generation library user (and son of immigrant parents from El Salvador) Mario Ascencio possesses an evangelical zeal for his work. A native Angeleno who grew up in South L.A.’s Huntington Park, Ascencio has become a fierce advocate for the equity of information for all. And as of Monday, May 12, 2014, the dedicated, nationally recognized leader will apply his passion for information science to Art Center’s James Lemont Fogg Memorial Library, where he was recently named librarian and managing director.

“I’m excited to return to my native city of Los Angeles,” he said, adding that he always insisted that he would only return to his hometown if the ideal position was offered by the ideal organization. “After almost 15 years living in D.C., I’m thrilled to join Art Center because of its mission, ‘Learn to Create, Influence Change.’ It’s at the core of my personal beliefs that the library and the staff have the power to help students explore and discover themselves as artists and designers, and to ultimately create a positive impact on their learning.”

Ascencio is keenly aware of the important big-picture issues faced by institutions and the role of the library in supporting overall goals and objectives. Looking ahead as the College continues its South Campus expansion close to downtown Pasadena, Ascencio envisions engaging with his colleagues to discover new opportunities to better serve the Art Center community.

Ascencio’s defining library moment occurred at age 17, when he helped an illiterate woman get her first library card. This empowering experience helped him realize how libraries can impact people’s everyday lives, particularly when it comes to the disadvantaged. A leader in promoting library services to Latinos and Spanish-speakers, he was named a Mover & Shaker by Library Journal in recognition of his commitment to improving and promoting library services at the national and international level.

Spring 2014 Grad Show: Making the world a better place, by design

Monday, April 21st, 2014

Like a field of tulips bursting with color, spring has sprung at Art Center in the form of last weekend’s Grad Show. With an eye-popping array of stunning creations and innovation, works from this term’s wildly talented cohort of graduating students exploded through the hallways and galleries of Hillside and South Campus. Potential employers, curious visitors, beaming family members and excited (yet relieved) friends fawned over the fruits of many years of work and sacrifice grads invested in joining the coveted club of Art Center alumni.

Dazzled as I was by the work, I was able to meet up with a few students. And the following survey offers but a small sample of the artists and designers who stood out for various reasons.

(more…)

Captain America soars at the box office, thanks in part to Tim Flattery’s Helicarrier and Quinjet designs

Monday, April 7th, 2014
Tim Flattery Captain America 6 of 7

Art by Tim Flattery for “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”

Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier flexed and flaunted its superpowers at the box office during its opening weekend, earning more than $300 million worldwide. With those kind of numbers, it clearly wasn’t just fanboys (and girls) vying for an early glimpse at Hollywood’s latest super-sized comic book adaptation.

This widespread embrace was particularly gratifying to Art Center Entertainment Design Chair (and resident alpha fan), Tim Flattery, who collaborated with production designer Peter Wenham on designs for the movie’s spectacular Helicarrier (yes, an airborne aircraft carrier) and the Quinjet. “I love working on comic book movies,” Flattery said.  “I’ve always been a fan and read comics as a kid.” (more…)

Hollywood heavyweights duke it out over student talent at Entertainment Design intern show

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Early on Sunday morning, the hallways of Art Center were magically transformed into a winding gallery of installations created by sleep-deprived Entertainment Design students. The 49 nervous conceptual artists prepared to show their work to top industry employers shopping for talent to hire as summer interns.

Covering the walls and table tops were prints and displays ranging from environments, architecture and characters, to vehicles and props. The impressive displays all stem from the fertile imagination of students who will go on to create visuals we see in films, video games, animation commercials, TV shows and theme parks.

(more…)

Community celebrates new studio spaces, student artists love stronger connection to each other

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Ranee Henderson’s life has changed dramatically since the opening of Art Center’s new 870 Building. Since she doesn’t own a car, the 7th-term Illustration major and Fine Arts minor typically lugged a heavy backpack plus a carry-on bag stuffed with supplies, all while juggling a large canvas, every day on the bus ride from her home in Eagle Rock to Pasadena–where she then boarded the campus shuttle to reach her Hillside destination.

Carrying around all that extra weight is now a thing of the past. Today, Henderson–along with her art supplies–happily occupies one of 47 individual studio spaces in the newest addition to the College’s expanding South campus.

(more…)