Archive for the ‘Alumni Relations’ Category

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.

Batmobile from 1997 Batman and Robin film, designed by Harald Belker

Batmobile from 1997 Batman and Robin film, designed by Harald Belker

With all of Art Center’s ties to the Batman franchise, it might not surprise you if we were harboring our own Batcave on campus. Rumor has it that there was a tunnel running from Caltech to the basement of South Campus’ 950 building when it was originally operated as the Southern California Cooperative Wind Tunnel. Could this be the entrance to the Batcave? Are there really more than three basement levels at 950? Could Bruce Wayne have lived in Pasadena? It would be nice if we could tune in to the Bat-channel for answers.

Perhaps some clues lie within the Batmobiles that will be on the field this Sunday. The Ford Motor Company concept car that was purchased for one dollar and turned into the Batmobile seen in the 1996 Batman TV series by George Barris will be on display, thanks to the designer himself, who will also be in attendance at the event. You can also see the original 1963 Batmobile Tour Car, which was used by DC Comics Licensee All Star Dairies to promote their Batman-themed ice creams and drinks. And we will of course have Tim Flattery’s Batman Forever and Harald Belker’s Batman and Robin Batmobiles as well.

Batman Forever Batmobile designed by Tim Flattery

Batman Forever Batmobile designed by Tim Flattery

The show will feature a number of other car stars including Herbie from The Love Bug and the Bumblebee Camaro from Transformers: Age of Extinction (directed by alumnus Michael Bay, BFA Film 88). There will also be vehicles from The Thomas Crown Affair, The Dukes of Hazzard, The Addams Family, Singin’ in the Rain and The Italian Job.

In addition to all the star cars, the afternoon will feature panel discussions with street and screen luminaries including Pixar StudiosCars Legacy Guardian, Jay Ward; alumnus Chip Foose (BS Transportation Design 90); alumnus Syd Mead (BS Transportation Design 1959), the legendary visual futurist responsible for designs for science-fiction films such as Blade Runner, Aliens and Tron; Daniel Simon, the designer behind Tron: Legacy and Captain America: The Winter Soldier; as well as the legendary George Barris.

Word has it there will also be full-sized Hot Wheels! For more information and to purchase tickets, see artcenter.edu/carclassic.

Alum Loris Lora’s debut book offers contemporary twist on California Modernism

Monday, October 20th, 2014

This month, hip British publisher, Nobrow, releases Eventually Everything Connects, a book by recent Art Center Illustration alumna Loris Lora exploring the artist’s insight into the Californian modernist movement.  If this book, which makes its U.S. debut in March, is anything like previous Nobrow works, it’ll be a far cry from your typical tome, more closely resembling an objet d’art.

The project began during the Illustration department’s recent Ancient/Modern study abroad class in London, taught by Paul Rogers, Clive Piercy and Ann Field, department chair. Students were assigned to create a piece related to California Modernism and then present their ideas to representatives from London’s professional community.

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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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Capturing Art Center in close-up: Viewbook photographer, alumna Stella Kalinina

Monday, October 13th, 2014
Viewbook photographer Stella Kalinina (BFA 13) with the finished product in hand. (Photo by Chuck Spangler)

Viewbook photographer Stella Kalinina (BFA 13) with the finished product in hand. (Photo by Chuck Spangler)

Remember when you were shopping around for college? You were likely deluged with thick catalogs and eye-catching viewbooks sent by institutions vying for your attention. Even in the internet era, the printed viewbook remains a vital tool for communicating a school’s value proposition to prospective students—especially when it comes to art and design schools.

Art Center’s 2015–2016 Viewbook, showcasing student work in 11 undergraduate and six graduate degree programs, was published in September, both in print and online. Content and design for the biennial publication are developed by a core team of Marketing and Communications staff members, in collaboration with Kit Baron, senior vice president, Admissions and Enrollment Management, and the College’s Provost Fred Fehlau.

High-quality visuals are key to the Viewbook, which this year features contributions from photographer Stella Kalinina (BFA 13), commissioned to capture student life on campus and in classrooms. It was a large and complex project, one that Stella was well prepared for as a recent graduate of the College’s Photography and Imaging program, with its emphasis on technical and professional skills along with creative expression. (more…)

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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Rhapsody in goop: Graduate Art alumnus Michael Zahn’s Madita pays tribute to his muse

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014
Video projection still from Graduate Art alumnus Michael Zahn's (MFA 14) thesis show Madita.

Video projection still from Graduate Art alumnus Michael Zahn’s (MFA 14) thesis show Madita.

Every artist has a muse: F. Scott Fitzgerald had Zelda; Coco Chanel had Etienne Balsan; and John Waters had…Divine.

For a more contemporary example, look no further than the cover of Art Center’s recently published Graduate Studies Viewbook. It’s there, underneath the diecut lettering, where you’ll find an image of a bright green alginate cast of a human hand.

That hand belongs to, and was one element of, Graduate Art alumnus Michael Zahn’s (MFA 14) thesis show Madita, which was inspired by someone he met as a foreign exchange student at Kunsthochschule Weissensee in Berlin.

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As seen in Star Wars Rebels, the Force is still strong with alumnus Ralph McQuarrie

Monday, October 6th, 2014
Star Wars Rebels crew from  L to R: Sabine, Chopper, Kanan, Ezra, Zeb, Hera

The Star Wars Rebels crew from L to R: Sabine, Chopper, Kanan, Ezra, Zeb and Hera (Disney XD)

As the concept artist for the original Star Wars trilogy, Illustration alumnus Ralph McQuarrie (BFA 56) was instrumental in the creation of those films’ fantastical characters and settings. In fact, the late McQuarrie’s pre-production paintings he created in 1975—including depictions of the villainous Darth Vader, the Millennium Falcon starship and the Death Star space station—were instrumental in convincing 20th Century Fox to fund the first film.

“He was one of the main godfathers of concept design,” says Tim Flattery, chair of Art Center’s Entertainment Design Department of McQuarrie. “His groundbreaking work on Star Wars catapulted visual storytelling to a new level and will continue to inspire concept artists for generations to come.” (more…)

Art Center alumni notes: August and September 2014

Friday, October 3rd, 2014
Doug Aitken: Still Life Regen Projects, Los Angeles

Doug Aitken: Still Life
Regen Projects, Los Angeles

Art Center’s enterprising diaspora has been making a creative impact far and wide during August and September. Here’s a primer of the past two months’ worth of alumni accolades and accomplishments.

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Science and Art collide in the REALSPACE exhibition at Art Center’s Williamson Gallery

Thursday, September 25th, 2014
Dan Goods andDavid Delgado Refraction, 2014 Theater light, water, custom electronics 19 x 25 ft., dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artists.

Dan Goods and David Delgado; Refraction, 2014; Theater light, water, custom electronics; Courtesy of the artists.

The painter Willem de Kooning once said that the idea of space “is given to the artist to change if he can.” And of the real, Robert Rauschenberg opined that a painting “is more like the real world if it’s made out of the real world.” Space in painting is measured on a scale that begins with deep illusion depicting what appears beyond the window of the canvas, and moves successively forward to tangible real tactility in front of the canvas.

Where an artist chooses to work on that illusion-to-reality scale can have meaning in and of itself. And the modern history of those choices can be viewed as a kind of archeology of existential change. The exhibition REALSPACE, opening October 4 at Art Center College of Design’s Williamson Gallery, is meant to reflect on how science intersects with that history. Poeticized by artists and studied by scientists throughout human history, the intractable reality of the natural world is examined by contemporary art and artifacts included in REALSPACE.

REALSPACE will be installed in the Williamson Gallery October 4, 2014 through January 18, 2015. The public is invited to an opening reception on Friday, October 3, from 7 to 10pm. Artists in the exhibition include Adam W. Brown and Robert Root-Bernstein, James Griffith, Dan Goods, David Delgado, Santiago Lombeyda, Rebeca Méndez and Jennifer Steinkamp. Artifacts and writings by James Ferguson (1710-1776), William Herschel (1738-1822), and Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), on loan from The Huntington Library, are also featured in the exhibition that combines works from contemporary art and science.  At its opening, the exhibition will be accompanied by a 20-page free booklet and, eventually, a 40-page catalog.

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MDP + UNICEF partnership honored with Core 77 Design Award

Friday, September 19th, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 9.53.51 AM

This Fall, UNICEF’s Innovation Lab in Kampala, Uganda, will embark upon its third year working with graduate students and faculty from Media Design Practices (MDP) at Art Center College of Design. The partnership is integrated into the design program’s unique curriculum, which recently received the prestigious 2014 Core 77 Design Award.

Student work with Ugandan youth was a significant factor in Core 77’s decision to recognize MDP with this honor. Students’ first-hand experience designing technology in a developing world context contributed to what the jury recognized as “…the kind of pure research in education that we believe is the future of education—through [a curriculum] that is not removed from the world because of the way that [it is] embedded in the world.”

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