Archive for the ‘Diversity’ Category

Creative disruption: Image strategists on photography’s new frontier

Friday, April 4th, 2014
CicLAvia

Photographs by Annenberg Apprentice Dave Koga are part of Our Story, a digital visual narrative he curated in collaboration with CicLAvia.

“The advent of new technologies and a global population consumed by social media have turned photography on its head,” says Dennis Keeley, chair of Art Center’s Photography and Imaging Department. “The profession now demands a daunting versatility for survival—including skills in entrepreneurship, computational competency and critical thinking. Image-making now extends well beyond the traditionally constructed photograph to more immediate and interconnected processes. These contemporary practices and ideas utilize art, science and communications, and demand an intellectual flexibility, collaborative spirit, and a willingness to engage the world with strategy.”

To prepare photography students to meet the demands of this rapidly changing profession, Keeley and his colleagues developed a pilot class this Spring, Creative Disruption: Beyond the Classroom. Co-led by Everard Williams, Ann Cutting and Elisa Callow, the class embeds students in local nonprofits where they’re given a creative challenge and work in collaboration with the partner organization to tackle that challenge.

The class is part of an Art Center study, funded by a grant from the Annenberg Foundation, investigating and testing models for the future of photographic education.

Read on to learn about our first two Annenberg Apprentices, and their innovative work with two community-based organizations, CicLAvia and the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center.

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Art Center in the News: February-March 2014

Thursday, March 27th, 2014
Maggie Hendrie on the set of TakePart Live

Maggie Hendrie on the set of TakePart Live

Art Center students, faculty, staff and alumni have been making news while making their mark at on the art and design worlds. For those who may have missed a headline or two, we curated this handy highlight reel of our recent media clips:

Don’t miss two lengthy, live interview segments we arranged for Interaction Design Chair, Maggie Hendrie and ACCD student Alex Cabunoc on the new cable program TakePart Live—a show tailored to Millennials (age 18-34) that reaches 40 million-plus households through Participant Media’s Pivot TV network. (Participant Media is the award-winning, socially and politically progressive production company responsible for An Inconvenient TruthThe CoveLincoln, among other enlightening and edifying films and TV shows).

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Check out these new student videos from our stellar Myspace occupiers

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Roman Vargas, Photography and Imaging – second round from Art Center College of Design on Myspace.

Shortly after the Spring 2014 term passed its halfway point, our participating students (Myspacers?) produced a new set of videos tracking their progress on the path toward creative completion.

Starting a project is never easy. And finishing it is, arguably, even harder. But let’s not underestimate the challenges involved in persisting through the obstacle course of roadblocks artists often face once they’re deep enough into a project that starting over isn’t an option, and the finish line isn’t yet in sight.

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Alumni Spotlight: Erik Molano, social impact graphic designer

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

3 catalysts

Erik’s story originally appeared as part of Desigmatters’ Alumni Spotlight series. Find out more about Art Center’s social impact design department, Designmatters.

Throughout my education, I had always been fascinated by the power of graphic design. It’s everywhere. In books, freeway signs, software applications, automobile dashboards, cereal box packaging, architectural wayfinding, maps, and so much more. The thoughtfulness and intention that goes into the communication we consume daily is so ubiquitous we sometimes forget that it’s carefully crafted by a worldwide community of graphic designers. Since I had become a part of this community, I challenged myself to find a place within it; to discover my full potential.

I began to ask myself, ‘What’s the most impact I can have as a designer? Is there more to design than just laying out images and text in a beautiful way? How does our work impact culture?’ After a few years of soul-searching, I found my answer lying within the world of social innovation, with many thanks to the following three catalysts.

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We shall not see his like again: Remembering Photography alum Wayne F. Miller

Monday, February 17th, 2014

“We began as artist and dealer, but it developed into the most important personal relationship I made in my 16 years in the field,” says Chicago gallery director Paul Berlanga of his friend, Art Center alumnus Wayne Forest Miller (Photography ’41). They met in 2001, at an exhibition of Miller’s work at Northwestern University’s Mary and Leigh Block Gallery. “After a momentary glance at his work on the walls [the Bronzeville series], I knew the Stephen Daiter Gallery needed to represent this man.” Miller, a Chicago native, was 82 years old at the time, with a long and legendary career behind him — World War II photographer in Edward Steichen’s elite U.S. Navy Combat Photo Unit, member of Magnum Photos, and recipient of two consecutive Guggenheim Fellowships for his landmark project documenting the African American community on Chicago’s South Side in the late 1940s. Miller, who lived in the Bay Area with his wife of 70 years, passed away on May 22, 2013. Berlanga gave a eulogy at the California memorial service last fall, and now shares his memories of the photographer — “Wayne always preferred ‘working photographer’ to artist” — with Dotted Line.

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Reflecting on African American History Month’s many shades of meaning to students of art and design

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014
Illustration of Dominican fruit by Medar de la Cruz

Illustration of Dominican fruit by Medar de la Cruz

“One ever feels his two-ness,—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.” W.E.B.  Du Bois (1868-1963)

Before coming to Pasadena I rarely thought about how significant the color of my skin was to my everyday life. I was raised in a neighborhood in Miami, Florida where I was part of a majority consisting of residents who were either immigrants, multi-lingual or people of color.

Medar de la Cruz

Medar de la Cruz

But when I came to Art Center I realized I no longer fit in as easily. It was here that I was first asked: “Are you black?” This made me realize that race was going to make an impact on my experiences. It’s normal for people to be affected by stereotypes and visual representations. And it’s normal to make assumptions about someone by the color of their skin. So when I was asked this, I responded, “Yes…I mean I’m not white. My parents are Dominican, my ancestors are African, and I was born in America. So technically that makes me African American as well.” I learned that question alone helps me define who I am.

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Rock ‘n’ roll soldier conquers Art Center…and Hollywood

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014
Sam Gonzalez

Samuel Gonzalez Jr. Photo by Lindzee Meltzer.

“There is no true terror in the bang, only the anticipation of it.” — Alfred Hitchcock

Hitchcock’s wisdom provided the inspiration for the concept of “CATASTROPHE,” a month-long exhibition of elaborately staged, large-scale, dark-toned photos created by undergraduate Film alum Samuel Gonzalez Jr. opening today (Jan. 28) at the ArcLight Theaters in Hollywood.

The 30 photographs on display in the theater lobby through March 28 juxtapose surrealist images illustrating the turmoil of the human condition against period landscapes, all the while alluding to humanity’s relationship to the artificiality of a heightened cinematic experience. The psychological narrative animating the photos informs the show’s subtextual ideas about the collision between film and reality. Gonzalez’ eerie pieces blend beauty with horror, love with betrayal and truth with despair, suggesting an open world of endless interpretations and possibilities.

Gonzalez has gained an intimate understanding of this particular confluence of ideas, after spending much of his life creatively interpreting the world around him to create new opportunities for himself. As a young Army recruit stationed in Iraq, Gonzalez’ deployed a creative outlet to offset the stress of combat by starting a rock band called Madison Avenue (after the ironically named path on which his barracks were built). That experience paved the way (financially) for him to attend Art Center’s film department and has since provided the inspiration for the mini-series he’s currently developing with one of Hollywood’s most powerful producers.

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Clothing that bites back and bridges the gender gap in Uganda

Monday, January 20th, 2014
MDP student Barb Natali designed these  "barbed-shorts" to provoke dialogue about gender-relations in Uganda

MDP Student Barb Natali designed these “barbed-shorts” to provoke dialogue about gender relations in Uganda

Last fall I spent six weeks in Uganda as part of the Media Design Practices program. While there, a few classmates and I attended a crowded performance and had multiple, local men inappropriately grab us as we attempted to navigate the throng. I caught one teen in the act and yelled at him. He grinned at me during the tirade, but was for the most part unfazed.

A few days later when the anger subsided, I reflected on the experience. The incident had provoked questions about the interactions and power dynamics between men and women in Uganda. In order to develop an understanding of these aspects of the society I decided to create a series of designs to facilitate conversations about Ugandan experiences, reactions, and negotiations of the dynamics between men and women, specifically in regard to sexual harassment and inequality.

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MLK Day: For Photo alum Van Evers—son of civil rights leader Medgar Evers—giving a photograph is as rewarding as taking one

Friday, January 17th, 2014
civil-rights-sisters

Dr. Betty Shabazz (educator and widow of Malcolm X), Coretta Scott King (activist and widow of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.) and Van Evers’ mother, Myrlie Evers-Williams.

Though he rarely grants interviews, this week Van Evers agreed to talk with Dotted Line about his education and career, and also about his family legacy—an important part of our nation’s history as well as his own.

Los Angeles is not merely the backdrop for an Art Center education. It’s a living laboratory for artistic experimentation and, as the capital of an Industry so pervasive it needs no other name, a source of gainful employment.

Photography alumnus James Van Dyke Evers (who goes by “Van”) has an especially coveted gig in entertainment as the official photographer for the L.A.-based Tavis Smiley show on PBS. Over the past six years he has photographed hundreds of A-list guests on the nightly talk show, a who’s who of contemporary culture and politics, from Prince to Anthony Hopkins, from James Taylor to President Barack Obama.

“My job is to capture that special energy between two people,” says Van, who may be unique in the fast-paced world of TV talk shows for making sure every guest leaves with a framed print commemorating their appearance on the show. It entails working with lightning speed and decisiveness, and often literally running to catch guests as they step into their waiting limos.

“Most shows deliver digital images to the publicist later, and we do that too,” he says. “But handing the guest a physical print, to hold in their hands—it means so much to that guest, and it puts a smile on their face.”

That grateful smile is what made Van choose a career in photography.

Van picked up his first camera as a nine-year-old at summer camp and made his first prints in an old shed. “Light leaked everywhere, it was a real mess, but when I saw that print come up in the developing tray, that was it.”

Art Center’s top-tier facilities and dedicated faculty helped Van hone his craft, teaching him professional skills and life lessons that continue to serve him. Looking back he singles out instructors like Charlie Potts and Peter Suszynski and fellow students like Everard Williams and Jeff Sedlick (who both now serve on the faculty), and Neal Brown and Sean Thonson. And he gladly shares his own “must do”s for aspiring photographers: “Be on time. Listen to the client’s needs. And prep, prep, prep! Have a backup plan. Because things can and will go wrong. If you don’t get the shot right away, it’s over. You don’t get a second chance.”

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Party school? Maybe not. But ACCD has “interesting” in the bag.

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

meme accd

Art Center may not be the most socially vibrant college environment. And the school’s notorious make-or-die work ethic can make for a very sleep-deprived (sometimes hygenically challenged) student population. But ACCD and its students are nothing if not interesting.

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