Category Archives: Faculty

Faculty Council announces Spring Teaching Advancement Awards

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On Friday, March 17, the Faculty Council announced the 2017 Spring Teaching Advancement Award recipients. Teaching Advancement Awards offer faculty the opportunity to receive up to $1,000 to support a range of activities that enhance their knowledge as an educator and benefit students in classrooms and studios. A total of $3,000 is available to be disbursed each term to successful applicants for research, conferences, workshops, exhibitions and related travel expenses that are not covered by departmental classroom support.

The Spring 2017 recipients are:

Faculty Council will be accepting applications for Summer 2017 TAA grants early in the Summer Term. All faculty are encouraged to apply. Please contact facultycouncil@artcenter.edu for more information.

Dialogue on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Arch motorcycles presentation for students of trans dept.

The student dining room was full, the discussion was intense and emotions ran high at the Dialogue on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Monday, February 20. A panel moderated by Humanities and Sciences Department Chair Jane McFadden and consisting of former Diversity Council Co-Chair and Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Title IX Coordinator Lydia Thompson; Illustration student and founder of WOKE, a student organization that seeks to provide, “a safe and open forum to create and grow from a dialogue about social issues and to spread awareness,” Kayla Salisbury; Product Design faculty and Faculty Council Co-Chair Pascal Wawoe; and Staff Council Co-Chair and Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Jered Gold, spoke about the College’s challenges and resources, fielded some tough questions and listened to valid concerns from the audience.

President Lorne Buchman made brief introductory remarks, noting how important this discussion is at this time, given the context of what is happening in the world and in the country. He said that we need to answer some important questions: “Who are we as a community? How do we interact with each other? How do we deal with each other in moments of disagreement? How do we learn to listen to other’s pain?”

He reiterated that, “taking action is essential. None of us should be satisfied if this is merely a talk. This is a time when we need to take action,” and concluded his remarks with an introspective reflection of the issues he is consumed with and the places he goes for guidance and inspiration.

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Fine Art Faculty Nicola Vruwink is on a mission to help other creatives

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Fine Art faculty member Nicola Vruwink, whose ArtCenter career started in the Admissions Department, is passionate about creating and mentoring—teaching a newly created ceramics course at ArtCenter allows her to do both. Recently, she has also been busy creating whimsical works and her sculptural jewelry has caught the attention of Hollywood.

Daughter of an artist, she has been creating for as long as she remembers. “I have been making since I left home at 22 and started a studio in my apartment building in Des Moines, Iowa, says Vruwink.

Following an undergraduate degree in English, Vruwink journeyed to the University of Washington in Seattle, where she earned an MFA. “If I had known about ArtCenter growing up, I probably would have wanted to go here,” she reflected. “I’m from Iowa. No one talks about going to art school from Iowa.”

After a stint teaching at the University of Washington, she made her way to Los Angeles. Hoping to teach, but finding it difficult to secure college level jobs without the connections, she saw an opening at ArtCenter for an Admissions position and threw her hat into the ring.

While working full time for the Admissions department, Vruwink started creating jewelry as an outlet for her creative energies.

“The jewelry came about because I didn’t have the time or the mental capacity, really, to make bigger scale works. It was making wearable sculptures,” she says.

Finding she needed more time to devote to creating and teaching, seven years after she started, Vruwink left ArtCenter’s Admissions department and began teaching fine art & design courses at numerous colleges in the Greater L.A. region. Things took an unexpected turn last year when Associate Chair of Fine Art Laura Cooper approached her about starting a ceramics course at ArtCenter.

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Spring 2016 Graduate Seminar: A TED Talk-worthy lineup of lectures by the art world’s creative vanguard

Left to right: Brice Marden, Stanley Whitney, Charles Ray, Anne Wagner

Left to right: Brice Marden, Stanley Whitney, Charles Ray, Anne Wagner

ArtCenter’s Graduate Seminar lecture series is a forum for graduate students, members of the ArtCenter community and the general public to enter into dialogue with internationally recognized artists, critics and art historians. The seminar—a core component of the College’s Graduate Art program, and organized this spring by faculty member Jack Bankowsky—takes place Tuesday evenings throughout the fall and spring terms. Admission is free for the general public.

Unless otherwise indicated, lectures take place in the L.A. Times Auditorium on ArtCenter’s Hillside Campus, 1700 Lida Street, Pasadena 91103. Check our website to confirm dates, times and locations for the lecture series and for more information about the Graduate Art program.

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Designmatters 15 buzzwords for 15 years: Co-creation

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Earlier this month, in association with ArtCenter’s 85th anniversary, Designmatters Co-Founder and Vice President, Mariana Amatullo, PhD, kicked off the 15 Years of Designmatters (#DM15Yrs) storytelling campaign. Designed to celebrate and commemorate the groundbreaking program’s achievements in social impact design, this multi-platform series will feature posts of various shapes and sizes by Designmatters faculty, alumni, students and partners. The following reflection on Safe Ninos field work in Chile by faculty members Penny Herskovitch and Dan Gottlieb offers empirical proof of the value of co-creation. 

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LACMA exhibition pays tribute to the fruits of alum and Grad Art chair Diana Thater’s ‘Sympathetic Imagination’

Diana Thater in Pripyat, Ukraine, 2010. © Diana Thater, photo by Volodymyr Palylyk

Diana Thater in Pripyat, Ukraine, 2010. © Diana Thater, photo by Volodymyr Palylyk

On the eve of her highly anticipated midcareer survey Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination, opening November 22 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, we pay a studio visit to the ArtCenter alum and graduate department chair known for her groundbreaking film-, video-, and installation-based works.

She’s snorkeled with wild dolphins, regularly watches the Nat Geo channel and lives with four rescue cats. So it seems only natural that Graduate Art Chair Diana Thater (MFA 90) would use her empathy for animals as the foundation for a remarkable series of video and film installations dissecting the knotty dynamic between humankind and wildlife.

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Where urban and digital realms merge, the post-geographic city emerges

Everything, On Time (2015) by Tim Durfee and Ben Hooker (with Jenny Rodenhouse), "a testing ground for what the city is, and perhaps will be."

Everything, On Time (2015) by Tim Durfee and Ben Hooker is “a testing ground for what the city is, and perhaps will be.” Image courtesy Tim Dufee and Ben Hooker

This Friday is ArtNight, a twice-a-year event in which Pasadena’s most prominent arts and cultural institutions—including ArtCenter College of Design—swing open their doors for a free evening of art, music and entertainment.

In addition to attending a celebration for the opening night of the College’s street art exhibition OUTSIDEIN, visitors to ArtCenter’s South Campus will have a unique opportunity to see in the Wind Tunnel Gallery a preview of Now, There: Scenes from the Post-Geographic City, an exhibition from ArtCenter’s Media Design Practices (MDP) program which will be installed at the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture this December in Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

Curated by MDP’s Professor Tim Durfee and faculty Mimi ZeigerNow, There explores “what is now and where is there” in today’s reality in which “urban and digital realms are inextricably linked” by presenting a selection of screen-based works, objects and texts that “develop, explore and visualize a city not tied to any physical locality.”

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An Interview with Ross LaManna: The value of film school for staying ahead of trends

Chair of undergraduate and graduate Film departments at ArtCenter.

Ross LaManna, Chair of undergraduate and graduate Film departments at ArtCenter.

Last summer, I taught a production workshop class at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena and was very impressed with their film program and the students. I knew the Film department Chair Ross LaManna, having hired him as a screenwriter several times over the years. But the teaching experience got me thinking about the role of film schools in today’s entertainment industry, and I hoped Ross could help explain it to me. Continue reading

From techno to wearable tech: Study abroad students showcase Berlin-influenced wearables

“Head to Toe, Berlin” was a study abroad upper term course involving ten students from Product Design, Interaction Design, Graphic Design and Illustration. With nine weeks in Berlin, this immersed students in the design, textile and fashion industries of Berlin. Through field trips to designer studios, museums as well as input from professional guest speakers and studio work sessions, students were empowered to develop their own collection of designs focusing on head to toe wearables: apparel, accessories, soft goods, textiles and/or wearable tech.

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Catch a sneak peek at the past, present and future of fonts and ArtCenter’s new Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography

The centerpiece of the student-produced show was an interactive  typographical timeline enabling viewers to create a customizable program. Photo by Nik Hafermaas

The centerpiece of the student-produced show was an interactive typographical timeline enabling viewers to create a customizable program. Photo by Nik Hafermaas

The passageway leading into the South Campus gallery is swimming in an alphabet soup of letters and familiar icons and signage, hawking everything from the latest blockbuster to cheap, fast cash loans. It’s an immersive experience in the nuanced codes and messages contained within the various fonts and typefaces that punctuate our modern landscape. This visceral typographic encounter acts as an introduction to the student-produced temporary show, 85_15 TYPOGRAPHY: PAST/PRESENT/FUTURE, which is the first exhibition to be presented by the new Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography (HMCT), due to make its official debut on November 7 with the Symposium and Center opening celebration in its permanent space on the ground floor of ArtCenter’s 950 South Raymond building.

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