Archive for the ‘Fine Art’ Category

Beyonce and beyond: Fine Art department responds to debate over “Pretty Hurts” course description

Monday, November 24th, 2014
Beyoncé Inc. (S, M, L, XL) by April Bey Oil on maternity mannequin and board 36''X48'' 2014

Beyoncé Inc. (S, M, L, XL), by April Bey. Oil on maternity mannequin and board, 36”X48”, 2014

This guest blog post comes in response to recent digital conversation sparked by an article on MTV.com taking issue with the description for an undergraduate Fine Art course (co-taught, not incidentally, by a woman of color) entitled “Pretty Hurts.” This piece, composed by Fine Art department chair Vanalyne Green and course instructors Ariel McCleese and April Bey, was intended to contribute to this vital and momentous exchange as well as to elucidate the intentions animating the description’s provocation. We hope the dialogue will continue as we wholeheartedly embrace the values of inclusivity and gender equality that have informed this conversation as well as the work of all the artists discussed below. Please continue to weigh in with your thoughts and ideas on this dynamically shifting terrain in the comments section below. 

(more…)

View from the Bridge: The President’s attitude of gratitude for the Fall term’s vast riches

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014
Incoming students during Fall 2014 Orientation Week.

Incoming students during Fall 2014 Orientation Week.

Thanksgiving, that wonderful holiday in which we as a nation give thanks for all our blessings, is just around the corner. In the spirit of that tradition, I’d like to take a moment to pause and reflect on what I have to be thankful for here at Art Center.

First of all, I’m thankful for all the newest members of the Art Center family. This Fall term we welcomed a record-breaking entering class of 432 new students, a number which reflects the continuing strength and enormous appeal of both our undergraduate and graduate programs. These students come to us from a total of 37 states across the nation and 31 countries around the globe, for a total of 47 countries represented across our truly international student body.

You may also be interested to know that the average age of the entering class is 21 and that, of our incoming undergraduates, 52% are female. As always, all of our incoming students demonstrated their considerable merit through their portfolios, academic records and personal statements, and each underwent a rigorous review to gain admission.

(more…)

The creativity of environmental and social accountability: Q&A with artist Amy Balkin

Friday, October 17th, 2014
Amy Balkin

Amy Balkin

Complex questions about our relationship and responsibility to the physical world we inhabit lie at the heart of Amy Balkin’s creative process and the work itself. Balkin, who studied with Fine Art Chair, Vanalyne Green while attending Art Institute of Chicago, recently visited Art Center to speak about the ideas that inform her creative practice, which explores issues of environmental justice, legal borders and the geopolitics surrounding the land we inhabit and the air we breathe.

Her major projects include This is the Public Domain, an ongoing bid to create a public commons from a piece of land she purchased in Central California; Public Smog, a clean air park she opens periodically by purchasing carbon emissions; and A People’s Archive of Sinking and Melting, a collection of items from places under threat of disappearance due to political, physical and economic shifts.

Just prior to her talk at Art Center, Balkin sat down with Dotted Line to discuss her approach to these ambitious works.

(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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

Bringing outside artists in: Fine Art’s diverse programming aims to challenge assumptions

Thursday, September 18th, 2014
Still from Anuj Vaidya's short film Miss Piggy, Live with Diane Sawyer (2013)

Still from Anuj Vaidya’s short film Miss Piggy, Live with Diane Sawyer (2013)

A visiting artist and exhibition series sponsored by the undergraduate Fine Art department, open to the campus community and to the public, is bringing diverse voices and points of view to Art Center. (See full schedule of upcoming programs below.)

“Art students need to see a mix of people and perspectives, otherwise their assumptions about life, society and art are not questioned,” says Fine Art Chair Vanalyne Green. “And what is an art education for, if not to pose questions?”

The programming includes lectures, screenings, performances and exhibitions designed to expose students to artists whose work is thought-provoking and, in many cases, boundary-defying.

Last month, artist, educator and film curator Anuj Vaidya presented “Colour Me Queer: LGBTQ Voices From India,” an array of queer experimental shorts created by himself and others over the past decade.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

Ike Morgan’s portraits of cultural icons inaugurate Art Center’s newest exhibition space

Friday, September 5th, 2014
Ike Morgan's paintings are the first to grace the walls of South Campus' Hutto-Patterson Exhibition Hall

Ike Morgan’s paintings are the first to grace the walls of South Campus’ Hutto-Patterson Exhibition Hall

In 2014 Art Center College of Design opened a new home for two of its dynamic visual arts programs—Fine Art and Illustration—at the College’s South Campus in Pasadena. Renovation of the former post office was made possible in part due to the generosity of the Hutto-Patterson Charitable Foundation, providing a dramatic atrium space in the center of the building to showcase the work of Art Center students and visiting artists through a rotating series of exhibitions.

On Thursday, September 11, the Hutto-Patterson will unveil its inaugural show: California’s first solo exhibition of self-taught, Texas-based artist Ike Morgan, which will remain on view through December 5, 2014. “U.S. Presidents and the Mona Lisa” features 16 unframed paintings on paper and two larger works on canvas, reflecting Morgan’s enduring interest in making pictures of George Washington and Mona Lisa.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

Grad Show Preview: Diving into the Summer 2014 talent pool

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Perhaps more than graduation itself, Graduation Show Preview marks the culmination of a student’s years of hard work at Art Center. Each term, on the Thursday before Saturday’s commencement ceremony, the College’s classroom studios, hallways and exhibition spaces come alive with 2D, 3D, digital and other work renowned for both its conceptual rigor and its professional finish. It’s like one giant gallery opening — the Summer 2014 edition brimming with more than 450 invited guests — showcasing some of today’s most innovative and most driven emerging artists and designers.

(more…)