Category Archives: Fine Art

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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ArtCenter Alumni Notes: November 2015 through January 2016

Diana Thater, A Cast of Falcons, 2008. Four video projectors, display computer, and two spotlights. Installation Photograph, Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination, Los Angeles County Museum of Art. ©Diana Thater, photo ©Fredrik Nilsen

Diana Thater, A Cast of Falcons, 2008. Four video projectors, display computer, and two spotlights. Installation Photograph, Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination, Los Angeles County Museum of Art. ©Diana Thater, photo ©Fredrik Nilsen

With the holidays behind us and election season upon us for the foreseeable future, this is the perfect time to divert our attention to the edifying pursuit of creative fulfillment. And what better way to do that than with this extra bulky edition of ArtCenter Alumni Notes.

NEWS

Guy Bove (BS 96 Product Design) was recently featured in a Tatler Magazine Hong Kong article about watch design. Hong Kong Tatler

Edward Eyth (BS 85 Product Design) was on a panel discussion for his concept designer work on Back to the Future Part II as part of the Toyota Mirai premier event. Toyota Newsroom

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Blazing a luminous trajectory: Doug Aitken, Jen Rosenstein, Mark Ryden and Lawrence Carroll

Doug Aitken, Station to Station

Doug Aitken, Station to Station. Courtesy Regen Projects.

1. Since graduating from ArtCenter nearly 25 years ago, Doug Aitken (BFA 91 Illustration) has blazed a luminous trajectory. From his breakout Electric Earth video installation at the 1999 Whitney Biennial, to the nomadic Station to Station (2013), the Southern California native creates multimedia works at once monumental and ephemeral.

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A Holiday haul of ArtCenter alumni notes delivered to your digital doorstep

Frances Stark, Portrait of the Artist as a Full-on Bird, 2004, Collage on casein on canvas board. 20x24 in. RSC Contemporary, London. Photo by Marcus Leith.

Frances Stark, Portrait of the Artist as a Full-on Bird, 2004, Collage on casein on canvas board. 20×24 in. RSC Contemporary, London. Photo by Marcus Leith.

With the arrival of the holiday season comes a time for hot beverages and brightly-patterned sweaters; for giving and receiving, at work and at home. We’re excited kick off the next six weeks’ worth of non-stop merriment by presenting you with with an early gift in the form of the latest installment of ArtCenter alumni notes, which is teeming with impressive news and accomplishments, from book releases and public engagements to major exhibitions at the Hammer Museum and LACMA.

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Tales from the art side: ArtCenter launches Untold Stories to share alumni Q&As

Jon Jon Augustavo (MFA 13 Grad Film)
This short is not only something I’m proud of—the tone, the look and the story are all representative of my voice as a filmmaker and it is probably the last time I was able to create something that’s not weighed down by expectation or inundated by other voices. This is something that is truly me. More recently I’m waking up and developing a few independent feature films. Films go much slower than commercials and music videos and the projects start out seeming so far away, like a pipe dream. But in the blink of an eye everything starts to happen and it’s all on top of you.

We have created a virtual sharing space, Untold Stories: Q&As with ArtCenter Alumni, for alumni to talk about their past, present and future projects as well as the ideas and challenges that shape their careers, lives and work.

ArtCenter alumni are some of the most accomplished art and design professionals in the world. We hail their prominent successes in our various digital and print publications, including Dotted Line, Dot magazine, the Viewbook and social media channels.

We are proud to share these triumphant moments. But fame—or even outsize accomplishment—is not the only evidence of success. We believe that inspiration, innovation and authenticity are the true hallmarks of a creative and fulfilling life. So, as we celebrate our 85th anniversary we are embarking on an effort to understand meaningful achievement in all its variations and to share the many untold stories of ArtCenter alumni.

In many ways the site is an anthology of alumni work and will be used as a source for content on all of our communications channels where we will continue to share the ArtCenter story with the world. Alumni have been invited to explore and engage with Untold Stories by answering questions and submitting images to this highly visual and highly personal space. This is the place where designers and artists share their thoughts as well as their work. Here is a small sample of posts already inhabiting the space. We invite you to visit Untold Stories to peruse the rest and keep checking back for new entries.

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You go, grads: Let the Summer Graduation festivities begin!

Graduating students with friends and family following Spring 2015 commencement. Photo: John Dlugolecki

Graduating students with friends and family following Spring 2015 commencement. Photo: John Dlugolecki

“Sun is shining. Weather is sweet. Make you wanna move your dancing feet.” Bob Marley

This Saturday, following a sometimes exhaustive, always intensive, memorably vigorous and astonishingly creative commitment to making and learning, 91 ArtCenter students will receive their diplomas. This will be the second graduation ceremony to be held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, a thankfully climate-controlled venue conveniently located between Hillside and South campuses.

As the day approaches, let’s celebrate these creative and talented individuals who are about to take on the world. Here’s the lowdown for the week:

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JUMPSUIT: The ungendered monogarment to replace all clothing

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A spectre is haunting fashion — the spectre of JUMPSUIT. Fine Art Adjunct Instructor Maura Brewer and Rational Dress Society co-founder Abigail Glaum-Lathbury are bringing the people a new voice for non-choice. Curious? The Dotted Line caught up with Brewer in between lectures in Sweden, guerrilla actions at fashion week in NYC and her successful Kickstarter campaign to find out more about the project.

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Art Center alumni notes: Spring 2015

Alum Catherine Taft assistant curated America is Hard to See at the Whitney Museum of American Art, a show which features the work of alum Bill Wheelock

Alum Catherine Taft assistant curated America is Hard to See at the Whitney Museum of American Art, a show which features the work of alum Bill Wheelock

Spring has sprung for Art Center’s alumni community, which collectively bloomed with media attention and creative activity. Here we’ve gathered a bouquet sampling this group’s impressive undertakings.

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Beyonce and beyond: Pretty Hurts students explore the intersection of art, feminism and pop culture

Laura Solomon

Laura Solomon

Pretty Hurts (Art 257) started out as a class that stirred debate and outright defiance both within Art Center’s student community and online publications. As the instructors of Pretty Hurts we would like to highlight the outcomes of the course as well as the projects that originated as a result of the class and how the ideas discussed fractured away from the class to influence Art Center College of Design’s student and faculty community. Continue reading