Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Change|Maker Jon Jon Augustavo: His ‘Same Love’ video topped the charts, opened hearts

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Filmmaker, cinematographer and music video director Jon Jon Augustavo (MFA ’12 Film), recognized for his dynamic and evocative narrative style, is a three-time MTV Video Music Award-winner best known for his collaborations with rap duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis on their Grammy Award-winning “Thrift Shop” and chart-topping hit, “Same Love.” The latter alone has generated more than 125 million views on YouTube.

In fact, of all the work he has done, Augustavo is proudest of “Same Love,” a marriage equality anthem whose groundbreaking rise on the pop charts was noted by The New York Times. “I originally thought I just needed to make a great story,” said Augustavo. “I didn’t think there were any social ramifications. But we put it out right before the vote for same-sex marriage in Washington,” a reference to his and the band’s support for Referendum 74 on their home state ballot in 2012. “And months afterward, the emails I received, the people I met who said that it was so important to them — I’ve never had that experience in my life. I could stop making anything right now and I’d be happy to at least have done that.”

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Of fellowships and new (adjunct) faculty: Checking in with Grad Art chair Diana Thater

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
Thater applied for the CCF fellowship with this work entitled Chernobyl, 2011

Thater applied for the CCF fellowship with this work entitled Chernobyl, 2011

For over two decades, Grad Art chair Diana Thater’s groundbreaking film, video and installation work exploring the tension between humans and the natural world has been widely discussed and admired. But the spotlight on Thater’s role as a leader in the global art world seems to have gotten even brighter over the past few months. In April, she named chair of the Art Center department from which she graduated in 1990 and where she’s taught for many years. In June, Thater was honored in a major gala by the Orange County Museum of Art. And earlier this month, she was awarded a 2014 California Community Foundation Fellowship.

Additionally, Thater has already begun placing her creative stamp on Grad Art by making some exciting additions to its adjunct faculty roster. She announced an impressive lineup of new fall adjunct faculty, including Philippe Vergne, director of MOCA, and Bennett Simpson, senior curator at MOCA and artist Harry Dodge. Her adjunct faculty additions for the spring are equally exciting: Getty Scholar and curator for the National Gallery in Washington Lynne Cooke, artist and Getty Scholar Tacita Dean and curator Charlotte Cotton.

To honor Thater’s accomplishments and better understand the ideas informing her creative practice, we’ve included the artist’s statement that compelled the foundation to grant her the award. Consider this a behind-the-scenes snapshot of what it takes to be a successful working artist.

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Change to spare: Art Center students develop social innovation campaign to ease homelessness

Monday, August 25th, 2014

The Welcome Home Project – “Real Change Movement PSA” from designmatters at art center on Vimeo.

Art Center College of Design student work will gain valuable widespread exposure as the citywide Real Change Movement initiative rolls out with a comprehensive social innovation advertising and public relations campaign. Real Change is a strategic initiative aimed to activate support for tangible, self-sustaining low-cost housing solutions to end homelessness and mitigate panhandling in Pasadena.

The Real Change Movement is the first initiative of its kind within Los Angeles County, to help provide homes for the homeless with funds generated by the coin and credit card donations made through uniquely designed meters. The goal is to install 11 bright orange meters throughout the city at heavily trafficked locations such as the convention center, shopping malls and parking structures. Campaign elements include a website, brochures, power bill stuffers, bus shelters, bumper stickers, elevator door signage, print ads, video and radio public service announcements. For more information, visit realchangemovement.org.

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Ready. Set. Snap! Corporate teams stretch boundaries at rubber band-powered Formula-E race

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014
Formula-E 2014-7008

Team Mattel celebrates record breaking speed after competing in the new Formula-E race Pro-Class category.

Figuring out how to build and power a race car using a 16-foot long rubber band is not your typical corporate team building exercise. But, it turns out, that’s exactly the kind of creative boost the business world needs. For the first time, the international Formula-E race at Art Center included a “Pro Class” category with teams participating from Mattel in El Segundo and Axial, a remote control car company based in Irvine. Competition was fierce and teams were gunning for the gold in the 9th annual “day at the races” showcasing talented students, businesses and even a junior race car design set.

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Los Angeles Times praises Art Center’s “smart growth” to meet increased demand for fresh design talent

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014
The newly purchased Mullin Building, at 1111 Arroyo Parkway

The newly purchased Mullin Building, at 1111 Arroyo Parkway

We’ve been talking with Los Angeles Times’ higher education reporter Larry Gordon for a few weeks  about businesses aiming to sharpen their competitive edge by hiring top design talent. Gordon was intrigued by the notion that corporate leaders have realized market domination in the new innovation economy requires a brain trust of superior design thinkers. Savvy consumers have become more and more discriminating in their choices when purchasing everything from smart phones to urban mobility devices.

Art Center’s record enrollment growth since 2009 is a clear signal of the global increase in demand for innovative design education. The booming interest in design also illustrates corporations’ recognition of the expanding importance of the creative professions to a healthy global business climate. And this increasingly design-centric paradigm is exemplified by Art Center’s continued physical expansion, with the completion of the new HQ for the Fine Art and Illustration Departments at 870 Raymond and the announcement of the purchase of the Mullin Building at 1111 Arroyo Parkway.

Read on to see what Gordon discovered in his conversations with Art Center students and faculty about how the recently opened “Post Office Building” is meeting their needs for light-filled visual art making spaces, and what President Lorne Buchman had to say about the College’s latest acquisition along Pasadena’s “Innovation Corridor.”

June 2014 alumni news and notes

Friday, July 11th, 2014
Photograph by Damon Casarez for the New York Times

Photograph by Damon Casarez for the New York Times

From The New York Times to Esquire, from Cannes to the Venice Biennale — Art Center alums have been busy making, making headlines and making their talents known within some of the world’s most prestigious events, platforms and publications. In addition to this primer on their accomplishments, we’re also inviting the Art Center alumni community to nominate candidates for this year’s Art Center Alumni Awards. Read on to learn more.

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From Apple Stores to apples for the teacher: Eight Inc. donates design educational nonprofit DonorsChoose.org

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014
DoonorsChoose.org offices after Eight Inc. redesign

DoonorsChoose.org offices after Eight Inc. redesign

Eight Inc. is a leading-edge branding and design firm owned and run by Art Center alums Tim Kobe (BS 82 Environmental), who is also a college Trustee, and Wilhelm Oehl (BS 94 Product). In the fifteen years since its inception, Eight Inc. has flourished by generating iconic designs across a broad spectrum of projects and disciplines from conjuring innovative retail experiences for the Apple Store to the architectural award-winning residential developments in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.

Eight Inc. (which now employs more than a few Art Center alums) has recently tackled another design solution for the greater good. In April, the firm announced it would donate design services to DonorsChoose.org to renovate its new headquarters in New York City. DonorsChoose.org is a national nonprofit that has channeled over $237 million in books, art supplies, field trips and resources to more than a million students in low-income public schools.

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Outgoing Grad Art chair Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe on teaching, beauty and art’s unlikely logic

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014
Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe

Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe

After logging 11 years as Chair of Art Center’s Graduate Art department, Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe handed over the reigns to incoming co-chairs Diana Thater and Jason Smith. Gilbert-Rolfe has spent a total of 28 years on Art Center’s faculty, and will migrate into a full-time teaching position in 2015 after a sabbatical during which he’ll dedicate himself to one of the many writing projects vying for his attention (see Q & A below for details).

Throughout his tenure with the college, Gilbert-Rolfe has had a hand in educating an impressive array of art world luminaries, including Lynn Aldrich, Lisa Anne Auerbach, David Bailey, Olivia Booth, Mason Cooley, Aaron Curry, Kevin Hanley, Nate Hylden, Melissa Kretschmer, Sharon Lockhart, T. Kelly Mason, Rebecca Norton, Steve Roden, Sterling Ruby, Frances Stark, Jennifer Steinkamp, Alexis Marguerite Teplin, Diana Thater, Pae White, Jennifer West and T.J. Wilcox. At the same time, he has distinguished himself as a formidable writer and critical thinker, best known for probing philosophical and aesthetic ideas around beauty and other issues informing the way we interact with art.

Gilbert-Rolfe makes clear in his candid and enlightening responses to our questions below that he will continue to build upon this legacy as an educator and critic.

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Grad Art alumnus and library staffer George Porcari receives prestigious Tiffany Foundation Award

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Art Center alumnus and acquisitions librarian George Porcari (MFA 87 Art) was one among 30 recipients of the 17th biennial Tiffany Foundation Awards, which may or may not have arrived wrapped in a little robin’s-egg blue box with a white bow.

Officially announced last week, a series of monetary grants are issued every two years to unsung American artists and craftspeople by The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation. What separates the award from other prestigious grants is that artists aren’t able to apply, and funds are unrestricted. The 2013 winners were selected from a pool of 137 nominees proposed by the Foundation’s trustees, artists, critics, and museum professionals throughout the United States. A seven-member jury then reviewed the submissions. The 2013 jury included art world luminaries Phong Bui, Chrissie Iles, Kathryn Kanjo, Charles LeDray, John Perreault, Cindy Sherman and Robert Storr.

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Tequila Avión’s $10,000 video competition challenges Art Center students to induce thirst

Thursday, June 19th, 2014
Image from video by finalist, Tatyana Kim

Image from video by finalist, Tatyana Kim

Tequila Avión, in collaboration with the Film Department at Art Center College of Design, has challenged students to create a commercial or viral video for a chance to win a $10,000 grand prize. Through this partnership with one of the world’s premiere design schools, Tequila Avión encourages fans to tune in to the Tequila Avión YouTube Channel to vote for their favorite video. In mid-July, Tequila Avión will announce both the winning viral video and winning commercial, rewarding each with $10,000.

To kick-off the competition, Ken Austin, Founder and Chairman of Tequila Avión, visited Art Center College of Design to share the Avión story.  Film and Advertising students were challenged to create a commercial video or viral video inspired by the “World’s Best Tasting Tequila.” Entries were narrowed down to compete for the $10,000 grand prize in each category.

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