Archive for the ‘News’ Category

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.

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Selling jellyfish on the internet, and other true tales from today’s creative entrepreneurs

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014
Medusae Collection by alumna Roxy Russell.

Medusae Collection by alumna Roxy Russell.

To be bold is to be confident and courageous, willing to take risks. It’s an essential trait shared by a powerhouse group of speakers assembled for BOLD: The Art Center Symposium for Creative Entrepreneurs, a one-day confab and networking event at the College’s Hillside Campus in Pasadena.

At once motivational and practical, the September 6th program offered personal testimonials from successful entrepreneurs, along with concrete skills and strategies that participants—multidisciplinary and multigenerational—could apply to their own creative endeavors.

The question on President Lorne M. Buchman’s mind as he greeted the full house: “What does it take to create a pertinent and relevant design education today? It used to be that the education was set up to get you a job. In 2014, you realize the student body is different, millennials are different. Something has shifted—and it has everything to do with entrepreneurship. There is a power, an insight, an energy, a compulsion even, to create innovation.”

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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.

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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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