Category Archives: News

Goodbye, Dotted Line. Hello, new ArtCenter website!


To even the most casual observer, it’s been hard to miss the ongoing transformation taking place at ArtCenter. True to its mission, ArtCenter has been creating change, in ways big and small, physical and, of course, digital. The College’s 85th anniversary is shaping up to be quite the momentous occasion, with the recent renovation of the sixth floor of 1111 South Arroyo Parkway; the launch of a new graduate degree program in Graphic Design; a refreshed graphic identity; and the unveiling of an ambitious master plan charting the way toward a future with affordable student housing and expanded world-class facilities.

In many ways that future is already here in the form of ArtCenter’s completely re-conceived website, which debuts today.  Just under a year after hiring Hello Design to completely overhaul, the College’s new website is up and running featuring a suite of innovative functionality and content designed to provide an immersive and engaging experience in all things ArtCenter. Explore the Discover feature for content tailored to your interests. Dive into Academics for a more granular details about the program’s curriculum, careers and community. Or roam the Campuses section to experience our amazing facilities.

Of course, endings are part and parcel of every new beginning. And this blog, which has served our community with robust thoughtful content over the years, will become an archive as of today. For the latest news and information, please visit the new site’s Connect section to browse Dot magazine articles, public events and ArtCenter Now, our curated social feed offering highlights from our community of art and design influencers.

We look forward to deepening the conversation begun here through the new site’s multifaceted opportunities to communicate, connect and reflect on who we are and who we hope to become.

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.


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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Spring 2016 orientation: Back-to-school pro tips for surviving and thriving at ArtCenter


Student orientation

Student orientation

Ah, the first day of school. It’s an initiation fraught with the anxiety of the unknown and flashbacks to the horrors of middle school cafeteria mishaps. Fortunately, ArtCenter has built in a full schedule of activities to provide a soft landing to incoming students and their families.

Orientation Week’s busy agenda features social mixers and in-depth information sessions on everything from campus sustainability to the infamous ArtCenter critique. Students are also matched with Orientation Leaders, who act as guides, companions and resources for the latest insider information on navigating the academic, social and geographic peculiarities of life at ArtCenter

In the spirit of optimizing the orientation week experience for the incoming class of 2016, we’ve compiled the following authoritative collection of pro tips from our Facebook community of current and former students to help ArtCenter newbies avoid rookie mistakes.

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Illustration alum and legendary Star Wars poster artist Drew Struzan on the awakening of his own creative forces at ArtCenter

Illustration alumnus Drew Struzan (center) receives the Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award at ArtCenter's Fall 2015 graduation ceremony. Photo: Ross LaManna

Illustration alumnus Drew Struzan (center) receives the Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award at ArtCenter’s Fall 2015 graduation ceremony. Photo: Ross LaManna

It’s not hyperbole to say that billions of people around the globe have seen the work of Illustration alumnus Drew Struzan (BFA 70).

As “the man behind the poster,” the 68-year-old Struzan has created iconic imagery for the Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Back to the Future, Muppets and Harry Potter series of films. Other instantly recognizable works of his include posters for Coming to America, The Goonies, First Blood and The Thing.

And though he’s retired from the entertainment industry to focus on his studio work, he recently lent his deft hand to a poster for Batkid Begins, the documentary about the boy who became Batman for a day thanks to the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and a D23 convention exclusive poster for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which opens in theaters today.

This past weekend at ArtCenter’s Fall 2015 graduation, Illustration chair Anne Field presented Struzan with the ArtCenter Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award. After eliciting a standing ovation from the crowd inside the packed Pasadena Civic Auditorium, a visibly moved Struzan asked Field with a laugh, “Does this mean my life is over?”

After the ceremony, I met with the living legend and he was kind enough to share memories of his time at ArtCenter in the mid-to-late 1960s, when the College was located at Third Street in the Hancock Park Neighborhood of Los Angeles.

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Student opinion: What’s the role of activism and the #blacklivesmatter movement at ArtCenter?

Current student, Kayla Salisbury

Current Illustration student, Kayla Salisbury

The following piece, by Illustration student Kayla Salisbury, emerged out of a dialogue that began in the comments section of ArtCenter’s Instagram page. Kayla sought to connect with other ArtCenter community members around the activist movements calling for policy change on college campuses across the country and around the world. Because ArtCenter can be an intense, focused and sometimes isolating environment, Kayla wasn’t sure where or how to engage her peers in a public dialogue around these issues. So we offered her this space to begin that conversation. Please feel free to use the comments section below to weigh in with your own opinions. And should you need more space to express yourself, we also welcome student submissions from all viewpoints.

I am writing this blog for ArtCenter students, particularly those who don’t spend much time talking to people outside their apartments and classrooms. I feel it is vital to know what is going on in the world. Everything has an effect on us, whether we know it or not. Stereotypes, the media and the current state of America are just three factors that influence us in ways we can’t even measure.

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Persistence, perseverance and Pixar paved the path to The Dam Keeper’s Oscar nomination

Alumnus Robert Kondo, co-director of Tonko House's short The Dam Keeper. Photo: Jennie Warren

Robert Kondo, co-director of Tonko House’s short The Dam Keeper. Photo: Jennie Warren

In the 2015 Academy Award-nominated animated short The Dam Keeper, a young pig selflessly operates a windmill to keep a poisonous cloud from destroying his town.

Keeping imminent disaster at bay doesn’t seem to be an issue for Illustration alumnus Robert Kondo (BFA 02), who co-directed the film along with Dice Tsutsumi, the first project to emerge from their Berkeley-based animation studio Tonko House.

Take, for example, the story of how Kondo landed his first job. He recalls feeling sick one day during his final term at ArtCenter, walking out of class and heading to the parking lot to recuperate in his car.

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Watch legendary artists create OUTSIDEIN: The Ascendance of Street Art in Visual Culture

ArtCenter’s OUTSIDEIN exhibition, on display at both campuses through January 10, 2016, was inspired in part by the mural Keith Haring painted at the College’s Hillside Campus in 1989, commemorating the World Health Organization’s second annual AIDS Awareness Day. That piece, which took two days to paint, was Haring’s last completed work. Three months later he died of AIDS.

To commemorate Haring’s legacy as well today’s celebration of the 28th anniversary of AIDS Awareness Day, the above video traces the origins of ArtCenter’s longstanding relationship to street art and the insurgent role graffiti-based street murals have played in embedding social and political messages in an emerging, evolving and now mainstream form of creative expression. Combining in-depth artist interviews and time-lapse footage of their creative process, this piece provides a rare glimpse inside the creative process, connecting the dots between the legacy of this subversive art form to its current role as an arbiter of pop culture aesthetics and an access point for popular engagement with the arts.

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ArtCenter master plan features affordable student housing and elevated quad and cycleway

ArtCenter’s vision for a South Campus student housing village, mobility hub, public gallery and park-like quad. (Image credit: Michael Maltzan Architecture / Tina Chee Landscape Studio)

ArtCenter’s vision for a South Campus student housing village, mobility hub, public gallery and park-like quad. (Image credit: Michael Maltzan Architecture / Tina Chee Landscape Studio)

ArtCenter College of Design has made public its new master plan, charting a 10-year vision for the future of the College’s physical campuses. At a November 12th reception, nearby residents and business leaders were treated to an early look at the visionary proposal that will provide students with innovative learning and making spaces as well as much-needed housing. The College plans to break ground in 2017, following the City of Pasadena’s review process, to create a thriving art and culture educational urban destination.

Highlights of the plan include an elevated park-like quad that spans the Metro Gold Line tracks, a transportation hub, a cycleway, the transformation of Raymond Avenue into a tree-lined pedestrian-friendly road and a student housing village.

“This is mission-driven growth informed by the College’s conservatory-like approach to education,” said Lorne M. Buchman, president of ArtCenter College of Design. “We’re sharing our vision for rich, intercultural and transdisciplinary dialogue, and our goal is to ensure that institutional development is synonymous with meaningful change in the surrounding community.”

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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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Totally MAX’d Out: Adobe debuts showstopping digital design tools, Fujifilm partnership amid pyrotechnic razzle-dazzle

Like conventioneers to the swag table, over 7,000 creative professionals from the four corners of the globe descended on the Los Angeles Convention Center last week for Adobe MAX 2015, Abobe’s annual celebration of creativity and their amazing tools that help designers turn imagination into reality.

This year’s theme “Changing the World Through Digital Experiences” resonates well with Art Center’ ethos of changing the world through design—design made possible in large part by Adobe’s ever-widening, ever-more-powerful line up of creative software.  Indeed, many of the greatest changes that design will enable in the coming years will likely involve Adobe’s Creative Cloud at some point in the creative process.

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