Archive for the ‘Student Life’ Category

If I knew then what I know now: Alumni advice for incoming students

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

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A new crop of students sprouted at Art Center on Monday. The group of newbies was humming with excitement and anxiety about the eight terms of full-immersion art and design education that lay ahead. Many of their concerns will be addressed and allayed during their week-long initiation into Art Center’s community of high-intensity creatives.

But the official orientation doesn’t quite cover everything a new student needs to know about life at Art Center. The most useful, actionable advice for incoming students—we’re talking about security-cleared insider intel—can only be gleaned from people who’ve been there and done that.

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New to Art Center? This orientation week survival guide may come in handy.

Monday, May 5th, 2014

This week Art Center welcomes new students for a week of orientation and acclimation to life in the arroyo. Before getting down to the nitty gritty, here’s a few fun facts you may not know about the College:

  • The Sculpture Garden once held world-class sculptures on loan from LACMA.
  • Mary Lambert’s recent Body Love video was filmed on the sound stage at Art Center by alum Jon Jon Augustavo.
  • Some say the best bathrooms (and showering facilities) on campus are in the basement of 950 South Raymond.
  • Keep your eyes peeled for the deer wandering around and through Hillside campus. They are often photographed, frequently filmed and much loved.
  • Bears also make an occasional appearance. These appearances are less Facebook-friendly.

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Art Center Spring 2014 graduation is around the corner

Monday, April 14th, 2014

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After years of all-nighters fueled by coffee, critiques, cramming for finals and collaboration, 192 Art Center students will graduate on Saturday. This ceremony includes the very first graduating class for the Graduate Environmental Design and Graduate Transportation Design Programs. In fact, we have a record number, 36, students accepting graduate level degrees on Saturday. Also notable, 25% of this graduating class attended one or more of Art Center’s Public Programs (Art Center at Night or Saturday High).

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Expand your mind without emptying your wallet

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014
Glitter art on view at Jones Coffee Roasters. Photo: Teri Bond

Glitter art on view at Jones Coffee Roasters. Photo: Teri Bond

It’s the last few weeks of the term, and your top priorities are probably work, sleep and the next cup of coffee. But what about re-charging your creative batteries?

Art Center is nestled within one of the most innovative and entrepreneurial environments in the world. But be honest: When was the last time you pried yourself away from your projects and prototypes to find inspiration among Los Angeles’ vast creative riches?

We ask you this not to taunt or torment you about artistic opportunities missed. Really we’re here to simply offer you some incentive to take a break from your creative toils to remind yourself that great art and design is not created in a vacuum. Or a wind tunnel, post office or hillside haven.  It requires stimulation. Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with the suggestions below.

Try the hidden gem on Fairfax, Family, which is stocked with a unique selection of art books, prints and zines you won’t find at chain retail stores. Be sure to check out the mini art gallery in the back. Just a few yards away is the Supreme store, where you’ll spend less time shopping than hanging out or taking advantage of the indoor skate ramp. You might even run into Tyler, The Creator.

Closer to campus, you can get the best-of your much-needed coffee at Jones Coffee Roasters, where you may run into Art Center chairs or faculty. The open space is a great studying spot, and there is always interesting art on the walls.

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From Wong Kar-Wai to Jean-Luc Godard: Art Center’s streaming video collection is a cineaste’s paradise

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

FEAT Brochure.inddBack in the old days the only way to see a film was to wait for it to play in your local theater. If you missed it: Tough luck. You lost your chance. Then home video – videotapes, laserdiscs, DVDs, Blu-ray discs — came along and changed all that.

This advent seemed to make film viewing much more convenient. Or did it? Sometimes the movie you want is checked out. To borrow a DVD from the library, you still have to leave the house and go someplace. And then there’s always the risk that the disc might be scratched. It’s enough to drive a person crazy.

Well, all of that is about to change. It’s time to say goodbye to those hassles now that the Art Center library has just acquired a massive streaming video subscription called Alexander Street Video! This collection currently contains 26,000 videos. All of the films have been shown at major festivals and thousands are award winners. The collection includes films by many of the world’s leading contemporary directors, including Michael Haneke, Wong Kar-Wai, Andrei Zvyagintsev, Koji Wakamatsu and Jean-Luc Godard.

Some of the most interesting films hail from Asia. The Art Community will have access to work by acclaimed Chinese director Xie Fei (Black Snow; Woman from the Lake of Scented Souls; A Mongolian Tale), Iranian new-wave director Dariush Mehrjui (The Cycle; The Lodgers; Mum’s Guest) and leading Indonesian director Garin Nugroho (And the Moon Dances; A Poet; Bird Man Tale).

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Reflecting on African American History Month’s many shades of meaning to students of art and design

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014
Illustration of Dominican fruit by Medar de la Cruz

Illustration of Dominican fruit by Medar de la Cruz

“One ever feels his two-ness,—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.” W.E.B.  Du Bois (1868-1963)

Before coming to Pasadena I rarely thought about how significant the color of my skin was to my everyday life. I was raised in a neighborhood in Miami, Florida where I was part of a majority consisting of residents who were either immigrants, multi-lingual or people of color.

Medar de la Cruz

Medar de la Cruz

But when I came to Art Center I realized I no longer fit in as easily. It was here that I was first asked: “Are you black?” This made me realize that race was going to make an impact on my experiences. It’s normal for people to be affected by stereotypes and visual representations. And it’s normal to make assumptions about someone by the color of their skin. So when I was asked this, I responded, “Yes…I mean I’m not white. My parents are Dominican, my ancestors are African, and I was born in America. So technically that makes me African American as well.” I learned that question alone helps me define who I am.

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Party school? Maybe not. But ACCD has “interesting” in the bag.

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

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Art Center may not be the most socially vibrant college environment. And the school’s notorious make-or-die work ethic can make for a very sleep-deprived (sometimes hygenically challenged) student population. But ACCD and its students are nothing if not interesting.

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Art Center’s first Myspace occupation concludes. Prepare for phase 2!

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

We came. We saw. We influenced change as we learned to create.

Beginning last October, we enlisted four Art Center students to lead the charge in a week-long homepage takeover of the recently relaunched Myspace. The first-wave social network had reinvented itself as a community and breeding ground for artists and creative types of all stripes to exchange work, feedback and inspiration in the digital sphere. In other words, Myspace had become a sandbox custom-built for Art Center students and alums. And, as is our way, we came ready to play.

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Spring 2014 orientation: Get the 411 on all things Art Center

Monday, January 6th, 2014

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This week, Art Center welcomes new students to a week of orientation activities organized by the College’s Center for the Student Experience.

“New student orientation is the moment in which students’ first impressions and experiences are made,” says interim Dean of Students, Kendra Stanifer. “The orientation helps students to create connections to the College and to each other that will build the community they live in for the next 3 to 4 years.”

Here’s the lineup of activities designed to immerse new students in Art Center culture and maximize their experience here, both in and out of the classroom.

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View from the Bridge: Saluting graduating students and Art Center’s social impact on healthy drinking water and food

Monday, December 16th, 2013
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A Balde Movil prototype is put to the test in Altos del Pino, Bogota, Colombia.

The Fall 2013 term culminated last weekend with our Grad Show—an unqualified success attracting hundreds of industry representatives—and the arrival of our students’ families on campus for graduation. It was my great pleasure to meet many of them and share in their excitement and pride.

I began this weekend’s ceremonies by reading Everything is Waiting for You by David Whyte. An ode to the creative power of community, this poem was born surprisingly out of a moment of deep grief for the author, which makes its vibrant call to action all the more remarkable. The work begins with a warning of isolation—“Your great mistake is to act the drama as if you were alone”—moves to an acknowledged tension of individual identity in the crowd—“Surely, even you, at times, have felt … the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding out your solo voice”—and concludes with an exultant celebration of discovery and the power of entering the “conversation”—“The kettle is singing even as it pours you a drink” and, ultimately, “Everything is waiting for you.”

I shared this poem because I want our graduating students to find the strength to face what is calling them and recognize that they are surrounded by an astonishing depth and plethora of life. I want them to celebrate where the new edges meet and, as the poem suggests, believe they can change the world by their attentive presence.

Our students’ work offers ample evidence that this is all very much underway.

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