Archive for the ‘Williamson Gallery’ Category

The sacred and the mundane: Lynn Aldrich’s witty spin on consumerism

Friday, October 11th, 2013

In her quest to transform the known into something curious and unexpected, Los Angeles-based artist Lynn Aldrich makes a habit of scouring hardware stores such as Home Depot for materials she re-fabricates into colorful new constructions reflecting playfully on domestic architecture.

“By making these sorts of archaic physical objects that one has to walk around in reality and be near to experience,” says Aldrich, “I’m attempting to call attention to your physicality in a world that is more and more in a cloud of information.” Out of Ink, In the Dark might at first glance be mistaken for an assemblage of pads of the digital era, instruments of that very cloud. Instead, it’s a classic Aldrich “object,” as sly as it is seductive. Made of old-school ink pads, the piece sold the same day we caught up with the artist while she was installing a two-decade retrospective exhibition of her work, Lynn Aldrich: Un/Common Objects, on view through January 2014 at the Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery. The San Francisco gallery where Out of Ink was on display called to tell her that an East Coast collector had just purchased it.

The exhibition opens Friday, October 11 in celebration of ArtNight Pasadena. The opening night reception on Thursday, October 17, from 7 to 9 p.m., is free and open to the public. RSVP by sending a note to

Guest co-curators of Un/Common Objects are Christina Valentine, faculty member at Art Center College of Design and G. James Daichendt, Ed.D. associate dean and professor of art history at Azusa Pacific University.


Form follows fungus at the Williamson Gallery’s Intimate Science exhibit

Monday, July 8th, 2013
Philip Ross’s "Mycotecture" series, part of the Williamson Gallery's "Intimate Science" exhibition.

Philip Ross’s “Mycotecture” series, part of the Williamson Gallery’s “Intimate Science” exhibition.

Bricks. You know, those hard rectangular cubes made of heavy solid stuff like cement, stone, concrete, rock . . . and fungus. Yes, fungus. Clean, lightweight, extremely durable, sustainable, (dead) fungus. There’s a sculpture made of those fungal bricks shaped into a half-arc tunnel – not to mention two fungus-grown chairs –  on display in the Williamson Gallery’s current exhibitionIntimate Science (through August 18).

Known for its curatorial connections to the burgeoning ArtScience movement, the Williamson Gallery’s recent projects have extended this theme to include artists who are productively reckless when considering the boundaries between traditional domains. Stitching together performance, installation art, design, citizen science, and maker-ingenuity into a complex fabric of artistic practice, ArtScience artists are challenging older single-channel paradigms.

Originally organized by curator Andrea Grover for Carnegie Mellon University’s Miller Gallery and now on a national tour, Intimate Science includes a compelling assemblage of crossover objects and intentions. The exhibition’s stop at the hillside campus has brought works by artists from London, Seattle, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, and Tokyo to join hometown L.A. participant Machine Project in provoking students, faculty, staff and a stream of inquisitive visitors.

Two recent workshops organized by Machine Project transformed a section of the gallery into an interactive learning lab for unconventional artistic palettes. Attendees examined processes that might inform future hybrid projects by harnessing the behavior of sound vibrations and twisting auditory perceptions, and interfacing with the dynamics of electricity and the natural flow of current in the human body.

At the exhibition’s opening reception on May 30, scientists from Caltech and Jet Propulsion Lab mixed with artists, designers, writers, students, faculty, and the generally curious. Carnegie Mellon’s Astria Suparak remarked on bringing the exhibition to Art Center’s gallery: “We were thrilled to open Intimate Science at the Williamson Gallery — to have the opportunity to bring the gallery’s work to Los Angeles, to be seen by a wider audience and have a larger impact.”


Free Curator-led Tour of “Intimate Science” on June 29

Friday, June 21st, 2013
Philip Ross’ "Mycotecture" series, part of the Williamson Gallery's "Intimate Science" exhibition.

Philip Ross’ “Mycotecture” series, part of the Williamson Gallery’s “Intimate Science” exhibition.

Haven’t seen Intimate Science at the Williamson Gallery yet? Or maybe you’re ready to go back for seconds? Well, you’re in luck.

Next Saturday, Intimate Science curator Andrea Grover will be on hand in the gallery to give a free tour of her exhibition.

Organized by the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Intimate Science explores the shift from artists aiding science to artists “doing” science, and how this impacts the way scientific knowledge is acquired, used and shared.

The exhibition, which continues through Aug. 18, showcases contemporary artists conducting projects in scientific and technological domains and includes work from BCL, Center for PostNatural History, Markus Kayser, Allison Kudla, Machine Project and Philip Ross.

The curator-led tour takes place Saturday, June 29 from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery at Art Center’s Hillside Campus. To RSVP, send an email to

Have you been to Intimate Science yet? What do you think of the mashing up of art and science? Let us know in the comments below.

Art and Science Intersect at “Intimate Science” Exhibition Opening at Williamson Gallery

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Intimate Science, an exhibition showcasing contemporary artists conducting projects in scientific and technological domains, opens at Art Center College of Design’s Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery on Friday, May 31. An opening reception, free to the public, will take place Thursday, May 30, from 7 to 9 p.m.

The Williamson Gallery, says Stephen Nowlin, founding director of the Gallery, has helped define this “briskly emerging international cultural movement.” He explains, “Science enjoys a popular patina of certainty, while behind art there is in fact cerebral order, structure and intent. The true kinship of art and science is to be found…when each discipline is allowed to encourage and ignite each other.”

Curated by Andrea Grover and organized by the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Intimate Science explores the shift from artists aiding science to artists “doing” science, and how this impacts the way scientific knowledge is acquired, used and shared. The exhibition continues through Aug. 18 at Art Center’s Hillside Campus in Pasadena.

Philip Ross's Mycotecture Series at the Williamson Gallery exhibit Intimate Science is an experiment in growing architectural structures and furniture from the fungus Ganoderma Lucidum, also known as Reishi or Ling Chi.

Philip Ross’s Mycotecture series in the Williamson Gallery exhibition Intimate Science is an experiment in growing architectural structures and furniture from the fungus Ganoderma Lucidum, also known as Reishi or Ling Chi.



ARTnews Recognizes Williamson Gallery as Shaping Art/Science Movement

Monday, April 8th, 2013

In the March 2013 issue of ARTnews Magazine, arts writer Suzanne Muchnic features the Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery on the Art Center Hillside Campus and its nearly two decade-long series of exhibitions. The cover story, “Under the Microscope,” also features other leading contributors to the burgeoning art/science movement, noting that “in museums, schools, and research facilities, scientists and artists are swapping methods.”

OBSERVE at the Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery

Lita Albuquerque's installation "Stellar Suspension" was included in OBSERVE, an Art Center/Caltech-JPL collaboration at the Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery in 2008.

“Strict old-style boundaries like the ones assumed to exist between art and science are eroding,” said Stephen Nowlin, an Art Center alumnus and founding director of the Williamson Gallery, which opened in 1992. “Traditional dichotomies such as intellect versus emotion, reason versus intuition, and the poetic versus the practical, are becoming less distinct under the influence of unprecedented communication networks and analytical tools that reveal in higher resolution and greater clarity the complex layers of things and ideas.”


Art Center Participates in ArtNight Pasadena This Friday

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Friday, March 8
6-9 pm
Art Center Williamson Gallery and 10 other locations

Enjoy a free evening of art, music and entertainment as Pasadena’s most prominent arts and cultural institutions swing open their doors. Last fall, 14,000 people experienced the excitement of ArtNight.

Begin your journey at Art Center and view the first-ever West Coast exhibition by M/M (Paris), the celebrated Paris-based art and design partnership created by Mathias Augustyniak and Michaël Amzalag in 1992. The exhibition M/MANIFESTATION runs March 8–April 28 at the Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery at Art Center’s Hillside Campus

Travel on a free shuttle to visit the other 10 institutions participating in ArtNight.

Free Shuttles

Free shuttles, running 6–10 p.m., will loop throughout the evening with stops at each venue. Park at any one venue and ride to the others.

ArtNight is an ongoing partnership among many cultural institutions and the Cultural Affairs Division of the City of Pasadena. The event is sponsored by the Pasadena Arts & Culture Commission with support from the Pasadena Department of Transportation Transit Division, Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority and the Pasadena Center Operating Company.

For information on ArtNight, please call the ArtNight Pasadena Hotline at 626.744.7887 or visit Para más información en español, visite nuestra página del internet:

For information on accessibility and/or to request written materials in alternative formats, please call the City of Pasadena at 626.744.7062.

– Anna Macaulay

UPDATED: Graphic design art exhibition of M/M (Paris) makes West Coast premiere

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

VIDEO:  Watch artists Augustyniak, Amzalag in conversation with Illustration Associate Chair Aaron Smith and instructor Nancy Reigelman here

Art Center College of Design is pleased to announce the first ever West Coast exhibition by M/M (Paris), the celebrated Paris-based art and design partnership created by Mathias Augustyniak and Michaël Amzalag in 1992.

The exhibition M/MANIFESTATION runs March 8–April 28 at the Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery at Art Center’s Hillside Campus.

The free opening night events on Thursday, March 7 begin with a conversation with M/M (Paris) at 7:30 p.m. in the Ahmanson Auditorium, followed by a book signing and reception in the gallery. Please R.S.V.P. to

M/M’s close associations with the art, music and fashion worlds have led to their becoming one of the most distinctive and acclaimed creative voices of their generation, within graphic design and beyond.


Watch Lynn Aldrich install (and illuminate) Un/Common Objects

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

As a Graduate Art student at Art Center, Lynn Aldrich experienced a creative paradigm shift after realizing “that fine art was something philosophical and critical of the status quo and yet something that could be beautiful and pleasurable and generous to the viewer.” That philosophy has consistently to informed her body of work, constructed from the ephemera of domestic life (from Brillo pads to garden hoses), over the course of her twenty-plus year career as a celebrated sculptor whose work has shown in museums around the world and is featured in the permanent collections of both LACMA and MOCA.


Williamson Gallery, LitFest host page-turner

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

In an era of e-readers and smart phones, Art Center’s Williamson Gallery and LitFest Pasadena have teamed up to celebrate the simple power of the printed page.

On Sunday as part of the gallery’s “Pages” exhibit, eight prominent Los Angeles writers will each read one page from a favorite author.

“Art, science, literature, these disciplines define Pasadena — increasingly so,” said Larry Wilson, LitFest artistic director and public editor of the Pasadena Star-News. “That’s why the ‘Pages’ show in the Williamson Gallery is the perfect place for LitFest Pasadena, which is growing way beyond an annual book fair, to have a reading by these celebrated writers.”

Readers include Los Angeles Review of Books Editor Tom Lutz; Altadena novelist Jervey Tervalon; young writer Andrew Ramirez; mystery writer Gary Phillips; Slake magazine Editor Laurie Ochoa; poet and young adult novelist Ron Koertge; painter and author J. Michael Walker; and poet Lisa Teasley.


Designer Simon Johnston on Factory Records, Q-Tips, lawyers, self-destructing magazines

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Simon Johnston with his work "Investigation" at the "PAGES" exhibition opening. Photo: Chuck Spangler

Students recently packed an overflowing Los Angeles Times auditorium for 3×3*: Type Guys, an event that featured three presentations and a lively Q&A with three individuals that have crafted the way we see, understand and interact with typography.

Previously we shared highlights Kyle Cooper‘s and Jeremy Mende‘s presentations. Today we focus on Art Center’s own Simon Johnston.

Johnston was educated at Bath Academy of Art in England and the Kunstgewerbeschule, Basel, Switzerland. In England he founded the design practice 8vo, as well as the influential typographic journal Octavo. Since relocating to Los Angeles in 1989, he has run his own design office, Simon Johnston Design, with a particular emphasis on typography, especially book and catalog work for museums and galleries.

Johnston has taught typography and design at Art Center for 20 years. He is currently faculty director of the print area of emphasis in the Graphic Design department. In addition to his teaching and design practice, he works on his own art and photography projects.

At the event, Johnston touched on a variety of topics, including the importance of typography, working with some of his idols and the minefield of registered trademarks.

Here are just a few of the highlights:

On typography:
There’s an old joke: It’s the scene of an accident, a crowd is gathered around an injured person, and from the back of the crowd a voice is heard, “Let me through! I’m a typographer!” Typography may not be a matter of life and death, but as visible language, it is the key means through which we communicate as a society, and as such it’s the spine that runs through the body of graphic design practice.