Typography Center to be Established with $2 Million Gift, Honors Beloved Professor Leah Hoffmitz Milken

by December 2nd, 2014

Leah_Hoffmitz_with-student-Copyright-Steven-A-Heller-Art-Center-College-of-Design

Letterform expert and Professor Leah Toby Hoffmitz Milken works with a student at Art Center where she taught for more than 20 years. © Copyright Steven A. Heller and Art Center College of Design

Typography is the hidden power player influencing the way we read, talk, write and interact with the digital world. Storytellers throughout corporate America, from soap makers to car manufacturers, articulate ideas through common visual languages. Similarly, global initiatives like the (RED) awareness campaign thrive from strong visual recognition. Armed with 21st-century visual literacy skills, artists and designers can be among the most important drivers in reaching consumers and influencers, helping business leaders communicate with each other and creating value for industry as well as nonprofits.

To that end, Art Center, this week announced a $2 million gift to the College from the Lowell Milken Family Foundation that will establish the Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography. The Hoffmitz Milken Center’s aim is to advance the research, teaching and understanding of letterform design and typography. Recognizing typography as a vital component of our visual culture, the College has been developing plans to make Art Center a central influential force in this field. The Foundation’s gift helped turn those plans into reality.

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Artist Frederika Roeder explores “the shimmering luminosity of it all” with Art Center at Night

by December 2nd, 2014

Artist Frederika with her work Nightfog from her 2012 "Fog Series." Photo: Chuck Spangler

Artist Frederika Roeder with her work Nightfog from her 2012 “Fog Series.” Photo: Chuck Spangler

What kinds of students enroll in Art Center at Night (ACN), Art Center’s continuing studies program? Everybody from recent high school graduates to mid-career professionals to more experienced individuals pursuing new creative passions.

One student who took full advantage of ACN’s opportunities is artist Frederika Roeder, a California native whose work reflects the wide vistas, horizons and expanses of the Golden State. She uses mixed media—including acrylic, gels, resin and molding paste—to explore what she calls “the shimmering luminosity of it all.”

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Alumnus and star photographer Matthew Rolston’s captivatingly creepy portraits of ventriloquist dummies

by December 1st, 2014

Noisy Crachini (2010) from the exhibition Matthew Rolston: Talking Heads. (Credit: © Matthew Rolston Photographer, Inc./courtesy Diane Rosenstein Fine Art)

Noisy Crachini (2010) from the exhibition Matthew Rolston: Talking Heads. (Credit: © Matthew Rolston Photographer, Inc./courtesy Diane Rosenstein Fine Art)

The following story originally appeared in Art Center’s Fall 2014 Dot magazine, where you can read more about alumni and faculty achievements.

If you’ve seen photographs of Oprah Winfrey or covers of Rolling Stone, it’s safe to say you’ve seen Matthew Rolston’s work. His 2007 shoot with Michael Jackson is known as the singer’s “last sitting.” In fact, you almost can’t name a pop star Rolston hasn’t photographed or directed in a music video.

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Thanks + Giving: A Next Level dose of brotherly love for Art Center donors

by November 26th, 2014

Thank You! from Art Center College of Design on Vimeo.

The following post was written by Martel McCornell & D’Angelo McCornell  ( The Next Level Brothers ), who are biological brothers and film directors from Cleveland, OH. They both are currently attending Art Center College of Design for undergraduate and graduate Film studies. They were truly born Next Level—inspired and determined to continue to become greater together, providing value through great game changing film, design and community innovation.

When we were first approached to create this donor Thank You video, we were very excited and honored to represent Art Center by doing what we love.  Projects that are about value is our niche and purpose.  We knew it was an opportunity to write history and create a positive legacy by expressing our gratitude to those who helped us get where we are today.

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Conjuring the magic of art and design for kids at the Boys & Girls Club

by November 25th, 2014

Alvin Oei teaching at Pasadena Boys & Girls Club.

Alvin Oei teaching at Pasadena Boys & Girls Club.

Be passionate about what you do. Be thorough and thoughtful doing it. Be a leader. Make something. Make a difference. These are core Art Center values and Environmental Design student Alvin Oei embodies all of them.

Oei’s enthusiasm about art and design drives his desire to share his knowledge and excitement for the disciplines with kids, most of whom attend schools with no art curriculum. He accomplished this in a big way for the children at Pasadena’s Boys & Girls Club when he conducted an intensive two-week workshop. The mini-Art Center boot camp challenged the youths to design different stores in Diagon Alley from the film “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” through storyboarding and physical model making. The project was designed around the popular book and movie series to help make it resonate. Kids “have this unabashed no-limit imagination” says Oei, who is inspired by their energy.

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Beyonce and beyond: Fine Art department responds to debate over “Pretty Hurts” course description

by November 24th, 2014

Beyoncé Inc. (S, M, L, XL) by April Bey Oil on maternity mannequin and board 36''X48'' 2014

Beyoncé Inc. (S, M, L, XL), by April Bey. Oil on maternity mannequin and board, 36”X48”, 2014

This guest blog post comes in response to recent digital conversation sparked by an article on MTV.com taking issue with the description for an undergraduate Fine Art course (co-taught, not incidentally, by a woman of color) entitled “Pretty Hurts.” This piece, composed by Fine Art department chair Vanalyne Green and course instructors Ariel McCleese and April Bey, was intended to contribute to this vital and momentous exchange as well as to elucidate the intentions animating the description’s provocation. We hope the dialogue will continue as we wholeheartedly embrace the values of inclusivity and gender equality that have informed this conversation as well as the work of all the artists discussed below. Please continue to weigh in with your thoughts and ideas on this dynamically shifting terrain in the comments section below. 

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Art Center in Asia: It Began in Japan

by November 21st, 2014

Product Design alumnus Kenji Ekuan (BS 57), second from right, arrives in the United States in the 1950s.

Product Design alumnus Kenji Ekuan (BS 57), second from right, arrives in the United States in the 1950s.

In the latest issue of Dot magazine, we take a look at Art Center College of Design’s long history—nearly 60 years—of connections to Asia. Take a trip with us through time and across the Pacific as we look back in history and forward to the future. Today, we explore the College’s historic relationship with Japan.

In 1956, Edward A. “Tink” Adams, Art Center’s first president, traveled to Japan with Advertising alumnus George Jergenson (BFA 35)—then the director of the College’s Industrial Design (ID) Department—and ID faculty member John Coleman. They had been invited by the Japanese government to tour the country and to share their thoughts on how industrial design could provide a competitive advantage for a nation still early in its post-war recovery.

After returning to the U.S., they filed a formal report containing several recommendations for Japan, including instilling a sense of national pride in products being “Made in Japan”—they cited Nikon’s confidence in placing its name on its camera, “one of the finest cameras anywhere”—and making sure Japanese students fully grasp their country’s rich cultural history. The future designer, it stated, “will learn more…from studying Japanese masters of painting and design than he will from Western art.”

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View from the Bridge: The President’s attitude of gratitude for the Fall term’s vast riches

by November 19th, 2014

Incoming students during Fall 2014 Orientation Week.

Incoming students during Fall 2014 Orientation Week.

Thanksgiving, that wonderful holiday in which we as a nation give thanks for all our blessings, is just around the corner. In the spirit of that tradition, I’d like to take a moment to pause and reflect on what I have to be thankful for here at Art Center.

First of all, I’m thankful for all the newest members of the Art Center family. This Fall term we welcomed a record-breaking entering class of 432 new students, a number which reflects the continuing strength and enormous appeal of both our undergraduate and graduate programs. These students come to us from a total of 37 states across the nation and 31 countries around the globe, for a total of 47 countries represented across our truly international student body.

You may also be interested to know that the average age of the entering class is 21 and that, of our incoming undergraduates, 52% are female. As always, all of our incoming students demonstrated their considerable merit through their portfolios, academic records and personal statements, and each underwent a rigorous review to gain admission.

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And the technical Oscar went to…3-D VFX wizard and Art Center alum Peter W. Anderson

by November 17th, 2014

Peter W. Anderson (BFA 67), left, accepting his Oscar at the Academy's Technical Achievement Awards with Douglas Trumbull. (Credit: Michael Yada/©A.M.P.A.S.)

Peter W. Anderson (BFA 67), left, accepting his Oscar at the Academy’s Technical Achievement Awards with Douglas Trumbull. (Credit: Michael Yada/©A.M.P.A.S.)

Earlier this year, Photography alumnus and visual effects master Peter W. Anderson, ASC, accepted the 2013 Gordon E. Sawyer Award, an Academy Award for technological contributions that have brought credit to the film industry. “Without the sciences what would the art be?” Anderson asked as he hefted his Oscar. “Without the art, what would the sciences be?”

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Art Center in Asia: Create Change Design Forums at Beijing Design Week

by November 14th, 2014

Art Center's Mark Breitenberg welcomes participants to the 2014 Create Change Forums in Beijing.

Art Center’s Mark Breitenberg welcomes participants to the 2014 Create Change Forums in Beijing.

In the latest issue of Dot magazine, we take a look at Art Center College of Design’s long history—nearly 60 years—of connections to Asia. Take a trip with us through time and across the Pacific as we look back in history and forward to the future. Today’s focus: the College’s growing relationship with China.

Whether it’s the impending arrival of China-made cars to the U.S. market or Film alumnus Michael Bay’s (BFA 88) Transformers: Age of Extinction breaking the $300 million barrier at the Chinese box office, these days all eyes are on the Middle Kingdom. And Art Center is no exception.

Just ask Mark Breitenberg, special assistant to the College’s president, who led the Create Change Design Forums, a three-day series of presentations and workshops which took place in China this September during Beijing Design Week.

At the packed forums, co-organized by Graduate Industrial Design (Grad ID) alumnus Lan Yu and sponsored by her company, Art Center leaders and alumni met with employees from 70 Chinese companies to introduce them to Art Center’s methodologies and creative processes.

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