Pasadena’s ArtNight, with ArtCenter origins, brings visitors to galleries on both campuses

Photo: Chris Hatcher

Photo: Chris Hatcher

ArtNight Pasadena, a bi-annual open house featuring over 20 Pasadena arts, cultural, music and performance organizations, held March 8, drew hundreds of visitors to ArtCenter to view exhibitions at three of our galleries, from Hillside to South Campus.

ArtNight is a free public event with ArtCenter origins. Twenty years ago Vice President and Williamson Gallery Director Stephen Nowlin and Armory Center for the Arts’ Gallery Director Jay Belloili collaborated on the idea of promoting the many cultural offerings in to be found in Pasadena. Working with colleagues at the Norton Simon Museum, One Colorado and Southwest Chamber Music, ArtNight was born. Designers from our Marketing and Communications Department have provided pro-bono graphic design for the event since its inception. The original ArtNight logo was designed by an ArtCenter student in 1999 and redesigned by MarCom’s design team in 2004.

Two decades later, ArtNight is a model public/private partnership. With the City of Pasadena’s Arts and Cultural Affairs Department as general manager along with a committee of reps from each non-profit venue and generous funding from the Pasadena Arts and Culture Commission, the popular occasion takes place the second Fridays of March and October. Each evening draws over 30,000 visitors who explore exhibits, performances and activities, and utilize free shuttle-buses that ferry them from venue to venue throughout the four-hour long festivities. Hundreds of guests explored ArtCenter’s galleries—GARB at Hillside’s Williamson Gallery, Mike/Sierra/Tangotypography at the Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography at South Campus’ 950 building, and Details of Design at the 1111 building’s Mullin Gallery, were all official participants in the March 2019 ArtNight.

The next ArtNight will take place on October 11, 2019, from 6 to 10pm. Grab a friend, gather the family, and experience the fun, diversity, wonder, and intrigue of the arts in Pasadena!

See artnightpasadena.org for more information.

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#ComicSansTakeover—the much-maligned font gains respectability for accessibility

ACCD_comicsansThousands of designers descended on Pasadena last week to attend the AIGA Design Conference. One of the highlights of the first day was a talk given by Liz Jackson, founder of The Disabled List, a disability-led, self advocacy organization that is creating opportunities in design by integrating specific, disability-led ways of knowing into design pedagogy and practice.

As part of her talk, Jackson encouraged those in attendance to participate in a #ComicSansTakeover, redesigning their organization’s logo using the Comic Sans font and posting it on social media.

While Comic Sans is hated by most graphic designers, it is actually one of the most accessible fonts for people with disabilities (because it is sanserif and imperfect, it is particularly easy for people with dyslexia to read).

As Jackson explained on Twitter, “the goal with #ComicSansTakeover is to get designers and organizations to think deeply about their perceptions of and practices around disability. I want you to ask what disability could mean for your brand. What are your best practices?”

The challenge was quickly met, as Pentagram Design. AIGA, Very Nice, AIGA Eye on Design, an accounting firm in the UK (Pennine) and more quickly posted their Comic Sans logos. ArtCenter participated with versions for the College and for our Designmatters program.

Our commitment goes beyond tweeting a logo—we don’t want to ignore the message behind the challenge and we must and will do more to design with disability, rather than for disability.

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Why do we design? These Denhart Prize winners have the answer.

A system for harvesting water, an e-waste solution and an affordable temporary structure to combat homelessness—these student projects constitute the winning lineup of the 2018-2019 Denhart Sustainability Scholarship Prize competition.

The awards recognize outstanding projects that integrate sustainability with superior design outcomes, and have the potential to influence art and design education and advance professional practice. In addition to recognition, the student designers are rewarded with significant scholarship funds.

Created through a generous gift from Gun Denhart and her son, Product Design alumnus Christian, the annual prizes support students who are making environmental and social criteria a priority of their work. This year’s applications were judged by a team comprised of Professor and Director of Sustainability Initiatives Heidrun Mumper-Drumm, Christian Denhart and this year’s guest judge, alumna Jessie Kawata, principal design activation director for Microsoft.

Offering kudos, Provost Karen Hofmann expressed “congratulations to all the students and faculty involved in these projects!! It is impressive and inspiring to see how much the Denhart family has committed to supporting this initiative. Many thanks to Heidrun for spearheading this valuable scholarship over the years.”

  • The $15,000 first prize was awarded to Marie-Louise Elsener for her project Aquora, a water harvesting system capable of providing water to communities experiencing climate-related water scarcity. The bio-inspired and energy-efficient Aquora tower concept collects and stores 200-350 liters of water per day for local use.
  • A second prize of $10,000 was awarded to Mana Koike for sweep, an electronics re-use and re-cycling system, supported by an app and collection kiosks. Partnering with Homeboy Electronics Recycling, sweep keeps e-waste out of the trash, promotes conscious e-consumption and builds a robust e-recycling infrastructure.
  • Andres Zavala received $5,000 for Nest, a bridge home that puts Los Angelenos on a path out of homelessness and into supportive housing. The material efficient design provides a serene, secure and enhancing space. The $1,800 per unit cost maximizes the number of units that can be built, increasing the potential social impact of this project.
  • Dewey Yu was given special recognition for packlight, a lamp made from its own packaging. The unique design and material choices is an example of exploration and experimentation of sustainability best practices

Speaking on behalf of the jury, Mumper-Drumm stated, “the jury thanks all student applicants and their faculty for contributing to the growing capacity within art and design to create solutions that address sustainability. Please join us in congratulating the winners!”

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The Clothesline Project on view as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Photo: Juan Posada

Photo: Juan Posada

The College is recognizing Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) by presenting a series of events and workshops to educate the community, raise awareness and reduce incidences of sexual violence on campus. One of several ArtCenter initiatives during the month is the Clothesline Project, a powerful visual display of t-shirts with graphic messages and illustrations designed by survivors of sexual violence as a way to express themselves and serve as a testimony to their experience. An exhibition of the clothesline is free and open to the public from March 26 through April 12 on the Bridge at Hillside and from April 15 through April 30 at the front entrance to the 950 building.

“We’ve had an incredible response from the ArtCenter community to our first-ever Clothesline Project,” said Sadara DeVonne, Department of Human Resources administrator and Title IX coordinator, who is leading the campuswide programs in support of SAAM. “I’m very pleased to see so many individuals participating in this important exercise to increase awareness, celebrate the strength to survive, promote healing and provide an avenue for survivors to break the silence that often surrounds their experiences.”

The entire community has joined the effort because participation is not limited to survivors of sexual assault. Many individuals have created shirts bearing a message of support, encouragement or tribute to others, such as “You Are Not Alone,” “We Support Survivors,” “There Is Hope,” “Not On My Campus,” or “Not In My Workplace.”

DeVonne acknowledges that the Clothesline Project can be a powerful and emotional experience requiring sensitivity from all members of ArtCenter’s community. She emphasizes that support is available on and off campus to students, faculty and staff in need of resources.

The Clothesline Project is a global phenomenon to remind people of the real meaning of violence statistics that are often ignored. It originated in Hyannis, Massachusetts in 1990 when a member of the Cape Cod’s Women’s Defense Agenda learned that during the same time 58,000 soldiers were killed in the Vietnam War, 51,000 U.S. women were killed by the men who claimed to love them.

Additional ArtCenter programs to recognize Sexual Assault Awareness Month include the following:

  • Official SAAM Kickoff on March 28 is an awareness event with campus and community partners such as ArtCenter’s Title IX Task Force, CARE Team, Student Counseling Services, Campus Security, the Pasadena Police Department, the San Gabriel Valley Medical Center Sexual Assault Response Team, Peace Over Violence, Aetna and CIGNA.
  • Harassment Prevention Training will take place throughout the month of April when all faculty and staff receive mandatory online training on the prevention of harassment, discrimination, sexual violence and an overview of Title IX. Student training begins this summer.
  • Day of Action: Wear Teal Day on April 2 On this day, sexual violence coalitions across the country will display a teal ribbon as a symbol of awareness and prevention. Teal—often associated with trust, devotion and healing—is designated as the official color of SAAM.
  • Yoga ArtCenter’s April 4 yoga class will be held in honor of sexual assault awareness.
  • Dog Therapy On April 9 dog therapy with furry friends trained to provide affection, comfort and love will be available for students, faculty and staff.
  • Day of Action: Denim Day on April 24 Denim Day began in 1999 when women in the Italian Parliament called for a “skirt strike” and wore denim jeans to work to protest an Italian court that overturned the conviction of an instructor who was found guilty of raping an 18-year-old student. Since then, schools, business and organizations throughout the world have observed Denim Day by wearing denim to promote sexual assault awareness each April.
  • Self-defense Class Participants will learn realistic self-defense tactics and techniques to increase awareness, assertiveness and safety on April 30 and May 1.

As ArtCenter promotes these programs to educate and increase awareness about sexual violence and prevention throughout our campus community during SAAM, DeVonne said it is important to remember the College offers support to anyone who might need it throughout the year. Community members are encouraged to read Common Myths and Facts about Sexual Violence for more information.

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Sean Adams Appointed Chair of Graphic Design Programs

SeanAdamsProvost Karen Hofmann announced that, after an extensive international search, the College has named Sean Adams, recognized as one of the most influential graphic designers in the United States, to the position of chair of the Graphic Design department. Adams, who has been teaching at ArtCenter for 15 years and helped launch the wildly successful Graduate Graphic Design program, most recently served as interim chair of the department. He officially took over the permanent role on March 11, 2019.

“Sean’s dynamic leadership of the ground-breaking graduate graphic design program was instrumental in the rapid-fire success of this new enterprise in less than three years, way ahead of the five-year enrollment goal,” said Hofmann. “His deep commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and the need to raise funds for scholarships are just a few of the many reasons he is the ideal candidate for the position.”

“I am excited to serve ArtCenter and thrilled to lead our community of imaginative risk-takers as they push boundaries and design the future,” said Adams.

During his candidacy for this position responsible for both the undergraduate and graduate Graphic Design programs, Adams emphasized the need for the department to prioritize thinking and exploration of new conceptual and formal practices in light of how emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence and the business of outsourcing, impact traditional graphic design practices. He stressed the need to balance the craft of graphic design with an emphasis on problem-solving, disruption, risk-taking and empathy to prepare students to have viable and long-standing careers in multiple media. He also articulated his drive to diversify the graphic design student and faculty population, culture and curriculum to better reflect the audiences the industry serves.

During the last several years, Adams has served on the editorial board of Design Observer, a website devoted to a range of design topics; he has continued to author celebrated books and publications and has developed numerous courses for lynda.com (now, LinkedIn Learning). He is the only two-term national president in the history of the AIGA, the professional association for design, that serves 70 chapters and more than 25,000 members worldwide.

Prior to teaching at ArtCenter, Adams was co-founder of the internationally recognized firm AdamsMorioka from 1994 until 2014. Currently, he works with a range of clients through his practice, The Office of Sean Adams. His clients have included The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, The Walt Disney Company, The Getty, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, Nickelodeon and Sundance.

In 2014, Adams was awarded the AIGA Medal, the highest honor in the profession. As an AIGA Fellow and Aspen Design Fellow, he has been recognized and published in numerous industry mediums including How, Print, Step, Communication Arts and Graphis. His work has been exhibited often, including a solo exhibition at The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. ID Magazine cited him as one of the 40 most important people shaping design internationally and GDUSA names him one of the top ten influential designers working in the United States.

An alumnus of California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), Adams is a proud board member of FullCircle, a group of individuals committed to supporting ArtCenter students on their educational journey and in developing successful career paths.

Adam’s appointment follows a comprehensive search to identify and attract a diverse and highly qualified group of potential candidates from around the world. Hofmann expressed gratitude to the committee of students, faculty and staff who conducted the search. The committee’s extensive process included multiple rounds of interviews, presentations, reference checks and gathering input from the ArtCenter community.

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Chris Hacker tapped to lead Product Design Department

Portrait of Chris Hacker.On a mission to teach designers to be a force for good in the world

Provost Karen Hofmann announced that, after a comprehensive search, the College has named Chris Hacker to the position of chair of the Product Design department. A professor in ArtCenter’s Graduate Graphic Design department since 2016, Hacker officially took over the role on January 22, 2019.

“Chris brings vast depth and breadth of design and leadership experience to the Product Design department and to the College at large,” said Hofmann, who led the department since 2009 prior to becoming provost. “I am thrilled to hand the reins of this incredible program and community of students, faculty, alumni and partners to him.”

A leader in the field, Hacker defines design as valued by business, driven by technological change and a force for good. These principles, explains Hofmann, are synchronous with the mission of the Product Design department for its students to visualize and realize the future with thoughtfulness and intent. “I am confident his leadership and vision will guide the program into the next era of success and impact,” she continued.

“I am honored and humbled to be asked to lead this iconic product design program,” said Hacker. “I look forward with excitement to adding the passion and enthusiasm I have for design and sustainability to support the education of young product design minds at ArtCenter. It is my mission to teach designers that they must be a force for good in the world.”

As a member of the Graduate Graphic Design department faculty, Hacker helped develop the curriculum with a focus on strategy, design management and professional preparation. While at ArtCenter, he has co-taught Trans-Disciplinary Studio sponsored projects, and worked closely with graduating Product Design students to prepare for the recruitment process and professional life.

Prior to teaching at the College, Hacker spent the majority of his career leading design teams at Herman Miller, Johnson & Johnson, Aveda Corporation, Warner Bros. Studio Store, Steuben Glass Works, Dansk International Designs and Estée Lauder. Throughout the years, he has hired numerous ArtCenter graduates to work at those companies.

While chief design officer at Johnson & Johnson, he sponsored several Trans-Disciplinary Studio courses including early Testlab Berlin programs and DesignStorms at ArtCenter. Trans-Disciplinary Studios are 14-week classes sponsored by industry partners. DesignStorms are immersive three-day projects in which students, faculty and professionals from participating sponsoring companies—such as adidas, Adobe, Amazon, Microsoft and Vans—collaborate and innovate around emerging material technologies or future market opportunities.

Earlier in his career, Hacker was a product designer at Henry Dreyfus and Associates, JCPenney Company Inc. and GAF Corporation.

He is a proud board member of ArtCenter’s FullCircle group, committed to supporting ArtCenter students on their educational journey and developing successful career paths.

Hacker holds a Bachelor of Science in industrial design from the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture Art and Planning.

In the role of chair, Hacker will provide the creative, strategic and academic vision for the department and work closely with a diverse body of faculty to shape the curriculum to address the expanding role of product design in the industry and continue prioritizing sustainable design practices to minimize a product’s footprint on the planet.

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Board of Trustees sets tuition rates for academic year beginning Fall 2019

Image by Juan Posada

Image by Juan Posada

At its February meeting, the Board of Trustees set tuition rates for the next academic year. Effective Fall 2019, the tuition rates for full-time undergraduate degree students will be $22,136 per term; full-time graduate degree students will be $23,394 per term; part-time undergraduate and graduate tuition will be $1,845 and $1,950 per unit respectively. The Universal Access Fee for all students will be $330. Tuition rates will remain in effect for Spring and Summer 2020.

As the College strives to provide the highest level of education, increases in tuition typically occur once a year, in the Fall Term. Students should plan for such usual increases.

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Ch-Ch-Changes! New Year, New Numbers, New Locations and more

Image by Juan Posada

Image by Juan Posada

Welcome to ArtCenter 2019! We hope you are rested and ready to tackle the Spring Term. As usual, elves have been busy working over break improving our campus, so some things may seem a little different. Here’s a rundown of the changes. We also want to take a minute to remind you of a few safety matters as we start the new year.

Room numbers at Hillside have changed!

The entire building has been renumbered. Don’t panic—Security personnel will be equipped with new building maps, you can download and print one yourself here, and there are big maps at the north and south entrances. And most people and things are in the same locations. The Bridge, pictured above, is in the same place and remains un-numbered.

Other Hillside Changes

  • The Hillside Micromarket will be opening its doors really soon, hopefully before the end of the month, which will allow 24-hour access to food, similar to the Micromarkets at South Campus.
  • The entire Accounting department decamped from Hillside and moved to the 1111 building. You can find them on the Level 4. This includes the Cashier and Payroll.
  • Purchasing will be moving from Hillside to the 1111 building, probably later this month. The mail room and receiving will remain at Hillside.
  • The Hillside 3d Rapid Prototyping room relocated to what is now Room 208, wherever that is. Kidding. Check your new maps.
  • The College is getting a new Kongsburg table that will go into what is now Room 241, which you can locate using the new building map. It will be up and running as soon as shop staff are fully trained on how to operate it.
  • The Faculty Lounge will also be relocated before the end of the month into what is now Room 212, the old Provost’s office (check your maps).
  • The second Hillside Film Stage that was adjacent to the Faculty/Staff parking lot was also relocated over the break and is now in Room 182. There was no old Room 182, so this should not be confusing.

1111 building changes

We still have the same number of floors, but we are now referring to them as levels. We know change is difficult, but this will be much easier than getting used to the new room numbers at Hillside.

  • Construction is ongoing on Level Three so there are still some classes that will be meeting in temporary classrooms on Level Two.
  • The Accounting department moved into their new digs on Level Four, Suite 410. Head south when you get off the elevator to find them.
  • The Security Office that was temporarily located on Level Two has returned to its permanent spot on Level Four, Suite 406.
  • Human Resources is still in their temporary space at the north end of Level Four, but hopes to be returning to their suite on the southside by the end of the month.

1111 building stairs

Did you know you can take the stairs instead of waiting for elevators at the 1111 building? Stairs from the parking levels to the lobby are now open and can be used. You can also use stairs to move from floor to floor throughout the building. Please note, because there is now an internal staircase from the lobby to the second level, the outside stairwell from the ground to Level Two can only be used to exit the building.

Safety Reminders

On January 1, 2019, ArtCenter officially became a tobacco- and smoke-free campus. No smoking, no vaping, no cigarettes, no e-cigarettes, no cigars, no pipes, no cannabis, no hookahs, no chewing tobacco. This means anywhere on campus. No smoker polls, no smoking spots. We are initiating this policy to address the overall health and wellness of our community and its environment. We aren’t telling any of you to quit using tobacco products, however, we do expect you to follow the policy while on campus.

Go here to read the official policy. We have also included information and resources for those interested in quitting.

You will need your stinking badges

All members of the ArtCenter community must wear visible College identification while on campus. That includes faculty, staff and students. Security may stop and question anyone who is not displaying an ArtCenter ID. No one wants to wear badges, but this is really for the safety of all of us. Security has lanyards and holders available for anyone who needs them. If you forget your ID, just check in with Security when you arrive on campus.

Safety App

ArtCenter has developed an app that you can download from the App Store or Google Play (search for ArtCenter). The Safety App allows you to chat directly with Security personnel, report a problem, review campus emergency plans and much more. Get it and start practicing some safety on campus!

Have we mentioned that room numbers have changed at Hillside?

If you know of changes we missed, or have a tip for Campus News, send a note to anna.macaulay@artcenter.edu.

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Meet the Fall 2018 Student Leadership Award winner: Illustration’s Michelle Kim

MichelleKim-cms_large

“Useless and hopeless.”

That’s how graduating Illustration student Michelle Kim felt prior to entering ArtCenter

On Saturday, December 15, Michelle will be graduating with a degree in Illustration, a minor in Social Innovation and she will be receiving the coveted Student Leadership Award. This award fulfills ArtCenter’s vision of educating artists and designers who are not only leaders within their professional fields but also leaders in their communities. She has come a long way from feeling “useless and hopeless.”

Each term, the College reaches out to the campus population for nominations from peers, faculty and staff. All nominations are considered by a committee of faculty, staff and students and they select the student who most demonstrates leadership through their participation in ArtCenter’s campus life, community outreach, student organizations and department initiatives. The selection committee is often faced with a difficult task of choosing between exceptional students who are both high academic achievers and valuable contributors to the College community. This term proved to be excruciatingly difficult when the committee was presented with multiple nominees who each probably would have received the award had they not all been nominated for the same term. The top three were especially strong contenders.

Michelle, who topped this competitive field of nominees, received nominations from students, faculty, staff and alumni. It is worth noting that the College does not solicit nominations for this award from alumni so the alumni nominators had to take initiative to participate in this process, and many did simply because of the impact Michelle’s leadership had on their lives while at ArtCenter.

Michelle’s extracurricular resume is impressive, and it’s no wonder she networked with so many of the College’s community members: she served as Director of Student Solutions and then President for ACSG (ArtCenter’s student government), where she spearheaded the Student Employment Project that established greater transparency, accountability and appropriate compensation for student workers, welcomed in hundreds of new students through orientation programs, and hosted the College’s first Leadership Awards Dinner; she co-led TEDxACCD 2017, which included successfully pitching the College’s Board of Trustees for funding support; she served as a student board member for Full Circle, the College’s philanthropic membership community; she was asked to serve on the Provost Selection Committee and was an active participant and key member of the group; she was an active member of the ArtCenter Business Club student group, organizing company visits in San Francisco and Los Angeles; she founded the ArtCenter Freestyle Dance Society, offering students a time and place for fun and active stress relief; she participated in a number of Designmatters, Study Abroad and Sponsored Project classes; she created an open source empathic toolkit for artists and designers to use when conversing with complex users, in her case she was able to utilize it to engage with homeless individuals in Pasadena; she participated on an internship panel discussion, represented the College at a NAKFI (National Academies Keck Futures Initiative) conference and served as a teaching assistant for Expressive Type.

Whew!

In addition to her remarkable list of accomplishments, Michelle’s nominators noted her particular brand of leadership. “She cares tremendously for everyone and her passion for designing a more thoughtful world is never forgotten,” noted one student.

A staff member was personally “impressed by her warmth and charisma.”

She was described as demonstrating “a continues effort to be selfless, caring, kind, compassionate, comforting and inspiring” by an alum and as someone who “jumps into the unknown with willingness and a sense of humility that allows room for others,” by a faculty member.

Michelle relates that she was driven by fear of her past failures but found what she describes as her ‘golden egg’ (her passion for adapting, collaborating and creating positive long-lasting impact) by joining a community, ArtCenter, that valued her for her skill sets and didn’t judge her on her past failures.

“In the end, I wanted to help others realize that they are valued. That our skills in the classroom are powerful outside. That we can make a difference. That we aren’t useless and hopeless. And that we all have a golden egg.”

Vincent Zhang
Product Design’s Vincent Zhang is perhaps the ying to Michelle’s yang. His resume reads very similarly—he is a student board member of Full Circle, he served as President of ACSG and Director of Social Media and Marketing, he co-lead TEDxACCD 2017, he was President of the ArtCenter Branding Atelier student club, he participated in Design Storms, he was an orientation leader for multiple terms and he worked as a teaching assistant. He garnered nominations from students, faculty and staff.

He was lauded not only as a leader, but as a mentor and was credited with creating the growing infrastructure of ACSG, inspiring others to take leadership roles at the College.

A student nominating him said “Vincent helps you discover your own potential. He inspires and gives hope. He transforms flaws into strengths.”

A student who worked on TEDx with him described his leadership—“he bravely led with a vision that he wanted it to be a place where folks could experiment, fail and contribute. It felt messy at times but it was a beautiful organic process.”

“Vincent is one of those exceptional student body members whose contributions, energy and passion for design have made ArtCenter a more inspiring and enjoyable place for faculty, students and staff alike,” said a faculty nominator.

Alvin Oei
The third in this trio of spectacular Student Leadership nominees, Alvin Oei, perhaps holds the record for most words written about or by a student while at ArtCenter. Early in his ArtCenter tenure, he was profiled in ArtCenter News (then called the Dotted Line), here and again here. He was the subject of a student story here. He described his personal journey for ArtCenter’s Storyboard here and in a video here. And, he wrote about his trip to Dubai to present a Designmatters project here. His litany of accomplishments include founding and developing the ArtReach student club, starting student chapters of TEA (Themed Entertainment Association) and IIDA (Internation Interior Design Association) at ArtCenter, spearheading “The Healing Tree” Designmatters project that is often cited by other students as a “life-changing” experience and that won numerous awards (Core 77 Social Impact Student Notable award, Denhart Family Sustainability Prize, Bronze Spark Award and a grant from Sappi). He served as a teaching assistant and he participated in a Study Abroad project in Berlin.

“To me, being a leader isn’t about running these organizations or clubs though, it’s actually about switching off the design persona and turning on the human one,” said Alvin. “It’s about taking a step back and knowing that those around us have emotions, come from different places and sometimes just need a reminder that they are amazing.”

Faculty members, in summing up their reasons for nominating Alvin, quoted the ArtCenter News story, “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.”

“Alvin unknowingly evolves sparks into flames when it comes to inspiring others to do not just what is right, but what is needed in society today, through the skills we’re learning in the classroom,” said one student nominator.

A staff member described a panel discussion that he pulled together on his own, “It was perfection. He had top guns in the themed entertainment world present. The house was full. Students and guests lingered for over an hour after the presentation to meet with their creative heroes on stage. It was truly a perfect panel.”

ArtCenter is going to miss Michelle, Vincent and Alvin tremendously—we can’t wait to see what they accomplish out in the world because we know they are going to make a difference.

We would be remiss if we didn’t recognize the contributions of this term’s other Student Leadership Award nominees. Alynn Tergevorkian was nominated for her contributions to the College as the Environmental Design representative to student government. A student nominator noted, “Alynn’s humble and considerate leadership style taught me that leaders do not necessarily have to always be in the spotlight.” “Time and time again, Alynn steps up to be of servce to her department and the larger ArtCenter community,” said a staff member nominator.

Benin Marshall was recognized for his efforts to create community among marginalized brown and black students of color; Michelle Gong’s contributions to the community as a teaching assistant, orientation leader and student worker, garnered her a nomination; and Austin Nelson was credited with being a mentor to other students.

ArtCenter thanks and congratulates all the nominees for their commitment and dedication to making the College a more compassionate, transformative and life-changing environment for all of us.

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Woolsey fire claims home and studio of Grad Art faculty member Lita Albuquerque

Kent Twitchell’s “Lita Albuquerque Monument” on the 101 freeway. Photo by @robertdoran_

Kent Twitchell’s “Lita Albuquerque Monument” on the 101 freeway. Photo by @robertdoran_

Grad Art students have rallied around longtime core faculty, artist Lita Albuquerque, who suffered immeasurable loss when the Woolsey fire destroyed her home and studio. According to The Art NewspaperAlbuquerque, who has called Malibu home for almost 30 years, was away on November 9 when the fire raced up the canyon, giving her pregnant daughter only enough time to grab the family dog before fleeing the flames. By the time she was allowed to return, Albuquerque found only rubble and dust where nine buildings had once stood. Lost were paintings, drawings, five decades of diaries, her pigment collection and her expansive library. “It’s so bad that it’s OK,” Albuquerque told The Art Newspaper. “We have our lives and the dog.”

A recent video, shot as part of our Faculty Portraits series, shows Albuquerque in her studio in happier times, surrounded by a lifetime’s collection of books and other treasured items.

Her children have started a Go Fund Me to raise funds to help her rebuild.

“Now the fire that’s raging is the love that I’m feeling from everyone, just pouring in,” Albuquerque told The Art Newspaper. “That part is beautiful.”

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