Tag Archives: ACN

Not sure what type of design to study? Sample them all in Andrew Hall’s Design 360

Artist and ACN instructor Andrew Hall in his studio. Courtesy of the artist.

Artist and ACN instructor Andrew Hall in his studio. Courtesy of the artist.

For the past four years, artist Andrew Hall has taught Design 360 at Art Center at Night (ACN), Art Center’s continuing studies program. Design 360 gives students a whirlwind tour of many of the major disciplines offered at the College, including: advertising, graphic design, filmmaking, illustration, product design and transportation design.

In the class, he asks his students to imagine a product that “protects something” which can be “something obvious like safety goggles” or something more abstract “like a camera, which protects memories.” Then, for the next 12 weeks, students give their product the full treatment—designing everything for it from a logo to a storyboard for a 30-second commercial—and then present it to the class, complete with drawings that show their process. “The presentation teaches the importance of really owning your concept.”

Hall finds the diversity of his students particularly inspiring—some take Design 360 when they’re at a point in their career where “they’re just treading water and need to make a big decision” while others treat the course as a philosophical journey. “Some of them come up with solutions far more cerebral and spiritual than a product you can hold in your hand.” Continue reading

Artist Erik Mark Sandberg explores the intersections of landscapes, tacos and razzle dazzle

"Girl with a Floral Headband" (2011) by Erik Mark Sandberg.

“Girl with a Floral Headband” (2011) by Erik Mark Sandberg.

For artist, Illustration alumnus and Art Center at Night (ACN) instructor Erik Mark Sandberg, life is constantly presenting contradictions ripe for artistic exploration.

“I was on my way recently to the Sierra Nevada Mountains to do some backpacking and thought, Gosh, look at that pristine pastoral landscape, when suddenly my view was obstructed by a large billboard advertising that Doritos Locos Tacos Supreme were available at the next gasoline station,” says Sandberg with a laugh. “And I thought Wow, those look good and I do need fuel. It was so strange.”

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An early peek at Art Center at Night’s newest offerings for makers, change-makers and career-changers


Need a career makeover? Ready to explore a new path? Have a dream to fulfill?

Consider your wait over.

Next Wednesday, Art Center at Night (ACN) is holding its annual open house at Art Center’s South Campus from 7–9 p.m. At the event, visitors have a chance to explore the broad range of opportunities available through Art Center’s continuing education program.

At Experience Art Center at Night, visitors can: sit in on classes (see participating courses); observe student presentations and critiques; meet ACN’s instructors; see student work; register for Fall courses; learn about Art Center’s full-time degree programs; enter a raffle to win a free ACN course; and share their ACN experiences in the event’s first ever video confessional booth.

The event is also the perfect opportunity to learn more about and sign up for ACN’s newest courses. This coming Fall term, the program is offering more than a dozen new courses, including:

Digital Painting for Entertainment
Painting can seem complicated. But by understanding the medium and combining foundation skills with more lateral approaches, you can discover the joy of digital painting. This introductory digital painting course is designed specifically for aspiring entertainment design, entertainment arts, and illustration students. Instructor: Justin Pichetrungsi

Dimensions: Exploring Dynamic Objects
Before you can successfully create sculpture or make art, you must expand your definition of objects and object-making past the notion of craftsmanship. This course will challenge you to consider how objects can engage us emotionally and conceptually and offer you the opportunity to work with new tools and materials. Instructor: Mason Cooley

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Rockin’ the foundation: Alumnus Simon Davey on how Art Center at Night influenced his work

Simon Davey's Spiteful Table.

Simon Davey’s Spiteful Table.

Many successful Art Center students get their first taste of the College through Art Center at Night (ACN), the College’s continuing studies program. Take for example recent Product Design alumnus Simon Davey, whose student rebranding project for Dulce Mexico was recently highlighted on Adobe’s packaging form Designer Showcase.

I chatted recently with Simon Davey on how ACN influenced both his career at Art Center and his entire design process. Here are a few excerpts.

On the playful quality of his work:
I’ve heard people describe my work as playful or whimsical, and I don’t really shy away from that. At the heart of my design philosophy is an attempt to truly understand the context in which a problem exists. In other words, I like questioning how and why people are using their stuff. And that means sometimes the work I create borders on the ridiculous, like my Spiteful Table, a side table/rocking chair hybrid.

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For Art Center at Night director Dana L.Walker, “Diversity is really about all of us.”

Dana L. Walker, Photography and Imaging alumna and Art Center at Night director. Photo: Ken Merfeld.

Many students who end up studying at Art Center are first introduced to the College through Art Center at Night (ACN)—Art Center’s continuing studies program headquartered at South Campus. And chances are that at some point many of those students also came into contact with Photography and Imaging alumna Dana L. Walker (PHOT 1995). Walker serves as both the director of ACN and the managing director of Public Programs, Art Center’s suite of programs that also includes Art Center for Kids (grades 4–8), Saturday High (grades 9–12) and Summer Institute for Teachers (for K–12 educators).

In addition to her Public Programs duties, Walker is also co-chair of Art Center’s Council on Diversity and Inclusion, which the College created in 2011 as part of its Create Change Strategic Plan. She’s also a board member of the 120 Group, an ethnically diverse, alumni-based organization that promotes educational and career opportunities in art and design for underrepresented minority populations.

We sat down recently with Dana to talk about diversity, her work as an artist and what it’s like to be a student in her own program.

Dotted Line: You’re on the College’s diversity council. How do you define diversity?

Dana Walker: I don’t define it. In fact, one of the things we’ve done on the Council is purposely not define it. Because once you define it, it becomes a quantity rather than a quality. Diversity is not just about race, ethnicity or religion. It’s also economics, geography, gender and more. In fact, diversity includes so much that it’s really about all of us. And that’s what makes it challenging. To become a better artist or designer, you need to understand the world that you live in and the people who live in it. Whether it’s learning about another culture or learning how to work with different people, you can’t design for the world if you don’t understand large parts of it.

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Adding value to the world: Art Center at Night student Julienne Johnson

Artist Julienne Johnson in her North Hollywood studio. Photo courtesy of the artist.

“Her work impressed me with its own combination of raw confidence and formal strategy,” said art critic Peter Frank of artist Julienne Johnson. “She knows how to put together a painting, even as she puts herself right in the middle of its fabrication.”

Frank edited Johnson’s first art book Ashes for Beauty, which documents the artist’s collection of the same name, which was the subject of two solo exhibitions at Santa Monica’s TAG Gallery in 2010 and 2011.

Johnson has taken several courses at Art Center at Night over the past few years and she credits the College’s continuing studies program with dramatically changing her work as well as her approach.

“I learned that the making of art is of great value to the world,” said Johnson. “I already knew how immensely important it was to me, but it was through Art Center that I felt empowered to proclaim it boldly.”

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Meet Environmental Design alumna Zorine Pooladian

Designer Zorine Pooladian ENVL '12.

Sometimes finding your true calling can feel like flipping on a light switch. Just ask designer Zorine Pooladian ENVL ’12.

The Environmental Design alum was first turned on to the world of lighting design in an Art Center at Night (ACN) course; these days she’s working on a lighting project she plans to unveil at New York Design Week next year.

We sat down recently with Pooladian to ask her about her ACN experience, and here’s what she told us:

“I have always loved art and architecture. I grew up in a 300-year-old house in Iran that had high ceilings and walls covered in paintings. As a child, I remember being amazed that somebody could leave something behind that would last for centuries.” Continue reading

Sparking Passion for Cars and Design

Art Center for Kids students in Jeffrey Leon's "Designing Cars" class.

Car enthusiasts come in all shapes, sizes—and ages.

Recognizing this, and aiming to inspire the next generation of auto lovers, the Collectors Foundation awards scholarships and grants to organizations that are committed to both hands-on education and making a difference in the lives of young people through the appeal of historic vehicles and vessels.

An Art Center partner since 2005, the Foundation supports undergraduate scholarships in Art Center’s Transportation Design program, as well as scholarships for students interested in transportation classes in Art Center’s Public Programs, Saturday High for students in grades 9-12 and Art Center for Kids for students in grades 4-8.

Eunice Han, age 16, of Rowland Heights, Calif., received a Collectors Foundation scholarship in 2011 to cover the cost of an Introduction to Transportation Design class in Saturday High. “The opportunities given through this scholarship helped set my path by revealing to me the incredible role of art and design in our community,” says Eunice. “I realized that without a doubt I had to be a part of it.”

The class also opened Eunice’s eyes to the wide range of design careers available to her. She is now considering a career in industrial design. “I enjoy being able to create solutions,” she explains, “whether that be of a product or even a graphic representation.”

From an early age, Greg Bagdasaryan of Glendale, Calif., had dreamed of designing “killer” cars. He began Art Center for Kids classes at age 12 and received a Collectors Foundation scholarship at 18, which enabled him to take a Saturday High beginning transportation class.

“The class changed my perspective by showing me how to sketch simple shapes and use them to express my ideas for cars and other things,” says Greg.  “It was a great first step in learning what design really was and how to think about ideas and show what can and cannot work.”

Now a student at Pasadena City College, Greg is working hard to improve his design skills as he builds a portfolio that he hopes will gain him admission to Art Center. “It takes a great work ethic,” he adds. “I’ve learned that if you aim for the top, you can succeed. All it takes is that spark of passion.”

The power of cars to inspire the creative spirit is something that the Collectors Foundation understands well. While not every student who receives a Collectors Foundation scholarship sets his or her sights on designing the automobile classics of the future, many describe developing a greater appreciation for design in the auto industry and beyond.