ArtCenter has a reputation for challenging students to meet and exceed their most formidable professional ambitions, often in record time. Case in point: Graphic Design alum Pearlyn Lii, who didn’t miss a beat translating a stand-out undergraduate portfolio into a coveted job in the New York office of the prestigious design studio, SYPartners. The San Francisco-based firm, which describes itself as a “product-creation engine dedicated to helping individuals, teams, and companies be great” (and counts Apple, Facebook, Nike and Target among its clients), first discovered Lii’s unique talents through the series of Student/Space videos chronicling her creative process as she completed a class assignment— a book project about artist Brian Eno.
“’UH-OH’ is among the finest solo museum shows this year.” Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times, November 12, 2015.
It is not often that an artist has both intrigued and intimidated me as much as Frances Stark (MFA 93). So it was with some trepidation that I set out to the Hammer Museum to see Stark’s mid-career retrospective, UH-OH: Frances Stark, 1991-2015, on view until January 24, 2016. The exhibition brings together more than two decades of Stark’s poetic compositions and autobiographical reflections, featuring 125 works, including the artist’s early carbon drawings, intricate collages, and mixed-media paintings as well as her more recent videos.
Jon Jon Augustavo (MFA 13 Grad Film)
This short is not only something I’m proud of—the tone, the look and the story are all representative of my voice as a filmmaker and it is probably the last time I was able to create something that’s not weighed down by expectation or inundated by other voices. This is something that is truly me. More recently I’m waking up and developing a few independent feature films. Films go much slower than commercials and music videos and the projects start out seeming so far away, like a pipe dream. But in the blink of an eye everything starts to happen and it’s all on top of you.
We have created a virtual sharing space, Untold Stories: Q&As with ArtCenter Alumni, for alumni to talk about their past, present and future projects as well as the ideas and challenges that shape their careers, lives and work.
ArtCenter alumni are some of the most accomplished art and design professionals in the world. We hail their prominent successes in our various digital and print publications, including Dotted Line, Dot magazine, the Viewbook and social media channels.
We are proud to share these triumphant moments. But fame—or even outsize accomplishment—is not the only evidence of success. We believe that inspiration, innovation and authenticity are the true hallmarks of a creative and fulfilling life. So, as we celebrate our 85th anniversary we are embarking on an effort to understand meaningful achievement in all its variations and to share the many untold stories of ArtCenter alumni.
In many ways the site is an anthology of alumni work and will be used as a source for content on all of our communications channels where we will continue to share the ArtCenter story with the world. Alumni have been invited to explore and engage with Untold Stories by answering questions and submitting images to this highly visual and highly personal space. This is the place where designers and artists share their thoughts as well as their work. Here is a small sample of posts already inhabiting the space. We invite you to visit Untold Stories to peruse the rest and keep checking back for new entries.
You’ve stocked up on coconuts, let the lawn die and sworn off all social engagements before 8pm. But the unflagging pace of alum achievements won’t wait for cooler weather. Continue reading
It’s the end of the schlep as we know it. And we feel fine.
Well, perhaps not quite yet, but thanks to rapidly evolving technology making autonomous vehicles possible, that daunting commute we face every day may soon be a thing of the past.
Tomorrow in the Wind Tunnel at South Campus, Art Center hosts Autospaces 2025, a one-day symposium that brings together designers, researchers, and government and industry leaders to explore issues of connectivity, trust and mediation with autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles.
Ask anybody who knew Graphic Design alumnus Doug Oliver (BFA 78) to describe the late designer’s personality and you’re likely to hear “larger than life.”
That reputation rang true last month when approximately 60 individuals—friends, family, colleagues and Art Center alumni—gathered on March 19 at Lithographix in Hawthorne, California for an informal celebration of the man’s life.
The Kansas-born Oliver, who passed away last December at the age of 63, left an indelible mark in the graphic design world. The annual reports he designed for institutions like the W.M. Keck Foundation and Northrop Grumman transformed potentially laborious information into exquisite works that captured the reader’s imagination.
Rebeca Méndez holds Art Center degrees in two different disciplines, Graphic Design (BFA, ’84) and Media Design (MFA, ’97). Her life and work stand as a testament to defying the conventions of those fields by expanding the definition of what it means to be a working artist and designer. She has forged her own path through punishingly uncharted terrain that’s taken her to the arctic tundras of the earth’s poles, as well as many untamed territories.
For these reasons among many others, Méndez was chosen to be the subject of the latest installment in the Change/Makers series of video profiles, which explores the ideas and passions informing the creative practices of some of Art Center’s most innovative and inspiring alumni.
Every artist has a muse: F. Scott Fitzgerald had Zelda; Coco Chanel had Etienne Balsan; and John Waters had…Divine.
For a more contemporary example, look no further than the cover of Art Center’s recently published Graduate Studies Viewbook. It’s there, underneath the diecut lettering, where you’ll find an image of a bright green alginate cast of a human hand.
That hand belongs to, and was one element of, Graduate Art alumnus Michael Zahn’s (MFA 14) thesis show Madita, which was inspired by someone he met as a foreign exchange student at Kunsthochschule Weissensee in Berlin.
In the DARPA Robotics Challenge, teams of software designers and robotics engineers compete to develop robots capable of assisting human recovery efforts in man-made and natural disasters. NASA’S Team Valkyrie approached Justin Chambers (BFA, Product, ’14), and 3D designer Chad Knight and asked if they would “design a cool shoe for our robot.” Chambers’ and Knight’s answer: Affirmative!
The above slide show illustrates the team’s iterative process that yielded a pair of shoes that quite possibly redefined the meaning of a cool pair of kicks. Chambers and Knight’s design comes complete with rover-style treads designed to facilitate the literal version of moon walking—no Michael Jackson moves necessary.
For anyone interested in how a designer comes to land a dream gig designing branded footwear for iconic organizations like DC and NASA, Chambers traces the unlikely journey that lead him to the launchpad for his rocket-ride career in the essay below:
Professionally speaking, alumnus Matthew Manos (MFA 12) was precocious. At age 19 in 2008 he founded his own design studio, verynice, a service free to nonprofits using design as a tool for problem solving. By 2012, with a full-time staff of two, verynice was providing $300,000 in pro bono services.
Today, with offices in Los Angeles and New York and a staff of 10 and growing, Manos’ innovative studio has donated the equivalent of more than a million dollars in services to some 250 nonprofit organizations with the help of skills-based volunteers around the globe. Manos’ book, How to Give Half of Your Work Away for Free, open-sources his 50% pro-bono business model. His givehalf.co platform is inspiring other companies to do the same.