Tag Archives: Art Center for Kids

Student profile: Christina Yang’s Art Center coming of age story

Self portrait by Christina Yang

Drawing of Christina Yang at work by Madeline Ocampo

Christina Yang began attending Art Center when she was 12 years old. But hold off on calling her the Doogie Howser of the design world. She simply followed her passion for visual arts through every phase of the College’s curriculum, from its public programing for underage artists to full-fledged matriculation.

She began her journey with Art Center for Kids courses. She then continued her studies in the College’s Saturday High program while attending Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) before being recently accepted as a full-time student in the degree program. She starts Fall 2013 as an Entertainment Design major.

Dotted Line: Why did you choose Art Center?

Christina Yang: My father went to Art Center, so attending the Kids program felt natural. But I also kept returning chiefly because of the high quality instruction I received. While other children’s programs were rather loose and directionless, Art Center instructors taught me core skills with a great deal of structure balanced with encouragement. My age never mattered. The teachers were never condescending. We had the privilege of being exposed to Art Center’s disciplined, focused, rich learning environment, which helped us begin to take ourselves seriously as artists.

Continue reading

Public Programs Instructor Inspired by Ashcan School and Looney Tunes

Ronald J. Llanos. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Ronald J. Llanos. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Born in Los Angeles, Art Center alumnus Ronald J. Llanos ILLU ’03 has taught in Art Center’s Public Programs—Art Center for Kids, Saturday High and Art Center at Night—for the past 10 years.

Llanos’ work depicts everyday moments of life in L.A., whether it’s street vendors selling their wares in downtown’s Toy District or an homage to Manet’s Bar at the Folies Bergères via Hot Dog on a Stick. “I was inspired by artists who captured their urban surroundings like George Bellows and John French Sloan,” says Llanos, who’s teaching Illustration for Art Center for Kids’ Summer 2013 term.

And while he cites as influences those two artists and others from the Ashcan School—a group of early 20th-century painters in New York and Philadelphia that depicted the raw vibrancy of city life—Llanos says his urban illustrations also owe a debt to Bugs Bunny. “I was also inspired by the background art from Looney Tunes cartoons from the ‘40s and ’50s, specifically the work of Maurice Noble.”

Sunday, his work featured on the most current Art Center for Kids catalog, is part of Llanos’ ongoing “Brown World” series, which refers both to his choice of paper stock as well as the Latino community he chronicles. “I lived in Huntington Park for the first three years of my life, which I can still vividly recall,” says Llanos. “It all left an impression on me.”

Llanos' "Sunday," 2003. Courtesy: Nick Jeong.

Llanos’ “Sunday,” 2003. Courtesy: Nick Jeong.

Llanos’ has shown at venues like Wax Poetic, Cactus Gallery and Ghettogloss. And last year, Metro unveiled his most ambitious project to date: Ephemeral Views: A Visual Essay. The public work—24 large-scale mosaic panels that depict L.A. street life—is seen daily by thousands of commuters passing through the Expo Line’s Expo/Western station.

Summer 2013 term Art Center for Kids classes begin June 23 and registration begins May 20.

Art Center for Kids motivates students (grades 4–8) to discover their inspiration and express themselves in new ways. Through a variety of unique art and design classes—ranging from Animal Sculpture to Inventors’ Workshop—the program teaches critical thinking, innovation and visual literacy to help children reach their creative potential.

Art Center College of Design’s Public Programs offer a wide range of art and design courses for individuals at every stage of their educational, professional or personal development. By providing non-degree students access to exceptional instruction and facilities, the College’s Public Programs promote critical thinking and problem solving, and teach effective techniques for fostering intellectual, societal and professional development.

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.

Continue reading

Art Center for Kids students imagine fashion on Mars

Instructor Yelen Aye (right) gives his Saturday High students some fashion sketching tips.

In less than two weeks, Art Center and students in grades 4–8 will be taking fashion to a different level. Or in this case, a different planet.

Every Spring term, all Art Center for Kids classes—from Animal Sculpture to T-Shirt Design—focus on a common theme: imagining life on Mars.

It’s all part of the Imagine Mars Project, an interdisciplinary program sponsored by NASA and the National Endowment for the Arts that takes students on a virtual mission to Mars and brings them back with a new outlook on community, science and the arts.

For these classes, Art Center for Kids students have an opportunity to meet with scientists and engineers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to bring this theme to life.

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.

Art Center for Kids Students Imagine Life on Mars

Art Center for Kids students get up close and personal with a Mars Rover model.

This August, NASA’s Mars Rover Curiosity will land on the surface of the Red Planet. Armed with a geology lab, cameras galore and a rock-vaporizing laser, Curiosity’s mission will be to find conditions favorable for life.

This Spring, all students enrolled in Art Center for Kids—Art Center College of Design’s program for students in grades 4–8—will have a special opportunity to work with Curiosity engineers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to imagine what a future community on Mars might look like.

It’s all part of the Imagine Mars Project, an interdisciplinary program sponsored by NASA and the National Endowment for the Arts—and of which Art Center is a proud partner— that takes kids on a virtual mission to Mars and brings them back with a new outlook on community, science and the arts.

Art Center for Kids students in "Architecture from the Inside Out" design buildings suitable for the environment on Mars.

Every Spring term for the past six years, all Art Center for Kids classes focus on one common theme: imagining a future life on Mars. In these classes, young artists and designers, in cooperation with scientists and engineers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, translate this theme through a variety of disciplines.

“Here on Earth we take certain things for granted, like gravity,” says David J. Delgado, Art Center alumnus and Lead on the Imagine Mars Project for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who says the main skill Imagine Mars students develop is creative problem solving, “We ask the students to dig into their imagination and come up with things that have never been seen before.”

Delgado says the wide array of disciplines taught at Art Center for Kids means those ‘things that never seen before’ take on infinite variations—whether they’re group projects built in Architecture from the Inside Out (“How do you design buildings to fit into the environment on Mars?”), constructing narratives in Cartooning Technique (“What kind of people will live there? What will they do?”) imagining how pets would survive on Mars in Animal Sculpture (“The students have come up with some really fun spacesuits for their animals.”) or capturing images of life on Earth in Photography to remind residents on Mars of their roots.

Delgado also points out that the lessons learned in class go far beyond simply learning about Mars, “The instructors at Art Center for Kids use Imagine Mars as a jumping-off point to get really creative. Not only are the students learning about Mars, but they’re also learning skills for their specific medium, say photography. And they’re not just learning how to take a photograph, but they’re also learning about how tell stories through pictures. All the classes do a really good of that.”

Art Center for Kids Spring classes begin February 19; register today!

David J. Delgado, lead of the Imagine Mars Project at The Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Public Programs: The Gift That Lasts a Lifetime

It’s that time of year where many of us agonize over finding those perfect, unique gifts for our loved ones. Don’t fret—we’ve got the perfect idea for you.

Photo © Steven A. Heller / Art Center College of Design

Did you know that you can buy them a gift certificate for Art Center at Night, Saturday High or Art Center for Kids?

Perfect for those interested in exploring a creative passion, learning a new skill, or taking their current practice to the next level, a gift certificate for one of Art Center’s Public Programs courses will teach skills that will last your loved one a lifetime.

  • Art Center at Night is for adults of all levels and experience interested in acquiring new skills, developing portfolios, personal enrichment and more.
  • Saturday High offers a variety of engaging courses that explore art and design as well as career opportunities for teens in grades 9 through 12.
  • Art Center for Kids features unique art and design courses for children in grades 4 through 8 that foster new ways of thinking, seeing and doing.

To purchase a gift certificate, stop by the Art Center’s Public Programs office, located at Art Center’s South Campus, before 5 p.m. on Tuesday, December 21.  Registration for Art Center at Night’s Spring Term is now open. Saturday High registration opens Jan. 4, and Art Center for Kids begins Jan. 24.