Posts Tagged ‘Saturday High’

View from the Bridge: Art Center’s incoming class, the LEAP Symposium and bringing the Bard to Lida Street

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013
President Lorne M. Buchman

President Lorne M. Buchman

Being surrounded each and every day by thought-provoking ideas and inspiring individuals is perhaps the greatest benefit of working at Art Center. As President, I’m in a unique position to see so much of the remarkable work created here.

A clear side effect—and thankfully, it’s a good one—is that at the end of the day I have a lot on my mind. Which is why I’d like to start sharing with you here, on occasion, my thoughts on what I’m seeing, hearing and experiencing around campus and in the larger community.

First things first: The Fall 2013 term is well underway. Before we reach that busy midterm crunch, I’d like to tell you a few things about our latest incoming class. After receiving the highest number of applicants across all disciplines in our 83-year history, Art Center this fall welcomed 361 undergraduates and 68 graduate students, our largest incoming class ever. The increase reflects the strength and growth of our academic programs, as well as the planned expansion envisioned in Create Change, Art Center’s 2011–2016 strategic plan.


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

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013
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.


Dwight Stuart Youth Fund grant equips creative kids with artist mentors

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013
Saturday High student Kari Davis

Saturday High student Kari Davis

How can a good mentor change the way a young artist sees the world—and herself?  Just ask Kari Davis. The 12th grader and Saturday High student was recently paired with film instructor and Art Center alumnus Chris Gehl as part of Art Center’s Public Programs Mentoring Program, which helps teens hone their personal creative vision and learn about opportunities for college and jobs in the arts.

“Having Chris as a mentor is like having an art-focused sensei master giving you his undivided attention and support,” she says. “Every meeting is a field trip and a lesson. I feel like everyone at Saturday High is cheering me on and cares about my success not only as a filmmaker, but also as a person.”

A recent grant from the Dwight Stuart Youth Fund is helping to bring Art Center’s Saturday High and Art Center for Kids classes to students with creative prowess and financial need. Additionally, the grant is funding mentorship opportunities between Saturday High students and Public Programs faculty. The Fund is providing support for student scholarships and stipends for mentors. It is also the first non-College group to fund such activities as field trips to Art Center’s Hillside Campus and the publication of Voices, Public Programs’ annual collection of original Mentoring Program student work.

According to C.C. Ybarra, outreach program manager for Art Center’s Public Programs, “The Dwight Stuart Youth Fund’s grant will enable Public Programs to better reach an untapped community of kids who are creative and resourceful. These are kids who may already spend their days doing things like fixing broken bicycles in creative ways or using their artwork to barter with friends. But they may not realize that there’s an education system that highly values their talents, or that the art world and design industries value it.”


Public Programs Instructor Inspired by Ashcan School and Looney Tunes

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
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.”

Monday, February 25th, 2013

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.


Art Center for Kids students imagine fashion on Mars

Monday, February 11th, 2013

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.


Sparking Passion for Cars and Design

Friday, June 29th, 2012

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.

Metro Expo Line Opens This Weekend, Alumnus Ronald J. Llanos’ Work Featured at Expo/Western Station

Friday, April 27th, 2012

An illustration by alumnus Ronald J. Llanos; his work has been installed at the Expo/Western station.

The much-anticipated Metro Expo Line opens this weekend and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is celebrating by throwing a party. From 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 28 and Sunday, April 29, everybody can ride the new light rail line connecting the Westside to Downtown L.A. for free.

And while Metro is touting that it will only take 30 minutes to travel between Culver City and Downtown, they’re encouraging everybody to make multiple stops this Saturday to partake in a number of celebrations–Latino jazz band Double Gee Ninenet at the 7th St./Metro Center Station are one of many offerings–from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m..

Alumnus Ronald J. Llanos.

And on both days, riders should be sure to disembark frequently as each station features new commissioned permanent work by a different local artist, including Tom LaDuke, Samuel Rodriguez and Jessica McCoy. Near and dear to our hearts at Art Center is the Expo/Western Station, which features Ephemeral Views: A Visual Essay by Fine Art alumnus and Art Center at Night and Saturday High instructor Ronald J. Llanos.

More than four years in the works, Ephemeral Views consists of 24 mosaic panels, each one 8′ x 3′, that feature Llanos’ trademark translucent watercolor impressions of the vibrant characters that make up the everyday street life of the greater Los Angeles area. For some behind-the-scenes snippets of what to expect to see at Expo/Western, check out Llanos’ blog here and here.

“You might call me a ‘visual journalist’ or an ‘urban realist.’ My images are inspired by people, and by places I travel to or frequent,” reads Llanos artist’s statement on the Expo Line website. “I feel that if I search within myself for that which I find interesting about the places and people of those areas, I might be able to communicate with people across time.”

For more on this weekend’s Expo Line grand opening festivities, visit Metro’s website.

Illustrations by Ronald J. Llanos; his work captures the vibrant street life of the L.A. region.

Lights, Camera, What Now? Meet Saturday High Instructor Chris Gehl

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Writer/director/producer, Art Center alumnus and Saturday High instructor Chris Gehl. Photo: Mike Winder

In a recent interview, The Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola said, “The cinema language happened by experimentation—by people not knowing what to do.”

For Chris Gehl, an Art Center alumnus and a film instructor in Saturday High—Art Center College of Design’s program for high school students (grades 9–12)—venturing into unknown territory is par for the course. The Los Angeles-based writer/director/producer spends most of his Saturdays at South Campus, teaching Directing for Film and Writing for Film during the Spring and Fall terms and the Writing for Film and the Film Production workshops during the Summer.

With the beginning of the Spring Term less than two weeks away, we caught up with Gehl to ask him more about his Saturday High classes.

How much filmmaking experience do your incoming students have?

The nice thing about Saturday High is that it attracts a great cross section of the universe. Because we’re in Southern California, sometimes you get students who have parents or relatives in the industry. Then there are some students have more sophisticated tastes because they’ve been exposed to more film history. And some students come to class with no experience whatsoever. In fact, for some kids, this might be the only art education that they’re getting. So it’s a really nice mix.


Just call him Stan: Art Center at Night’s Stan Kong

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

Instructor Stan Kong reviews his students' work. Photo: Four Eyes Photography

“I hate being called ‘Mr. Kong’ because that puts a barrier between you and me,” says Art Center at Night (ACN) instructor Stan Kong, who’s teaching Sketching for Designers, among other courses, for the upcoming Spring 2012 term. “And I don’t think there should be any barriers.”

For Stan, who graduated from Art Center in 1983 and created ACN’s very first Introduction to Product and Transportation Design course shortly thereafter, removing barriers isn’t about becoming best friends with his students; it’s about facilitating honest communication in order to meet their needs. “A lot of what I do in the classroom is getting the students to talk about themselves,” says Stan. “If somebody were to ask a student of mine what they learned from me, I’d be totally disappointed if they answered ‘how to design a product’ or ‘how to draw.’ The best answer would be, ‘I learned to care about myself and about the world. I learned that I could go out there and achieve and make this world a better place.’”