Campus News

Weekly Bulletin

ART CENTER NEWSWIRE - 21 February 2002

To keep abreast of the exciting and innovative ideas, people and projects at Art Center College of Design, the media and general public can subscribe to Art Center's news digest by sending email to and in the body of the mail type "subscribe newswire" (without quotes). We highlight some of the newsmakers in our Art Center community monthly.

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(626) 396-2394; fax (626) 683-9233.


San Gabriel Valley Daily TribunePasadena resident and Art Center President Richard Koshalek has been actively involved with expanding the campus to better serve current and future students. He has relied on his education and interest in architecture to move the mission forward, eventually working with the board of trustees to select a team of four internationally acclaimed architects to help create new facilities for the college. Frank Gehry, Alvaro Siza, Hsin­Ming Fung and Craig Hodgetts have been chosen to plan a series of "significant structures." These include the already completed Sinclaire Pavilion, designed by Fung and Hodgetts. Pasadena residents Warren Williamson and his wife Alyce, a current college board of trustee member, hosted a dinner at the California Club to celebrate the partnering of Art Center with these "Four Masters."


Los Angeles TimesArt patrons of all economic means are finding that Los Angeles offers many outlets in which to either launch or add to their art collections. As well as galleries and other obvious choices, prospective buyers are encouraged to attend Art Center College of Design's graduate show as it is a hot spot to see the blossoming work of undiscovered talent. Dean Valentine, the former president of UPN and an art lover whose sizeable collection is housed in a warehouse, says that senior shows are one of the better places to seek out art. "I've bought a lot of art at these shows," he says. "The art stars of tomorrow are in those graduate shows."


Los Angeles Business JournalArchitectural giant Thom Mayne, busy with projects that include the new $171 million Caltrans regional headquarters in downtown Los Angeles, still found time to work with Art Center President Richard Koshalek, former UCLA Architecture Dean Richard Weinstein, NPR Producer Frances Anderton and others on L.A. Now. L.A Now is a two­volume study of statistics, images, urban design proposals and quotations that attempts to instill an interest in the city. Mayne feels that Los Angeles is experiencing a renaissance in design and is hopeful that the next decade will be a time of "absolutely significant buildings, all of them large, serious cultural projects."

Pasadena Star NewsThe city is looking forward to the upcoming economic conference that the Federal Reserve is holding in Pasadena. It is being seen as an opportunity to tout the region as a fertile ground for future business growth. Pasadena successfully embodies the word "diversity," not only in its ethnicity but in the variety of businesses that include a growing high­tech presence. The strengths of the city lie not only in its businesses, however, but also in the intellectual development offered by the many educational facilities that call Pasadena "home," among them Art Center College of Design.


San Marino Tribune, San Marino News, Pasadena Star News, Whittier Daily NewsArt Center is reaching out to children in grades four through eight by offering Art Center for Kids classes at the college. The goal is to promote innovation, critical thinking and visual literacy in children. The classes reflect many of the disciplines offered at the college and include advertising, film, fine art, animation, illustration, graphic design, photography, digital media, and product, transportation, and environmental design. Art Center for Kids strives to create an environment that fosters new ways of thinking, seeing and doing while engaging the students in the creative process. The classes meet Sunday afternoons and are taught by Art Center faculty, students and alumni.


The Whittier Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Daily Tribune, Pasadena Star News, Wall Street Journal, The Sioux City Journal, The Daily News, Erie Times-News, The Morning Call, Springfield News-Sun, Star-Gazette, Times Delta, The Bristol Press, The Clarion-Ledger, Gaston Gazette, The Knoxville News-Sentinel, Times UnionCalifornia Milk Producers launched a $2 million advertising campaign created by four Art Center students that targets Hispanic teens. The campaign features "La Llorona," the ghost of a woman in Spanish lore that cries over the loss of her children after being spurned by her husband. In the commercial, the shrouded ghost goes to the refrigerator for milk, finds the carton empty and leaves weeping. The legend of La Llorona is deeply ingrained in Hispanic culture and it is hoped that the ad will reverse a trend of teenagers drinking less milk. Says Jeff Manning, executive director of the milk board, "The goalis for these teenagers to see this advertising and they will feel that milk is much more attached to them culturally."


Bennington Banner, The Sun, The ReviewAs technology plays an increasing role in our lives, it is not surprising that it is becoming an art form of its own. Previously used as a support to more traditional mediums, digital art is gaining acceptance in the mainstream art world, appearing in at least two major museum exhibits this year and having a gallery opened that is devoted exclusively to digital and digitally influenced art. Artists have been exploring digital art since the 1960s, but only in the past few years has it become more widely practical because of better technology and prices, according Art Center instructor Peter Lunenfeld. Examples can be seen at the "BitStreams" exhibit at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and "010101" at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Projects commissioned or displayed include "e­poltergeist," which generates random sound bites and launches Web pages as if a ghost were in the machine, and "ecosystem," which uses programming code to translate real­time financial data into images of birds and trees.


Whittier Daily NewsThe tribal art of Joel Nakamura is prominently featured throughout the 2002 Winter Olympic programs. Nakamura was the Olympic organizing committee's first choice to illustrate the opening and closing programs because they felt his illustrations could best reflect the Olympic theme, "Light The Fire Within." "He captured what we were looking for and made it something beautiful and cohesive to look at," said Libby Hyland of the Olympic organizing committee. Nakamura had only one month to create ten original illustrations for the publications. He calls the experience his "heaven in hell month." "Heaven because it's not often an artist get the opportunity to create art for the Olympics, and hell because I didn't have a lot of time," he said.


Fort Myers News-PressFive years after his death, Corvette designer Larry Shinoda is still having fan clubs built around his name. The car continues to bring a gleam to the eye of auto aficionados who recognize the mark of excellence in design. Shinoda's automotive employment history includes Ford, Studebaker/Packard, and General Motors. He worked on the Torino Cobra, the Boss 302 Mustang, Indy Cars, racing cars, go karts, mobile homes, transport trucks and snowmobiles. If it moved on the ground, Shinoda was interested in it. The Art Center alumnus died of kidney disease in 1997 and is remembered as a humorous man whose legacy is everlasting, providing a blueprint for future automotive designers.

The Holland Sentinel, Times Herald, San Gabriel Valley Daily Tribune, Flint Journal, Pasadena Star-NewsThough cars may be born in Detroit, more and more are conceived in California. Ford, General Motors, BMW, Toyota, Honda, Daimler Chrysler, Porsche and other car companies have major design centers in Southern California. Many models built in Japan, Sweden, Germany and the United States had origins on the drawing boards in Southern California. The reasons for the appeal range from the quality of light to inspiration drawn from California's car culture, but one standout is that many of the world's top designers studied at Art Center. Alumnus Frank Saucedo, director of design at GM's Los Angeles Advanced Design Center, takes his staff to hot rod meets at the parking lot of the Bob's Big Boy restaurant in Toluca Lake to keep in touch with the California car culture. Other points of inspiration include furniture design centers and the boardwalk in Santa Monica.

San Gabriel Valley Daily Tribune, Whittier Daily NewsGraduate Nick Pugh's personal concept car, a one­of­a­kind vehicle that he designed for himself, was recently unveiled at the Art Center campus. The Xeno III is a two­seater that Pugh envisions as the future of the automotive industry­cars that are tailored to individual buyer's tastes, specifications, personalities and body size. The centrally placed Chevrolet V­8 engine is powered by compressed natural gas. The gas tanks hold 3,600 pounds per square inch of the alternative fuel and give the car a range of about 100 miles before it needs refueling. The angular design is accented by a mix of 18­carat and 24­carat gold plating that covers the combination aluminum and steel body. Though he won't reveal the exact cost, Pugh said it took about six years to build the car. It is not licensed or registered, and the only place he has driven it is an industrial park parking lot, so commuters won't have to be watching for it on the roads anytime soon.

Fayetteville Observer-TimesTransportation alumnus and Ford Vice­President J Mays likes to dream. But unlike most people, he takes his dream to paper and ends up with the New Beetle, retro Thunderbird or the reintroduced concept car FortyNine. The vision he has for his designs embody not just a vehicle but a sensation. "We don't want our cars to just stand on their own," he says. "We want to create an overall feeling." He works hard to evoke that feeling, designing, sketching, peering over clay models in the automaker's Dearborn, Michigan studios. He believes the focus should be design "cues"shapes, materials, textures and colors that work together to send messages to customers about "values" in a car. According to George Peterson, president of Auto Pacific, a research firm in Tustin, California, "Mays is on the cutting edge. He's bringing changes in the design process to Ford." Mays has a busy schedule these days as he visits ten different design centers around the world. Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Jaguar, Volvo, Mazda and Austin Martin all have his stamp. His mantra to designers is to think "hyper­smooth" or "American muscle" or "unbridled optimism." But never "cheap buy." Says Mays, "That doesn't sound inspirational to me."