Wednesday, February 15, 2012

We've Moved!

The Visual Arts has a new blog! For updates on courses, events and other info, please visit

This site will still be here for your reference, but mosey on over to our new digs to keep up to date with program information.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Giant Zombie Pumpkins!

I think it's pretty great that whoever was in charge of the world's largest pumpkin gave editorial oversight to Ray Villafane, who carved zombies emerging from the gooey innards. There's something about the gross slimy pumpkin guts that really lends itself to zombie goo, aesthetically.

Check out all the photos.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Stephanie Pryor at Marine Contemporary

Instructor Stephanie Pryor has a show coming up at Marine Contemporary - details below!

Stephanie Pryor: Domina

October 22 – November 26, 2011

Opening Reception: October 22, 6-9 pm

Marine Contemporary is pleased to present Domina, Stephanie Pryor’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. For this new body of work, Pryor has been looking at old master paintings, particularly 16th Century Venetian paintings. Pryor’s most recent portraits of women are inspired by paintings of courtesans from this period, such as Giorgione’s Portrait of a Courtesan. The title of the show comes from the Latin phrase "Domina Domina", which translates as mistress, dame, lady or she who rules. In old English Law, it was a title formerly given to noble ladies who owned estates on their own, separate from men. This Latin root went on to form the words dominate and dominatrix.

Stephanie Pryor’s seductive paintings blur the line between abstraction and representation, both physically and psychologically. Whether the final image stems from source material such as nature, fashion, self-portraiture or photography, Pryor is interested in the unfolding of an expression or moment in time. One that is subject to change during the duration of painting. Pryor paints like a watercolorist, using layered thin washes of watery acrylic in brooding and vivid colors. The final piece is the result of an intuitive process of layering color to define image and to form new shapes and areas that aren’t apparent in the original drawing, but come across during a more meditative period of observation. As a result, these gestural acrylics are concurrently impulsive and considered, possessing a savage, dark and poetic beauty.

Domina is featured in the September issue of Modern Painters as one of the top 100 fall shows to see internationally.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Free Talk: The Graphic Design of Comic Books

Come see award winning comic book-style illustrator Arlen Schumer present an overview and retrospective of his works. Throughout his extensive, prolific career Arlen has been bridging the gap between two verbal/visual artistic disciplines: comic book art and graphic design. Comic Book Artist magazine named Arlen, "one of the more articulate and enthusiastic advocates of comic book art in America." Based in New York, he lectures at universities and cultural institutions across the country.

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM / 07 OCT 2011
Loyola Marymount University
Burns Fine Arts Complex, Room 211
7900 Loyola Blvd. Los Angeles 90045

Admission is free.
Parking is free.

Arlen Schumer is one of the foremost historians of comic book art, from his landmark special issue of Print magazine devoted to comics in 1988 to his forthcoming presentation at the New York Comic Con, "The Auteur Theory of Comics." His coffee table art book, "The Silver Age of Comic Book Art" won the Independent Publishers Award for Best Popular Culture Book of the year. His other books include "Visions of the Twilight Zone" and "The Neal Adams Sketchbook."

Stop at the guard's kiosk at the Main Gate (Lincoln Blvd. and LMU Drive) to obtain a permit and directions. The visitor parking lot (Hannon Field, parking lot A) is just south of the Burns Fine Arts Center.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Adobe Sidekick 2011

Adobe Sidekick 2011: An All-Star Technology Jam Session

The Los Angeles Adobe User Group (LAdobe) along with the Los Angeles Photoshop User Group, the Los Angeles Illustrator User Group, and LAFlash present Adobe Sidekick 2011 which will take place on Saturday, October 1 at 6pm at Indie Desk on 816 South Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles.

Admission to the event is free and parking will be available at meters as well as various parking lots and garages in Downtown Los Angeles.
We're starting early so you can attend Adobe idekick and also have a great night out afterwards whether in Downtown LA or elsewhere.

Sidekick is presented as a special event for the Los Angeles area Adobe Community and features presenters who are in town for the Adobe MAX conference at the nearby Los Angeles Convention Center. For those of you still on the fence about attending MAX, this night will offer a small taste of the conference while you can still make up your mind whether to attend or not. For those of you who cannot afford to attend MAX due to financial or work-related conditions, this night offers a chance to hear from some of the top minds in technology while they are in the area.

Our presenters are as follows:


Alex Liebert is an independent game developer and artist located in San Francisco.

He's worked as an animator, software engineer, and producer for clients including The Gap,, and Blend Films. Alex started Milkman Games, LLC in 2010 with a mission of bringing fun, beautiful and accessible games to the mobile space. Milkman Games' debut title, Aqualux, launched on a variety of phones and tablets earlier this year. Follow Alex on Twitter: milkmangames

Joshua Granick has a passion for great games, functional design and tools that make life easier.

He has twelve years of industry experience; three as a small business owner. He has produced applications and games for brands like Adobe, Apple Jacks, Disney and Eldorado Stone.

From his former selection of TI-series calculators to his current selection of phones and tablets, Joshua loves developing for mobile devices, especially as the skill set for mobile, desktop and web development continue to blur.

He has three kids and a beautiful wife, and currently works in HP webOS Developer Relations. Follow Joshua on Twitter: singmajesty

DAVID POWERS-I Didn't Know Dreamweaver Could Do That

David Powers of Foundation PHP in the UK is an author and trainer, who's passionate about web standards. He's written or contributed to
15 books and video series about Dreamweaver, PHP, CSS, and other web-related technologies. His most recent titles are HTML5, CSS3, and jQuery with Adobe Dreamweaver CS5.5: Learn by Video, and Adobe Dreamweaver CS5.5 Studio Techniques: Designing and Developing for Mobile with jQuery, HTML5, and CSS3 (both Adobe Press). David's articles are among the most popular tutorials in the Dreamweaver Developer Center. David is an Adobe Community Professional for Dreamweaver and specializes in developing web solutions using PHP and the MySQL database. Prior to his career as an author, David was a BBC radio and TV journalist, and spent many years working in Japan. He has translated several musical plays from Japanese into English.

ROBERT REINHARDT-Comparing Web Video Technologies, from Flash to HTML5 to Silverlight

Robert Reinhardt, VP of [the MAKERS] in Portland, OR, is internationally regarded as an expert on multimedia development, particularly in Adobe Flash and online video. Selling over 200,000 copies in over 13 languages, Robert's books include the Flash Bible
(Wiley) and Video with Adobe Flash CS4 Professional Studio Techniques (Adobe Press). As an Adobe Community Expert, he develops workshops for schools and corporations, and he creates tutorials at Robert has spoken at industry events since 1998, including Flashbelt, FITC, SIGGRAPH, and Adobe MAX. Robert is currently building a professional video encoding and hosting service, Follow Robert on Twitter: flashfreaker.

STEFANO VIRGILLI-Is It Photoshopped?

Stefano has an Italian degree in communication design. His experience in the training and education sector has been growing since 2000.
Stefano started teaching 2D graphic design and photography post production. Later on, he further specialized in video editing, 2D and 2.5D animation.

In 2006, Stefano brought his expertise and experience to Singapore.
His years in training were augmented by his work in a design studio in Italy, which he built from scratch. He directed both Ultimate Video Fx as well as VOX. The experience placed him in a solid position to combine theory and practical hands-on work.

Today, Stefano is the director of LAB School, where his knowledge and insight are in demand across the island, from several government bodies, institutions, and private enterprises.

Stefano is certified competent in the WSQ Advanced Certificate in Training and Assessment (ACTA) Trainer®, Assessor® and Developer® Facilitated Learning.

We will have beverages from Zenify, Function Drinks and other surprises as well. Prizes will include a copy of one of the bundles of Adobe Creative Suite 5.5, books from O'Reilly, Peachpit and other book publishers and much more.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Intermediate Figure Drawing

Jay Stuckey rides again! This fall he's excited to be teaching an intermediate-level figure drawing class. The course helps students move beyond understanding the figure in a purely academic sense to explore its limitless formal and conceptual possibilities. Students study how other artists have used a figurative vocabulary to express their ideas and thoughts. It should be a fun class to get you loosened up and thinking about figuration in different ways.

Jay also has a show coming up at The Company running Sept. 3rd through October 1st. The opening reception is Sept. 17 if you want to stop by and say hi!

For more info and to enroll.

(figure drawings by Jay Stuckey).

Survey of Western Art Part I

We're all happy to have Mary Beth Carosello back and starting out the Survey series again this fall.

Mary Beth just returned from a trip to Italy and London, and should have a lot of first person pictures of the works that will be discussed during the course. Of course there's nothing like being there in person, but hearing Mary Beth talk about the pieces is probably a close second.

This part of the series covers the early periods of art history--from the dawn of the great civilizations in the Near East through the Middle Ages. Topics include the art of ancient Egypt--its pyramids, royal sculptures, tomb paintings, the treasures of Tutankhamen, and New Kingdom temples; Mesopotamia; Assyria; Persia; the treasures of Greece with special study of Athens and the Golden Age; and the art of the Roman emperors through Constantine the Great, the Byzantine empire, Irish manuscripts, Viking ship burials, and the Court of Charlemagne. Instruction concludes with the development of the great Gothic cathedrals of Europe with special emphasis on Chartres, Siena, and Canterbury.

To enroll, click here.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Instructor Interview: David Weldzius

We're excited to be offering Fine Art Photography this fall with new instructor David Weldzius. Let's get to know him (and see what's in store for class...)

Can you talk a bit about your background in photography?

I didn’t learn how to make photographs until college. I was about twenty one and, previous to that, I had only used a camera when I needed to document my own paintings and sculpture works. The teachers that I learned photography from seemed to have a different set of concerns than my studio arts teachers. Identity politics were still in the air—which is to say that the photo program was concerned with power and privilege, while the studio program, in many ways, was still talking about process and form.

It is very easy to take pictures. Anyone, arguably, can take a “good” picture. In the first and second world, we produce and consume thousands of pictures daily. It is because of this relative ease in the production and consumption of images that an artist using photography can concentrate on the concept, context, selection, and sequencing of photographic works—rather than shooting and printing, for instance.

How would you describe your current practice, and what inspires the style and substance of your recent work?

My recent photographs draw attention to events and processes that are specific to my immediate surroundings—from Robert Kennedy’s assassination at the Ambassador Hotel to the Norton Simon Museum’s dioramic copy of Monet’s garden. With a camera, I can frame a historical process in the present tense, and, in this manner, activate a deliberate series of inquiries. In Los Angeles, where localized histories frequently slip through the cracks of social consciousness, I excavate a surface that is inscribed with historical process in order to highlight its contemporaneous social bearing.

Which fine artists are you most looking forward to exploring in class, and why?

Recently, I’ve been looking closely at photographic works by Zoe Strauss and Ai Weiwei. Over the past year, Strauss has been documenting the effects of the “Deep Water Horizon” oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. I am interested in the project because it does the work of conventional photojournalism, but under a different guise. Strauss is a reporter, a muckraker, and an artist all wrapped into one. Similarly, in 2008 Weiwei photographed the effects of the Sichuan earthquakes weeks before the Beijing Olympics. Where the Chinese government released only a limited selection of images from the disaster, Weiwei answered with a vast photographic archive, organized and disseminated from his own website.

In recent years, much attention has been given the “Pictures” generation of American artists—both in the museum and in art writing. I am, ultimately, suspicious of the way this work has been received by important art institutions and neatly historicized. Nonetheless, I look forward to looking at some of their most canonical works, and discussing its impact on subsequent developments in contemporary art and photography.

What do you find rewarding or interesting about fine art photography (that maybe you don’t experience as much doing commercial work)?

Photography has been in existent for less than two hundred years, and has enjoyed its status as “fine art” for far less time than that. However, in its short history, photography has undeniably seen radical shifts in technology and form, as well as its perception within art history, and in contemporary art.

Currently, there are many artists that use photography, but do not call themselves “photographers.” These artists, in many instances, are making more compelling, dynamic works than the ones that do call themselves “photographers.” This brings to light the fact that many contemporary artists work through traditional media loosely and fluidly in a way that emphasizes the idea rather than the form, and it reiterates the notion that anyone, including artists, can take a picture and use it toward a specific, meaningful end.

In my own lifetime, Cindy Sherman photographs have sold for a few dollars, while Andreas Gursky photographs have sold for millions. Since at least the late 1980s, however, photographs have maintained their status as rarified art objects in a, largely speculative, global art-market. As with bank notes, consumers of art photography willingly suspend their disbelief when they acquire and de-access photographs—any of which, presumably, can be reprinted ad infinitum.

What do you hope students leave the class having learned or experienced?

I want students to use my class to develop their portfolios, or specific bodies of photographic work. Additionally, I want to encourage students to develop a way of talking and writing about their photographs. I am positive that in class critique will afford the opportunity for students to discuss their thoughts and receive critical feedback. In two lab sessions, I will emphasize shooting, editing, in addition to workflow management. Students should leave my class with an active awareness of art, theory, and history. Most importantly, however, under my mentorship they will foster skills and habits that will allow them to be more apt in constructing strong, nuanced bodies of work.

Images by David Weldzius. From top, Untitled (from series “Giverny: Pasadena”), 2007 48” x 60” c type print, Untitled (from series “ASA”), 2009 4” x 6” silver gelatin print postcards, Untitled (Nazi Era Photograph I), 2011 40” x 50” c type print, Untitled (Cold War Era Photograph II), 2011 30” x 40” c type print, Untitled (A Progressive Era Photograph for Arne Duncan), 2011 11” x 14” silver gelatin print.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Adobe Illustrator User's Group Meeting

Adobe Illustrator User's Group: September Meeting!

Wednesday, September 14 • 6:30 - 8:30pm

Location: MacMall Retail Store, Santa Monica
1505 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90403-5505
Phone: 310-394-7779

Free Parking > Free Meeting > Free Raffle



6:30 – 6:45 Registration

6:45 Welcome from our new Sponsor: MacMall / Matt Casper

6:55 - 7:15 Overview of up-coming event: Adobe MAX (All attendees will receive our secret code for a discount to the event!)

7:15 - 8:15 Adobe Illustrator Demo by Chana Messer

Unleash your Creativity: Working with Opacity Masks, Creative Tracing and Gradient Mesh tool.

8:15 Raffle

8:30 Goodbye!

The place closes at 9pm, so we'll need to finish the meeting at 8:30 pm. If any one is interested more discussion and networking afterward, we can meet at The Coffee Bean on Wilshire and 6th.


This is a free event! Please RSVP at the Adobe Illustrator User's Group Facebook page:

There is free parking in the MacMall private lot behind the building!


Speaker Website:
Sponsor Website:
Twitter Feed: @IllustratorLA

Friday, August 12, 2011

James Mollison's Where Children Sleep

Photographer James Mollison has a fascinating series called Where Children Sleep. Images of childhood bedrooms are set alongside portraits of their inhabitants. The bedrooms are a powerful expression of the child's personality combined with cultural and economic influences.