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, Meez.com, 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 DesignProVideo.com. 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, VideoRX.com. 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 http://max.adobe.com/ (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: www.chanamesser.com
Sponsor Website: www.macmall.com
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.

George Simian is a PDN "Best Workshop" Instructor!

Major kudos and congratulations to instructor George Simian, who is included in PDN Magazine's reader survey of the Best Photo Workshop Instructors.

George has been teaching with UCLA Extension for years and has been instrumental in shaping the program, especially the fairly-new certificate in photography. The article mentions intermediate and advanced lighting, but he also teaches Portraiture and one-day courses (when he's not jetting off to lead photo workshops in Bali).

We always knew he was a gem, but now it's in writing!

Go George!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Allee Willis and Her Fantastic Museum of Kitsch

The NY Times has an article about Allee Willis, a Grammy- and Emmy-winning songwriter, producer and artist who lives in a veritable museum of kitsch.

"Her furniture includes an amoeba-shaped coffee table bought years ago at a vintage store on Melrose Avenue, an Eames lounge chair, Lucite dining chairs, a Chromcraft recliner and a Sputnik chandelier. Among the art and accessories in her home are her own whimsical paintings and sculptures, a red ladybug transistor radio, half a dozen globe-shaped TVs with original chains for hanging and clear plastic ottomans with flower displays inside."

Obviously this house is rad and you can check out the pictures in the article, OR YOU CAN VISIT THE HOUSE AND MEET ALLEE during Ami Davis' summer course Easy Art: Kitsch and Popular Culture.

This is a pretty fantastic opportunity, and the whole class just looks fun. Also Allee seems like the kind of person that you would definitely want to hang out and have a drink with (not sure if alcohol is included in the tour, but still).

Class details are here, full article here. Images by Ethan Pines for The New York Times.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

It's Your Show - Tomorrow Night!

Don't forget, the opening reception for It's Your Show is this Friday, June 17 from 7-9pm at the 1010 Westwood Center (4th floor gallery).

Hope to see everybody there!

Friday, May 13, 2011

We Heart Charts

True to its name, the blog I Love Charts has some amazing, thought-provoking, lovable charts.

They range from humorous:

to sad:

to mildly icky and offensive:

Check out all the charts!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

It's Your Show! Call for Submissions.

It's that time again! Time for "It's Your Show," our annual exhibition of student work from the areas of design, fine art and photography.

This is a super fun event that brings together students of all disciplines. Plus, you can bring your friends to the opening, and there's wine and cheese!

You can see photos from last years' receptions here

If you'd like to submit your work, please read the submission guidelines below carefully! It's important to properly label your e-mail submissions, and remember that it's limited to three submissions per student!

Submission Deadline:
May 27, 2011

Opening Reception:
Friday, June 17, 7-9pm
UCLA Extension
1010 Westwood Center Gallery, 4th floor

Open to all original work presented in a UCLA Extension Studio Arts, Photography or Design Communication Arts course in the last two years. All genres, formats, and media are eligible. Three submissions maximum per student.

Submission Guidelines:
Digital submissions only.

Email design work to dca@uclaextension.edu.
Email photography and fine art work to visualarts@uclaextension.edu.

Files should be .pdf or .jpeg images no larger than 1MB and named in the format described below. Include your name and phone number in the body of the email.

Digital File Label:


All entrants will be emailed on or before June 3 regarding their submission(s). Students will be asked to bring their original artwork to 1010 Westwood Boulevard in advance of the show and be required to sign a release of liability at that time.

Special recognition will be given by a jury of Los Angeles artists to projects displaying excellence in specific elements of art and design.

For questions call (310) 206-1422.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Roxann Arwen Mills on Photographing Nudes

This spring Roxann Arwen Mills will be leading A Perspective on Nudes: A Short Photographic Workshop. It's a unique class that involves intensive critique and a full day of shooting models, so I thought I would ask her to share some thought on the topic of nude photography. Images from the last workshop are included throughout. Click here for a previous interview and more thoughts from Roxann.

What are some common misconceptions or assumptions about nude photography?

I think that one of the most common misconceptions is that it's easy; there's nothing to it. Another is perhaps the perception that nude images inherently have a sexual intention. For example, the infamous banned nude album cover of John & Yoko was not meant to be a sexual statement, but a human one. This is a distinction with which Western culture still seems to struggle, even with today's pop-cultured highly erotized cover art, and many critically acclaimed and sometimes equally disdained images of photographers who deal with sex, or have strong sexuality in their work. In many cases the subject isn't entirely naked, so how does one discern the difference between what many refer to as the artistic nude, and mere nakedness, or the erotic nude, or soft porn? These conversations and many more will be further examined in this 4-week workshop in order to give students a more informed view from which to develop their own concepts in approaching the female nude.

(photo by student Norman Schwartz)
(photo by student Carol Henry)
What are some of the challenges of shooting these kinds of images?
One of the biggest challenges is often overcoming the idea that you can just pick up a camera and take a picture that says something, although this is certainly possible by sheer luck, like the Sunday painter who by accident stumbles upon an interesting process, without any clue as to what they've made. And in fact I'm a big fan of accidents, because they can lead us down the most interesting paths by showing us what our imaginations are truly capable of, but I also believe that knowledge is power, and that extends to making informed choices when creating art, otherwise your imagination often just repeats the past, or you cannot adequately express your vision. Just like a painter, you have to develop the skills to translate what your imagination sees. You have to know your equipment well enough to understand what it will do, and to be comfortable with it, and you have to develop the ability so see and utilize light in order to capture the complex and subtle aspects possible in your imagery, to capture something beyond the mundane. Sometimes beginners, as well as seasoned shooters, have happy accidents slip in, and in many cases they're the best images of the shoot. They can be the most inspiring images to those photographers, as it shows them what they're really capable of creating, and that kind of discovery can be magical. Yet when you look closer, you find that most seasoned photographers have some kind of framework within which they are working, and the technical skills to execute it, so when those happy accidents drop in they're not lost as a single image that, no matter how interesting, has no relevance to the rest of the work. Then they can build on that image, or decide to begin a new path of investigation. I always keep a quote of Einstein quote close to my heart as I feel it resonates on many levels: “Imagination is more important than knowledge, for knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world…" But in reality creative photography, like creative science, demands both.

What can students expect if they sign up for the course, and what might they be surprised to learn?
This intensive 4-week class addresses the beginner to intermediate student. Students will become acquainted with a wide variety of approaches to photographing the female nude. They will also receive personal guidance to help them develop their own ideas. The course includes an in-class demo-photoshoot, with a model, before the all day location shoot. Here students will have an opportunity to learn how to give direction, and communicate their ideas effectively to the model, while at the same time learning some of the challenges of working with natural light. There will be a second natural lighting demo on site the day of the location shoot. During that day I will be on hand for personal coaching as well. We also have a guest speaker, who's printed for some of the most celebrated nude photographers in 20th century. He's been printing nudes over over 25 years, and has worked with such artists as Nan Goldin, Irving Penn, Sally Mann, Herb Ritts and more. He brings a unique perspective in his discussion on photographing the contemporary nude.

Students are often surprised to discover how freeing, and perhaps at the same time a little forbidden, it feels to be out in the grassy mountain landscapes working with nude models. We 're born naked, and perhaps in spite of the inhibitions that are imposed upon us in Western culture, somewhere subconsciously we know that being naked is a natural state of being. Maybe that's why we continue to be fascinated by the nude in art; even when we find an image distasteful, most of us can't help but look at it. We all identify with the human body. And through our nakedness there is a common bond. But even in the 21st century there's still much fear and contempt for the nude in our culture. Because of this, I believe it's a subject worth continued investigation. I don't believe we've said all there is to say about it, and I'm not sure with the advances in biogenetics and the future of technology we ever really will. Photography is a powerful form of nonverbal communication. But I think that many students are surprised to realize that even when photographing the world in front of their eyes, it's the world behind their eyes that is truly communicating their deeper intentions. As artists, we're all on a quest for a sense of our inner freedom through many forms of communication. The art of photographing the nude is a wonderful and exhilarating place to begin that exploration.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

David Lynch's Hair as (Actual) Art

First of all, David Lynch's hair is ALREADY a work of art, so these comparisons are just gilding the hair lily.

That said, Starry Night and the Japanese woodcut wave are pretty uncanny.

Jimmy Chen via Kottke

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Field Trips for Exploring LA Design

The schedule for Exploring LA Design has been set, check out the designers and studios the class will be visiting!

(image from Andrew Byrom's website)

Saturday, April 2nd, 10am
Introductory meeting with instructor Michael Dooley
1010 Westwood, Room 415

Saturday, April 2nd, 11:30/noon
Michael Doret, Proprietor
Michael Doret Graphic Design + Alphabet Soup

Saturday, April 9th, 10am
Greg Berman, Co-Founder and Director
Sargent & Berman Inc.

Saturday, April 9th, 11:30/noon
Dominick Ricci, Associate and Senior Brand Designer Gensler

Saturday, April 16th, 10am
John Clark, Founder and Director

Saturday, April 16th, 11:30/noon
Paul Rogers, Illustrator

Saturday, April 30th, 10am
Andrew Byrom, Principal
Andrew Byrom Graphic/Typeface Design

Saturday, April 30th, 11:30/noon
David Lai, CEO and Creative Director
Hello Design

Saturday, May 7th, 10am
Reid Thompson, Creative Director
Troika Design Group

Saturday, May 7th, 11:30/noon
Rob and Christian Clayton, Artists

Saturday, May 14th, 10am
Carol Kono-Noble, Senior Designer
Wong, Doody, Crandall, Wiener

Saturday, May 14th, 11:30/noon
Rachel Elnar, Partner and Interactive Director
Ramp Creative+Design

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Forcible, Random Comments

The Random Comment Book would improve any social situation, really, but I think it would be best at big, slightly-awkward family gatherings, like Thanksgiving. "What, Aunt Rita? You're mad about the price of gas? And asiago cheese is currently glued to your thighs? Fascinating!"

Also, first dates! There usually comes a time when random comments are preferable to actual, verbal comments.

Design by James Obriant, via Laughingsquid

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Exhibit Redesign Tour of "Age of Mammals"

The design program's AIGA student group is leading what looks like a fun tour of the Natural History Museum's newly redesigned Age of Mammals exhibition. AIGA members and Extension students are welcomed to attend.

The tour is tomorrow - you can RSVP through our Extension Facebook page.

For more details, visit The White Boards.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Instructor Interview: Kelly Williams

Since joining us in the art history program last year, Kelly Williams has been leading hands-on workshops on illuminated manuscripts. If that subject conjures up vague memories from high school but not much else, read on to learn more about the art form and how yesterday's illuminated manuscripts may have inspired today's comic books.

If you're interested in viewing these artworks in person and then trying your hand at making your own, Kelly's winter class would be a great opportunity.

What exactly are illuminated manuscripts, and what interests you about them?

Illuminated Manuscripts are books that include text, illustrated initials, borders and illustrations, all hand written and painted. Pages in these books often feature additional decorations using real gold and silver, and they are just gorgeous! I'm interested in illuminated manuscripts because each book is like it's own treasure chest, filled with dozens of individual works of art. Through illuminated manuscripts, we can not only trace the rise of portraiture and landscape painting, but also find humor in hidden illustrations in the borders.

How are these manuscripts like modern day comics? How are they different?

Modern day comics borrow many narrative techniques from medieval manuscripts-- artists can tell a story with out without words that the reader can follow using sequencing or other clues. Both use repeated characters in a sequence of events or singular action-shots to raise drama. Comics today are bigger, brighter, and exist on many platforms, leaping off the page into movies and live-action characters. Because of the abundance of media and advertising in today's society, a contemporary comic book fan might look at an 16th century illuminated story and find it very tame! In fact, many manuscripts in their time were considered quite racy (come to the class and I'll show you an example or two!)

What is something people might not realize about this art form?

Unlike bookmaking processes used today, it took several days, several craftsmen and several animals to make every single page. Preparators, gilders, scribes, illuminators, and binders worked together in a factory-like process. Animal skin had to be conditioned and cut, gilders pounded gold coins to make decorative leaf, assistants hand ground paint pigments using plants, animals, even bugs, and illuminators used brushes with a single bristle to capture tiny details in a story... the whole ordeal was a time consuming, and fascinating process.

What can students expect to take away from this class?

Students in this class will have an opportunity to explore manuscripts within three contexts: the classroom, the museum, and the studio. First, we'll investigate how these books were made and compare them to today's comic manufacture. Participants will also get a private tour and drawing session in the Getty's newest manuscript exhibition. Finally, each student will be able to create his or her own illuminated page using the same techniques the masters used hundreds of years ago-- even egg tempera!

(images are of instructor Kelly Williams).

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fred Dust from IDEO: Talk Cancelled Tonight

From The White Boards:

We are very sorry to report that Fred Dust has a family emergency that has taken him out of the state. Tonight's talk at UCLA Extension is cancelled. We hope you will be able to attend the rescheduled event once we are able to determine a future date.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Explore LA Design with Michael Dooley

It's always fun when there's class crossover, and photography, fine art and design students all find themselves in the classroom or on an adventures together. In the spring, Michael Dooley will be offering a class that makes that happen. Exploring L.A. Design meets every Saturday for six weeks at a different design professionals' studio or firm. The guests are super diverse and awesome - last time the class was offered, they visited Jens Gehlhaar, Petrula Vrontikis, Clive Piercy, Mike Salisbury, Maureen Erbe, David Mayes, Yo Santosa, and Esther Pearl Watson and Mark Todd.

I heard from students that the class was a great learning experience, and I'm sure Michael will have another all-star lineup this spring (the picture above was taken by Eric Mathias during last year's class). Schedule and enrollment information can be found here.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

C'mon Tourists, Mix It Up a Little

Artist Corinne Vionnet combes through photo sharing sites, pulls out hundreds of photos that tourists have taken of the same thing (for instance, 300 pictures of the Taj Mahal taken by 300 different people) and superimposes them to form one ghostly, layered image.

It kinda makes you think of the passage of time, the monuments standing for thousands of years as millions of people stream back and forth, snapping the shutter to capture a brief second, and then fading into the background of vast, annonymous humanity. Or it makes you think man, tourists all take the same pictures.

Via Gizmodo.

Building a Professional Art Practice

One of the things students ask for the most is guidance on the business side of the art world - how to approach galleries, how to build a portfolio, whether grad school is right for them. So, we're happy to announce that this spring we'll be offering a short seminar that deals with those very topics.

The class is taught by Jay Stuckey, a fine artist with ninja-like networking skills and a great, positive attitude about making it in the art world. I did an interview with Jay a while back that you can read here, and he also has an interview in this quarter's N-Vis-N newsletter. The class will cover applying to graduate art schools, and approaching galleries with your work. Classroom time includes lecture and visits from guest admission professionals and gallery owners. It should be a great chance to get some concrete, helpful feedback about a confusing, daunting process.

For a full course description and schedule, click here (painting by Jay Stuckey).

Art History Survey Series

I wanted to take a moment to shine a light on our art history survey series, since some students might not be aware that we offer it each quarter as part of our regular Visual Arts scheduling.

The series covers the history of Western art, from ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia all the way through Dadaism, Surrealism, and new media like digital video art. The sequence is broken up chronologically over four quarters - this spring's class deals with Realism, Impressionism, and Post-Impressionism, emphasizing the work of Goya, Monet, Degas, C├ęzanne, van Gogh, and Rodin.

We are also very lucky to have the extraordinary Mary Beth Carosello leading this series. She brings great knowledge, energy and enthusism to the classroom. I once visited the class when they were learning about the different kinds of columns (Doric, Ionic and Corinthian), and now I'll never forget them. That's talent!

That's Mary Beth at the top of the page - doesn't she look excited to teach you about art? She is.

Anyway, this is just a wonderful class, and I wanted to call some attention to it. The schedule for spring quarter and registration info can be found here.