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It’s no coincidence that so many of our most celebrated alumni working in fine art benefited from exposure to Art Center’s rich design and applied-art programs. Mark Tansey FINE ’72 infuses the language of illustrative representational painting with hidden texts, symbols and images to engage the viewer intellectually. Pae White’s FINE ’91 large photographic tapestries of crumpled foil or plumes of smoke dissolve the boundaries of graphic design, applied and fine art. Jorge Pardo’s FINE ’88 art practice integrates art, functional product design and environmental architecture. Jennifer Steinkamp’s FINE ’91 dynamic installations transform interior space, incorporating video and digital mass-media technology to explore motion, light and perception. And Doug Aitken’s FINE ’91 art video-installations and architectural interventions employ multiple screens that challenge conventions of linear narrative. What these diverse artists have in common, apart from having been educated at Art Center, is they’ve reached outside art to applied art and design for content and inspiration, integrating the divine and the mundane, making and meaning.

Art Center’s Fine Art Program is ambitious, providing an incomparable art education and nurturing each art student’s quest for selfdiscovery. However, given an opportunity, it can do more than expose design students to art’s numerous satisfactions. It can also disrupt commonplace aesthetic values, inspire awe for a particular idea, and change the way one perceives life’s possibilities. While applied art’s strength may be in delivering clear messages, making useful products and diverting entertainments, art can be most meaningful when it orchestrates confusion and uncertainty, when it doesn’t conform to what we already know, but rather leaves us momentarily disoriented, yet exposed to compelling new experiences and ideas. If we’re open, artists can be relied on to confront us with impudent acts of imagination, strange sensations that can stir the soul, and alter our way of seeing and thinking about the world we all inhabit. It can transform your vision. It can change your life.

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D OT 19

Top: Jennifer Steinkamp FINE ’91, Stiffs

above: Jorge Pardo FINE ’88, Untitled–

installation, Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery at Art Center, 2000.

Light house, 2002.

DOT 19  

DOT 19 is dedicated to the Art Center College of Design’s new strategic plan, Create Change, which sets the stage for the next era of growth...

DOT 19  

DOT 19 is dedicated to the Art Center College of Design’s new strategic plan, Create Change, which sets the stage for the next era of growth...

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