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And now, a word

FROM OUR PRESIDENT With students and faculty returning to campus refreshed from summer and ready for new challenges, fall is always an exciting time to be at CCAD. This year, our curriculum and facilities are reenergized, too, as the two-school administrative structure and the new CCAD MindMarket take their first steps. CCAD’s role as the critical link between raw creative talent and the ever-growing, ever-changing creative economy is clearer and more vital than ever. We continue to focus on artistic and design excellence, but with an increased emphasis on the kinds of skills that can only be developed with a healthy dose of business education. We know this will be a key differentiator for CCAD graduates in the years ahead, and we’re on it! Just look at the stories in this issue: • Project-based education, where students work with clients to formulate real-life creative solutions outside the classroom, is a big part of a CCAD education—and getting bigger. • Photography alum Anna Dickson (CCAD 2004) demonstrates how today’s economy is offering more and more avenues to creative professionals who keep their eyes open and their skills current. • Well-loved (and well-respected) faculty member emeritus Curtis Benzle is using his retirement to find new outlets for his teaching and new directions for his art. One last thing. Each fall, the worldwide CCAD community comes together to support students with our annual fund drive. Every single dollar you invest in our mission has real impact—for today’s CCAD students and tomorrow’s creative world. I hope you’ll join us. Please use the enclosed envelope to make your investment today. Warm regards,

Dennison W. Griffith President

Columbus College of Art & Design prepares tomorrow’s creative leaders for professional careers. With a history of commitment to visual arts fundamentals and quality, CCAD advances a distinct, challenging, and inclusive learning culture that supports individual development in art, design, and the humanities.



Robert P. Restrepo Jr., Mitch Acock chair Jeni Britton Bauer James E. Kunk, vice John C. Beeler chair Beverly Bethge Michael J. Fiorile, immediate past chair Mark Corna Lynnda Maria Davis Jerry O. Allen, treasurer

Fran Horowitz

Patricia R. Hatler, secretary

R. Andrew Johnson John S. Kobacker

Eileen A. Mallesch Kelly Mooney Jane Ramsey Michael W. Rayden Lee Szykowny, M.D. Edward J. Yen


FALL 2012


Taking It to the Streets: Project-Based Learning Provides Real-World Venues, Real-World Challenges for CCAD Students

Campus News


Creative Briefs



Online Opportunities: Anna Dickson Finds Top Spot at the Huffington Post


Success in New York—But Not Overnight: Steven Bindernagel Tells All

22 The Changing Frame: Chad Hunt’s Career Takes a New Turn (Again) 26 Alumni Reports from the CCAD News Blog



A Sneak Peek at the CCAD MindMarket



Guiding Lights: Curtis Benzle Thrives in Retirement

philanthropy 13 CCAD’s Annual Fund Drive


Donor Snapshot: Alexis Jacobs


Andrew Peña: One Student’s View

Vice President for enrollment Management & Communications: Jonathan Lindsay

ON COVER: Students formulating a creative brief in one of the meeting rooms in CCAD’s new MindMarket.

Director of Marketing & Communications: Robin Hepler

©2012 Columbus College of Art & Design Send questions or comments to 614.224.9101

EditorIAL Director: Laura Bidwa Creative Director: Lindsay Kronmiller Project Coordinator: Jaclyn Little Director for Web Management: Lacey Luce Online Communications Coordinator: Katlin McNally IMAGE Design: Base Art Co.

Find IMAGE online at

Taking it to the streets Project-based learning provides real-world venues, real-world challenges for CCAD students By Robin Hepler

02 FALL 2012

dedicated courses that aggregate talent from multiple levels and departments and in academic constructs that may go beyond the limits of current course models and academic terms.”

Tens of thousands of visitors to the

COSI science museum this winter will view an exhibition of CCAD students’ interpretations of the human form. Students in the fall semester course The Human Body in Art and Science have had access to the cadaver labs at Columbus State Community College and to the fall Body Worlds & the Brain exhibit at COSI to study the body from numerous perspectives—all for their use in creating art at the level expected for an exhibition hosted by a regional tourist destination.

CCAD faculty members Julie Posey (Science) and Kristine Schramer (Fine Arts) developed the team-taught course and negotiated the community partnerships to bring this full array of opportunities to students. The project provides an expansive and very public new venue for students to exhibit their final coursework and serves as an example of CCAD’s evolution in project-based learning. “The college is moving toward a more cross-disciplinary way to deliver on project-based learning to mimic what happens in the real world,” says Kevin Conlon, CCAD vice president for Academic Affairs. “We are intentionally seeking external academic partners to provide opportunities for students to engage in teaming and problem-solving challenges.” The expanding scope of projects is bringing faculty members together to create whole new classes, such as Posey and Schramer’s human body course. “The scale of these newer project-based learning opportunities is becoming much more ambitious,” Conlon says. “As a result, the projects often result in

Facing page: The anatomy lab at Columbus State Community College. Below: CCAD students doing a dissection in the CSCC lab. Photos: Kristine Schramer

Constructing new learning opportunities

Posey says she and Schramer spent three months developing learning objectives and finding the right combination of curriculum elements from science and art for the new course. “I focus on the world out there that isn’t art. This course is about the human body—every different aspect, from tattoos to aging to body systems to our DNA,” Posey says. “I try to engage students about issues that are fundamentally meaningful to them as humans, not necessarily as artists. That is where Kris comes in.”

“The scale of these newer projectbased learning opportunities is becoming much more ambitious.” — Kevin Conlon, CCAD vice president for Academic Affairs “Kris shows these kids that our worldly experiences, our knowledge of our own micro-world, can be truly inspirational as art,” Posey says. “She ties what I do with what artists do.” In each lecture Schramer shows students work of contemporary artists who work with the human form as their muse. Students are not asked to memorize facts about science; instead, Schramer says, she wants to teach students how to make themselves subject

experts when they need to for their creative work. And she teaches the process of a project. “My goal is for every student in this class to have the experience of taking on an ambitious project and completing it successfully. I meet so many creative people who are full of brilliant ideas, but lack both the nerve to begin and the practical skills to manage the execution of a complicated project,” Schramer says. “Using the study of science and each student’s individual project as the educational vehicle, I guide them through the stages of brainstorming, refining, proposing, revising and proposing again, researching, planning, budgeting, scheduling, and presenting their work publicly.” Schramer says these skills can be applied to any major endeavor undertaken in life,

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whether it be artistic, entrepreneurial, or personal. Posey and Schramer partnered last fall to team-teach a biotechnology course that also tapped the resources of Columbus State anatomist Eric Kenz. That project helped launch 2012 graduate Jonathan Hodge’s career in medical illustration. This year’s public exhibition at COSI, sharing museum space with the acclaimed Body Worlds & the Brain exhibit, makes their second project-based course much larger in scope—creating more opportunity and expectations.

Left: CCAD seniors Dahui (Danny) Li and Nina Rehner with their winning design for Huntington Bank’s cycling jersey. Photo: Luke Kramer (CCAD 2014) Facing page: Advertising & Graphic Design senior Lillie Templeton presenting her research in the CCAD MindMarket’s DesignLab. Photo: Danielle Ford (CCAD 2013)

Community-based projects

Businesses and organizations in central Ohio can now access the talent of CCAD faculty, staff, and students for projects through the CCAD MindMarket’s DesignLab. Depending on the need, the CCAD MindMarket can assemble crossdisciplinary teams to provide design solutions through three different project

structures: charrettes lasting 54–72 hours; semester-long in-class projects; and longer-term project partnerships. A spring 2012 joint project that teamed up a Fashion Design class and an Advertising & Graphic Design class is an example of the kind of community

project that likely will work through the new MindMarket in the future. Twenty-two students from the two classes presented design solutions for Huntington Bank’s branded team jersey for the annual Pelotonia bike race to raise money

A Sneak Peek at the

CCAD MindMarket Architect Mitch Acock’s talents were benefiting CCAD well before he joined the college’s board of trustees in 2010—and his work with the CCAD Design Studios on Broad has been a centerpiece of his involvement. We caught up with him recently for a quick insider’s tour of the new CCAD MindMarket facility, for which he was the lead architect. IMAGE: The key to this facility is how it brings together so many pockets of creativity from all over campus and creates one focused place for creative problem-solving. How does the design promote this synergy? MA: We’ve incorporated a diversity of types of spaces, which

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Photo: Danielle Ford (CCAD 2013)

for cancer research. In the end, the bank asked that two options be combined— utilizing functional design elements by senior Nina Rehner and graphics by senior Dahui (Danny) Li. “That’s how real projects work in corporations,” says Suzanne Cotton, chair of Fashion Design at CCAD. “It was a terrific scenario for the two finalists to work together to combine their concepts.” Matt Mohr, assistant professor of Visual Communications and Media Studies, led the graphic design students in the project. “We’re always looking for ways to combine disciplines,” says Mohr. “Apparel graphics, especially the opportunity to create a concept that covered the entire garment, posed a unique challenge. Given that the designs were for a well-respected, highprofile event made for eager excitement among the students.” Conlon says the new curriculum architecture being built at CCAD supports the practicum experience, whether faculty members are bringing new projects to

the classroom or outside organizations are approaching CCAD through the new structure of the MindMarket. “It’s all about providing the students choices among a variety of paths to the practicum and a gateway to the professional-level and portfolio-worthy experience,” Conlon says. All project-based learning is incredibly valuable for the student—not just for the experience of merging research, theory, application, experience, and result, Conlon says, but also for the benefit it provides students in developing their portfolios. “Professional development has always begun with the portfolio at CCAD. Our continuing commitment to the portfolio as the primary evidence of discipline readiness will now be enhanced with the engagement of more and varied types of project-based learning,” Conlon says. “The practicum experience, played out in at least 12 credit hours within the new curriculum architecture, is the college’s

allows for a wide variety of group collaboration formats as well as individual work areas. We’ve also made the spaces flexible for users, so they can “own” the space as they use it and shape it to their needs. IMAGE: Is there a single feature that’s your favorite? MA: The reception area. We made it big enough to also serve as a gallery space to show off, in video form, all the varied types of work that students at CCAD are involved in. To have the best examples of student work all in one space and on the corner of Broad and Cleveland is a great opportunity to show the quality and breadth of CCAD design work to the MindMarket’s visitors, patrons, and the larger Columbus design community—as well as to prospective students and their parents. It will be a cool space not only to be in, but also to engage with as a passerby on the street. IMAGE: How have your ideas for this facility changed over time?

demonstrated commitment to this ideal.” For Schramer the experience is paying additional, personal dividends: “In these classes, Julie and I are learning right along with the students,” she says.

MA: The college’s compelling vision of both engaging the broader design community and stressing entrepreneurship made me focus more on how spaces can engage people that are not directly connected to CCAD. The location on Broad Street is perfect to serve as this kind of transition space between the necessarily sheltered world of academia and the outside world. IMAGE: How does this project fit into your sense, as a board member, of CCAD’s longer-term goals and opportunities? MA: It’s the cornerstone of CCAD’s effort to become more engaged in the broader design community. As the design economy continues to supplant the information economy as the big economic driver, the MindMarket will keep CCAD relevant and a leader in the broader cultural and economic marketplaces.

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SIX NEW FACULTY NAMED CCAD’s realignment into two schools—Design Arts and Studio Arts—has brought six new faculty to campus this fall. Their hiring reflects the college’s commitment to providing students the real-world skills to lead in the growing creative economy, says Char Norman, dean of faculty. “We seek out professionals who have proven teaching experience combined with significant current work in the field,” Norman says.

We welcome: Kelly DeVore (Interior Design and Advertising & Graphic Design), a LEED-accredited architect who has also done research in socially responsive design education.

Rebecca Robinson (Fashion Design), who

has created her own fashion designs as well as contributed to books on the history of men’s fashion, American football uniforms, and hip-hop gear.

Steve Elbert (Interior Design), a licensed

Adam Osgood (Illustration), a creator of

architect with international teaching experience and significant 2-D and 3-D modeling software skills.

web designs, animation, and motion graphics for major brands including Exxon and Barnes & Noble.

Mathew Mitchem (English and Philosophy), a philosopher, author, and web designer who has worked with topics ranging from advertising ideology in the world of political campaigns, to the cultural implications of participatory video, to online videos during the political uprisings of 2011.

Phil Garrett (Cinematic Arts), who has worked as a special effects artist on films such as Madagascar and Shrek and as a writer, producer, and animator for a large variety of indie films as well as animated features for DisneyToon Studios.

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2012 Family Weekend & Homecoming Campus was packed with hundreds of students, parents, alumni, staff and friends for Family Weekend & Homecoming on Oct. 12 and 13. Things kicked off Friday evening with dinner and a comedy show on campus. Saturday began with a free breakfast and ended with an alumni reception. In between were a CCAD MindMarket open house, a carnival on the quad, a zipline down East Gay Street, a lecture from recently retired Dean Richard Aschenbrand, and much more. The energy was contagious and allages: View photos on our Facebook pages at ColumbusCollegeofArtandDesign and

CCAD DISCUSSED ON ShANghAI TV Leah Wong, who has taught at CCAD and is assisting the college with a teaching exchange with the China Academy of Art, recently appeared on an educationfocused show in Shanghai. The show’s host, Yu Qiduo (Duoduo), brought CCAD into the conversation as they discussed Wong’s personal opinions

on art and art education and talked about her teaching experiences in both China and the United States.

Above: Yu Qiduo (left) and Leah Wong (right) on Yu’s television show in Shanghai.

The half-hour program focuses on education programs and is aimed toward middle and high school students and their parents.

TEAChINg AWARD WINNER CONNECTS ART TO lITERATURE Ariana-Sophia Kartsonis, a poet who has become a writing mentor to many of her CCAD students, was selected as the winner of CCAD’s 2012 Teaching Excellence Award. The award celebrates the exemplary contributions faculty members make to the college as a whole. “She encourages critical thinking and nurtures an artist’s curiosities, helping us all to see the correlation between the art realm and the realm of literature,” said a student nominator, “and empowers her students to want to develop their skills

and techniques as writers not just for class, but for themselves.” Kartsonis, who is an associate professor in Liberal Arts and Graduate Studies, teaches fiction and poetry writing, contemporary literature, and special topics in literature. With dozens of published poems, as well as fiction and nonfiction works, she also has served as editor of a number of literary outlets, including, scene360, and Shades Literary/Art Review.

Above: Associate Professor Ariana-Sophia Kartsonis with CCAD President Denny Griffith.

Her most recent work is EmuSeum, a collaborative chapbook with Caleb Adler, MD, published by Dancing Girl Press.


glASS AlUM hElPS CRUISE lINE FIghT CANCER Fine Arts alumna Megan Mathie (CCAD 2006) has just returned from working on the Celebrity cruise ship Solstice as a glassblower for the Corning Museum of Glass. Over a three-month tour of back-to-back 12-day cruises around the Mediterranean, the hot glass team stayed busy. “On sea days we do two shows. On port days we usually do an evening show,” Mathie says. “I like the 12-day cruises because as people come back again and again, they ask smarter and smarter questions. Instead of having to explain ‘what is glass’ over and over, we can talk about some of the more sophisticated techniques and tell stories.” Although she loves the work, leaving home this summer was difficult for Mathie because both her sister and her mother are fighting breast cancer. She was thrilled to find out about a new project in Celebrity Cruises’ longstanding support of breast cancer research. The glass team refers to it as “the Pink Show.” During one show per cruise, they make everything pink, and one of the resulting pieces of glass is auctioned—with all of the profits going to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Mathie also found strong support among her fellow crew members. Just one example: On her sister’s birthday, the Ringmasters, a world-champion barbershop quartet, sang happy birthday into the phone for her. “I was so fortunate to have found myself surrounded by kindness and love where I never expected it and when I needed it the most. Being able to take this job, this opportunity, turned into so much more of a gift than I thought it would be, and a big part of that is because of the people I’ve gotten to know. I know they care about Jen and Mom, and I know they care about me,” Mathie says. For more photos and lots of Mathie’s engaging writing, visit her blog at Top: Megan Mathie (CCAD 2006) doing a glass show at the Corning Museum of Glass. Middle: The Solstice in Montenegro. Bottom: Naples, Italy, as seen from the ship’s hot glass stage. Right: One of Mathie’s early-August “Pink Show” vases. At 18 inches tall, it was the heaviest vase she had ever blown.

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TEN TO WATCh Doesn’t everyone love a “where are they now” story? Well, we do, too—so we’re starting a feature called Ten to Watch. Ten to Watch will follow a group of students from CCAD’s Class of 2012 as they take their first steps into the professional world after graduation. You’ll read about where they are, what they’re up to, and how they feel about their paths so far. Annual feature stories will start this spring, but we couldn’t wait until then to introduce them: Katie Baker (Advertising & Graphic Design) Chavilah Bennett (Advertising & Graphic Design) Rachel Cass (Fashion Design) Sara K. Diesel (Illustration) Lian Dziura (Photography) Leah Fisher (Photography) Ryan Christopher Evans (Media Studies) Jake LaBombarbe (Industrial Design) Sarah McCance (Interior Design) Erin McKenna (Fine Arts) A few teasers to think about in the meantime: • Who’s working on a project in Abu Dhabi? • Who’s already moved to New York? • Who did a residency that comes with a show in Chicago?

MIX 2012

Left: The student comics marathon. Right: Iconic comic book artist Chris Ware’s keynote conversation with comics scholar Craig Fischer. Photos: Danielle Ford (CCAD 2013)

In early October, more than 200 people came to campus for Mix 2012: CCAD’s Celebration of Comics. A highlight of the event was the participation of Chris Ware, an Eisner-Award-winning American comic book artist who is perhaps best known for his graphic novel Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth. Ware delivered the keynote presentation, exhibited original artwork from Jimmy Corrigan, and participated in a symposium panel called The Epic Ordinary: Contemporary Life and the Epic Narrative in Comics. He also debuted his new book, Building Stories, which is already being hailed as a classic. In all there were three exhibitions and two-and-a-half days of panels and workshops— all kicked off by a student comic-making marathon. Eleven teams were challenged with producing a 24-page comic in 24 hours. The results were then displayed for the rest of the symposium. “When we investigate the art of the comic book, we are not just looking at how that book is drawn,” said CCAD Liberal Arts Instructor Robert Loss, the Mix 2012 Program Chair. “We are exploring how the stories are told, what stories artists and writers choose to tell, and what those stories say about our current culture.” The plan is to make this symposium an annual event. Mix 2012 was sponsored by State Auto Insurance Companies, with media sponsorship provided by WCBE 90.5.


“I’m always driven by beauty.” — Curtis Benzle

Guiding Lights

Curtis Benzle Thrives in Retirement By Kristen M. Foley

A teacher is always a teacher. The drive to educate is something that remains deeply rooted in individuals who have dedicated their careers to fostering the creativity of others. But the drive to make one’s own work is similarly strong. Curtis Benzle, CCAD professor emeritus and former chair of Dimensional Studies, is just one of CCAD’s retired professors who continue to educate others as well as pursue their personal creative work after retirement. Although now living primarily in Alabama, Benzle maintains a home in the Columbus area, where he taught ceramics at CCAD from 1981 to 2008. Today he spends his time teaching ceramics workshops around the world and elevating the direction of his own art. Most recently, he taught a weeklong workshop in Tuscany; next, he’ll lead weekend events in New York City and Washington D.C. Close-up of Curtis Benzle’s More Than Meets the Eye. For a full view, turn the page.

“Teaching workshops is wonderful because it is a chance to share accumulated knowledge, meet great people, and gain exposure in a very personal way,” says Benzle. “It is not much of a financial benefit, but the tangential benefits make it worthwhile.” Just as he did at CCAD, Benzle meets individuals from all walks of life with varying levels of art experiences. He relishes the challenge: some students astonish him with their natural talents, while others have never touched clay before, but are passionate about the learning experience. “When I taught at CCAD my mandate was to train students to operate at a professional level. My expectation for them was very high, and my students’ level of commitment to learning was equally high. I taught topics that students needed to know in order to succeed professionally,” he says. “When I teach in a workshop setting, most of my students are there for personal growth. Workshop students are certainly

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interested in learning, but there is also the underlying expectation that the learning will be enjoyable.” Teaching may have remained a fundamental part of Benzle’s life, but he has also had the time to reflect upon and expand his own artwork, which has been made part of collections as renowned as the Smithsonian Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Taipei County Yingge Ceramics Museum in Taiwan, and the Museo Internazionale della Ceramiche in Faenza, Italy. “The one thing that I’m more interested in now is lighting work,” states Benzle. “I’ve been creating lighting for probably 20 years now, but for a long time I was constrained by the marketplace. By ‘the marketplace,’ I mean the gallery world.” Since leaving CCAD, Benzle has felt more comfortable with shrugging off the opinions of the gallery world and creating what he calls “useful art.” He’s currently working on two sconces for a friend’s home, as well as other lighting projects. “The more I use the term ‘useful art,’ the more I can feel it grinding on the person I’m talking to, but it truly is art that serves a purpose,” reflects Benzle. “It beautifies, but it doesn’t have a single mission of beautification. It’s beautification plus illumination and a host of other things.” “I would like to believe that a sconce embodies all of the same visual criteria a sculpture does,” he continues. “I know that all the creative mandates are the same—color, balance, texture, line, symbolic and literal meaning, etc. It’s just that the sconce exceeds the aesthetic considerations of a sculpture. It emits light and in so doing has a significant and very intentional impact on its environment. To this end, it also becomes installation as an art form. Put a rheostat on it and this element of installation increases in significance.”

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“My friends in the design world tend to get it,” he says. “They know their mission is to both beautify and serve other purposes. It’s the fine art world that is struggling.” Benzle creates work that is reflective of his own personal experiences, but never in the literal sense. “My aesthetic is about the synthesis of life experiences,” he says. “I’m always driven by beauty, but it can be anything from a beautiful sunset to simple acts of kindness. They all go into the pot. I’m not always sure how they synthesize.” A key piece of Benzle’s approach is that he never tries to recreate an exceptional visual experience, because it was already perfect. There is no need to try to duplicate it. “I don’t try to remember exactly what I saw. I have confidence in myself to try to assimilate that image or that knowledge and then see references in new work,” he says. “It’s not conscious. It’s not like I’m seeing five different events, and I’m trying to synthesize something out of those five. It is more than a simple cognitive process.” Benzle admits that just as he’s been careful not to directly recreate a visual memory, he has also tried never to reinterpret other’s works. “I have kind of been on my own little mission since I started, and it’s probably why my work doesn’t reflect [that of] other artists, whether contemporary or historic,” he says. “My work is a response to my own, very personal, aesthetic. I admire others’ work and see things that are exceptionally beautiful, and then let that percolate and see what happens with it.” Benzle sums it all up on his website: “The purpose of my art is to embrace the illusive, emotional content of traditional beauty. I aspire to communicate the feeling behind magical moments—light

Top: Curtis Benzle. Photo: Danielle Ford (Class of 2013) Above: More than Meets the Eye, illuminated porcelain, 4 x 3 feet. When illuminated, the piece transforms from white into a full range of glowing colors. It also contains embedded messages in Braille.

filtering through leaves that make memories of a sun-filled afternoon.” His colleagues, students, and collectors all look forward to more of this magical work. To see Curtis Benzle’s work, visit or the Sherrie Gallerie in Columbus.

CCAD’s Annual Fund Drive Our state, our nation, and the world need the creative lifeblood that CCAD graduates deliver—and CCAD students are working (and dreaming) hard to get there. But tuition revenue covers only 62% of the cost of a CCAD education. That’s where you, our family, come in. Please use the enclosed envelope to contribute to the Annual Fund Drive today. Your generosity is a direct helping hand to students—and a vote of support for the whole creative community here at CCAD.

Donor Snapshot:

ALEXIS JACOBS By Kristin Mack Deuber

“I continue to be amazed by the talent at CCAD.” —Alexis Jacobs Jacobs plans to continue supporting CCAD on projects such as the new CCAD MindMarket, an incubator for arts-related business and a hub where businesses, government agencies, and other organizations can access CCAD talent. “I plan to utilize the MindMarket as we bring our auto auction online,” says Jacobs. “We are excited to benefit from this local resource as well as give students real-life experience working in the auto auction business.”

Cars have always been Alexis Jacobs’ passion. Since starting her career working alongside her father, William Jacobs, founder of Columbus Fair Auto Auction, she has now led it—one of the nation’s top auto auctions—for more than 40 years. It’s no wonder, then, that Wheelz, a CCAD exhibition highlighting exotic cars and motorcycles as art, was what first hooked Jacobs on the college back in 2005. Since then she has supported many CCAD events and has never missed

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Alexis Jacobs with friends at the 2012 Senior Fashion Show. From left: Venus Roby, Charla Crawford, Angela Pace, Regina Whann, and Jacobs. Photo: Terry Gilliam

the Senior Fashion Show. She also gives to scholarships and was instrumental in helping build the CCAD Design Studios on Broad. “I continue to be amazed by the talent at CCAD,” says Jacobs. “It’s so great to see young people with such artistic skills, especially when I can’t even draw a straight line.”

Jacobs supports other youth- and education-focused organizations throughout central Ohio, including Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Franklin Park Conservatory, Charity Newsies, the Salesian Boys & Girls Club of Columbus, and the Ohio State University Foundation. She has also received numerous industry awards, and Columbus Fair Auto Auction has been ranked as one of the top 500 woman-owned businesses by Working Woman magazine.

Andrew Peña:

ONE STUDENT’S VIEW By Kristen M. Foley As CCAD’s Annual Fund Drive kicks off, you might be wondering if anyone really notices when you make your contribution. Short answer? Yes. Long answer: The scholarships that your gift supports can be one of the most profound elements of a student’s education. Please meet Andrew Peña, a junior Illustration major who’s also pursuing a minor in Writing. IMAGE: When was the first time you knew you wanted to study illustration? Andrew: I was always into drawing ever since I was little. As I got older I started thinking that I wouldn’t mind studying [art] and possibly making a career out of it. I looked into different programs and majors, but after taking illustration classes in CCAD’s summer programs, I knew for certain that this was what I wanted to do. IMAGE: Who/what are your inspirations? Andrew: The people who are around me who support me. I never start a project without trying to include someone I know and love. IMAGE: What’s your favorite part about being an Illustration major?

me to improve and learn from them. It’s like an endless lesson; you never stop learning!


Andrew: The fact that I’ll be doing what I love for work is pretty exciting. With the knowledge I’m gaining from CCAD I feel like I can take on the world. It’s a great feeling. IMAGE: What else would you like to add? Andrew: My experience at CCAD has been very special. Thank you to all of the professors I’ve had so far at CCAD. I’ve learned so much these past two years and can’t wait to see what else is in store.

— ANDREW PEÑA IMAGE: How did your scholarship affect your life and your education? Andrew: It has really removed a lot of stress from my parents, who are helping fund my college career. I remember telling them about receiving my scholarship— they were overwhelmed with emotion. My mom actually began to cry while I was telling her on the phone. IMAGE: What would you like to say to CCAD donors about the impact of their support?

Andrew: I love the whole process of making an illustration—from brainstorming and sketching for hours to putting the final touches on a piece.

Andrew: I can’t thank you enough. You’re giving dedicated students a chance to really shine and pursue their dreams. I feel blessed to have this opportunity and won’t let your support go unappreciated.

Also, being surrounded by a lot of really good artists here at CCAD motivates

IMAGE: What excites you about your future?


Online opportunities Anna Dickson finds top spot at the Huffington Post By Kendra Hovey

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Anna Dickson was a photography student at CCAD when Google first introduced its image search in 2001. She graduated in 2004—the same year Flickr was born. She was at Rolling Stone, both photo assisting and photo editing, when Apple opened its app store in 2008, and by the time the first iPad sold in 2010, she had moved up to photo editor at Clear Channel. Then, in March of 2012, almost eight years out of CCAD, she joined the Huffington Post as photo editor of their weekly iPad magazine, Huffington. That same month, app downloads hit the 25-billion mark. And why this bit of Internet history? To show that as Anna Dickson climbed the career ladder, her industry was forming beneath her feet.

Anna Dickson at work. Photo: Brian Friedman

For the now 31-year-old Dickson, on-thejob training was at times more like on-thejob creating. Hunting for images of, say, an obscure bass player for magazines like Rolling Stone or Guitar One, she developed her own Flickr-based system. “I’d post callouts,” she explains, “and people would send me their photos.”

Tracking down just the right images or the photographers who took them, a process she calls “the hunt,” was a particularly fun part of the job. “The photo is what pulls you into the article,” she says. “It can be heart wrenching, uplifting, joyful, or painful to look at. We support a story visually and can change people’s perceptions, all through a photo.” As her career and the industry grew, she decided it was time to hone her copyright skills, and in 2010 she took a class on copyright law at New York University. She continues to keep close tabs on congressional talk related to copyright, intellectual property law, and the Internet in general.

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progressing. But, most important, stay positive and be friendly: “It’s a tough industry and a small circle, so you don’t want to burn bridges.”

Her expertise in rights and licensing, combined with her interest in technology, was key to her recent transition from photo editor to photo director at Huffington Post mere months after being hired. Her work is still found throughout the pages of the digital magazine—chances are she’s had a hand in the cover shoot, as well as the features and Q&A sections—but as director, her responsibilities now extend to the website, where she works with designers and the tech team to keep things running smoothly. Catch Dickson at work and she can be doing anything from setting up shoots, choosing photographers, and scouting locations to finalizing captions, handling copyright, or doing “selects” from a recent shoot. “No day is the same,” she says. A perfect day, though, would be a day on set. In fact, whether it’s finding the perfect photographer, bouncing around ideas, or directing, she loves the entire shoot process. She’s proud of the stories, too. “Many of the shoots we’re doing are not celebrities, not politicians, not business people, but regular, everyday people who are giving something back to society,” she says, mentioning in particular a Tampa police officer dedicated to helping the homeless, and a veteran—“a wife, mother, student, volunteer...and inspiration”—who has post-traumatic stress disorder, yet helps other returning vets get their bearings and move past their struggles. So, with all the changes in her industry, does Dickson still rely on her CCAD

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education? “Absolutely,” she says. Her expertise with lighting started with Duncan Snyder’s class, and she credits him and Helen Hoffelt with deepening her engagement with imagery. A seminal moment—which actually spanned an entire semester—was taking a Fashion Photography class with Scott Cunningham at the same time as a class with Elizabeth Fergus Jean on self. “On one hand I was finding that I had a passion for editorial photography and photographing people, and on the other I was pushed very hard to find my voice,” she says. “Those two classes together put me into a new mindset.”

For Dickson, on-the-job training was at times more like on-the-job creating. When asked for advice about her stillevolving industry, Dickson has plenty of wisdom to share. Keep up with the legal landscape, she says, “especially in an environment that changes so frequently.” Research skills are also key: “There are several ways to go about digging for images. You have to be resourceful and think outside the box to get the job done.” Network, she says, especially with other photo editors, and know who photographers are, where they are shooting, and how their work is

She urges current students to do internships. “You learn what you like and what you don’t and can learn a lot from a professional,” she says. They are harder to come by when you are out of school, so “do it now,” she says. “And if a paper or magazine doesn’t have an intern or a photo department, offer to be that for them.” Lastly, keep an open mind. Along with persistence and hard work, Dickson says, open-mindedness is a quality the successful seem to share. There is never just one way. She says, “I’ve watched several friends take various paths to get where they are. Some have assisted and moved into solo careers; some have gone the path of commercial photographers and found that their fine art work had much more strength and voice. Some never thought they’d find exactly what they wanted, but persisted until they did. Some moved to big cities expecting their careers to blossom and found that a smaller town really gave them a place to bloom. Some are still working hard to accomplish their goals and growing closer to it every day.” Many of these friends are ones she made back in school. She says she still has great relationships with people she met at CCAD. She often misses the energy and like-minded dedication and how late nights in the studio or the darkroom never felt like a chore. “We all miss that,” she says, “I think it’s a big reason I keep up with so many people from CCAD.”

Success in New York— But Not Overnight Steven Bindernagel Tells All By Kendra Hovey

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“Get here and you’ll realize art is a billion-dollar industry with a huge net of available jobs.” — Steven Bindernagel

Someone—a stranger to you—sees your work on a gallery wall and wants to take it home, enough to lay down some significant cash. This is a seminal moment for most fine artists. When it first happened for abstract painter Steven Bindernagel (CCAD 2002), he was honored. “That I made something that someone else fell in love with was amazing and humbling,” he says. The cash was nice, too, but “the money thing” truly sank in as more paintings sold and he realized he could quit his day job. “That’s when I thought, ‘Ok, this is really awesome,’” he recalls now. The Cleveland native moved to New York in 2004. After earning his Master of Fine Arts in 2006 from the School of Visual Arts, he spent the next four years in the city working 40–50 hours a week as an art handler—plus 40 hours a week in his studio. As he explains, “It was important to me that I spend as much time in my studio as possible. It was also important to me that I eat.” Bindernagel’s hard work paid off when the CRG Gallery offered to represent him in 2010. He will have his first solo show there this fall. Rebecca Ibel, curator and director of the Pizzuti Collection, calls CRG “an international force in contemporary art.” It’s also where her boss, Ron Pizzuti, caught sight of his first Bindernagel and bought it that same day. The painting is now one of a number of Bindernagel’s works in the internationally significant Pizzuti Collection—alongside those of such established and respected artists as Shirin Neshat.

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A typical day for the 33-year-old artist starts around 8 a.m. in his Greenpoint, Brooklyn apartment. After taking his dog, Baxter, for a quick walk, he heads to his studio in Queens, where he’ll sketch, paint, and draw until sometime between 10 p.m. and midnight. But on an atypical day, Bindernagel might be back in a gallery packing or hanging art. About this he wants to be clear: While he is happy and incredibly fortunate, there’s no need to romanticize the artistic life. If a month is looking thin, he’ll pick up a freelance art handling gig. Art sales tend to slow in the summer months, and this past summer his costs shot up as he burned through supplies preparing for his solo debut. But this “ebb and flow,” as he calls it, is a far cry from the cliché of the starving artist. That’s one myth he’s quick to blast. “Say, ‘I am going to move to New York to be a professional artist,’ and people think you’re crazy—they tell you you’re crazy,” says Bindernagel, “but get here and you’ll realize art is a billion-dollar industry with a huge net of available jobs.” From hourly work in galleries, museums, and shipping companies to assisting artists, correcting digital files, and photographing artwork, he says, “there are really a lot of options” to get set up and connected. This is typical of Bindernagel’s realistic, yet positive, take on making it as an artist. It’s not easy, he says, but it is doable. What’s his Number One insight?

Make art. It may sound obvious, but staying focused on this key priority takes more dedication than you might think.

Previous spread: The Inevitable Yield (detail), 2010, acrylic on canvas, 72 x 60 inches. Facing page: Bottom of the Sky, 2011, watercolor and colored pencil on Yupo paper, 44 x 54 inches. Left: Untitled, 2010, watercolor and colored pencil on Yupo paper, 54 x 44 inches. Middle: Untitled, 2010, acrylic on canvas, 28 x 22 inches. Right: Foreign Body, 2011, watercolor and colored pencil on Yupo paper, 54 x 44 inches.

Here are six more: 1 Plug into the art world. Bindernagel was making ends meet

in retail, but to get the life he wanted he felt he needed a job in the art industry—so he became an art handler. This put him in galleries meeting artists, collectors, and curators and gave him an up-close view of how the system works.

2 This was all very helpful with: Get a social support network.

“If you are going to make a run of it in New York City you need a net of people who are there for you—who support you, recommend you for group shows or studio visits, and push you.” If Bindernagel took a day or two off of painting, a studiomate would call and say, “Hey, where you at? Get in the studio. You’ve got to put in some hours. And bring beer.”

3 Support, of course, is both get and give, which brings us to: Go to your friends’ openings. “Sure, you’re tired, but go anyway,” he says. “You’ve got to support your friends.”

4 Get a studio. Bindernagel pays more for his 400 square feet

of studio space than for his apartment. “It’s really the most important place to me in the world,” he says, and it’s always been a top priority. It reminds him every day that art is a serious business. Plus, he makes a mess. “I need a certain amount of freedom when I paint,” he says. Also, it’s more professional: “People generally don’t want to come to an apartment for a studio visit.” It’s been great, too, for expanding his social circle and for networking. “It’s a given,” he says, that he and his studiomates will introduce each other to any visiting artists, curators, or collectors. “This sharing and community building has been invaluable to us all, leading to shows, sales, and contacts.”

5 Keep your head up. For the first three years in New York, no

one showed much interest in Bindernagel’s art. The reality, he says: “Tons of people are not going to be impressed by your work—be persistent and dedicated and resilient.”

6 Finally, especially for those still in school: It’s never too early

to think about a game plan. Work on writing skills—it’ll help when applying for residencies and grants. Find out exactly what a gallery registrar does, how to store and best maintain your artwork, and how to approach a gallery.

“So many people blindly send a stock note and an elaborate portfolio, but galleries don’t look at those books,” he explains. The key is to be recommended or to build a relationship. “Go to the gallery’s every single opening,” he suggests. “After a few months introduce yourself, tell them you like what they do, offer your card, follow up—it’s kind of like dating.” Bindernagel found his path during a New York residency through CCAD. “The program was awesome,” he says, “but if you can’t do it, sublet. Spend the summer here. Test it out. See if it’s for you.” Lastly, he urges, talk to people: “I’ve told you my story; there’s always another artist who’s done it differently. There are many ways to make a living, make art, and be happy.”

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the Changing Frame

Chad Hunt’s career takes a new turn (again)

By Kristen M. Foley

Photography has changed considerably since Chad Hunt graduated from CCAD in 1994 with his Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography. While technology has made the photographer’s job easier, it also has made it tougher in some ways. “The current iPhone has a higher screen resolution than the first digital camera I shot with that cost $5,000,” notes Hunt. “You can find photographers much easier now, too. Sometimes it’s hard to stand out in that world.” Chad Hunt in a self-portrait taken at the Yakima Training Center in Washington State.

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But Hunt stands out, nonetheless, because his talent goes far beyond the ability to click a shutter button and press “send.” The artistic elements in his photos frame the observable world and give it meaning, something that he believes stems from his experiences at CCAD. Since then he has captured thousands of images. His most recent endeavors have taken him to war-torn Afghanistan, where he was embedded with American troops. His photographs capture the soldiers as well as the dramatic, on-edge environment in which they must live every day.

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“My first trip over there I paid my own way and completed it as a freelance project,” Hunt says. “I was bored with regular photography, and I had this idea that I wanted to be embedded, so I looked into it and just did it.” That impulse led to a total of three trips to Afghanistan over two years, during which Hunt slept next to machine guns, witnessed firefights, and ultimately charted a new direction in his career. His most intense memory is when he first stepped off a military helicopter onto the Afghanistan ground in September 2006.

“It was almost a ‘careful what you wish for’ sort of thing,” laughs Hunt now. “When I got off the helicopter, it was really dark, and I went into the tent and slept for like 15 minutes. All of a sudden the lieutenant came in and said, ‘A Humvee has been hit, and they’re taking fire. This is what you wanted right? You’re going into a firefight.’ I jumped up and I was like, crap I’m really here. Now I actually have to do this.” Hunt quickly settled in. “It’s amazing to connect with these individuals on this level. It’s really a matter of asking them questions and telling them you are there

Photographs from Chad Hunt’s week with a U.S. Special Operations Team doing live fire training near Yakima, WA, earlier this year. The team was preparing for deployment to Afghanistan in 2013. Photos: Chad Hunt

to tell their story,” reflects Hunt. “Just spending time with them goes a long way in earning their trust.” In 2008, his photograph of Sergeant Major David Combs at the Korengal Outpost in Afghanistan made the cover of Time magazine. The success was welcome, but with each military trip, Hunt found that editors

“The current iPhone has a higher screen resolution than the first digital camera I shot with that cost $5,000.” — Chad Hunt

became less likely to assign him to anything but “guys, gears, and guns” stories. So he’s switching it up again. At the time of this interview, he was preparing to embark on a trip to Haiti to capture

new images for the World Wide Orphan Foundation. “I’m excited—it’s an opportunity to re-prove myself,” he says. Given Hunt’s track record, we expect the trip will broaden not only his worldview, but ours.

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Alumni Reports from the CCAD News Blog This is just a sampling of all the CCAD alumni news. To see everything—and sign up to receive each item as it is posted—visit

Breaux was a senior animator on Terra Nova, which was produced by Steven Spielberg and won a 2012 Visual Effects Society (VES) award for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Series. Breaux is currently working on Die Hard 5: A Good Day to Die Hard, starring Bruce Willis, which is scheduled for release in 2013.

Program at the 39th Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy® Awards this summer. He was also nominated for Outstanding Directing in an Animated Program. Hartman’s other series and projects include Spider-Man, My Friends Tigger & Pooh, Starship Troopers, Stuart Little 3, and Jackie Chan Adventures.

Urbano Video Wins Two MTV Awards Inka Essenhigh

Essenhigh Has Solo Exhibition in Japan Fine Arts alum Inka Essenhigh (CCAD 1991) had her first solo exhibition of the year, The Natural and the Man-Made, at Tomio Koyama Gallery in Kyoto, Japan. Its five paintings explored a progression from the natural to the man-made world. Essenhigh, who lives and works in New York City, also participated in exhibitions at the Dayton Art Institute in Dayton, OH; the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockport, ME; and the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville, TN.

Breaux Creates Beasts in Hollywood Illustration alum David Breaux (CCAD 1994) had a busy year on the Hollywood animation scene working with international visual effects company Pixmondo on such well-known films and TV shows as Terra Nova, Hunger Games, Tron: Legacy, and Iron Man 2.

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Advertising & Graphic Design alum John Urbano’s directorial work for British pop band One Direction has paid off with two 2012 MTV Video Music Awards. Urbano (CCAD 1996) directed the video for One Direction’s hit “What Makes You Beautiful,” which won VMAs for Best Pop Video and Most Share-Worthy Video. The band also took home Best New Artist. The video features the five-member boy band gathering with friends on a beautiful California beach. It has had more than 250 million views on Vevo, a music video site, since its premiere on Aug. 19, 2011.

Hartman’s Show Wins Daytime Emmy Illustration alum David Hartman (CCAD 1995) can now say he works for an Emmy-Award-winning television show. Hartman is a supervising director and supervising art director for Transformers: Prime, which took home an Emmy for Outstanding Special Class Animated

Eliza Kinkz

kinkz Premieres Film at SXSW Media Studies alum Eliza Kinkz (CCAD 2004) debuted her film Chocolate Milk at 2012 South by Southwest® Film Conference and Festival in March. Based on Kinkz’s own life experiences, Chocolate Milk is a humorous and bittersweet story of teenagers coming to grips with the pressures and consequences of addiction. After its appearance at SXSW, it went on to win a Grand Jury Award in the Wallabout Film Festival and the Best in Show award at the Light Factory Filmmakers’ Showcase, as well as being named a finalist for both the Student Academy Awards and the USA Film Festival.

featuring work from 28 artists—14 from Japan and 14 from New York City. The artists each put their own artistic touch on a 3-D mold of a human skull. “[The skulls] were meant to represent the destruction that the earthquake and tsunami left in their wakes,” Alicea says. Alicea and Ono are planning a similar exhibition for 2013, which will tour through Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore and end in New York City. Tim Bowers

Bowers Book Climbs Bestseller Lists Dinosaur Pet, written by Marc Sedaka and illustrated by alum Tim Bowers (CCAD 1979), garnered a lot of attention this summer—climbing to number three on The New York Times bestsellers list and number one on the Publishers Weekly top-selling children’s picture book list. Bowers has illustrated more than 30 children’s books, including The New York Times bestseller Dream Big, Little Pig! written by Kristi Yamaguchi.

Christoff Presents at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Fashion Design alum Genoveva Christoff (CCAD 2009) was selected as one of four designers to present in the Diet Pepsi Style Studio Show during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York City. “There are so many things that were memorable,” says Christoff. “First, meeting with Simon Doonan, then all of the preparation for the actual show, especially the moment I saw so many famous people in the audience, like Mary-Kate Olsen, Debra Messing, Angela Simmons, Jay Manuel, Jay Alexander, Jonathan Adler, and Kelly Rutherford.”

Wachtel’s BBQ Tool a Hit

james alicea

Alicea Brings International Artists Together This spring, Advertising & Graphic Design alum James Alicea (CCAD 1992) rallied artists from Japan and New York to raise money and awareness for victims of the 2011 tsunami and earthquake in Japan. Alicea and his business partner Shin Ono created S.O.S: Suns of Silence, a one-day exhibition and auction in Tokyo

A creation of Industrial Design alum Peter Wachtel (CCAD 1990) continues to gain in popularity. His multifunction BBQ tool, the STAKE, is being sold through venues such as Target, Fab, and the popular gadget site ThinkGeek. Reviews for the product on ThinkGeek range from “This. Changes. Everything.” to “If Tony Stark ever grilled, this is what he would use.” Wachtel is the owner and president of Kid Toyology, which designs and develops items for the toy and entertainment industries.

Kartika Mediani

Mediani Shows Film at 2012 Comic-Con Animation alum Kartika Mediani (CCAD 2010) showed her film The Box at the 2012 Comic-Con’s San Diego International Children’s Film Festival in California this summer. The short animated film, which Mediana wrote, directed, and illustrated, follows a young boy and the lengths to which he will go to protect a precious box. It also screened at the University of California Los Angeles Animation Prom and international children’s film festivals in San Diego, New Orleans, and Los Angeles. Mediana is currently working on a Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Scanlon Wins Alumni Award for Excellence CCAD’s 2012 Alumni Award for Excellence has gone to Illustration alum Dan Scanlon (CCAD 1998). Scanlon will make his directorial debut next year with Pixar’s Monsters University. Since joining Pixar in 2001, his film credits include Cars, The Little Mermaid II, and 101 Dalmatians II as a storyboard artist and The Indescribable Nth and Joseph: King of Dreams as an animator; he co-directed the short film Mater and the Ghostlight. Scanlon’s work was honored at CCAD’s Family Weekend & Homecoming in October.

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CCAD Now. Photo by Danielle Ford (CCAD 2013)

Office of Advancement 60 Cleveland Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43215

IMAGE Magazine Fall 2012  

Interested in art and design school? Find out why CCAD is the school to get your art and design career launched.

IMAGE Magazine Fall 2012  

Interested in art and design school? Find out why CCAD is the school to get your art and design career launched.