Gracing the cover of the Spring 2020 issue of Dot magazine is Equine, a twisting ceramic sculpture by Fine Art Chair Laura Cooper that was inspired by the desert textures, stones and plant life in California’s Joshua Tree National Park.
That work was shown last year at HeyThere Projects, a gallery located near the entrance to Joshua Tree and founded by Illustration Department Associate Professor Mark Todd (BFA 88) and Associate Chair Aaron Smith (BFA 88). “It was wonderful to show these sculptures so close to the park, in a beautiful setting created by dear friends and colleagues,” says Cooper.
And that's exactly what we’re missing at this moment: friends and colleagues. This issue was planned long before COVID-19 turned the world upside-down. At the last minute, we were able to squeeze in some thoughts by President Lorne M. Buchman on our current reality.
From Buchman's introduction to the magazine:
As we go to press with this issue of Dot, ArtCenter is addressing issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a challenging time for our community as we adjust to disruptions to our day-to- day life unlike any we’ve encountered in the history of the College. At the same time, I’m incredibly proud of the way that we’ve rallied together in the face of adversity. We’re a strong institution, and we’ll emerge on the other side of this crisis even stronger.
On the 90th anniversary of the College, he writes:
We began planning a series of thought-provoking events—titled “Critical Conversations”—to explore the relationship of art and design to a number of important topics of our day: diversity, equity and inclusion; disability rights and universal design; and sustainability and climate change. Surely, these conversations are more relevant than ever, but how exactly they will unfold in the face of the current crisis is still being worked out.
Stories in this issue include: a profile of Advertising alumnus Bob Matsumoto (BFA 63), who was interned as a little boy in California’s Manzanar War Relocation Center during World War II; a profile of Vice President Aaron Bruce, whose Diversity, Equity and Inclusion department is transforming the way ArtCenter addresses a range of social issues; and a feature on the current state of minority representation in the graphic design industry, and how the situation may be changing—for the better—in the near future.
We're also debuting two new elements for the magazine in this issue: "Focal Point" and "From the Archives."
"Focal Point" replaces the long-running "4x4 Gallery" but continues that feature's goal of placing a spotlight—across several spreads of the issue—on visual work created by members of the ArtCenter community. This issue we highlight the work of Illustration alum Doug Aitken (BFA 91), recipient of the 2019 Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award.
"From the Archives" will unearth a photo from the College's past. This issue's photo hails from 1956 and features Transportation design alum Shohei Harada and Product Design alumni Shigeo Hattori, Osamu Kataoka and Mitsuhiko Tera, who were all part of the first wave of Japanese students to study at the college following ArtCenter's historic trip to postwar Japan.
Back in the present, we're all looking forward to the day when our lives can return to something approaching normalcy. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy this issue of Dot and that you and your loved ones remain safe during these trying times.