November 18, 2022
As the fall term gains momentum at ArtCenter College of Design, more than 500 new incoming graduate and undergraduate students have joined the creative community. Today, ArtCenter’s total student enrollment is 2,400. Joining the recent student arrivals are 65 new faculty members, both part-time and full-time, who will inspire students in the classroom across a range of art and design disciplines.
“I’m thrilled to welcome our newest students and look forward to meeting as many as possible as they grow and evolve during their journey at ArtCenter,” said ArtCenter President Karen Hofmann. “I’m proud to also welcome all of our new expert faculty members to our dynamic community.”
Among the 65 artists, designers and scholars joining ArtCenter College of Design this term are Marta Cunningham (Film), Mashinka Firunts Hakopian (Humanities and Sciences), Allison Miller (Fine Art and Illustration), Cheryl D. Miller (Graphic Design) and Amir Nikravan (Fine Art).
These five individuals were hired following an exhaustive international search. The goal of bringing these faculty to campus is to expand upon the strategies and perspectives available in the ArtCenter classroom, foster institutional expertise in the intersections between art and design practices and legacies of racism and colonialism, and advance more just and equitable futures both within and beyond the ArtCenter community.
Hofmann also announced the renewal of fellowships for artists Ray Chang and Ricky Weaver who will continue teaching as studio faculty with students throughout the College as a cross departmental collaboration through the 2022-23 academic year. Chang and Weaver joined the ArtCenter community in fall 2021 as Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design (AICAD) Teaching Fellows.
New Faculty Spotlights:
Undergrad Film Department Associate Professor Marta Cunningham was born in Northern California and attended San Mateo High School Performing Arts. At the age of 14 she was dancing professionally with The Peninsula Ballet Theater, and was acting, singing, and dancing with The Pacific Light Opera. She majored in English at Georgetown University, then moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the performing arts where she worked as an actress, writer, dancer, and choreographer, before focusing on directing and producing original work in fiction and documentary. Among her 25 director credits are television series such as Chivalry, Modern Love, Grace and Frankie, Dear White People, Star Trek: Discovery and many more. She is also executive producer of six episodes of the 2022 series Chivalry. For ArtCenter’s Department of Film, Cunningham will teach a new course, Advanced Directing 1, that investigates the techniques, skills and craft needed for a successful director working today, with a special emphasis on the particular terms for working in episodic streaming platforms.
Mashinka Firunts Hakopian , associate professor of Graduate Studies in Humanities and Sciences, specializing in technology and social justice, is an Armenian writer, artist, and researcher born in Yerevan and residing in Glendale, Calif. Her work is concentrated in media studies, feminist and queer studies, visual culture, contemporary art, and SWANA (Southwest Asia and North Africa) diaspora studies. Her research attends to cultural practices that intervene in existing sociotechnical systems to produce alternative imaginaries of the future. She holds a PhD in the History of Art from the University of Pennsylvania. She was recently interviewed as a scholar of feminist media studies on the subject of “the diva” by Meghan Markle for the Archetypes podcast.
Fine Art/Illustration Associate Professor Allison Miller is an LA-based artist who makes abstract paintings that challenge both maker and viewer. From stenciled drips to color fields applied with a Crayola-like oil stick, Miller’s gestures suggest a spontaneity that belies a highly considered and strategic approach. Diverse elements combine to form active paintings with compositions that never quite settle. Miller is represented by Susan Inglett Gallery, New York. Her work can be found in the permanent collections of the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College; the Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach; the Pizzuti Collection, Columbus; the Santa Barbara Museum of Art; and the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, among others. Her work has been reviewed inThe New Yorker, Artforum, frieze, Flash Art, The Los Angeles Times, Modern Painter , The Brooklyn Rail, and Hyperallergic, among others. She earned a BFA in Printmaking from Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA in Painting and Drawing from UCLA. https://allison-miller.net/
Professor of Graphic Design, specializing in decolonizing methodologies, Cheryl D. Miller is a national leader of minority rights, gender, race diversity, equality, equity and inclusion advocacy in graphic design. She is founder of the former Cheryl D. Miller Design, Inc., NYC, a social impact design firm. She is a designer, author, trade writer for PRINT Magazine and Communication Arts Magazine and theologian. She has an MS in Communications Design from Pratt Institute and a BFA in Graphic Design from Maryland Institute College of Art. She completed Foundation Studies at Rhode Island School of Design, and a Doctor of Humane Letters from: Vermont College of Fine Arts, 2020 and a Doctor of Fine Arts from MICA-The Maryland Institute College of Art 2022, The RISD-Rhode Island School of Design 2022 and a MDiv from Union Theological Seminary. In 2021, she was an AIGA Medalist “Expanding Access,” a Cooper Hewitt “Design Visionary” awardee and an Honorary IBM Design Scholar, “Eminent Luminary.” She was recently inducted into the Creative Hall of Fame by The One Club for Creativity in recognition of her influence within the graphic design profession to end the marginalization of BIPOC designers through her civil rights activism, industry exposé trade writing, research rigor and archival vision.
"I’m excited about sharing my decolonizing design scholarship and research in new and exciting ways,” said Cheryl D. Miller. “My opportunity to collaborate with ArtCenter allows me to inspire new stories of Design to birth within our community of young scholars. Specifically, in Communication Design we will explore creating Communication Design assets and deliverables from a targeted point of departure; we will be capturing new stories to broaden history for tomorrow's design cannon. Our classroom studio is the future crucible; I believe my presence will inspire a new verve for visual storytelling."
Associate Professor of Undergraduate Fine Art Amir Nikravan is an Iranian-Mexican-American artist from Los Angeles. His hybrid practice fuses painting, sculpture and design, resulting in highly refined objects that complicate assumptions of both form and perception; destabilizing entrenched values inherent to the political projects of the Renaissance, Capitalism, Imperialism and Modernity. Nikravan has held numerous solo exhibitions nationally and internationally, and his work has been feature in various publications (Art in America, ArtForum, Brooklyn Rail, Los Angeles Times). https://amirnikravan.com
Founded in 1930 and located in Pasadena, California, ArtCenter College of Design is a global leader in art and design education. ArtCenter offers 11 undergraduate and 10 graduate degrees in a wide variety of art and design disciplines. In addition to its top-ranked academic programs, the College also serves the general public through a highly regarded series of online and on-campus year-round extension programs for all levels of experience. Renowned for both its ties to industry and its social impact initiatives, ArtCenter is the first design school to receive the United Nations' Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status. Throughout the College's long and storied history, ArtCenter alumni have had a profound impact on popular culture, the way we live and important issues in our society.
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