Aas one of the world leaders in art and design education, ArtCenter College of Design has been one of the cornerstones of Pasadena’s arts and culture since 1930.
Led by its new Director of Galleries and Vice President of Exhibitions Julie Joyce, ArtCenter has unveiled a new slate of summer exhibitions as part of this year’s Red Hot Summer of Art and Design. Performances will run from Thursday, July 7 through Sunday, October 2, and will take visitors on a journey through campus.
“It’s exciting because I think it really represents the last few years in making a real push to activate all the project and art spaces that Julie has spearheaded,” said Terry Bond, director of marketing and communications at ArtCenter.
Joyce was born and raised in Pasadena and spent more than a decade as curator of contemporary art at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art before joining ArtCenter in 2019. Along with colleague Christina Valentine, Associate Director of Galleries and Curator of exhibitions, Joyce felt determined to bring an eclectic collection of artists and storytellers to the Williamson Gallery, Hutto-Patterson Gallery, Mullin Gallery and the lobby of their 1111 building this summer.
Featuring 22 artists and collectives, ArtCenter’s gallery spaces will showcase a diverse array of works that speak to some of the most pressing issues facing the world today.
“We really go for relevance and exploring things that are thought provoking and things that are not just about art or one subject,” Joyce explained. “It’s the nature of being in college, but also wanting to stay connected to modern culture. We want to make these connections between art and design, the social, the humanitarian, the poetic and the scientific.”
Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery’s summer show, “Cantos of the Sibylline Sisterhood,” for example, features a collection of works that discuss the identities of marginalized groups and their power to influence future cultural conditions.
The exhibition is based on the premise of sibyls, women in history known to foretell the future, and the featured artists are seen as cultural sibyls.
Artists include April Bey, Chitra Ganesh, Mariko Mori, May-Too Perret, The Revolution School, Leslie Saar, Erica Ryan Stallones, Molly Surajski, Marni Weber and Saya Wolfalk.
“We just love this show so much,” Joyce said. “Essentially, it features a group of artists who use science fiction, fantasy, spirituality and mythology as a basis for exploring identity and representation.”
In collaboration with the Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography, the exhibition “Edit, Rewrite, Reformat” will take over the Hutto-Patterson Exhibition Hall and display a variety of images and material from the news media with an emphasis on global socio-political events of the past two decades. The exhibition raises discussions about the subjectivity of news, as well as its ideology.
Featured artists include York Chang, Steve Heard, Simon Johnston, Gloria Kondrup, Paula Sher, Rich Silverstein, Samira Yamin and Jemima Wyman.
“I spoke with (HMCT’s) director, Gloria Kondrup, who is an incredible leader,” Joyce described. “She has designer residencies and we talked about several designers and artists who were engaging with the news in interesting ways. And so I agreed to co-host this show with them.
At the lobby entrance of 1111 S. Arroyo Parkway ArtCenter will also present the launch of “1111 Projects,” an installation initiative that will feature alumni of the school in a rotating program.
“It’s such a dynamic space where students really interact with staff and faculty on a pretty close level, and we have so many amazing alumni who have graduated from ArtCenter,” Joyce said.
The first installation features the work of Diana Tater, whom Joyce has known since Tater was a student. Her installation “Natural History One” uses Super 8 film footage she shot of butterflies in the Butterfly Pavilion at the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History. The images will be displayed on five screens arranged in a loose flower shape with two LED lighting fixtures positioned between them.
“She’s very concerned about the environment and animals,” Joyce said. “She’s concerned with extinction … and at the same time it’s just an incredibly beautiful piece.”
In addition to the three new summer exhibitions, the ArtCenter’s Peter and Merle Mullin Gallery will continue to host its Every Day or Not at All exhibition through Thursday, August 28. The exhibition features the work of three design studios in Mexico (APRDELESP, Fabien Cappello and Andrés Souto) that explore design methods derived from the observation of everyday life, whether from the perspective of traditional artisans or the urban working class.
“They’ve really embraced this idea of the everyday in a multi-dimensional way,” Joyce explained. “They’re very interested in using everyday materials and techniques that they’ve drawn from all over Mexico… And they’ve each created videos that actually help people learn who can’t afford to buy their designs or outsource them work. They’ve made these how-to projects where they let anyone who wants to watch their videos on how to do their work.
Admission to all performances and exhibitions will be free, a demonstration of the ArtCenter’s commitment to providing its community with access to art.
“It’s just nice to be able to reopen like this,” Joyce said. “Because we’re on a college campus, we’re part of this huge array of college and university galleries and museums in Southern California. . . . These exhibition spaces are often the places where the surrounding and campus communities can connect.”
Red hot summer of art and design
WHERE: Various locations in the ArtCenter campus gallery spaces
WHEN: Thursday 7th July to Sunday 2nd October
PRICE: Entrance free