ArtCenter Displays the Future of Design Itself in Fall 2018 Art Center Grad Show

Commencement event showcases the work of young designers whose creativity will no doubt change the look of things to come, across the globe

Published : Thursday, December 13, 2018 | 6:46 AM

There are college commencement ceremonies and then there is the Art Center Grad Show in Pasadena.

ArtCenter College of Design’s show kicks off today in a private reception and continues Saturday with a public one, showcasing the work, diverse backgrounds, and talents of the next generation of some of the world’s most influential artists and designers. Just consider, for starters, that the vast majority of cars designed in the United States over the last few decades were designed by ArtCenter grads.

Add to that any number of structures, of products, of commercial packaging, of offices, of graphic design — and you have a clear glimpse of design’s present and future.

Matt Asato-Adams and one of his works.

Ray Quirolgico, associate provost for student affairs/dean of students, explained the open-to-the-public Grad Show “is our very own exhibition of all of our majors, on display just as our graduates are leaving their full-time studies to venture into the world and make a real difference in art and design professions.”

Quirolgico continued, “Grad Show at ArtCenter is such an astounding showcase of the incredible talents of the graduating class.”

“The employers who come to recruit, the loved ones of our graduates, and the public who attend Grad Show always comment on how impressive and thrilling it is to see work that is diverse, thoughtful, complex, researched, and beautifully realized as manifestations of creativity and imagination,” he added.

For graduate Matt Asato-Adams, his studies showed him that there is still room for traditional graphic design in the current digital universe.

Aristotle “Ari” Montanez at work

“What’s great about ArtCenter is that there are so many different [foundational courses] like motion, packaging, print design that, I had to try everything and then, I’m so thankful that I found exactly what I liked,” he said.

“It’s the perfect foundation,” says Aristotle “Ari” Montanez, a product design major.

“From presentation skills all the way up to talking and being able to network with individuals, it’s such a well-rounded experience for a young designer, [and] being able to understand everything about the industry, is what ArtCenter really was able to teach me.”

Alvin Oei, who began his studies in 2007, says that Art Center provided a place to fully and clearly examine his career, even if it took more than ten years.

“I started in architecture,” he explained. “I worked in architecture for seven years and what I felt it lacked was storytelling, which is why I wanted to come to environmental design.”

As Oei describes his work, “What we do is we focus less on just building structures and more on creating stories that people can walk through. Creating worlds that people can keep opting to, whether it’s a museum or a theme park or an exhibition, or something that really carries the story all the way across.”

A work by Alvin Oei and the artist himself (right). Portrait photo by Yixuan Liu

Oei’s work and study over the last few years have included “reimagining” a pediatric burn clinic to reimagining theme parks and retail concepts.

“I think what it all boils down to,” Oei said Wednesday, “is asking big questions. That’s my interest, in how those answers play out in space. The spaces we occupy.”

ArtCenter Fall 2018 Grad Show public showing, Saturday, December 15 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Pasadena Convention Center Exhibition Hall at 300 E. Green Street.

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