Graphic Designer, Photographer, Artist and Innovation Leader Honored by ArtCenter College of Design

James Miho, Paul Bielenberg, Jahee Kim Lee and Kevin Bethune Receive Awards for Creating Meaningful Change through Leadership and Service

Published : Monday, September 24, 2018 | 11:31 AM

ArtCenter College of Design will honor four distinguished alumni at the 2018 Alumni Awards Dinner on Saturday evening, October 27 at the Chevy Chase Country Club. The event, held in conjunction with the College’s inaugural Alumni Reunion, honors those who best represent the impact of an ArtCenter education on the world to shape a more humane future.

Groundbreaking graphic designer James Miho, class of 1955 in Graphic Design, will receive the Lifetime Achievement award in recognition of his successful professional career as a designer and as an educational leader; architectural photographer Paul Bielenberg, class of 1998 in Photography and Imaging, will be honored with an Outstanding Service award recognizing his significant work with the College and alumni community; artist, philanthropist Jahee Kim Lee, class of 1990 in Fashion Illustration and class of 1992 with an MFA in Illustration, will receive the Global Outstanding Service award honoring her distinctive international service to ArtCenter; and design and innovation leader Kevin Bethune, class of 2012 in Graduate Industrial Design, will be honored with the Young Innovator award.

“Beyond their impressive professional achievements, which impact our world through art, design and education, James, Paul, Jahee and Kevin exemplify dedicated alumni who throughout their lives continue to give back to students and the College on many levels,” said Caroline Nagy, executive director, AlumNetwork and Annual Giving. “Their collective contributions are illustrative of the close-knit ArtCenter alumni family who make up the most impressive pipeline of creative talent in the world.”

Lifetime Achievement award honoree James Miho was born in Gridley, Calif. in 1933. During World War II, his family was interned at Tule Lake on the border of California and Oregon. He fought in the Korean War, and during a leave in Japan was so inspired by the art and architecture that he decided to pursue a career in design. In 1955, after ArtCenter, he began his career at N.W. Ayer & Son in Philadelphia, where he collaborated on the influential “Great Ideas of Western Man” ad campaign for the Container Corporation of America during the 1960s and ’70s. It was his idea to introduce the work of such Pop artists as Andy Warhol and Larry Rivers to the groundbreaking social impact campaign.

He art-directed the famous “Imagination” series of themed paper sample brochures for Champion Papers while working in New York for Needham, Harper & Steers. His firm, James Miho Incorporated, created memorable designs for top clients such as Chrysler Corporation, Atlantic Richfield, Xerox Corporation, Denise Rene Gallery of New York and the Danish Embassy.

An esteemed design educator, Miho served as chair of the Graphic Design department at ArtCenter from 1988 to 1996. An AIGA medalist, he also served as chair of Multimedia Design at Innovative Design Labs of Samsung in Seoul.

Outstanding Service award honoree Paul Bielenberg is a highly respected architectural photographer with numerous clients and projects nationwide. Dedicated to the widespread ArtCenter community of creative professionals, he regularly collaborates with fellow alumni on client shoots. He has taught architectural photography at ArtCenter since 1986. He epitomizes the entrepreneurial graduate with an established career and teaches a high standard of professionalism in his classes. A deeply committed teacher, he works tirelessly with students and supports them with guidance and expertise to discover solutions to artistic and business challenges.

Global Outstanding Service award honoree Jahee Kim Lee is the current ArtCenter alumni chapter chair for South Korea and has been a professor at Woosong University in South Korea for more than a decade. She is an artist, philanthropist and inspirational role model to many students and friends. After she graduated ArtCenter, she returned to South Korea to teach and has helped many students—especially ones with financial needs—to pursue careers in the arts by establishing scholarships and exchange-student programs with Woodbury University in Burbank, California.

She is currently one of the leading members and Secretary General of the Himango Project—an NGO providing mango trees to undeveloped areas in South Sudan. She is involved in building schools and teaching women and children in the region. As a proud ArtCenter alum, she is involved with alumni gatherings in Seoul and invites faculty members to South Korea for art workshops. She has helped and inspired many students to apply and ultimately enroll at ArtCenter for several years.

Young Innovator award honoree Kevin Bethune is a design and innovation leader who brings a unique creative sensibility and heightened sense of empathy to every collaboration. As a mechanical engineer in the nuclear power generation industry, he gained deep product experience through 14 nuclear reactor upgrade campaigns with more than $60 million in commercial impact. He then earned an MBA and joined Nike, Inc. where he quickly navigated to the global footwear product engine to drive advanced digital product creation capabilities. After solidifying his creative foundation through Nike design opportunities and graduating from ArtCenter, he created distinct design and innovation capabilities at the management consulting firms Booz & Co. and The Boston Consulting Group.

As founder and chief creative officer at his latest company—Dreams, Design and Life— Bethune sets the tone for every engagement along values-driven guiding principles and provides an experience base deeply honed at the intersection of design, business and technology.

He has given keynote talks at TED (TED@BCG in Milan, Italy 2017), AIGA, Design Management Institute, DRDS (Design Research Design Strategy 2017 in Hamburg, Germany), Yale School of Management, Woodbury University and the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University. He serves on ArtCenter’s FullCircle board and the executive committee of the Design Management Institute board.

The ArtCenter Alumni Awards are an annual recognition bestowed by the College with input from the internal ArtCenter community and global alumni community nearly 20,000 strong and growing. FullCircle board members review all award nominee submissions. Honoring outstanding graduates is an opportunity for ArtCenter to publicly recognize the extraordinary talent, impressive service and influential reach of its alumni. The awards are presented each Fall term.

To view a list of past Alumni Award recipients, please visit

About ArtCenter: 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 seven graduate degrees in a wide variety of industrial design disciplines as well as visual and applied arts. In addition to its top-ranked academic programs, the College also serves members of the Greater Los Angeles region through a highly regarded series of year-round educational programs for all ages and 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.








blog comments powered by Disqus