ArtCenter College of Design announced Wednesday the appointment of award-winning animation production designer Guillaume Aretos as chair of its Entertainment Design department.
“I’m very pleased that Guillaume Aretos will be joining ArtCenter. He is an exceptional individual who is well suited to fill this vital role,” said ArtCenterProvost Fred Fehlau.
“His humor and thoughtfulness impressed us, especially the care with which he described how he works with his artists as a production designer and art director. I’m sure he will bring that same attention and focus to our students, his fellow faculty members, and be a fantastic colleague.”
“Becoming part of ArtCenter is a great honor for me,” Aretos said. “It brings me great joy to be able to share everything I have learned during my adventures as anartist with the next generation of entertainment designers.”
Aretos brings more than 20 years of experience as a concept artist, art director and production designer in the film and animation industries to the position. His credits include each feature film in DreamWorks’ critically acclaimed and box office powerhouse Shrek franchise: Shrek—the Academy Award-winning animated feature, for which Aretos won an Annie Award in production design—Shrek 2, Shrek the Third and Shrek Forever After as well as the spin-off prequel Puss in Boots and yet-to-be-released Puss in Boots 2. Additional credits include Antz, Megamind, The Croods and the upcoming Monster Hunt 2.
Aretos has voiced several characters in animated feature films (including movies in the Shrek franchise) and enjoyed a professional acting career in his native France. Before his career as a filmmaker, Aretos created a successful collection of books as an author and illustrator. He graduated cum laude from the L’ Ecole Superieure des Beaux Arts de Paris and conjointly studied industrial and product design at the L’Ecole Nationale Superieure de Creation Industrielle.
As chair, Aretos will be charged with keeping ArtCenter’s Entertainment Design department innovative and nimble. In order for the department to remain aneducational leader within its area of specialty, his responsibilities will include significant outreach tasks, with a view to developing strong bonds with academic,art and cultural organizations, and, especially, entertainment industry companies.
“Throughout my filmmaking career, I have constantly been surrounded byArtCenter alumni,” Aretos said. “I’m always impressed by their passion, intellect and dedication to the craft. We share the same passion, regardless of generation, and I look forward to harnessing that spark to expand the opportunities available to ArtCenter’s Entertainment Design students.”
An impressive roster of ArtCenter alumni and industry professionals—from Disney, DreamWorks, Pixar and Blur, to name just a few—bring their expertise into the Entertainment Design classrooms as faculty and visiting lecturers. They also serve as advocates of the College and help forge relationships between ArtCenter and industry partners who hire our graduates, sponsor educational projects and provide philanthropic support.
Aretos’ chair responsibilities include all aspects of the direction and management ofthe department, which comprises over 40 faculty members who teach more than30 classes each term. With curricular tracks in both Concept Design and Character Animation, the primary goal of Entertainment Design is to provide students with a first-rate education, valuable skills and an extraordinary portfolio preparing them tobecome future entertainment industry leaders and top creative talent in gaming,feature films, animated films and related fields such as theme park design and visualeffects design.
Aretos comes to ArtCenter as the result of an extensive international search conducted by a committee of faculty, alumni, students and staff from the College’s Entertainment Design, Illustration and Film departments. Ross LaManna, chair ofArtCenter’s undergraduate and graduate Film departments, led the search committee.
“I would like to thank Ross, who chaired the search committee with an insider’s view of the entertainment industry,” Fehlau said. “I also want to express my sincere appreciation to former Entertainment Design Chair Tim Flattery, who established and nurtured the vibrant department we have today, and faculty member Thomas Bertling, who was vital in assisting Tim and me during this interim period.”
Founded in 1930 and located in Pasadena, California, ArtCenter College of Designis 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.