On March 9, ArtCenter's Board of Trustees announced that the College had named current provost Karen Hofmann (BFA 97 Product Design) as its next president and chief executive officer. Hofmann, who takes over as president on July 1, is working closely with current President Lorne M. Buchman (who announced his retirement in March 2021) on the transition, which includes kicking off a comprehensive search for a new provost.
Speaking of Buchman, you may have noticed his likeness graces the cover of the Spring 2022 issue. This portrait—which Dot magazine commissioned as a parting gift for our outgoing leader—is painted by none other than Illustration Department Associate Chair Aaron Smith (BFA 88), who has taught at the College for more than 20 years. Buchman also used the pages of Dot to deliver a farewell message to the ArtCenter community:
In February of 2009, on the eve of Leonard Cohen’s first American concert in more than 15 years, the late singer, songwriter and poet behind “Suzanne,” “Hallelujah” and “Famous Blue Raincoat” gave an interview to The New York Times. In that interview, Cohen mused on some questionable career choices he had made, and how practicing Zen had helped him spend less time worrying about the past. “All these things have their own destiny; one has one’s own destiny,” said Cohen. “The older I get, the surer I am that I’m not running the show.”
As some of you may have heard, in a few short weeks I will no longer be “running the show” at ArtCenter. I’ll be passing the baton of president and CEO to the very capable Karen Hofmann. Karen is not only the College’s current provost, but she is also the former chair of ArtCenter’s Product Design program, as well as an alumna herself. She is also the first woman to serve as president in the College’s history, and a proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community. Karen’s appointment is fantastic news for ArtCenter, not only because she is well qualified for the position, but also because she has been instrumental in ushering in so much of the incredible transformation the College has undergone over the past few years.
Before the Board had even interviewed presidential candidates, Karen and I sat down and talked about my tenure at the College. That conversation was turned into a story and is presented in this issue of Dot. It was a delight to reminisce about all the changes the College has undergone since I began in 2009, and it further cemented my belief that my time at the College has represented, without question, the peak of my professional career.
I’ll be forever grateful to this remarkable community—not only to the many individuals with whom I’ll remain friends for life, but also for the keen insights on the creative process I’ve gained from ArtCenter’s deep history of “making to know” that is central to the way art and design are taught at the College.
I’m entering a new phase of my creative life, and I have several projects percolating. I’m hoping to write at least one more book (my most recent book, which celebrates much about ArtCenter, is called Make to Know: From Spaces of Uncertainty to Creative Discovery and is available wherever fine books are sold—an outgoing president is allowed a shameless plug, isn’t he?). I also hope to create a documentary about creativity, continue podcasting and maybe even return to work in the theater.
But lest you think you’ve heard the last of me, the Board was generous enough to award me the title of President Emeritus. It’s a tremendous honor, quite unexpected, and I can’t imagine a more moving sendoff to my time at ArtCenter. It’s been wonderful being able to reach you through the pages of this magazine, and I look forward to connecting with many of you in the near future.
In addition to that interview between Hofmann and Buchman, this issue includes stories on: alumna Natalie Candrian (BS 98 Product Design), who heads product design at Saysh, the woman-centric lifestyle brand of Olympian Allyson Felix; alumnus Hiroshi Sugimoto (BS 74 Photography), whose five decades of thought provoking work earned him ArtCenter's 2021 Lifetime Achievement Alumni Award; artist and Grad Art Chair Stan Douglas, who is once again representing Canada in this year’s 59th edition of the Venice Biennale through November 27; alumna Haelim Paek (MFA 10 Media Design), whose love for storytelling comes through in her role as a creative director at Etsy; and alumna Magdalena Paluch (MS 12 Industrial Design), the co-founder and CEO of LabTwin, a company whose digital assistant improves workflows for scientists working in laboratories.
For this issue's "From the Archives," we've selected a photo which is one of several images in ArtCenter's Archives with the label, "Students working with a multiplane camera, circa 1950." However, most multiplane cameras of the era stood vertically, and this is clearly a horizontal setup. If you can help bring this mystery into focus, email email@example.com. In this issue, we're also debuting "Object," a feature in which we'll highlight physical objects beloved by members of the ArtCenter community. We're delighted that artist and longtime professor Ramone Muñoz has helped us kick off "Object" by sharing with us a ceramic sculpture he holds near and dear to this heart. If you have an object you'd like to share, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope you enjoy this issue of Dot and that you and your loved ones remain healthy and safe.