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The art of graduation, 2002

Suzie Harrison

The art in the main exhibition area is indicative of the time of year

it is. The walls are graced with creativity, skill, sweat, time, years of

study and all the hard work that the students have put in to get to this


point. The senior exhibit is one of the final projects for the Art

Institute of Southern California graduates. The walls elucidate a picture

of success.

Forty-three graduates will be moving the tassel from the left to the


right of their mortarboard. This year boasts the biggest graduating class

to date. The big day is Saturday.

The exhibit encapsulates the 122 units the graduates mastered within

the four majors offered: graphic design, illustration, animation and

drawing and painting.

“Graphic design is a very complex medium. The students get familiar

with about 20 different software programs,” said Alan Barkley AISC



Barkley explained that a student’s major is a combination of mediums

they are taught throughout their education at the institute.

Increasing technology has had its effect on art education with the use

of computers and sophisticated software. In the last five years, the

school has increased the number of computers from 22 to 85 and from two

labs to six.

“The student’s challenge is not just to master the programs but to

make their vision come to life through the use of software,” Barkley



Barkley pointed out that the classroom has become more like a lab with

computers. There isn’t really any activity of graphic design outside the

computer. Feature animation will see its first five graduates since its

inception as a major at the art institute in 1999.

It’s the first new major they’ve added in about 12 years. Kim Dwinell

one of the feature animation faculty has been reviewing the short films

the students are required to produce as a final project.

The process is complex. The students work frame by frame, and through

the computer they can see each clip, how it is working with movement and

see whether the timing is right or if its too fast or slow.

“Software now allows you to do clean up to finish, color, sync sound

and synchronize sound with the drawings,” explained Dwinell.

Lisa Waggoner, who is part of this year’s graduating class, has been

well rewarded for what she has learned. Film Roman, the company that

produces the TV series, “The Simpson’s,” “King of the Hill” and “X-Men,”

has just hired her. Lisa started there as an intern this semester and now

has a permanent position.

“I started in the production department of “King of the Hill” and

moved to the color department of “The Simpson’s.” My goals and career

dreams were coming true,” said Waggoner.

Angela Cunningham is another 2002 graduate with a major in drawing and

painting. Cunningham has been selected to be part of a prestigious

exhibition at Morseburg Galleries in Santa Monica.

Jason Kapodylowski has been awarded a $15,000 commission from the city

to create an artists’ bench. His design was selected out of a pool of

area artists. The installation is planned for the fall.

In the back of the institute, there is a mural recently painted by

students. They decided while doing it to make it of themselves painting

the mural. The mural shows the faces of talented artists, students and

graduates -- perhaps projecting into the future.

* SUZIE HARRISON is a reporter for the Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot.

She may be reached at 494-4321.