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Enter an art gallery after hours

For Drawing and Painting class, the instructor Jim Barry took the class to Art Center College of Design for a field trip. Part of the gallery involves an area reserved for a professional artist. It was closed when we arrived at around 7:30 pm, but we had a security guard open it for us. The artiston exhibition right now is Yoshio Ikezaki, a professor at Art Center. His works with different kinds of inks and papers are put on show, including folded paper sculptures.

The student gallery took up most of the space. It was impressive to see how polished all the projects were.

The amount of detail in the work was also amazing. There were lots of architectural mock ups with teeny tiny details. This is an artist’s rendering of a laboratory set up, complete with miniatureErlenmeyer flasks.

Even the posters explaining the works are very professional looking, with 3D renders complete with lighting and textures.

There was a monitor showing movie trailers and music videos that Art Center alumni have directed or taken part in, including Superman.

There were rooms full of wood working machines, tools, and car design drawings.

As we walked out of the gallery, we saw a class in session at 9 pm! It was probably an Art Center at Night course. People in the community can just pay the tuition for the courses, but Caltech students get to take them for free and have the units count towards our degree. However, note that the Art Center is on a semester system while Caltech is on quarters, so the start and end dates don’t line up. Another caveat is that the Art Center is intense. Jim Barry described it as the Caltech equivalent for design majors. It really is. I tried taking an introduction to graphic design course at Art Center at Night once, and by around week 4, we were asked to produce about 100 thumbnail sketches of posters for a non-profit of our choice. That was around when I dropped the class. Even the money I had already sunk into the class – giant portfolio folder, X-acto blades, foam core – wasn’t enough to convince me otherwise. That said, it really is a unique opportunity to take classes at the Art Center as a Caltech student, and I think I would have had a better experience had I done it while I was on an easier term or during my senior year.

Guided by cell phone flashlights, we finished off the tour of the Art Center with a mini trail to the edge of the hill on which the campus is perched. We were treated to a spectacular view of the city lights.

Ker Lee