Laguna College of Art and Design

Faculty

Mentor

I was born in Los Angeles, California, where I continue to reside and work. My graduate studies at California State University Long Beach included working with international realist painters Alfred Leslie and Lynn Foulkes, as well as art critic and painter, Peter Plagens. Upon graduating, I received the CSULB Art Department Outstanding Graduate Award for my MFA thesis exhibition, and began teaching at the college level and traveling during breaks to study the painting collections of London, Paris, and Italy. I have shown in solo and group exhibitions regionally and nationally and have won numerous awards including a grant from the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, to live and work at their Taos, New Mexico artist colony. My paintings depict scenes inspired by the vast desert regions east of my home in Los Angeles. Although characterized by great specificity in clarity of realist detail, it is my intention is that my images remain - as with poetry - open to individual interpretation. I have been teaching at LCAD since 1992, and see my role as that of facilitator, dedicated to enabling students to achieve their finest creative potential within the inexhaustible viability of the figurative realist tradition.

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Mentor

Funny, I have always been able to draw but never thought it would lead to a career as a painter. My early interests were in science and film but art per se was something I enjoyed on the side of intended pursuits toward a life in movie special effects. But at the same time I was interning at George Lucas's Industrial Light and Magic I was also taking art courses from the likes of Wayne Thiebaud, Roy DeForest, Robert Arneson, and Wally Hedrick at the University of California at Davis. To say that this experience under their energies was influential would be an understatement. At Lucasfilm I was always working on someone else's ideas but painting of course afforded me a foray into my own warped and wonderful thoughts. Who might you ask was addressing the notion of future income at this time?! Nobody. But I digress. Looking back it is clear that my affinity for the cinematic has very much made its way into the imagery with which my work is concerned. I began to get into storm chasing and the results are a slew of tornado paintings for which I am best known. However, keep your eye out as some new things are creeping up over the horizon…

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D.J. Hall's paintings are inspired by the artist's visits to Palm Springs' pools and resorts and Los Angeles' posh Westside and beaches. Depictions of priviledged, beautiful women grinning with self-satisfaction against the inevitable ravages of time became the basis of Hall's imagery. Emplying a realist style of painting, the artist celebrates the color and quality of light in sunny environments. Yet, these emotionally charged works pack compelling thoughts for viewers who choose to look beyond faces and scenes. Beneath the surgace beauty lurks a certain "edge" evoking an uneasy feeling that something is amiss. In revealing herself through these poignant and personal images, the artist lures us into deeper consideration of our own yearnings for eternal youth and our inability to face what inevitably comes with human mortality. Combining a skill for capturing intense color and light and portraying women, her images often feature other genres within the painting- including still life, landscape, and water studies. Reflected in her artwork is her pre-occupation with fleeting youth, aging, and the cultural expression of self-image. (from D.J Hall's Thirty-Five Year Retrospective curated by Katherine Plake Hough)

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Michael Harnish earned his bachelor and master degrees in painting from the Laguna College of Art and Design, finishing his education in 2010. Since then Harnish has been developing his craft, exhibiting his work in notable exhibitions in Orange County and Los Angeles. Recently, the artist has taken up residence in Los Angeles with a studio in the Arts District downtown.

 

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Joseph Todorovitch is a young contemporary painter who has developed a reputation for his highly representational figure paintings. Growing up in Southern California, he became interested in traditional drawing and painting at an early age. His training introduced him to many artistic influences including notable ateliers and instructors.

His work is a culmination of these forces with a deep respect for the knowledge and sensitivities of the past. Joseph has been able to sift through the vast amount of information, be selective, and utilize what's necessary to achieve an impact that speaks about a personal experience with his subjects. His paintings emote, and convey a care and sensitivity that is reminiscent of the naturalist painters of the 19th century. Utilizing subtle value and temperature shifts, fine draughtsmanship, and pure intuition, Joseph weaves a world of breathable air and psychological nuance in his work.

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Kent Twitchell is an American muralist who is most active in Los Angeles. He is most famous for his realistic multi storied mural portraits.

After high school Twitchell joined the United States Air Force and was stationed in London, where he served as an illustraator. Upon his discharge, he studied art at East Los Angeles College (AA, 1968), California State University, Los Angeles (BA, 1972), and the Otis College of Art & Design (MFA, 1977).

In the late 60's he began doing what became known as "Street Art." His ambitious series of murals, "Monuments to American Cultural Heroes," started in 1971 with "Steve McQueen Monument" near downtown LA and "Strother Martin Monument" in Hollywood.

In 1973 Kent painted a five-story "Bride & Groom" followed by "The Freeway Lady." He has painted over 100 portraits within some 30 exterior murals including the "Julius Erving Monument"(Dr. J) in Philadelphia; monuments to visual artists including Ed Ruscha, Jim Morphesis, Lita Albuquerque and Gary Lloyd. Also the LA Chamber Orchestra on three eight story walls overlooking the Downtown Los Angeles Harbor FWY. His murals, studio paintings and drawings most often depict a lone figure standing and looking straight out at the viewer.

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Mentor

I have always been fascinated with dreams, while intrigued by the beguiling and hilarious absurdities of my human experience. In my work, I endeavor to put the two together in strange and otherworldly narratives. I try to move people out of a comfortable "knowing," and into the sublime fancy of imagination and personal exploration. The haunting physical and emotional isolation of my characters is the heart and hallmark of my work. Though primarily a painter, I have explored and created in many mediums, including lithography, photography, and assemblage.

Talent is vital but a classical education exposes an artist to techniques and philosophies that influence and hone individual style. My education began with classes at Colorado State University and Brigham Young University, including studies abroad in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and Florence, Italy. My degrees are from San Diego State University and the University of California, Santa Barbara. I have been exhibiting consistently since 1992 at galleries in New York, Chicago, California, Miami, Philadelphia, and SantaFe. I am currently represented by Sarah Bain Gallery in Anaheim, CA, and Evoke Contemporary Gallery in Santa Fe, NM.

Contact: pwilson@lcad.edu

 

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Chair of MFA | Drawing + Painting | Mentor
Chair of MFA | Drawing + Painting | Mentor

At age six, Peter Zokosky peeled the outer layers off a dead bird to learn about its anatomy. What he discovered fascinated him and sparked his lifelong quest of probing layers to reveal the underworkings of the swirling universe. The painter chooses observation over interpretation. He suggests possibilities rather than answers. He contemplates, but never assumes. The resulting images, although garnered through a scientific approach, are strangely poetic.

Peter Zokosky lives and works in Long Beach, CA. He earned his B.A. from the University of California in Riverside, CA and his M.F.A. from Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, CA. His work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally with pieces placed in many prominent collections including the Long Beach Museum of Art; The Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art, Roswell, NM; Eli Broad Family Foundation, Santa Monica, CA; Chemical Bank of New York, and most recently the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art, Bermuda. Zokosky is also a regular guest instructor for the "Drawing From the Masters" series at The Getty Center, Los Angeles, CA.

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