ACU Art & Design: Issue No. 4
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Senior Chera Chaney designs
watch tin during Fossil internship

Senior graphic design major Chera Chaney spent this past summer as a design intern in the packaging department at the headquarters of clothing and accessories conglomerate Fossil in Richardson, Texas. There, she had the opportunity to work directly with creative packaging director Dustin Wallace, and a watch tin she designed was chosen for production and will be in stores this spring. The design department at Fossil has previously employed ACU A&D alum Brent Couchman (05) and assistant professor Ryan Feerer (05), among other alumni.


Multiple alums working 
at Austin-based design studio

Ptarmak, an Austin-based designery in the heart of the South Congress area, boasts two A&D alums on its design team: David Singer (’13) and Blake Watts (’13). With a vast portfolio of branding and packaging solutions largely for health food companies, Ptarmak identifies as falling somewhere between boutique and corporate. December A&D graduate Hannah Bruce will join Singer and Watts on the design team full time in January.

Sculpture students use
Fall Break for a trip to Santa Fe

Several Advanced Sculpture students recently accompanied associate professor Geoffrey Broderick on an art-filled excursion to Santa Fe, N.M. This enchanted city is known for its unique cultural aspects, including being the third largest art market in the U.S. The students met sculptors Frank Morbillo and Bill Weaver, friends of Broderick who worked together years ago at Shidoni Foundry, which the students toured. The two opened their studios for the young artists, opined their creative philosophies and answered questions. The students also toured the Georgia O’Keefe Museum and many galleries on famous Canyon Road. Of course, they also took in some of the scrumptious New Mexican cuisine for which Santa Fe is famous.

Leriam Gonzalez (’09) breaks through
a tough market in New York City

After graduating in 2009, Leriam Gonzalez moved to New York as an intern for fashion photographer Jodi Jones in what was the start to a promising and successful career in the city. Today, she lives in Manhattan and runs her own photography studio. Her stunning work has appeared in magazines such as Marie Claire, Deluxx, INK, Glam Couture and Faint. In her own words, she is “always willing to collaborate with others who enjoy the creative world of fashion.”

Nil Santana challenges his students
to enable people through technology

As director of ACU’s Maker Lab, assistant professor Nil Santana teaches a graduate course to Occupational Therapy students. Nil said he was interested in students addressing the needs of those who require the use of prosthetic hands, so using ACU’s Maker Lab facilities, he asked students to 3-D print and assemble open-source prosthetic designs after modifying them to a patient’s particular needs. “3-D printing not only minimizes cost of prosthetics, but also designs can be easily customized and updated,” Santana said. “We’re very glad for the collaboration between Maker Lab and the OT graduate program.” Read more about the students' work here. 

Leanne Kawahigashi (’13) goes offshore
with San Francisco-based tech company

Leanne Kawahigashi (’13) is a product designer and front-end developer at Expensify, an Internet-based company specializing in expense management products. One of the many perks of the job is the almost-all-expenses-paid annual offshore, during which most of the company's employees travel to an exotic location to work remotely (and sightsee) for a month. While the San Francisco Chronicle called it “lavish,” Leanne assures us otherwise. “We still work 50+ hour weeks,” she said. “The only difference being that we do it on the beach or from local cafes.” This year, 80 employees headed to Cambodia and Thailand. Read more about Leanne's experience on our blog. 

Alumna busy as working designer 
and M.F.A. candidate in New York City

Laura (Brokaw ’08) Boren is accomplishing a difficult balancing act: working as a professional designer while pursuing an M.F.A. in her spare time. During the day, Laura works as an in-house designer for Caudalie, a luxury skincare company; on nights and weekends, she is pursuing an M.F.A. in illustration at Fashion Institute of Technology. “Being able to work while getting my M.F.A. not only helps defray the cost, but it helps to integrate what I'm learning with what I'm producing commercially and visa versa,” Laura says. “Grad school been an exciting process of finding out what I have to say and how to say it visually. Doing that in New York City has definite advantages. Being here makes having a career in the arts seem hard, but it also makes it seem possible and really worth the opportunity to influence culture in a compelling way.”

ACU A&D on Instagram!

We had a great semester with our back-to-back Instagram competitions. Thanks to our fantastic judges – Jordan Bell (’13), Dawn Hearn (’93), Amanda Martinez (’05), Sarah Stanley (’06), Leanne Kawahigashi (’13), Rolando Diaz (’79) and Darren LeGallo (’96) – for judging our competitions this semester. Follow our Instagram feed for all things A&D and to view recent winners and judges. You can check out entries by searching #acuartanddesign.



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