Thursday, June 26, 2008

Digital graphics pioneer April Greiman coming to Art Institute in July

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) April Greiman, a world-recognized leader in the evolution of post-modern graphic art, will give a rare guest presentation at The Art Institute of California-Inland Empire on July 10 at 2:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.

“She was one of the first women in graphic design to break through what had been a male-dominated field, and make a name for herself,” said Micheal Swank, academic director of the Graphic Arts and Web Design & Interactive Media departments of the Art Institute of California-Inland Empire. “She also pioneered the use of technologies that changed the essence of what graphic design is today.”

Greiman, 60, of Los Angeles, was one of the first graphic designers to embrace the computer as a graphic design tool. Shortly after McIntosh computers were made public in 1984, she purchased one and began incorporating applications such as McDraw into her work.

One of her most well-known works which she used these early computer technologies to create was Issue #133 of Design Quarterly, published in 1986. Instead of the usual magazine format, this issue was a large poster, with a life-size digitalized photo of her naked on one side, with layers of image and text interspersed, and video images and text on the other side. The focus of the issue was “Does It Make Sense?” and addressed her thoughts on the emerging field of digital graphic design.

In 1986, technology wasn’t adequate to easily integrate video images and text, so Greiman’s work on the Design Quarterly issue was considered an astounding technical feat, according to the website for AIGA, the top professional organization for graphic designers.

This website also noted that Design Quarterly #133 was a departure artistically from widely-held notions of graphic design at the time. Her digital images and type were clearly pixilated, a distortion most graphic designers of the day considered unacceptable., but that could hardly be avoided when using computers. New technologies have since been developed to greatly reduce pixilation to the point it is not visible in most finished works, but Greiman embraced and greatly expanded on the distorted look, causing many graphic designers to rethink their approach to graphic arts, both artistically and technologically.

Today, Greiman continues to stay on top of new technologies and design ideas. Her design firm, Made In Space, creates images using a variety of media, from traditional photography to the latest technology. She’s also developed an interest in architectural design, and has collaborated with architects to develop signs, interior spaces and more.

When Greiman began working in Graphic Arts, there weren’t as many uses for it, and graphic designers tended to only work in one area of expertise. Now, there are many uses for graphic design, and different types of designers must work together to bring about the much more complex projects today’s technology is capable of producing.

“In the tradition of graphic design of the 20th Century, you could either be a great typographer, a great designer or illustrator, or a great poster designer,” she said. “Now we are confronted with motion graphics, the World Wide Web, and interactive applications. The world has changed and the field is changing to meet it.”

And so is the Art Institute of California-Inland Empire, which is training designers to work in the most modern techniques of Graphic Design, and all of the fields that have emerged from graphic design. It offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Game Art & Design, Graphic Design, Culinary Management, Web Design & Interactive Media, Fashion & Retail Management, Fashion Design, Interior Design, Media Arts & Animation; and Associate of Science Degrees in Graphic Design and Culinary Arts.

For more information, or to arrange a tour, call (909) 915-2100.

The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire is one of the Art Institutes (a system of more than 40 locations throughout North America, providing an important source of design, media arts, fashion and culinary arts professionals. For more information, call (909) 915-2100 or go on line to

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Art Institute adds counseling staff

Sara Reilly counsels a student at the Art Institute of the Inland Empire. Photo by Robert Swapp.

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) She was a Business major at Azusa Pacific University, until she took an “Introduction to Counseling” class. “And immediately,” says Sara Reilly, “I knew the business world wasn’t for me. My heart just wasn’t in it.”

Reilly, who now lives in Redlands, is the new Counseling and Disability Service director at The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire.

She did complete her B.A. in Business. but with her goals and passion having found new direction, she obtained her Masters last December in Educational Counseling.

“I found a new and very strong desire to help students,” she adds, “and my life took on a whole new meaning.”

Working under the Student Affairs Department these past three months has been excitingly active. Reilly had one-on-one sessions with 54 Art Institute students in May, each with a different need, a different problem. “I love that about this job. The student contacts and situations vary each and every day.”

Reilly doesn’t only rely on students coming to her, however, and “outreach” programs are high on her agenda. There are workshops she directs in stress management, avoiding procrastination, handling success and more.

“I bring in a lot of guest speakers, too,” she says. “A big part of my job is letting students know what assistance and resources are out there in their own communities, available to anyone in need. Students may be introduced to rape centers, to drugs and alcohol programs, to child care assistance. There’s so much help available that students might otherwise never know exists.”

Reilly does double-duty, though, with Disability Services a very important part of her responsibilities. In this capacity, she works with teachers who may have students with specialized needs. “For instance, some students may require additional test time,” she explains. Others may not be able to arrive at their next class right on time, some may need to sit extra close or at a distance from the classroom teacher, still others may have unique nutritional needs. Whatever student disabilities call for, it’s her job to handle them.

“There’s an added benefit to being at The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire,” Reilly notes. “In the public school system you drown in paperwork, cutting into potentially meaningful time with students. Here, at a private school, I can spend my time as an academic counselor one hour and a personal advisor the next. I’m here for our 750 students, not simply for the administration or the government.”

Already, Sara Reilly has her eyes set on more ways to assist students. “We’ve done some reaching out to them, but there has to be more. I can’t simply wait for a student to come to me. Some are too embarrassed to admit they need help, others just may not even know our office exists. In the future I’ll spend more time to introduce them to the vast resources at the school and within the community, for example. I’ll expand the number of workshops, too.” There’s a great deal that any school can do to help their students, but not all administrations realize its importance. The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire does. That’s why they brought in Sara Reilly.

The Art Institute of California–Inland Empire offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Game Art & Design, Culinary Management, Graphic Design, Web Design & Interactive Media, Interior Design, Fashion and Retail Management and Media Arts & Animation. There are also Associate of Science degrees in Graphic Design and Culinary Arts. Each program is offered on a year-round basis, allowing students to work uninterrupted toward their degrees.

It’s not too late to start classes. Courses begin July 14, offering day, evening and weekend classes for new and reentry students. For details or a tour of the campus call (909) 915-2100, or go on line to

The Art Institute of California-Inland Empire is only one of more than 40 educational institutions within The Art Institutes system, located throughout North America, providing an important source of design, media arts, fashion and culinary arts professionals.


Monday, June 23, 2008

Hotel guests will work so they can teach others

The Riverside Marriott has some extra help the week of June 23-27, as teachers job-shadow the hotel staff as part of a workshop on teaching hospitality and tourism to students enrolled in Home Economics Careers and Technology courses at high schools and Regional Occupation programs.

(RIVERSIDE, California) – Home Economics Careers and Technology teachers from throughout California will convene at the Riverside Marriott Hotel for a week June 23-27, but this is no vacation for them – they’ll all be put to work.

These teachers will spend part of their week working as reservation clerks, receptionists, food and beverage servers, and as part of the housekeeping, catering, room service, concierge, and security and maintenance staff. Then they will return to their own high schools and Regional Occupation Programs, better equipped to prepare their students for careers in tourism and hospitality.

“California’s reputation for breathtaking landscapes and friendly people have put the state on the map as the number one travel destination in the United States,” said Janice DeBenedetti, consultant for the California Department of Education’s Home Economics Careers & Technology program. “This means there is hardly a better place for young people to begin a career in the hospitality, tourism and recreation industry, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon.”

The hospitality/tourism industry employs about 900,000 people as of 2008, and is expected to grow 4.5 percent each year through 2014, DeBenedetti said. Some of the best-paid jobs within this sector are theme park directors, hotel managers, caterers and event planners

“The growing demand for hospitality and tourism has convinced many high schools and ROP programs to add specialized courses in hospitality and tourism,” DeBenedetti said. “This workshop is for the instructors who will teach those courses.

Before they take on the roles of hospitality providers for the Riverside Marriott, the teachers will “job shadow” people who actually hold these jobs. They will also tour other hotels in the area, to learn about how they provide hospitality.

On-the-job experience is only part of the course for teachers taking part in this professional development workshop offered by Home Economics Careers & Technology. As with any part of the California educational system, there are State Board of Education-approved standards for Hospitality/Tourism programs, which the Department of Education expects all schools to follow. Members of the Home Economics Careers and Technology staff, along with guest instructor Michael Lao of Glendale Community College, will train teachers in how to develop a program that follows those standards.

The standards for all Home Economics Careers and Technology courses were developed with the input of industry leaders and educators.

Teachers will also learn strategies to help students learn the material, how to develop tests and other assignments to measure the students’ grasp of what they have learned, and about resources to help them financially or enhance the training they will provide. As Home Economics Careers and Technology instructors, they will also learn how to use the FHA-HERO leadership and career development program, as a co-curricular organization for students enrolled in Home Economics Careers & Technology courses.

“We are pleased to partner with the California Department of Education and its Home Economics Careers and Technology program in support of the hospitality industry,” said Tom Donahue, general manager of the Riverside Marriott Hotel. “Marriott as a corporation, and the Riverside Marriott, are in full support of partnerships to assist teachers and school districts in the development of this type of specialized training in our schools.”

Home Economics Careers and Technology courses prepare students to work in three industry sectors: Hospitality, Tourism & Recreation (including Culinary Arts); Fashion & Interior Design; and Education, Child Development & Family Services. The courses, which focus on both leadership and career development, are offered in high schools, Regional Occupations Programs and some middle schools.

In the 1970s, California began expanding its home economics courses, taking the focus off traditional homemaking. The program now has a dual focus. One program Consumer and Family Studies, prepares students with personal and life management skills. The other, Home Economics Related Occupations, prepares students for high-skill, high-wage careers in the related industries.

While culinary, fashion and child development courses remain staples of most schools’ home economics curriculum; programs now address broad topics like tourism and hospitality, consumer affairs and energy conservation.

For more information, call Janice DeBenedetti at (916) 323-5025.