‘On Creativity’ interview series debuts on Delta Studio

June
5
2015
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As the adage goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. And what about moving pictures? In order to harness the power of video, I decided to film conversations with distinguished Savannah College of Art and Design guests. By capturing the insights of successful professionals, these interviews further the university's reputation as the leader in creative education. Moreover, students, alumni, and the larger creative community can benefit from this trove of wisdom for years to come.

Delta Air Lines is broadcasting my all-new interviews with leaders in design, entertainment, entrepreneurship, and style on Delta Studio, the airline's in-flight entertainment system, offered on passengers' seatback screens and the FlyDelta and GoGo apps. On Creativity shares the magic of SCAD with Delta's 170 million annual passengers, taking our stellar reputation to stratospheric heights. Guests include designer Joseph Altuzarra, Spanx founder Sara Blakely, actress Mindy Kaling, philanthropist Lauren Bush Lauren, and ABC World News Tonight anchor David Muir.

Of course, this is just the beginning. The best thing about creative conversations is that they have a way of inspiring others. As you continue your lifelong quest for knowledge, please tune in to On Creativity for new episodes throughout this summer and fall, and be sure to invite others to join us at SCAD or in flight.

Savannah Film Festival rewind: honoree portraits of 2013

October
10
2014
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In the midst of the count down to Savannah Film Festival 2014 (Oct. 25 - Nov. 1), a batch of Adam Kuehl’s distinctive portraits of Savannah College of Art and Design's honorees went up in Jen Library. From where the portraits hang in Jen’s study rooms, it’s hard to decipher who is ogling whom. Do the students glance up between chapters to study the faces of the film icons whose paths they want to trace? Or do the filmmakers stare at the students with motionless expression, wishing to trade places with the young creatives poised to make their own mark on the world?

Here's Adam's 2013 portraits, emblems of a week’s worth of the best and latest in film. Just like the festival, the portraits keep getting better. Styling by Amy Zurcher.

Portrait of actress Abigail Bresslin by photographer Adam Kuehl.

"Amy had the clever idea to fill the space from floor to ceiling with Domestic Construction rugs. Abigail was a fan."

Portrait of Alec Baldwin by photographer Adam Kuehl.

 "Alec Baldwin has been to the festival several times, so he knew exactly what to do with Christian Dunbar's (M.F.A., furniture design, 2013) lamp."

Portrait of Alexander Payne by photographer Adam Kuehl.

"Alexander Payne, recipient of the Achievement in Cinema Award, in the newly renovated lobby of Trustees Theater."

Portait of Bruce Dern by photographer Adam Kuehl.

Bruce Dern, a 2006 Savannah Film Festival honoree.

Portait of Candice Accola by photographer Adam Kuehl.

"A candid moment of Candice Accola rocking a pair of earrings by Aimee Petkus (B.F.A., jewelry, 2013) and leather top by Brooke Atwood (M.A., fashion, 2010).

Portrait of Jeremy Irons by photographer Adam Kuehl.

Jeremy Irons, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, sits comfortably in front of a painting ("Untitled") by JenMarie Zeleznak (M.F.A., painting, 2011). His intensity matched the scene Amy created perfectly. The wood wall is actually a small stage that we flipped on its side."

Portrait of Julian Sands by photographer Adam Kuehl.

Julian Sands in front of “Star Chamber” by Summer Wheat (M.F.A., painting, 2005).

Portrait of Natalie Dormer by photographer Adam Kuehl.

Natalie Dormer, recipient of the Discovery Award.

Portrait of Norman Reedus by photographer Adam Kuehl.

Norman Reedus in front of wallpaper designed by Joanne Duran (B.F.A., interior design, 1999).

Prabal Gurung chats with Steven Kolb live

April
14
2014
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Prabal Gurung, world renowned fashion designer born in Singapore, will discuss his career and views on modern glamour with CFDA CEO, Steven Kolb. The livestream of their conversation from Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta, part of SCADstyle 2014, starts tonight at 6:00 p.m. EDT here on Thread.

Parabal Gurung was the recipient of the 2010 Ecco Domani Fashion Fund Award, has served as Goodwill Ambassador for Maiti Nepal, and his designs have been worn by fashion icons such as First Lady Michelle Obama and the Duchess of Cambridge.

Inside the mind of Theaster Gates

February
19
2014
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Award-winning artist Theaster Gates began his lecture “An Analog but Very Important Conversation” with a slow, soulful prayer, which he sang, his rich voice filling the crevices of the packed theater at SCAD Museum of Art.

 

Then, playing Nina Simone’s "To Be Young Gifted and Black" on vinyl from a turn table on the desk from where he spoke, Theaster turned his pulpit into a parlor, inviting the audience into his perspective on space, race and art. He punctuated his narrative about salvaging the interiors of Crispus Attucks Elmentary School in Chicago – where he is implementing a philosophy of radical urban revitalization - with an image of his work, "A Maimed King."

I'm not mad at the museum. It just won't do more than it can do. I'm not mad at the 'hood. I just expect more from my 'hood.

Of the crumpled image of the civil rights icon caught in a lock, Theaster explained that he wanted to preserve this "mutilated" depiction of “the King” just as he’d found it. He recalled shooing away his assistant who dutifully went to wipe away the thick layer of dust coating the glass and frame because, to him, all of it symbolized an ideal trapped, half-realized, then abandoned. A metaphor for the reality facing black schools in Chicago.

Alfredo Jaar live from Savannah College of Art and Design

February
19
2014
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Chilean artist, architect and filmmaker Alfredo Jaar delivered the keynote address of deFINE Art 2014 from Trustees Theater in Savannah, Ga on Feb. 20, 2014. Watch the lecture below.

The world premiere of Alfredo’s exhibit "Shadows" runs Feb. 18 – June 20 at SCAD Museum of Art. All deFINE Art lectures, events and receptions are free and open to the public.

Executive Producer Tim Gibbons's truths for surviving TV

February
7
2014
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Hosted by TV Week's Hillary Atkin, aTVfest's Q-and-A with Tim Gibbons, the executive producer of HBO’s monumental comedy Curb Your Enthusiasm and BET’s runaway hit Real Husbands of Hollywood, two shows that thrive on improvisation, fittingly gave the audience an improvised list of Truths for Surviving TV. Here’s what Tim knows that helped him evolve from $20-a-day production assistant to six-time Emmy nominee.

Talent will help you keep a job but a friend will help you get it
Tim’s dream was to work in TV, so in 1976 when a friend called him for a day player role as a PA with Dick Clark Productions, he was ready. The process of getting the gig sounded simple, “Someone said Tim could be a PA.” But it’s through nurturing and growing a network, and making genuine friendships in the business, that Tim has had such a successful run in the business.

Every job I got since then has been the same. I don’t think I was ever hired once by sending out a resume. It’s because someone I knew said, ‘What about Gibbons.’

No job is beneath you and there are no shortcuts to the top
Once in the door at Dick Clark, which Tim called ‘my college,’ he made an effort to know what every role at the production company involved. Then he broke into comedy as an associate producer, learning budgeting, scheduling, how to work with writers and the costume department, all knowledge that would serve him when he became a show runner.

I became a sponge. I tried to learn about every department and every job, whether it was a tech job or Xeroxing scripts all night.

Know when your time is done and go
Tim lasted four years at Dick Clark Productions, riding the ranks, which went from PA, to head PA, to coordinator, and on up to associate producer, the role Tim was angling for. Though 20 dollars a day had turned into 300,  Tim was passed over for the next position up and knew he had to leave or remain stuck. So at 27 he took a lateral position as production manager on President Reagan’s inauguration. Not exactly the promotion he was looking for, but a gig that gave him experience coordinating a major production and a stepping stone to his next job.

Sometimes reputation is helped by a dose of chemistry
The opportunity to work on Curb came knocking three times. Tim was under contract with Ripley’s Believe It or Not, but HBO kept calling on the strength of the previous work he’d done for them. Their enthusiasm about Tim, though, didn’t excuse him from a final interview with Larry David, who wanted to get a feel for him. While in the interview Larry made a bald joke about neither one of them having hair. Tim laughed and Larry later told him that’s why he got the job. Reputation got Tim in the door, but being relatable to the ultimate decision-maker sealed the deal.

He was testing me to see if I had his comic sensibility.

Persistence, Persistence, Persistence
Regardless of the accolades that have come Tim’s way, he most credits persistence for his longevity in the business. Of the 20 PAs that Tim started out with, he’s one of only two that are still working. Persistence, he said, is what helped him sell a show he pitched 56 times. Persistence is what will distinguish you and help you get ahead.

In the job world you’re selling you and you have to be better than the 20 others who landed in LA that day and want the job.

Whether you got your start in the 70s or are just now shoving off, some things, it seems, don’t change.