Chasing Down the Muse: Where great art does matter

September 09, 2010|By Catharine Cooper

It starts with a dream … a dream of what can be … a free-form process that lets the imagination soar.

It's the birth of an idea, the twist of a thought, the seeds of creative expression freed from critical restraints.

It's the essence of the muse.

Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD) birthed a long-held dream this week with the opening of their satellite campus at Big Bend in Laguna Canyon. The 9,500-square-foot facility was completely remodeled to exacting standards during the summer, and provides classroom and laboratory space for college's Visual Communication Division, which includes graphic design, animation, and game art.

The facility rivals that of any art and design campus in the country. I toured the classrooms the day before the campus opened, and my jaw dropped, and a few tears welled in the corner of my eyes. To see what was once merely an idea, made manifest, was exquisite.


The spaces are any techno geek's delight. Each room is fully furnished with new computers and state of the art displays. The animation classroom includes camera stands between each station. The lecture facilities have overhead projectors. There is an on-site a sound mixing lab, a utility kitchen, lounge, IT department, and a NOC room.

The expanded campus had been a long time in the dream bin, and the summer's construction was not without it's ups and downs. There were fears that the work wouldn't be completed for the fall start of classes.

The facility's special requirements of electrical, A/C, plumbing, security, and handicapped access had the landlord and his team holding a perpetual knock-list. The city put in extra time — great thanks to all involved and especially Assistant City Manager John Petig — for insuring that the campus was open for new students this past Tuesday.

"Great Art Matters," is the tagline for Laguna College of Art & Design (LCAD), and with every turn, the school continues to prove that it is worthy of such a moniker. Great students, great faculty, great location. And now they can expand their GREAT FACILITIES claim.

That the college is my alma mater — Class of 1991 — does indeed influence my relationship to their activities and achievements. It was to this school I turned when I needed to retool my life for a career in design, and structure a freelance lifestyle that would allow me to raise my two sons.

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