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Art Center Divided over Planned Gehry Building, Educational Priorities

art center campus.jpg

Although newly flush with Avery Dennison labels and grant money, all is not well at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. A piece in today’s Los Angeles Times sums up the tensions, which start with widespread grumblings about the private college’s planned $50 million design research center, designed by Frank Gehry, and extend to criticisms of changes wrought by current president Richard Koshalek. While administrators point out that the new building would address the school’s problem of workspace overcrowding, an online petition launched by alumni “cast[s] Koshalek as an empire-builder…and asks trustees to ignore ‘the legacy needs of one man’ and ‘take immediate action to again make education the school’s top investment.’” Mike Rios, director of issues for the Art Center student government, told the LAT, “Right now, the entire school is in an uproar.”

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