January 25th, 2016
Kevin Kolbe, Creative Services Director FOX50

Kevin Kolbe, Creative Services Director FOX50

On January 28th, 2016, Living Arts College welcomes Kevin Kolbe, the Creative Services Director of Capitol Broadcasting’s FOX 50 as a guest speaker. Kevin has a long history with Living Arts College, helping to bring a sneak peek of Fox’s “Scream Queens”, in August, 2015, and assisting Mark Smith’s marketing classes by judging student work.

Kevin began his career in radio, in Nashville, TN. He worked for the flagship station of the Grand Ole Opry, WSM-AM and WSM-FM. He eventually moved over to television, working for years at the local ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX affiliates, before he moved to Raleigh 23 years ago.

Mr. Kolbe has been the Executive Producer of FOX50’s “Gimme the Mic” and other shows and events he can’t even remember. He describes himself as a Jesus Freak, Coffee Drinker, and Idea Generator

Living Arts College is proud to host Mr. Kolbe on January 28th.

January 18th, 2016

Jacob Sutton, who graduated from Living Arts College with a Bachelor’s of Art in Animation and Game is now currently employed as a contract artist at Poly Pixel. Previously, Jacob worked at Alavon Games on the unreleased title Sovereign Story as a lead environment artist and at Epic Games. While at Epic Games he created assets for the Unreal Engine 4 Technology Demo,” A Boy and His Kite”. He created assets using Epic Games custom Photogrammetry pipeline. Utilizing programs such as UE4, Agisoft, Zbrush and Mari. Jacob created foliage assets that was used in the demonstration. He also worked on Epic Games Infinity Blade Dungeons Packs creating assets for Epic Games Marketplace.

Poly Pixel is a leading art production studio. The founders of the studio are 3D art professionals with over 10 years of experience. Producing high quality art for both our clients and their 3D model store. Members of the studio have worked on titles such as Plants vs Zombies, Sleeping Dogs and Tomb Raider Definitive Edition.

Jacob’s enthusiasm for his craft has been key to his success. We would like to congratulate him on his new job and we wish him the best.

January 18th, 2016


Julian Thomas graduated from the College’s Photography program in 2012 and has been successful in his Photography career ever since. While he was still a student Julian won several local ADDY awards and began his freelance career. Julian worked as a Freelance Photography for the Raleigh-Durham International Airport, then Clear Vision Communications, Inc, and then as a 1st Assistant for Scott Bryant Photography.

Julian is now based out of Chicago and continues to find luck around every corner.

Just look at who Julian ran into recently…

Living Arts Graduate Julian Thomas with Star Wars Creator and Lucasfilm Founder, George Lucas
Living Arts Graduate Julian Thomas with Star Wars Creator and Lucasfilm Founder, George Lucas.

January 18th, 2016


After studying film and animation at Living Arts College over 20 years ago, Chastain worked on many Hollywood feature films doing visual effect and animation work. Pierre has visual effects and animation credits for such well known movies as: “Alice in Wonderland”, “Beowulf”, “Monster House”, “Stealth”, “The Polar Express” and “Mummy 3”.


“The greatest thing about my 12 year career…mainly at Digital Domain and Sony Pictures Imageworks has been the people that I have met and worked with. I have worked with Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie and my favorite, Tim Burton… One of the benefits of going to Living Arts College was the high quality of the instructors. I personally wanted to become a technical director. I had many technical questions. The instructors were able to give me specific instruction for the techniques I wanted to learn.” – Pierre Chastain.


Now, Chastain is a successful entrepreneur, industrial designer and athlete. Chastain turned his love for extreme sport bicycling and industrial design and founded Blaze Bicycles in Moab, UT. Blaze Bicycles, Inc. designs and builds custom steel and titanium bicycle frames. You can check out Pierre and Blaze at


Chastain enjoys bicycling whenever possible, but also enjoys the lifestyle his career and business affords… Recently returning from an “adventure” trip to Moscow, Russia!


Living Arts wishes you continued success Pierre!


Celebrity Commencement Speaker
January 7th, 2016



Living Arts College’s graduating class of December 2015 was treated to a guest speaker who has been an actor, director, writer, and producer. Estes Tarver holds an MFA in acting from UNC-Chapel Hill. He is currently recurring on Season 2 of Finding Carter on MTV as Sgt. Hall.

Mr. Tarver has also appeared on such shows as Under the Dome, One Tree Hill, and Dawson’s Creek. Estes coaches actors at the professional level, his acting students have booked major roles on shows and films such as Terminator Genesis, Hunger Games, and Army Wives.

Mr. Tarver’s advice to our graduates (paraphrased): “Do what makes you happy,” “Get out there and network,” and “Follow your dreams.” And he should know. People suggested to him that a move from New York to Raleigh might not be the right direction. Estes makes sure to tell whoever suggests as much that he is doing very well, thank you.


Professional Development Day
December 10th, 2015

On December 7, Living Arts College staff and faculty hosted the College’s winter Professional Development Day. Along with seminars on conflict resolution, time management and self-promotion/personal branding, students enjoyed a surprise singing performance from instructor Liz Hume, and an informative “Ted” style talk by audio alumnus Kaya Black.

A hilarious skit, featuring Debra Hooper, Michael Pearce, Matthew Kelly, Mark Smith, Vince Gardner, Ruth Carey, and Eundene Basnight, over-emphasized personality traits to be aware of when interviewing for a job. It was as informative as it was entertaining.

Afterwards, students were treated to a light lunch, with all the desserts they could ever hope to eat! Special thanks to Starbucks, Jersey Mikes, Marquee Cinema for their donations!


American Roots Festival
October 26th, 2015

Living Arts College was proud to provide nine students and one graduate to help film the American Roots Music Festival on October 17 and 18, 2015. Performers included The Roots, Sheryl Crow and Willie Nelson. Blackbird Productions provided backstage passes to students Roberto Velez, Ola Samuel, Garry Taylor, Dimitri Hale, Kirk White, Dylan Powers, Jasmine Washington, Essence Perry, and alumnus Jordan Jones-Tshiona.

The crew worked under Conor McAnally, of Blackbird Productions. Mr. McAnally has an extensive career in the industry, overseas and in the USA. He has worked with the SouthXSouthwest film festival, Buena Vista Television, and LiveAid, and has produced numerous musical tributes to American music legends. Mr. McAnally recently emailed the school, saying:

“The students did really well and I would like to express a big thank you to Roberto and Ola who did a sterling job of managing the crew on our behalf. They were both “on it” and it was a comfort to know they had our back. Working with folks who had different levels of experience was good and I hope everyone got some insights into the real world of video production. I thought everyone approached the work with a professional attitude. There were no selfies or autograph requests or any of the things that are inappropriate for crew to do when they have the privilege of passes that get them where the public can’t go. Kudos to all for that.”

October 26th, 2015


Living Arts College had an impressive turn out at the Blood Drive held at the campus on October 21st. The drive was open to the campus community and to the public community.

The Students and Faculty members who participated were happy to donate and happy to help. Living Arts College participates in several blood drives through the year and each time the students donate to help save the lives of others.

We are so proud of those who have donated and are looking forward to the next opportunity to give back to our community. James is a fourth quarter student and had this to say:

“Being a donor is a great way to help others. As they say, you are literally saving lives when you do it. I was happy to help any way I can!”


October 16th, 2015

On Wednesday, October 14, 2015 Living Arts College hosted a Walgreens Flu Clinic on campus.

Students, Staff and Faculty were able to conveniently receive their yearly influenza vaccine in a comfortable and familiar place – their very own student break lounge.

“So far we’ve had several students and staff stop by to get their vaccinations. We’re happy that we’ve been able to make it easier for our students, staff and faculty to stay happier and healthier throughout the year,” said Matthew Kelly, Assistant Campus Director.

“Even though some students, and even faculty, are a little squeamish about getting shots, we all know how important it is to stay healthy all year long. And honestly, the shot is absolutely painless!”

Along with the services provided, Walgreens offered other vaccinations depending on individual health insurance options. The college is looking forward to hosting more of these events through the cold and flu season.

Shako Oteka is a rising star at VCU’s Brand Center
October 5th, 2015

Shako Oteka is a graduate of the Living Arts College of 2013. Mr. Oteka received his BA degree in Interactive Media Arts with a focus on photography and advertising. Shako has a long story that cannot be told in a few words, but one thing is clear; he is passionate about whatever he does and will stop at nothing to be the best. While acing most of his classes at Living Arts College and becoming a two time Addy Award winner, Mr. Oteka also worked full time. That same passion also led to him receiving the Lauterborn Scholarship, and after graduation the passion would continue.

After much soul searching, Shako set out to obtain a Master’s degree. Although many choices were placed before him, it would be Virginia Commonwealth University’s The Brand Center that would contain his next phase of passion. The Brand Center is a very competitive and forward thinking environment where minds are molded to answer tomorrow’s most challenging marketing problems. As a star on the rise, I am sure that Shako will not disappoint.