LAC Alumna “Carol Housel” Heads to Hollywood
July 10th, 2010

Carol Housel, Living Arts College Alumna
Living Arts College (LAC) alumna Carol Housel is leaving for Hollywood for the very first time. She has been cast to work as a Second Assistant Director on a full length independent film called “Plans”. Since graduating from LAC in 2004, Carol has worked as a Production Assistant and shot and edited films on a freelance basis for companies such as Trailblazers and Carolina Broadcasting Systems. Carol is currently working with as a Director/Producer and her most recent title is Marketing Communications Specialist.

Carol started her education in photography having exhibited in galleries throughout New York. Born and raised in Nyack, NY, her parents retired and moved to Raleigh, NC. Inspired by the late actress and family friend Helen Hayes, she grew up watching old movies already knowing what she wanted to pursue as a career – making movies!

“We have an impressive cast given the budget and this is my very first time working in Hollywood.” – Carol Housel

Included in the cast are actors Steve Banno from “Freeks and Geeks” and “40 Year Old Virgin” and Mark Fite from “2 Headed Dog” and “The Rudy Casoni Show”. If that’s not a cast, I don’t know what is!

This a great opportunity for one of our alumni who have studied within the Digital Filmmaking Program at the Living Arts College @ School of Communication Arts and we are proud of Carol Housel’s accomplishment and future endeavors.

For more information about the “Plans” independent film please visit:

Graduate’s Career Soars at Rhythm & Hues by Training Others
June 3rd, 2010

Rhythm & Hues is the animation and digital arts studio always at the top of their game. Craig Slagel, a graduate of Living Arts College @ School of Communication Arts in Raleigh, North Carolina; is helping the production organization stay that way.

Debra Hooper with Graduate Craig Slagel from Rythm & HuesCraig provides staff Education for the Motion Department. This office supplies creative Animation, Technical Animation, Rigging, Match Moving and Track Services for countless cinema and broadcast projects.

His support efforts include training new and current employees both in the Oscar winning Los Angeles studio plus the firm’s worldwide studios in India and Malaysia.

Prior to R&H, Craig consulted for Autodesk, lectured at Dartmouth College and worked for seven years as the Senior Worldwide Graphics Trainer for Electronic Arts. Outside of training Craig has worked on several major titles as a Lighter, Rigger and Technical Artist.

Craig has trained 1000’s of students and professional artists, consulted with schools, studios and corporations, presented at SIGGRAPH and GDC and now has over 13 years experience in the Computer Graphics Industry.

“I have not forgotten the core and on-target applications training I received at the Raleigh, school. The School’s always forward thinking “is no different from the forward vision I bring to my work here.” reports Craig.

Outside of work, Craig is an endurance runner and has run some of the world toughest endurance races including Western States 100 mile, Hardrock 100 mile and Ultra Trail Du Mont Blanc.

Living Arts College is the creative content College that has “jump started” the digital careers in top places for many graduates of the advanced programs here. The college is on the Internet at

Alumni News – 3/27/10
March 17th, 2010

Barry Safley is a veteran of twelve years with Industrial Light and Magic. Barry worked most recently on the movies Star Wars and AVATAR. Barry is a compositor and loves NUKE for compositing.

Carl Schmidt was just promoted to Assistant Art Director at Electronic Arts. Carl has been working at EA for over six years on the SIMS project and is now busy on SIMS 3 AMBITIONS. Carl is also planning a spring wedding to his fiancé, Kristen.

Craig Slagle is coming up on his one year anniversary with Rhythm and Hues. Prior to Rhythm and Hues, Craig worked at EA for seven years. Craig is also a former Living Arts College @ the School of Communication Arts professor and is an avid runner.

Pierre Chastain is busy working on Zoo Keeper at Sony. Pierre recently worked on the just released movie, Alice in Wonderland.

Dean Sauls is now at AFK Interactive working on mobile apps. Dean was the owner of PRAXIS Studio before selling to a larger company. Dean and his wife, Tricia, just had their third baby.

Documentary Screening – Three Unique Artists Collaborate
March 17th, 2010


Living Arts College @ School of Communications Arts is proud to host “3 The Hard Way”, a film documentary by Octave Blue Entertainment Production an entrepreneur venture of LAC alumnus Robert King presented by “THE LoDi PROJECT.”

What happens when you bring together a graffiti artist from the streets of Philly, a cartoonist born and bred in the South, and a French Puerto Rican, mixed media/collage painter to collaborate on an artistic project?

Over the last ten months Sean Kernick and Paul Friedrick collaborated with Georges Le Chevallier, professor at Living Arts College, to create 14 canvasses and 15 drawings. Three artists from completely different backgrounds will present their work in a unique film documentary. Living Arts College is pleased to welcome alumnus Robert King who worked in conjunction with his wife Lisa King of Octave Blue Entertainment to film the year-long process.

“It will be interesting to see how three artists, with completely different backgrounds, processes and styles come together to create a finished painting. “
–Georges LeChevallier

“THE LoDi PROJECT” exists as a curatorial organization that strives to bring attention to current issues and ideas by creating an atmosphere of open dialogue through site- specific and traveling exhibitions, performances and productions.

Artists Unite for Haiti
March 17th, 2010
Georges Le Chevallier

Georges LeChevallier, LAC Professor and Activist

Professors, alumni and students joined together at Living Arts College (LAC) to support their friend and colleague Georges LeChevallier in his efforts to bring relief to Haiti after the earthquake that occurred on January 12, 2010.

Georges & Carrie LeChevallier, directors of the curatorial organization “THE LoDi PROJECT”, collaborated with LAC’s professor of photography, Peter Eversoll, to put out an international call for artists to create art to benefit the relief efforts in Haiti. Georges LeChevallier’s cousin, Gerard LeChevallier, who worked for the United Nations in Haiti was never found after the earthquake. THE LoDi Project strives to bring attention to current issues and ideas by creating an atmosphere of open dialogue through site- specific and traveling exhibitions, performances and productions.

“Humbling to see how the human spirit works.” — Georges LeChevallier

The “Artists Unite for Haiti” artwork sold for twenty five dollars each and the artists’ names remained anonymous until each piece was sold. The exhibit raised over 12,000 dollars. Many local artists donated pieces to the auction including LAC’s students, alumni and professors. Proceeds were donated to Mercy Corps and designated to the immediate relief of the Haitian people.

Over 300 artists from fourteen countries reached out to “THE LoDi PROJECT”, donating over 1,000 pieces of artwork which included paintings, sketches, poems, collages and a unique dissertation. The unification of such efforts was humbling to all those who participated in the exhibition.

Living Arts College is proud of the support that photography professor, Peter Eversoll, gave to the “Artists Unite for Haiti” effort. In 2009, he spent time in Haiti photographing its people and culture as part of a greater project that aims to portray a face of humanity within a context of underdevelopment.

LAC Graduates and Students Join Forces with Local Studio and Magazine
December 9th, 2009
Living Arts College (LAC) is proud to announce that five graduates and students joined Creative Force Studios as they produce a brand new television show designed to spotlight local area nightlife.
Creative Force Studios in collaboration with Social the Magazine will premiere a new television program “Social in the City.” The first episode is set to air December 5 at 7:30 p.m. on CW22. The show highlights the trendiest “hot spots” offered in the Raleigh-Durham area. Interviews will be conducted with local and national celebrities, fine dining restaurants, upscale clubs and bars, along with the local “fashionistas” to demonstrate Raleigh-Durham’s marketability among the nations’ “hottest cities.”
The graduates and students of LAC, Eric Njoroge, Jessica Barfield, Billy Orlando, Blake Godfrey and Josh Baker joined the production crew as camera operators, production assistants, lighters, gaffers, etc. They will embark on a journey with the show’s host Donna Maria as they travel from one location to another aboard the “Social in the City” tour bus.
The graduates and students were on location with Creative Force Studios to start the production November 20.
For more information regarding future productions of “Social in the City” visit or contact media partner, Social the Magazine at

Debra A Hooper
Vice President/Director
School of Communication Arts
@ Digital Circus

When Your Networking Gets Rusty
December 9th, 2009
When Your Networking Gets Rusty

When Your Networking Gets Rusty

When Your Networking Gets Rusty
When Your Networking Gets Rusty When Your Networking Gets Rusty

“If I didn’t go to LAC, I would have never had the opportunity to work on this project”, says Ryan Harmon. The pilot premier of The Rusty Bucket Kids Club: Adventure of the Magic Glasses Movie was held at Living Arts College (LAC.). Friends and family of the cast and crew, un-deterred by the rainy night, filled the Gallery to see the first post production viewing of John Demers’ TV pilot. Local actor and producer, John Demers, graciously addressed an audience of cast and crew for the experience of working on this project with them. “It takes a great amount of talent, time and dedication to bring such a vision to the big screen and I couldn’t help but be prideful as the credits rolled of how many LAC students are credited for their contributions to the film,” said Karen Hemphill, staff member at LAC.

As mentors, we always encourage students to participate in events related to their industry. The Peak City Film Festival, located in Apex, is just such an event. Tickets for film were sold out for days and according to the website, a limited amount tickets were re-released for Friday night’s Feature Film “The Rusty Bucket Kids Club: Adventure of the Magic Glasses Movie”. Available tickets went for $50, twice the original price. “Sold Out” may have disappointed some, but our students can associate the press coverage project within their demo reel and resume.

The power of the network that extends from LAC once again can be exemplified by this event. Talking with student, Ryan Harmon, we revisit his path to opening night. Audio Instructor, Craig Brandwynne, understands the integral value of his network as a creative professional and demonstrates this understanding and its value to his students every day.

“JD, producer John Demers, asked Craig if we would do the audio on his film. Craig extended the invitation to us (his students.) I am a musician and songwriter scheduled to graduate next month with my degree in Audio. In August, I wrote The Last Ride, the ending song that plays while the credits roll. I played both banjo and guitar while G.W. Pierce sings. The Album debuted at the Peak City Film Festival and I will earn royalties too!” Ryan adds excitedly there at the end.

Ryan’s involvement didn’t end there and subsequently more students became involved with the project, Kord Chandler and David Pruitt to name a few. LAC students are credited for their contributions to location and post-production audio.

It is well understood that if you excel in class you will be recognized by the industry and opportunities will come to you. Who is in the Industry? Well, arguably we all are. The moment a student enrolls in the Audio program a students degree of separation from successful working individuals is reduced to the power of two maybe three. With hard working faculty pushing students to be the same, students can take great pride in how their names made it to the credits rolling before an audience on opening night.

Debra A Hooper
Vice President/Director
School of Communication Arts
@ Digital Circus

Red Storm Art Director & Living Arts College Alumni Relentless Pursuit of Perfection
September 2nd, 2009

Do you ever wonder how the environments in many video games look so authentic?

Living Arts College alumni, Peter Sekula shared with students how his position as Art Director for Red Storm’s game “Bio Shock” created the very realistic environments. Pete found himself in the jungles of Costa Rica. He had to take in every detail and put a team together to design an environment for “Bio Shock”. Pete said, “As an animator, you always have to think, life is a mirror to an immersive experience. How are we going to get characters to imitate life and how are we going to animate them?”

“Companies are searching for animation talent that is awesome at their craft and their portfolio showcases their talent. A good portfolio must focus on believable movements”, reports Pete. As an Art Director at Red Storm Entertainment, Pete is responsible for hiring new talent. Musts for the “killer” portfolio!

  1. Full body human movement.
  2. Research the company. Be open-minded to new technologies.
  3. Have “game ready stuff” to show.
  4. Have a wire frame to show and how it was rigged and imported.
  5. Understand the entry-level game position and how team-building ramps up in the performance of a game.
  6. Learn the rules of production and expect to execute the rules.

It takes a team of people to develop a game at Red Storm Entertainment. The Art Director steers the ship (the game) from one phase to the next. It always takes one more layer to achieve where you really want to go with the game. “It takes a group of interactive minds to come up with one theme and run with it.” states Sekula. Visuals are very important to emersion in a story, so pictures have to draw in the gamer.


Debra A Hooper
Vice President/Director
School of Communication Arts
@ Digital Circus

Weight of the Ribbon
July 17th, 2009

A Perfect Evening with Curtis Brown

How do you describe Curtis Brown? Passionate, Artist, Designer, Independent, Actor, Photographer, Theatrical, Dancer, Loves a Challenge, Driven, Unique Style, Rooted in Human Emotion….. He combined all of these elements in “Weight of the Ribbon.”

The disease somber, the mood inspiring, when photographer Curtis Brown captures a moment the images transcend time. Curtis and dancers from the Carolina Ballet translated his concept into visual form through “the lens” with distinct expression and movement using a ribbon suspended from the studio ceiling.

Each inspiring image has an emotional journey of a breast cancer victim in their battles against the disease. The images depicted moments from strength and triumph to moments of defeat and collapse. Colette George said, “The exhibit was emotional and awe-inspiring.”

The “Weight of the Ribbon” gallery event brought in volunteers from all over the Raleigh area. The pictures were on display and available for sale with half of all proceeds donated to “Susan G. Komen For the Cure”, which funds breast cancer research, education, screening, and treatment programs.

Curtis is a graduate of the School of Communication Arts. He studied Advertising Design with a concentration in Photography. To view his work, visit his website at

Debra A Hooper
Vice President/Director
School of Communication Arts
@ Digital Circus

This Little Piggy Went to Marketing School
June 11th, 2009

Cyber Piggy

The excitement was high and there was a “buzz in the domes” when former professor, Greg Carter returned to campus. Students never forget a fantastic professor that leaves an impression on their life as well as their education.

Greg Carter, owner of Cyber Piggy, shared with students how you can use creativity to “bring home the bacon”. Greg was never satisfied with the status quo; he took his creativity to new heights when he developed Cyber Piggy. Greg believes that creativity is the most valuable problem solving tool we have and he’s discovered ways to take life’s unpredictable challenges and turn them into marketable and result driven opportunities.

Carter said having a job where you have the freedom to think outside the box is invigorating and helpful in conveying a message. He uses this belief to work with a social network of thinkers. “” is social network that is topic driven and attracts common “thinkers” to discuss and brainstorm.

Check out to see how Greg uses his animations to tackle major problems with a light hearted approach.

Students were encouraged to utilize the web for marketing their talents and to join social networks to create ways of meeting other “thinkers.” Using the web and animation to promote, tell a story or convey an idea is a successful way to live “high on the hog!”

Debra A Hooper
Vice President/Director
School of Communication Arts
@ Digital Circus