James Avery, who had recently become an important part of the CalArts School of Theater community and who played Uncle Phil on the hit 1990s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, passed away on December 31. Avery was an integral part of the formation of The Collective, a multi-disciplinary arts organization at CalArts that strives to present and preserve African-American cultural expressions, generate new work, and share stories through collaborative and experimental performances. He hosted the Collective's Celebrity Panel in February 2012. Also that month, he devised and directed the first of the now-annual The Depth of Black Art, a multi-disciplinary performance piece with African American students from all metiers. A memorial video of the work Avery did with CalArts students and alumni will be screened at CalArts in February.
David A. Steinberg (P.A.D.T. MFA 77) passed away on December 30 of pneumonia. Following CalArts, Steinberg began a long and successful career as an actor, writer, and director of fine arts at numerous universities and playhouses across the country. In 1987 he became head of the theater department at Bishop Miege High School in Roeland Park, Kansas. During his tenure, he directed and served as a mentor to thousands of students in over 100 plays and musicals. He also wrote five plays, including one that won the Play-in-Progress contest at Rockhurst University in 2005.
Janet Lee King (Photography MFA 82) passed away on August 6 after living with cancer for nearly seven years. Director of Prospect Development at the University of Virginia Office of Advancement, King showed her artwork in galleries in Washington, D.C. and Charlottesville, Virginia. King married Robert Maury McGinnis (Art MFA 82) during the summer between their first and second years at CalArts.
Photographer, writer, critic and longtime faculty member Allan Sekula passed away on August 10. Sekula began teaching at CalArts in 1985 and mentored scores of students. His obituary appeared in the Los Angeles Times.
Graphic designer Johanna Jacob (Graphic Design MFA 90) passed away in her home in Montclair, New Jersey on March 26. Jacob taught graphic design at Caldwell College, and was a book artist, photographer, and master gardener. For five years, she and her family lived in Riberas del Pilar, Mexico, and while there, she created two mobile bookcases that could be transported to various schools and orphanages in the area.
Visual artist Channa Horwitz (Art BFA 72) passed away on April 29. Horwitz was singled out by critics last year in the Hammer Museum's first biennial survey of Los Angeles-based artists. In a 2012 review, Los Angeles Times critic Christopher Knight described her work as "patterned Minimalist drawings that breathe, pulsate and visually warp in most un-Minimalist ways." In April, Horwitz was awarded a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship. Her work has been included this year in The Encyclopedic Palace, the exhibition in the 55th Venice Biennale that accompanies the shows in the national pavilions.
Gary E. Bachman (Art MFA 82) passed away suddenly on December 1, 2012. Gary, who graduated from Westfield High School, the University of Hartford and CalArts, was an artist and a theatrical teamster working for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 817. He is survived by his beloved companion, Deborah Kammer; his daughter, Jett Bachman and her mother, Susan Silas; his parents, Kenneth and Dorothy Bachman; his brother Kenneth Bachman, and his sister Karen Bachman.
CalArts has learned that Warner Bros. director Russell "Rusty" Mills (Character Animation BFA 84) passed away on December 7, 2012 at age 49. Rusty won both daytime and primetime Emmys for his work, directed the Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain. His obituary appeared in the LA Times.
Designer Nathan Martin (Graphic Design BFA 08) recently passed away. Nathan owned his own design studio, Life & Work.
Eleanor LaVove (Chouinard), co-founder of the Angels Attic dollhouse museum in Santa Monica, CA passed away on August 24, 2012 at age 94.
Following a long illness, Webster Terhune (Art BFA 77) passed away on August 26, 2012. Following CalArts, he earned an MA in Media Studies at Rhode Island College. Webster was employed by the San Francisco Exploratorium and Ilux Imaging in Norwich, CT, and taught at New England Institute of Technology. In 2008, he held a solo art exhibit of his work in Westerly, RI. Last year, he and his wife, Jaclyn Udaloff (Dance 75) published This World is Personal, and Webster also published Photometaphoria, an eBook of his artwork. Memorial gifts may be made in Webster's name to Home and Hospice Care of Rhode Island (HHCRI).
We learned that Jack Kling (Chouinard BFA 65), a former instructor at the Chouinard Art Institute and educator in Mill Valley Public Schools, died at his home in Santa Rosa in December 2011. Jack was 82.
On February 1, 2012, the CalArts community was saddened to learn of Mike Kelley's (Art MFA 78) passing.
Hollywood costume designer Theadora Van Runkle (Chouinard) passed away on November 4, 2011 at 83 from lung cancer. Her work included the costumes for Bonnie and Clyde, The Godfather trilogy, The Jerk and Peggy Sue Got Married.
Richard Rintoul (Instrumental Performance BFA 79) passed away on November 25, 2011. He had a lifelong career in music, founding the Orchestra da Camera at the Colburn School of Performing Arts in Los Angeles, and serving as its Music Director and Conductor for twenty-three years. Most recently, he was a lecturer at the University of California-Santa Barbara and the conductor of their Symphony Orchestra. A memorial for Dr. Rintoul was held on January 12.
Ceramic artist Elsa Rady (Chouinard 65), who studied with Ralph Bacerra and Otto and Vivika Heino, passed away on January 29, 2011. Her work, which is included in LACMA, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian's collections, is also included in the 200-year history Craft in America: Expanding Traditions. She was 67.
A memorial service for Valerie L. Bronson (Film/Video MFA 80) was held in Seattle on March 20, 2011.