Valencia, CA, Oct. 2—California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) has confirmed two new members to its Board of Trustees. The new additions are philanthropist Michael Nock and designer Jill Kraus.
Chairman and Managing Director of Michael Nock & Associates–a Hong Kong based company he established in 2009–Michael Nock was born and raised in Sydney, Australia. While always interested in the arts, he earned a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Accounting and Finance at the University of New South Wales, and began his career as a stockbroker and financial analyst. In an unusual interlude, in 1990 Nock decided to pursue his passion for the arts, and he and his wife moved to Los Angeles. He spent the next five years earning BFA and MFA degrees from CalArts’ School of Film/Video’s Program in Experimental Animation, under the mentorship of program founder Jules Engel, who became a close personal friend. “I loved the school from day one,” says Nock. “The campus was wonderful–however, during my time at CalArts an earthquake damaged the building so badly that we required temporary premises while repairs were made. Not only was CalArts very organized and resourceful, but the whole event became something of an adventure.” Nock managed to start three companies while studying at CalArts, and following graduation, moved back to Hong Kong and returned to finance as an asset manager. He later established the Doric Group of companies, which advised and managed a number of funds. While maintaining a presence in asset management Nock now devotes most of his time to philanthropy and the arts–and still paints two days a week.
A native of Wyncote, Pennsylvania, Jill Kraus earned a BFA degree from Carnegie Mellon University, and an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Over the course of her 20-year career she worked as designer and design director for companies such as Monet & Swank and Marvella. Kraus lived and worked in Japan for a number of years, consulting with American companies that manufactured products in Japan. Upon her return to the United States she was Vice President–Design for Swarovski and Director of Design at Avon Products.
Jill’s son Jason is a 2008 graduate of CalArts’ School of Art. “My son had an extraordinary education at CalArts,” says Kraus. “Its emphasis on the conceptual framework for contemporary arts practice makes it a unique educational environment.” Of her recent election to CalArts’ Board of Trustees, she says, “I’m excited to be on the governing board that will help define how CalArts continues to move into the 21st century.” Kraus’s other board affiliations include The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) where she serves on the Executive Committee and chairs the Media and Performance Committee. She was recently elected board chair of The Public Art Fund. She also serves on the boards of the New Museum and the Worldstudio Foundation, which awards scholarships to minority students and socially responsible artists. For more than a decade Jill served on the Carnegie Mellon University board where she chaired the Advancement Committee.