Shepard Fairey Returns to IAA

28 06 2012

Shepard Fairey

Nearly 24 years after graduating from the Idyllwild Arts Academy, pop artist Shepard Fairey returned for a visit to his alma mater in February.  Wearing a black leather jacket and a Ramones t-shirt, he still radiated a youthful edge but this was no longer the rebellious teenager who was kicked out of an east coast boarding school for skateboarding or the art student that put his new color photography skills to use by making fake IDs.  The grown up Shepard Fairey is a successful and influential artist, whose work is credited with enough clout to sway a presidential election.

“I was so excited when I heard he was coming to speak,” said sophomore Jazz major Emily Jimenez.  “I loved hearing what he had to say because I got to know the history of one of my favorite artist and designers from himself.  Also, it was cool finding out we share the same interests, the same taste in music, and skateboarding and art.”

“I just got to meet one of my heroes,” said Peter Ryan, a junior and Moving Pictures major.  “Shepard’s comments about having a strong work ethic and never giving up were great to hear.  He said, ‘I am a living example of a hard-working but not very good artist.’  I thought that was brilliant.”

Shortly before taking the stage as a guest lecturer, Fairey reflected on his art school experience.  “This was the first place that teachers were more like peers with experience than rules and dictators,” he said.  “They were not condescending, they were nurturing.  They made me feel like they respected my opinion.  I’m excited to share my work with students to keep the cycle of inspiration going.” Read the rest of this entry »


Alumni Updates

28 06 2012

Alumni Updates

Breanna Gribble ‘04  – “I give back to Idyllwild Arts because the years spent in that community nurtured what will make me happy the rest of my life.”

Angel Morgan ‘88 – Completed her doctorate in 2011 at Saybrook University.
A photograph from graduation is featured on their webisite:

Carlo Vogel ‘88  –  A NYC-based private investigator has offered to help Idyllwild Arts’ Alumni Relations manager to track down lost alumni.

Anthony Postman ‘88 – Anthony Postman aka ThePostmOn is a guitarist on the Reno scene for 15+ years. Currently plays with Keyser Soze and The M*A*S*H* Unit, featuring Soulmedic and Jah Works The Revolutionary. ThePostmOn held down bass duties for Reno’s SkyJuice, Team Irie!, and occasionally Jahzilla, and played guitar for Serious T’ing, Rootsonic, Homegrown, The King Michael Blues Band, his own AMP3 (featuring “TooHotSlide” in the music player). Anthony grew up playing piano and hand drumming in addition to guitar…….ThePostmOn’s been on the Reno club scene as a DJ for almost 15 years, bringing his Messenjah Soundsystem to many of the area’s venues and festivals, and hosted Reno’s longest-running weekly reggae night, Rasta Sessions…Currently you can hear ThePostmOn on Reno’s public radio KUNR 88.7 FM, ( hosting REGGAE Fi’REAL! and WORLD SPINS (if you are a Reggae, Dub, or World artist seeking airplay– link we!)…….Postmon Productions is Anthony’s sound design company put into business thanks to International Game Technology of Nevada, who hired out Postmon Productions for some game sounds and musical loops. Postman Productions has also done contract work for Nokia

Aaron Kahn ‘93 – Aaron is studying full-time in a professional training program at École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq (AKA: The Lecoq School) in Paris, France, where he has been living, working and studying for 4.5 years.  He has also just booked a nice voice over monologue for a short French film called DETOX.  Recently, he created an original work in progress at Théâtre de l’Épée de Bois (in the Cartoucherie) called Produits Exotiques about the global financial crisis.  Aaron teaches yoga and Pilates.  Notably, he teaches an unplugged annual ayurvedic retreat in the remote jungle of Sri Lanka every August at Ulpotha.  Last year, he was interviewed by “The Hindu” (one of India’s national newspapers)

Kyoko Bunchikin ‘97– Kyoko has designed bicycle wear for the Asian Cup, April, 2012.

Dennis Doubin ‘97 –Dennis  is an Assistant Conductor of the San Francisco Opera.

Alexae Visel ‘97 – Alexae is currently working as a theatrical costume designer. She just opened a show with Shotgun Players in San Francisco.

Pandora Peoples ‘98 – has a thriving psychic and herbal practice in Cape Cod, Mass. She is the proud owner of Pandora’s Garden offering magical gifts and healing teas. She gives workshops on connecting with the sacred feminine and energy medicine. Email her at

Jacque Carnahan ’98 – has a one-woman show and is working on a musical version of Pride & Prejudice.  She is working with Diane Burt (ISIS Theater) to bring her show to Idyllwild.  She’s been working in NYC for nine years.

Michael Singer ’98 – is a tympanist receiving his DMA from Rutgers this December.  He has been auditioning widely for orchestral positions.

Nana Lee ’98 – The owner of Blank Space Gallery in NYC recently hosted the Idyllwild Arts Academy Alumni Reunion on May 12.  She has run the place for three years.  She offered to put on an exhibition of Idyllwild Arts Visual Art alumni at the gallery.  She also helps her father’s fashion design business in Korea.

Amanda Aday ’98 – “I am the social media coordinator at an Indie Record Label called Rocket Science. I work with all sorts of music acts; Don Felder, John 5, Angels & Airwaves, Black Light Burns, etc. I am still acting as well, and have recently been cast in two feature films set to shoot this summer. “The Trials Of Cate McCullough” (Kate Beckinsale & Nick Nolte) & “Escort Service” (Rebecca De Mornay & Clint Howard) Many other projects in the works including a Film and Music Festival I will be hosting this fall at Paramount Ranch and a production deal I just signed for a secret project that will available to the public sometime next year.”

Topher Payne ‘98 – Recently was recognized by – Best Actor/Actress – Best Playwright – Best Writer/Poet
They wrote, “Your fave in these three categories is the ubiquitous Topher Payne (, who writes and acts almost nonstop. Whether he’s in high heels tackling one of the “Designing Women” or doing an about face and playing David Frost, he brings absolute joy to his work. A tireless playwright, he opens another show this week in the ATL — the drama comedy “Evelyn in Purgatory.”  Does this man ever sleep?”

Elora Hardy ‘99 – Was recently married in a wedding dress she designed. After 5 years in New York at DKNY, she moved back home and has been in Bali for 2 years now, leading an architecture & construction team called  Ibuku.   Recently she spoke at the INK Conference (in association with TED Talks).

Tivon Marcus ‘01 – Currently works as the Booking Manager at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island (a 17,000 seat arena).

Leif Shackelford ‘01 – Lives in Portland, OR and plays violin and synth in the band EMA (

Adam Glick ‘02 – Adam has been promoted to Curator of the Madision Square Park Conservancy’s Public Art Program.

Amy Rothenberg ‘03  – Lives in Oakland, CA and has lived in the Bay area for 8 years on and off. She graduated the San Francisco Art Institute in 2008. Now she works as the newborn photographer at Alta Bates Hospital, and as a freelance documentary photographer. She is working towards a Fulbright, and is going to Uganda in June ’12, to do a photo project and teach art classes for blind kids. Amy paints when she has time, as wells as playing music. She is planning on becoming a yoga teacher.

Jon Worley ‘03  – An article on Jon “A Q&A WITH ‘JUSTIFIED’ WRITER JON WORLEY”


David Shook ‘04  – David was shortlisted for the Melita Poetry Prize. He was recently in London as Translator in Residence for the Poetry Parnassus, the largest ever poetry festival in Britain, part of the Cultural Olympiad that lead up to the Olympics, featuring a poet from every Olympic nation.

Lila Ann M. Dodge ‘05 – Lila has been living in San Francisco for just over a year. She dances for B Chanel Bibene/ Kiandanda Dance Theater, and trains with a number of superb artists in town. She gets by, just but quite happily, doing a  lot of childcare and laundry-folding, French teaching and dance administrative work. I ride my bike everywhere, do a fair amount of contract improvisation and pursue improvisation, and other projects with friends. “I am as much torn as excited to leave SF to start the Master of Arts programs in African Studies at Yale this autumn. The launching point for these studies will be my research on contemporary dance in Burkina Faso under a Fulbright Grant in 2009-10, but I will be going further to places I don’t know yet…”


Mystral Echeverria 05 – Mystral is at Brooklyn College studying pre-med.  She has had a fairly wide-range of interests, including marine biology as an undergraduate at Boston University.

Teale Sperling ‘05 – Earlier this year, Teale interviewed the actor Ezra Miller, one of the stars of the new movie We Need To Talk About Kevin at the Angelika Film Center in NYC. She was responsible for producing, interviewing, editing and shooting.

Sung Eun Chang ‘05  –  She is studying piano performance at NEC.

Elliot Gordon Mercer ‘05 –  Elliot is teaching historical dance at Juilliard.

Amy Claussen ‘05 – Amy has announced her appointment as one of the 2012 Drama League Directors. She will be in residence at the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, NY this summer.

Brett Lord ‘05 – In August 2011, he and his partner, Jesse, were married and they have relocated to Los Angeles from New York to enjoy the sunshine and pursue more artistic opportunities. Brett will be performing at Robin’s Scupture Garden in Venice for 1st Friday on Abbot Kinney in June.


Ashley L. Rizzo ‘05 – Ashley is active as an opera singer in NYC.

Michael Noble ‘06 –  Michael is studying piano at Yale.

Kaley Pruitt ‘06 – Kaley is a dancer and administrator with Elisa Monte Dance.

Alexandra Rush ‘06 – Alexandra’s YouTube videos
Freddi Scheib ‘06 – Freddi is an aspiring actress and comedian who currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Anne F. Larsen ‘07 – Anne is currently attending SAIC.


Caleb Joshua Eberhardt ‘08  – Caleb has recently released an album

Alice Gi-Young Hwang ‘08 –  Alice has just finished her third year at Juilliard and is getting ready for the summer, which will include competing in the William Kapell International Piano Competition, a recital in New York and also in North Carolina, going to the Mendelssohn Academy for masterclasses in Leipzig, and participating in the Holland Music Sessions as a full scholarship recipient.  She has extended her studies to include composition as of this past year, and she is also doing a lot of chamber music.  Also, as a Gluck Community Service Fellow at Juilliard, she performs at shelters, hospitals, and senior homes very frequently.  Kathryn Peterson ‘09 and Alice are currently busy working on their outreach program, T.R.I.O., which they founded in 2010.  Alice also teaches beginner and intermediate piano in the city.


Casey Abrams ‘09  Casey has recently released a new album.

Stephanie Yee ’09 – Stephanie is taking a year off from Drew University where she was studying television.

Janelle Korcheck ‘09 – Janelle is a successful stylist, styling celebrities and socialites for red carpet events in New York City.  Articles by Janelle Korcheck

Ruby Day ‘10 – Ruby is finishing her second year at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, Scotland. She is in the music theatre department, and now has a new website –

Sung-Ah Jun ‘10 – Sung-Ah is at Pratt Institute studying photography.

Sahara S. Spain ‘10 – Sahara is currently attending Colgate University.

Kumi Sweely ‘10 – Since graduating from IAA she has sold a few of her photography pictures and had her ceramics displayed in a winery in Virginia, where she sold her works as well. She later moved to Hawaii and modeled for a wedding company for their brochure. Currently, she studies at a community college to get a teaching degree in second language teaching. She is a volunteer tutor for the ESL classes at her community college.

Rachel Hill ‘11 – Rachel completed her first year in the Honors program at UNC Wilmington as a Music Ed major (spring Dean’s List). She was awarded first chair (horn) and maintained that position both semesters.