Atelier Program hosts Open House

Written and Photographed by Colin Rudd 

As part of deFINE art 2017, SCAD alumni and Atelier ambassadors Christian Dunbar (designer, sculptor) and Gabriela Iancu (photographer) showcased more than two months of work in this year’s Atelier program. The event was free and open to the public.

Students and guests were given the unique opportunity to visit the home and studio of the Alumni Atelier, a quarterly artist residency program. With less than two weeks until the exhibition, this quarter’s alumni were hard at work.

Despite this, they were eager to interact with visitors to discuss their concepts, materials, and creative process. While being a first for the Atelier, the open house provided a unique perspective by showcasing the artists in the midst of their projects.

As a result, the event gave a glimpse into the efforts and initiative of our alumni as they strive to break boundaries with their work and redefine their field. Christian Dunbar (Furniture Design M.F.A., 2016, B.F.A., 2013) has been developing a lighting collection entitled “Element”. He envisions a series of lamps, bookends, wall-hung lights, and a chandelier made out of organic and industrial materials.

Dunbar explains, “I’m pretty obsessed with repetition and pure geometry and blending organic with precision and industrial materials.” His pieces will be utilizing acrylic panels and LEDs to diffuse light through geometric forms made out of materials such as wood and aluminum. He goes on to describe that “everything [will be] a precise, thin strip of light”.

When discussing his concept, he describes the pieces as Tron-like due to their clean, geometric forms. He admits to taking on a large amount of work, but he is eager to see his vision take form. Gabriela Iancu (M.F.A., Photography, 2015) is working on a series called “Experiences from the Outside World” which depicts “living stills” on state of the art digital frames.

Through this technology, viewers will be able to experience her “living” photography which incorporates motion and sound. This style of art is similar to cinemographs, but Iancu describes them as more photographic in nature. “I like to think that it’s a unique combination of still life photography with animation and sound design,” she explains.

As part of this series, Iancu seeks to redefine what photography means in a world surrounded by digital photos. She states that images from phones can never be part of our lives like formal photography can. She hopes that her pieces can become part of reality and therefore preserve the nature and appreciation of photography in the digital age.

The work of Christian Dunbar and Gabriela Iancu will be on display, alongside the work of Tim Kent (B.F.A., painting, 2014) from Atlanta, during the Alumni Atelier gallery exhibition on March 9 at Forsyth House.

Click below to check out previous Atelier program artists!

Savannah inspires Atelier Ambassador Tina Sommers

Atelier Ambassador Jordan Graves

Alumni Atelier ambassador Bradley Bowers makes theory into reality

And if you’re interested in the program you can email Grace Grund at for more information.