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Alumni

Alumni . Alumni Profiles

Alumni Profiles

Kirk Lang

Title Studio Artist
Major Jewelry + Metals

Seattle-based sculptor and metalsmith Kirk Lang is a 2002 graduate from CIA’s Jewelry + Metals department, and went on to earn his MFA from the University of Washington in Seattle.

Mike Lawrence

Title Chief of Design
Organization Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

As Chief of Design at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., Michael Lawrence holds a singular position at a beloved institution.

Lawrence’s trajectory was set at CIA and at Case Western Reserve University, which collaborated at the time to teach Art Education majors. He worked at the Cleveland Museum of Art, and eventually earned his master’s degree in architecture from Catholic University of America in Washington. After spending years at an architectural firm that held some museum contracts, he joined the Smithsonian nine years ago.

Jack Lew

Title Artist + Educator
Major Illustration
Organization Entertainment

Jack Lew is Vice President and Dean of Visual Communication at the Laguna College of Art and Design. He has worked in the entertainment industry for over 10 years combined with an academic career that spans 24 years. Jack has a unique perspective to share on arts education. He has worked for two of the world’s leading entertainment companies, Disney Animation and Electronic Arts (EA). At EA, the world leader in developing and publishing video games, he was responsible for developing relationships with art schools and strategies for identifying top global art talent. In his work with colleges throughout the US and Canada, he has delivered presentations along with developing collaborative educational programs.

Before joining EA, Jack was Sr. Manager of Artist and Professional Development at Disney Feature Animation Florida, and in that role, he was responsible for all training initiatives, continuing education and enrichment programs as well as evaluating all new art applicants.

Heather Moore

Title Founder, Heather Moore Jewelry
Major Glass
Organization Heather Moore Jewelry

Heather Moore ’93 founded a Cleveland-based jewelry company, Heather Moore Jewelry, that has national following, multiple awards, an amazing studio and production facility, and more than a dozen CIA grads among its staff of some 65. Heather shows us her award-winning lines of customized charm and bridal jewelry and talks about the evolution of her jewelry and the influence of her CIA education.

Alex Pakis

Title Designer and Owner
Major Jewelry + Metals
Organization Greenpoint Craftworks

Alex Pakis '04 is the designer and owner of Greenpoint Craftworks, a custom jewelry and bike boutique in Brooklyn, NY. Prior to launching his company, Alex worked with an international fashion label. At Greenpoint Craftworks, Alex has created a sought-after line of jewelry, and he is regularly commissioned to create one-of-a-kind pieces. In addition to developing wearable art, Alex is well-known for his bicycle restoration work. In December 2009, he was featured in the Japanese magazine, Pedal Speed.

Brian Peterson

Title Car Designer + Artist
Major Industrial Design
Organization Kia

Brian Peterson is a transportation designer at Kia and the creator of Faces of Santa Ana, a project in which he paints portraits of the homeless in Santa Ana, California. His work is being displayed in downtown Santa Ana and proceeds from sales of the portraits go to rehabilitation efforts for the individuals portrayed.

Zack Petroc in his studio disneybh61.jpgdisneybh62.jpg

Zack Petroc

Title Model Supervisor
Major Sculpture + Expanded Media
Organization Disney Feature Animation

Zack Petroc graduated from CIA in 1997 with a BFA in sculpture. Now he’s at the top of the digital sculpture and animation fields, working as a model supervisor at Disney Feature Animation. Through Zack Petroc Studios he creates unique new content and offers training for digital artists around the world. He spoke with us after the release of Big Hero 6, which won the Oscar for best animated film and which earned Zack the award for Outstanding Performance of an Animated Character in an Animated Feature Motion Picture from the Visual Effects Society for his work on the character Baymax. Read more about Petroc here.

René Polin

Title President of Balance Product Development
Major Industrial Design

As founder and president of a multi-disciplinary design firm, René’s portfolio includes hundreds of successful products for companies across the globe, including Rubbermaid, Ninja, and Fisher Price. Creative problem solving, and a sense of balance, are both traits that René attributes to his CIA education.

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