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CalArts Hires Leighton Pierce As New Dean For School Of Film/Video

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CalArts has hired filmmaker Leighton Pierce as the new dean of their School of Film/Video. Pierce will take over for Steve Anker on July 1. Anker has been dean since 2004 and will continue as a full-time faculty member.

On July 1, Leighton Pierce will take the helm of the California Institute of the Arts School of Film/Video, as dean of the department, replacing current dean Steve Anker, who has been in the position for about 10 years.


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Leighton PierceAnker will continue to teach as a full-time faculty member.

Pierce is a filmmaker known for his experimental and unique films and videos that explore “the interfaces of memory, imagination and perception,” according to his website.

"Leighton combines practical acumen with creative vision and brings strong administrative experience as well," said CalArts President Steven Lavine. "At his previous institutions, he developed film and video curricula that reflected the ever-evolving technical and cultural terrain, and as an artist, his exceptional independent process, which crosses mediums and formats, fits perfectly with CalArts’ experimental ethos."

Film And Video Production Experience

Pierce had previous experience as the head of the Film and Video Production Program at The University of Iowa from 2001 to 2011, where he also taught classes on film and video making, with an emphasis on the conceptual development of sound and image relationships in film, video and installation.

Before making films, Pierce studied ceramics and music composition, specifically jazz and electronic music. His early education continues to influence his films, according to a CalArts press release.

He creates all of his works entirely on his own, executing the conception, cinematography, editing, sound design and musical composition.

“While widely recognized for his stunning cinematography, he considers his editing and sound design to be the core of his art,” according to the biography on his website.

Fellow experimental filmmaker Jon Jost wrote that Pierce’s work "pulses with a beauty which calls forth agape, its formal structure pointing to the realm of icons."

Pierce’s films has been exhibited in film festivals throughout the world, including the Whitney Biennial, the Sundance, San Francisco, New York, Tribeca, Ann Arbor and Rotterdam film festivals.

His work has also been featured in museums such as the Exploratorium in San Francisco, Montreal Museé d’Art Contemporaine and The Sheldon Art Museum.

Retrospectives of his works have been presented at venues such as The New Zealand Film Festival, Lincoln Center, The Cinémathèque Française, Festival Nemo, the Pompidou Center in Paris and at The Lisbon Biennale.

Pierce said that he was looking forward to his new position as dean at CalArts.

“I have long admired CalArts,” he said. “As I learn more about its unique chemistry, I look forward to working with the faculty, students and staff in the School of Film/Video, and all of the schools, to cultivate dynamic, vibrant and integrated educational experiences for moving-image and sound makers in the 21st century.”

For more information and a sample of Pierce’s work, click here.

More Information: Education


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CalArts Hires Leighton Pierce As New Dean For School Of Film/Video


Article: CalArts Hires Leighton Pierce As New Dean For School Of Film/Video
Source: Santa Clarita News
Author: Newsroom