School of Art faculty member Louise Sandhaus and alum Kat Catmur (Art MFA 14) have recently co-authored and designed the book A Colorful Life: Gere Kavanaugh, Designer.
The tome is a 220-page exploration of the polymathic artist’s career, filled with Kavanaugh’s spectacular designs. There are several book signings and conversations with Sandhaus, Catmur and Kavanaugh being held in conjunction with the release of the book, published by Princeton Architectural Press.
Kavanaugh’s name is synonymous with the folky, crafty aesthetic of ‘60s and ‘70s California. A prolific virtuoso of textile and design, Kavanaugh was the third woman to receive an MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. She was also among the first group of women designers at General Motors, where she created exhibitions for automobiles and styled displays for various interior models.
Throughout her seven decade-long career, Kavanaugh has designed everything from ceramics, furniture, homes and typefaces with her signature combination of vibrant colors and striking patterns. She was the first interior designer to receive a COLA grant from the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, and was the 2016 recipient of the prestigious American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) Medal.
Sandhaus, who is also a graduate of CalArts’ Graphic Design Program (Art MFA 94) and previously served as program director, is also the author of Earthquakes, Mudslides, Fires and Riots: California and Graphic Design 1936-1986. Published in 2014 by Metropolis Books and Thames & Hudson, the book chronicles the history of California’s distinct design scene. Earthquakes, Mudslides, Fires and Riots earned Sandhaus a 2015 Palm D’Argent from The International Art Book and Film Festival (FILAF) in Perpignan, France.
Catmur is a British émigré who utilizes typography in tandem with new technologies. She has designed for various artists, musicians, filmmakers and commercial enterprises, and is working on an illustration series exploring the history of California graphic design. Catmur is a graphic design instructor at OTIS College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. She has previously worked with Sandhaus on 360: Type in Virtual Spaces, a presentation series about typography in digital spaces hosted by the Graphic Design Program.
For information about events associated with the book launch, check here or see below.
A Colorful Life: Gere Kavanaugh Book Signings
Thursday, May 30, 5-7 pm
Raoul Textile Library
136 State Street, Santa Barbara
Saturday, July 20, Time TBA
Craft in America Center
8415 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles