Conservatory for the Arts
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Hollywood seeks out Mayfield arts teacher “Mr. T.” for his oversized secrets

We all know that faculty member Paul Tzanetopoulos is a dream-come-true when it comes to excellence in visual and digital arts. Now the visionaries at DreamWorks Animation do too!
Mr. T.—as he is affectionately known by Mayfield photo, film and media students—was invited this week to the DreamWorks studios to share his insights with the creative artists working on the upcoming animation film, Abominable. He will also serve as a consultant on the film, a credit to his stature as an award-winning, internationally recognized artist.

Although his meetings and consultations are private—no spoilers here!—Mr. T said this new professional venture began with a phone call from DreamWorks producer Suzanne Buirgy (Kung Fu Panda 2, Home). She wanted to talk to him about his experience in creating large-scale projects and light installations.

Among the most well-known of Mr. T’s extensive resume of 30 public art projects is his massive kinetic light installation of colorful towers at the entrance of Los Angeles International Airport. The glass towers are the largest lighting installation in the world and have been a welcome beacon at LAX since 2000.

“DreamWorks artists want to know what has been done and what is possible,” he said, adding that he is excited about the prospect of sharing his lifetime of experience.  

“I’ve worked on film commercials and large scale productions since I was 19, both as an art director and producer,” he said. “I like the combination of working in a creative concept and being able to use my fine art experience as well,” he said.

His sought-after creative skills and expertise have long enriched Mayfield’s Conservatory for the Arts program and Fine Arts Department, as he has carefully mentored and guided countless student artists.

As part of DreamWorks guest artist program, Mr. T. shared his artistic path that began as an exhibiting artist in the 1970s and continues as a conceptually-driven inter-media artist. His work is included in the permanent collection of LACMA, among other museums.

After his one-hour presentation, he had a working lunch with the Abominable team to get an idea of the artistic approach for the film’s sequence on which he was asked to consult.

Abominable will be released by Universal Pictures worldwide beginning September 27, 2019.
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Established in 1931, Mayfield Senior School in Pasadena, CA is a Catholic, independent, college preparatory school for young women grades 9-12. Noted for its rigorous academic program, which includes 21 Advanced Placement and Honors courses, Mayfield’s curriculum is underscored by a philosophy of educating the “whole child,” which also encourages commitment to and excellence in the arts, athletics, community service and spiritual growth. The nurturing environment at Mayfield Senior School allows each student to flourish in an atmosphere of personal attention.