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Former Eagle Rock pharmacy now a creative outpost for ArtCenter College alumni

EAGLE ROCK ––  The brick storefront at the corner of Yosemite Drive and Wiota Street has housed a long-line of businesses, including a pharmacy during the 1940s. But, for the past three decades, the modest building covered on two sides with a psychedelic mural has served as a studio for an equally long-line of alumni from the ArtCenter College of Design in neighboring Pasadena. In fact, part of the building known as Yosemite Studio was once owned by the grandfather of a college alumnus.

A story in the college’s Dot Magazine by Solvej Schou,  explains how illustrator Patrick Hruby and other ArtCenter alums have and continue to use the building:

“Hruby and four other ArtCenter alums—Michelle Constantine (BFA 2008 Illustration), Ranee Henderson (BFA 2015 Illustration), Shane Rivera (BFA 2014 Fine Art) and Illustration Department Associate Chair and instructor Aaron Smith (BFA 1988 Illustration)—all currently have art studios in the space, with moveable walls separating their areas. Hruby’s space is in the back, with Constantine’s next to his, then Henderson’s, Rivera’s and Smith’s—the latter filled with masks from Papua New Guinea, and his lush paintings of bearded men—in the front.

Alum Steve Huston (BFA 1983 Illustration) originally owned the building, and used it starting in the ‘80s as a studio, and then rented spaces to alumni. Noted Illustration alumni who have had art studios at Yosemite include Esther Pearl Watson (BFA 1995), her husband Mark Todd (BFA 1993), Martha Rich (BFA 2000), Souther Salazar (BFA 2003), Saelee Oh (BFA 2003) and Calef Brown (BFA 1988).

Eric Skotnes, who once studied at ArtCenter, painted the mural—featuring psychedelic swoops of green and orange—on the building’s exterior. Even the grandfather of Constantine’s husband Derek Hibbs (BS 2005 Environmental Design) coincidentally owned part of the building from 1934 to 1948. It was a pharmacy then.”

Hruby has worked in Yosemite Studio  since 2013. “We’re a little community, and I love it.”

Derek Hibbs’ grandfather Floyd Scarbrough in the ’40s in front of what is now the Yosemite Studio | Courtesy of Michelle Constantine

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