LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. /California Newswire/ — On Monday, May 21 at 5 p.m., one hundred eleven students became graduates of Laguna College of Art and Design’s (LCAD) Class of 2018. President Jonathan Burke and Board of Trustees Chair Jared Mathis conferred undergraduate degrees in Animation, Drawing & Painting, Game Art, Graphic Design + Digital Media, and Illustration. LCAD Provost Helene Garrison, Ph.D. conferred graduate degrees in LCAD’s MFA program in Art of Game Design. Peter Zokosky, chair of LCAD’s Master of Fine Arts (MFA) programs in Drawing and Painting, conferred graduate degrees in Painting.

Steve Van Doren at LCAD
Steve Van Doren, son of Vans cofounder Paul Van Doren and Vans’ Shoes Vice President of Events and Promotions, delivered the College’s Commencement address that included a classic Van Doren surprise. After he praised LCAD for being the only art and design college offering an Action Sports Design program, he asked students to look under their chairs to find a Vans Custom Card, giving them an opportunity to design their own unique pair of Vans shoes.

Steve Van Doren and Jonathan Burke will judge the students’ custom designs and select a winner who, with friends and family, will enjoy an evening out on the town with Vans’ official Ambassador of Fun, Steve Van Doren.

During the past six years Vans has generously collaborated with the LCAD. The “Vans Honors Lab” teaches the creative process of footwear design and past student designs have been selected for production and sale around the world. The company also partners with the College to host an annual Vans Custom Culture high school shoe design competition that includes immersive workshops. Vans offers scholarships to competition winners, contingent upon their acceptance to LCAD.

After the commencement ceremony, Van Doren was presented with an original painting of Vans checkerboard shoes by new LCAD BFA in Drawing & Painting alumna Christina Matadama.

Cristina exhibited her work titled “Cozy” during LCAD Gallery’s Senior Fine Arts Exhibition and, when Burke saw Cristina’s painting, he knew it would be a perfect gift to commemorate Van Doren’s Commencement speech to the Graduating Class of 2018. Burke also arranged for Cristina and her family to witness the opening of the gift and greet her newest collector.

Chloe Allred, summa cum laude MFA in Painting alumna, was LCAD’s 2018 Student Commencement Speaker. She is a contributing artist and writer for the book, “We Believe You” (published by Henry Holt in 2016.) Her paintings and writing have been featured in Orange Coast Magazine, Huffington Post, USA Today, and the BBC. She is a founding and active member of The Body Joy Project, a feminist artist collective that critiques and challenges the way our culture thinks about body image. Chloe is currently a teaching artist at The Artist Lab.

Allred encouraged her fellow students to “Show up for yourself. Give yourself a chance and have some faith in the crazy ideas that you’re going to have.”

For more information about LCAD’s 2018 Commencement, please visit:

About Laguna College of Art and Design:

Founded in 1961, Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD) is one of the top art and design schools in the nation. LCAD offers undergraduate degrees (BFA) in Animation, Drawing + Painting, Game Art, Graphic Design + Digital Media, Illustration, and Illustration in Entertainment Design, as well as Master of Fine Arts degrees (MFA) in Art of Game Design, Drawing, and Painting. The Dennis and Leslie Power Library at LCAD houses the historic archives of the College and The Rex and Joan Irving Brandt Papers.

For more information about LCAD admissions, news, events and Annual Fund, visit

Facebook at @LCADBFA, Twitter @LCAD and Instagram @lcadbfa.

Web Photo Caption: Steve Van Doren (son of Vans’ co-founder Paul Van Doren), Vans Shoes vice president of Events and Promotions, delivered the College’s Commencement address.

News Source: Laguna College of Art and Design