After graduating from the University of the Arts, art jeweler Casey Sharpe BFA '09 (Crafts) moved to California and now works as a designer at Robert Procop Creative Studio, a high-end jeweler on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Sharpe is part of a highly skilled design team that works with clients to create custom pieces and exclusive collections that are true masterpieces.
Her personal jewelry work can be found in the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles, the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft's Asher Gallery and the Freehand Gallery in Los Angeles.
She is included in the upcoming book Behind the Brooch: A Closer Look at the Backs, Catches, and Pin Stems (Schiffer Publishing) by Lorena Angulo, set for release in February 2014.
Sharpe's "Yellow Poison Dart Frog" brooch, one of three pieces in a series she created while still at UArts, was featured in the January 2013 issue of Art Jewelry in the publication's "Back Page" section.
In addition to being including in a number of national art shows, her work has also been featured in the University's annual Art Unleashed exhibition and sale since 2010.
A visit to the University of the Arts for the first time during a Pre-College summer program sealed her decision to attend UArts for her undergraduate degree, where she received her BFA in Crafts with a concentration in Metals.
She obsesses over new materials and techniques and is always striving to bring the highest level of craftsmanship to her jewelry. She reinterprets structures, textures and colors from nature and uses them to overtake the human form itself, allowing nature to reclaim us. Her pieces become talismans used to reconnect to the present and the world around us, providing a center and reminding us of our place in the world.
Like his hero Walt Disney, you might call Daniel Joseph BS '06 (Industrial Design) an "American optimist."
"I have always loved dreaming about the future and thinking there will always be something better coming," says Daniel, a special effects designer for Walt Disney Imagineering. "This meshes so well with Disney and how it has told the story of the future for so many years." Most recently he led the team that designed the illusion of the Hatbox Ghost at the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland. The character, one of the attraction’s original 999 happy haunts, had been missing from the Mansion for the past 45 years and has been reinvented for the theme park’s diamond celebration.
When Daniel was 6 years old, he had his first glimpse of Disney World on a trip with his family. "I remember very specifically the Haunted Mansion, and the special effects were awe-inspiring," he says.
Daniel majored in Industrial Design at UArts with the idea that the major would lead him to the only place he had ever wanted to be – the Walt Disney Company. He never stopped working on haunted houses and special effects, spending three summers working at Eastern State Penitentiary’s famed haunted house, "Terror Behind the Walls," while at UArts.
It was sheer optimism that led him to enter – and win – Disney's annual ImagiNations Design Competition as a senior at UArts. His winning design was a retrofit for a Disneyland attraction called "The People Mover" that had closed in the late 1990s. The original People Mover was part of the futuristic Tomorrowland and boasted the slogan "Ride Tomorrow's Transportation Today."
Prize money in hand, he headed for Los Angeles after graduation. He worked for companies that contracted with Disney, and then landed an internship in the Research and Development department at Walt Disney Imagineering. The internship finally led to the achievement of his long-held dream – a job in the Special Effects and Illusions department.
As a Disney "Imagineer," 13 of Daniel's designs have been patented. One of them was featured in a PC Magazine article called "The Best Inventions of 2011 – So Far."
Daniel calls the foundation he received at UArts both rigorous and wonderful. The weekly presentations he had to give in front of a crowd and under stress were worth their weight in gold. "That's something I use every day," he says. "In front of six, eight, 10 brilliant people – I speak with confidence about my craft."