Stark, Haring receive alumni honors
Kutztown Area School District Education Foundation announce the recipients of the 2018 Distinguished Alumni of the Year, Julie Stark and the late Keith Haring. They will be honored at a reception at Moselem Springs Country Club on June 5, 5 to 7 p.m. Stark will also deliver the commencement address to Kutztown Area High School’s graduating class of 2018 on June 8.
Stark, Class of 1979, studied fine art at Kutztown University and then moved to New York City for 10 years working in photography, advertising and television, and later began doing digital compositing, which led to exploring other work in visual effects. She then moved to Los Angeles and worked in
visual effects in the film industry for 25 years.
While working in LA, she contributed to and worked on notable Academy Award winning films including “The Golden Compass” Oscar for Best Achievement in Visual Effects in 2008, “Happy Feet” Oscar for Best Animated Feature in 2007, and “Django Unchained” Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and Best Performance by an actor in a supporting role” in 2013. She was also a member of the team at Rhythm and Hues Studios that won a 2013 Oscar for Best Visual Effects for the film “Life of Pi.” Ironically, two weeks after being nominated for the 2013 Oscar, the company filed for bankruptcy. The company subsequently was sold to a firm in India.
Not wanting to move overseas, Julie started a raw juice business. She had been juicing in her kitchen for years and had been a vegetarian since she was 14 but she truly started developing recipes when her son broke his jaw. Her recipes not only helped her son with the healing process but they were also very popular with friends. She had found a new passion. Moving back to Berks County in 2013, Stark Juice LLC was established in Kempton in 2014 to produce a line of raw and unpasteurized juices made from seasonal, fresh, cold pressed fruits and vegetables.
Haring, Class of 1976, developed a love for drawing at a very early age, learning basic cartooning skills from his father and from the popular culture around him, such as Dr. Seuss and Walt Disney. Haring enrolled in the Ivy School of Professional Art in Pittsburgh, a commercial arts school. He soon realized that he had little interest in becoming a commercial graphic artist and, after two semesters, dropped out. While in Pittsburgh, Keith continued to study on his own and in 1978 had a solo exhibition at the Pittsburgh Arts and Crafts Center. Later that same year, he moved to New York City and enrolled in the School of Visual Arts. In New York, Haring found a thriving alternative art community developing outside the gallery and museum system, in the downtown streets, subways and spaces in clubs and former dance halls. Keith was determined to devote his career to creating truly public art.
Haring became one of the most renowned artists of the late 20th century. His unique, easily recognizable style quickly became popular around the world. Through his art, Keith commented on the socio-political issues important to him, and the messages he conveyed in his art were just as important as the medium. He believed that art is for everyone and made his work freely available in public places, at that same time galleries and museums exhibited his work. He conducted art workshops with children, created logos and posters for public service agencies, and produced murals, sculptures, and paintings to benefit health centers and disadvantaged communities. Prior to his death in 1990, Haring established a foundation charged with continuing his philanthropic and artistic legacy. The Foundation supports not-for-profit organizations that assist underprivileged children, as well as organizations involved in education, research, and care related to AIDS.
During the Education Foundation meeting, officers were elected for a one year term: President, Benjamin N. Haas; VicePresident, Colonel (USMC Retired) Steve Fenstermacher; Secretary, Lynn Silan; Treasurer, Michele Zimmerman. The Executive Director continues to be Dr. Brenda Winkler.
Founded in 2000, the Kutztown Area School District Education Foundation is an independent, private non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to enhance educational opportunities in the district’s schools and to recognize the superior achievements of district students and alumni. It has raised more than $1,000,000 for scholarships and also manages monies received through the Pennsylvania Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program which enables the district to purchase technology equipment not covered by local tax dollars. Through the past year, those monies total more than $330,000 in donations.
For more about the Foundation, call 610-683-7361, ext. 5105 or visit www.kasdedfoundation.org.