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Press Release

Eric Sloss

For immediate release:
March 7, 2003

Carnegie Mellon's School of Design to Dedicate the Smillie Digital Imaging Lab

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University's School of Design will dedicate the Robert Smillie Digital Imaging Laboratory 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. on March 12 in Room 221 of the Margaret Morrison Building on the Carnegie Mellon campus.

The new, state-of-the-art Robert Smillie Digital Imaging Laboratory has been made possible by a gift from Virginia Kaufman, in memory of Robert Smillie. Smillie's Penn-Art studio, established in 1945, became a significant part of Pittsburgh's graphic arts presence during its 50 years of existence. Kaufman was vice president of Penn-Art Incorporated and later a partner in Penn Art Associates.

"Robert Smillie, with whom I worked at Penn-Art for many years, was an outstanding individual as well as a talented graphic artist. When I explored the possibilities of connecting Bob's name to something in a meaningful way it became clear that Carnegie Mellon's School of Design was a perfect fit. Bob saw the rise of computers in graphic design not just as a way to eliminate some of the drudgery familiar to his generation of artists but as something that could free designers to be even more inventive and productive," said Kaufman. "It is fitting that the lab will provide students with the latest technology and will now bear the name of an artist who saw the potential so clearly."

Smillie's wife, Mary, and daughter, Carol, find the tribute to him a fitting recognition of his interest in design and his enthusiasm for new technologies for artists. Plans for the laboratory were conceived and developed by Daniel Boyarski, head of the School of Design and Richard Buchanan professor in the School of Design.

"The Smillie Lab is a wonderful facility that will give students the opportunity to explore and grow in all aspects of design," said Boyarski. The School of Design is one of five schools in Carnegie Mellon's College of Fine Arts. The College of Fine Arts is a community of nationally and internationally recognized artists and professionals organized into five schools: Architecture, Art, Design, Drama and Music, and their associated centers and programs. For more information on the dedication or the College of Fine Arts contact Eric Sloss at 412-268-5765 or email


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