Students from the Graphic Arts Association will be selling their work at Anime STL this weekend. The students have spent the past year working under the guidance of Neko Pilarcik-Tellez to produce original T-Shirts, Prints, Buttons, Stickers, and Video Game Controller skins. Anime STL is the region’s largest anime convention, drawing over 5000 attendees. Their Artists’ Alley is a juried space and the students beat out some stiff competition to be accepted in. Neko and her students will be there all weekend, so if you happen to be there, stop by and say hi.
The Graphic Arts Association, Fine Art Club, and Photography Club partnered up for a whirlwind tour of Kansas City last Friday. 26 students boarded the bus at 5:30 in the morning to spend the day visiting art museums, galleries, and film / animation studios.
In the morning, the students toured the campus of the Kansas City Art Institute and visited the Kemper Art Museum and the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum. Many of my animation students were excited to see the animation and illustration spaces at KCAI. Julia Welles was kind enough to lead our tour group and spend time answering the many questions of my two students who will be transferring to KCAI in the fall.
That afternoon the groups split up to explore downtown Kansas City. Michael Quintero and Christine Giancola took students to the Crossroads Arts District to visit art galleries and photograph the city. Neko Pilarcik-Tellez arranged tours of two animation studios: Wide Awake Films and Intake Studio. At the studios, students got a behind-the-scenes look at how animation is produced for big-name clients like the National Geographic Channel and AMC Theaters. It was a fun day, packed with new experiences for all.
On Friday, January 12th CIC St. Louis hosted ARTrepreneurs: Designing Bridges for Creative Innovation, a showcase featuring artwork created by the 2017 RAC Artists Cohort at CET.
I was one of 6 artists chosen from the St. Louis area, by the Regional Arts Commissions of St. Louis (RAC), to participate in this pilot program which helps partner artists with the local start-up and entrepreneur community at the Center for Emerging Technologies (CET) and the Cortex Innovation Community (CIC). Each artist selected has plans to start or grow an art-related business in the St. Louis area. This has given me the chance to meet with people that can help me better understand the business side of doing art.
For the past nine years, I’ve had a business doing animation and illustrations for clients in the entertainment industry however, that has always been working on other people’s projects. The RAC program gave me the opportunity to finally work on something all my own. My project has been the development of a new kind of animated series designed specifically for online viewing. I can’t get into too many specifics as this stage, but working on it has been a very exciting and rewarding experience.
At the ARTrepreneurs event my team and I debuted the animatic and concept art for the animated series. The event was extremely well attended, the room was packed! It was wonderful getting feedback from a live audience on the animatic, and a great way to celebrate everything I and my fellow artists have accomplished while working at the CET.
A big thanks goes out to Liz Pund - Program Manager at RAC, Christy Maxfield and Rikki Henry - Project Coordinators at the CET, and David Alexander - Cohort Leader for facilitating this wonderful opportunity. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention my fellow Artists in the cohort:
- Bianca Fitzpatrick, Singer/Songwriter and Fashion Enthusiast
- Gina Grafos, Visual Artist
- Tim Hykes, User Experience Designer
- Lindsay Obermeyer, Artist and Creative Entrepreneur
- Kevin Street, Dancer and Musician
It's been so inspiring to work with such amazingly talented people. I'm so glad to have been a part of this. Okay... now it's time to get back to work on the animation!
The Art-In, an annual tradition in the Florissant Valley Art Department, treated students to a productive, inspiring and fun evening of art. Highlights included an amazing Shibori dying workshop taught by our Featured Artist, Lydia Crespo of Argaman and Defiance, who came in from Chicago to join us. The wildly popular Aromatherapy Workshop taught by our Contemporary Art Gallery Director, Deb Jenkins. A fast-paced and fun series of Art Games lead by me, Neko Pilarcik-Tellez. A studio lighting set-up for photography, courtesy of Doug Gaubatz and Christine Giancola-Youngberg. Last but certainly not least, the annual six-hour long Marathon Figure Drawing session lead by Bob Langnas. In addition to all that, students enjoyed all night access to labs and studio spaces, a movie/ video game room, and lots and lots of food!
It was my pleasure to take the lead in coordinating this year's events, but I could not have done it without the talent and dedication of all the faculty and staff who volunteered their time before, during and after the event to make it all happen. A special thank you to Julia Jenner, our Assistant Department Chair, for her help in marking this happen. It's always inspiring to see what our little department can do when we all pull together. Truly, one of the best nights of the year!
Event photos courtesy of Janice Nesser-Chu, Dean of Liberal Arts at STLCC Florissant Valley
HEC-TV's Scope did a very nice piece on the gallery exhibition. Big thanks to Paul Langdon for producing the piece and Alexis Nugent for setting it up!
I've been helping our Gallery Director, Deb Jenkins, with promoting our latest gallery exhibition: Black Girl Culture by Scheherazade Tillet. I worked with our new Marketing and Communications person, Alexis Nugent, to get the word out and secure some media coverage for the event. Also made flyers, of course.
Scheherazade was kind enough to fly directly in from L.A. and spend two days with our students doing workshops. The first one was "Art and Social Change" which involved a really interesting presentation by Scheherazade followed by the students collaborating on the creation of art focused on social change. The second was a portraiture workshop in Erica Popp and Giada's class. The events culminated with the gallery reception and artist talk Thursday night.
A very cool event! The exhibition will continue through April 7th so if you're in St. Louis it's definitely worth checking out!
Black Girl Culture Art Exhibit
Feb. 27 – April 7
Contemporary Gallery (IR-111)
About the Exhibit:
Black Girl Culture is a pioneering photographic exhibition that gives black teens a safe place to tell their stories. The exhibition is the brainchild of photographer and youth organizer Scheherazade Tillet, who founded a nonprofit that uses art to inspire young women and protect girls from violence in her Chicago community.
Those who know me know that I tend to like to make my Birthday by doing tons and tons of work, usually Flo Valley related. Well, this year I got a two-in-one Birthday treat: taking my students to the Global Game Jam at UMSL! My students split up across a couple teams and I joined my friends, Caitlin Moriarty and Jen Patton on another team. We spent the weekend attempting to build a working video game prototype.
Spending the whole weekend hanging out and doing something creative was a lot of fun, it's been waaaay too long since I've done something like that. We didn't get it finished but I did get a chance to do character designs and animation for a nice little trailer to the game. Big thanks to Caitlin for writing the script and Jan for PM-ing, background art, and editing the trailer.
Game play mock-up. Basically, it's a simple avoidance game where you jump from one Cosmic Wave to another trying to avoid the Space Jellies. If they hit you they glom on to the ship slowing it down until, eventually it gets completely stuck.
My students always inspire me! This is the show card I made to advertise this year's Animation Showcase at STLCC - Florissant Valley. I wanted to give a nod to my students' soon-to-be-published graphic novel, "Galactic Axolotls", and my Animation Tech. 2D class's very ambitious stop-motion project, "My Past".
I took one of the main characters from "Galactic Axolotls" (character designed by Megan O'Loughlin) and rendered him in the style of "My Past" (Animated by Ca'jion Starr, Tommy Benoist, and Karolyn Zheng). This is the end result. It was really fun incorporating their very different styles and ideas into an illustration.
The website is now live at DrawingFergusonTogether.org! Originally the committee wasn’t planning on having a website and instead just using EventBrite and Facebook for information. I felt pretty strongly that spreading the info across multiple places wasn’t a good idea; we needed a central location for everything related to the event.
Knowing I would encounter resistance because “websites are expensive and hard to build” (they’re actually not) I decided to just mock one up and present it to the committee. Better to ask for forgiveness than permission, right? My plan worked and now we have a website.
I'm still waiting on some info from the committee before I can fully populate it (final event schedule, etc.) but it's pretty much there. If you wanna check it out go to: DrawingFergusonTogether.org and if you happen to live in the St. Louis area you may wanna consider attending, should be a really interesting and fun event!