I'm excited to be halfway through the Quality Matters training workshop! This is the third class towards my online teaching certification and it's widely recognized at a ton of different colleges. Big thanks to Janice Nesser and Julia Jenner for setting this up and to Anne Wessely for being a great workshop facilitator!
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.
Last night, I received a Certificate of Alumni Accomplishment from the St. Louis Community College Board of Trustees. I'm so honored to have received not one, but two, of these awards in the past decade. I was given the award in recognition of all I've done as a teacher there, in particular, setting up a mentorship program for recent STLCC - Florissant Valley Animation graduates.
For this program, I selected a diverse group of very talented recent graduates. These artists work as my apprentices, helping me with the art and animation on an animated series, as well as other paid opportunities. I was awarded a grant from the RAC which I’m using to pay them for their work. My hope is that this will provide them with a stepping stone to continue to hone their skills and gain professional experience to keep their careers moving forward.
Animation is, by nature, a collaborative process. It's been a lot of fun getting to work with other animators on something we all enjoy.
It was the strangest thing, Alexis Nugent, the College's Marketing and Communications Coordinator emailed me with a bunch of questions about my time in the Regional Arts Commission's Fellowship at the Center for Emerging Technologies which I'd participated in. Turns out they decided to do an article about it and it's actually on the front page of the college's website!
I'm not sure how long it'll be there, but here's the permalink to the story stlcc.edu/Newsroom/2018/January/News4.html Needless to say, I'm very flattered! ^_^
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.
It's official, I am now Department Coordinator of Graphic Communications at Flo Valley! Yay!! A huge thank you to everyone who helped me during this process, your support has meant so much!
Watch out, Spring 2017, cuz here I come, loaded with even more drive and determination to make this program the best one in the district!!