Over the quarter break I've spent quite a bit of time adding and revising course content. You can read about the new features in my reflections on teaching documentation.
We're also busy getting ready for this year's Blockhead Festival, now in its 11th year! Poster art by animation student Mike Wisniewski ...
This month we hosted the latest in a series of Networking and Internship panels at the school. Information on the event appears in my professional development documentation.
I was priveleged to advise photographers from Target Creative in their thoughts about how computer graphics could help them with their process of creating product images for their catalog and social media outlets. Several of their photographers sat in on one of my Materials and Lighting lectures, and they were generous in hosting the class for a tour of their studio. You can see photos from the event in my professional development documentation.
This month I co-hosted Ai Minnesota's inaugural Big Bi-Quarterly Animation Challenge along with fellow instructor Jon Dege. The team of about a dozen students drew "ingredients" from a hat: a person, action, place, and genre ... and then collectively had to write and produce a short animation using those themes in just 24 hours' time! It was great giving the students an opportunity to experience an aggressive schedule and a studio-like pipeline, and Jon and I enjoyed seeing how the students reconciled what came out of the hat: rock-star wannabe, walking a dog, Carl's Jr. restaurant, and film noir. You can see the result of the 24-hour challenge, "Respect the Burger," here.
I also assisted in preparing assets for Ai's participation in this year's Made Here event, hosted by Hennepin Theatre Trust. The student short "A Celebration of Biking in Minneapolis" is featured on the storefront of our Pence building (on the corner of Hennepin Avenue and 8th Street), both as a projected animation and a series of character prints from the short.
I am honored to have won the Ai Minnesota 2014 Faculty Excellence Award for Scholarly and/or Creative Work in an Academic Discipline!
Many thanks to those students and faculty who were kind enough to write nominations, and to the Faculty Excellence Committee for their selection. I also celebrated the spring quarter grads at their commencement ceremony and senior screening, and I presented my MFA thesis work at our summer faculty development session. I added faculty development hours through a variety of activities, including putting together a themed tour at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Finally, our Media Arts & Animation program hosted an informative Professional Advisory Committee meeting, and I enthusiastically attended "Pixar in Concert" with the Minnesota Orchestra.
I have added an updated teaching section to my portfolio. I'm setting a goal to be better about updating things as I go from now on! In the animation section, I have included the in-depth process book that I wrote for my Emerald Ash Borer PSA "Cycle of Destruction."
In completing my Master of Fine Arts in Visual Studies at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, I am publishing "Geothermal Energy: Enhancing Our Future" and its supporting thesis "Sci Candy: Animation-Based Learning and the Next Wave of Science Education."
The animation is now featured on the sustainable energy outreach effort energypathways.org, and it took 2nd place in the Independent category of the Minnesota Electronic Theater. Kudos to all involved in the creation of the project!