Art department expansion brings lots of excitement!


On the move: CMU’s art department expands in exciting new directions

Some things can’t be stopped once they pick up enough momentum. Colorado Mesa University’s Department of Art is one of those things. The department is expanding, evolving and celebrating all at once.

This year marked the 10th anniversary of the department’s Animation and Motion Graphics Festival, held in the University Center’s Meyer Ballroom. For the first time in its history, the festival spanned two days —May 7–May 8. The annual event serves as a showcase for student work in stop-motion animation, two-dimensional and three-dimensional animation, motion design, short film and video mapping, which art students and professors refer to as time-based media.

“Really it is a celebration of student work” said art professor Carolyn Quinn-Hensley.

Appropriately enough, the art department has even more reasons to beat the drum. Beginning in the fall semester, students will be able to pursue a bachelor of fine arts in film at the university. Students will learn the latest industry standards in all aspects of filmmaking, including story and character development, sound editing, photography and post-production aspects.

The department has added one full-time professor, filmmaker and alumna Katie Meade. In addition to instructing, Meade will take an integral role in shaping the new program. (Her work was also featured at the Animation and Motion Graphics Festival.) There are already students signed up for the breakout semester of the new degree.

In May 2016, students in the animation and film programs have the opportunity to visit the United Kingdom and Ireland for credit. Led by Quinn-Hensley, the class will tour the British Broadcasting Company’s studios, Warner Brother’s studios and the London Film Museum. They’ll also participate in a model-making workshop at Bristol’s Aardman Animations, home to stop-motion animation characters Wallace and Gromit.

“The program is a lot bigger, a lot broader and provides a lot more opportunities for students,” Quinn-Hensley said. “This is a big step forward for the art department and one that is very cutting edge.”

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