Art Students Organize Mason’s First Animation Festival

Posted: December 7, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Colleen Kearney Rich

While many students are cramming for finals and typing up research papers, students from the Mason chapter of SIGGRAPH (Special Interest Group for Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques) are quickly pulling together Mason’s first animation festival. The festival, to be held on the Fairfax Campus in the Johnson Center Cinema on Friday, Dec. 9, at 8 p.m., offers an evening of animated student shorts featuring 2D, 3D and stop-motion animation and digital visual effects.

“The challenge is to put together something cohesive in a short amount of time,” says Art and Visual Technology (AVT) student April Morales, president of the chapter. Recent work by Mason students will comprise the majority of the entries, and the group will also be showing pieces from University of Massachusetts students and some recent AVT graduates.


With a final deadline of Wednesday, Dec. 7, at 10 p.m., they are definitely looking for the students’ most recent work.

“Lots of people are finishing up class projects this week,” says Morales, who hopes some of those freshly minted projects will become festival entries. In the meantime, she and the other chapter officers, Akin Bilgic, vice president, and Ines Donovan, secretary, have been working hard to get things in place.

Starting anything new, such as a student organization, requires a lot of knocking on doors and filling out paperwork. Although the group has only been recognized as a student organization for a short time, it has already sponsored an animation showcase from SIGGRAPH’s national conference earlier in the semester. As Bilgic works on the ellipsis video (the video that will run between the entries), Morales is out seeking in-kind donations for festival prizes. So far, an iPod Shuffle for first prize has been secured.

Now Morales has her eye on the future. “The digital arts program is getting bigger, and it is time we had more of a presence on campus as well as a community for the animators on campus,” she says. She hopes that presence will translate into more support and funding next semester and in the years to come.

“And if introducing a little competition through our festival motivates people to make better art,” she says, “so much the better.”

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