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MIAD FYE Media Arts Festival names Best of Fest winners

MIAD’s First Year Experience Media Arts Festival took place at the beginning of December and showcased work from 43 students who completed the FYE 151 Digital 4D course during Spring and Fall 2022. Participants submitted creative works ranging from video, sound design and digital animation to stop motion and gifs. 

Of the 43 students, four Best of the Fest winners were selected by two external jurors, Emir Cakaroz and Marquise Mays, both of whom are media professionals currently teaching at UW-Milwaukee’s Peck School of the Arts. The Best of the Fest winners are Arahin Beltran for “Meet by the Limelight,” Kaden Green for “Lighten Up Day Tripper,” Leah Krumrai for “Life,” and Ella Parris for “Sneepin’s Songbird Search.” 

Beltran, whose submission “Meet by the Limelight” combines long exposure photography with stop motion animation, says inspiration for the project came from the song “Afterthought” by Joji. “I developed this vision by purchasing a toy vehicle as my main subject, as well as some fairy lights to light the car, and expressing the magic of long exposure. I used a blackboard as a “road” and a screen monitor as a background,” says Beltran. “This project was challenging since it needed me to use a skill that I’m good at and incorporate it into a field I know very little about in order to produce something that I think is so far one of my best works and that I’m proud of.”

Parris (“Sneepin’s Songbird Search”) has always admired animated media with “slightly unsettling themes” and appreciated having creative control of this project. For her main character’s design, she developed a creature called Sneepin that “looked like it could live in the forest… [I] settled on something that resembles a strange rabbit.” She recorded Sneepin’s voice lines using an oboe and created the unsettling bird calls using GarageBand. “Going to MIAD has been incredibly impactful for me as an artist coming from a small town,” she says. “I’ve really enjoyed my professors and the creative assignments that have resulted in a lot of work that I’ve been really proud of… I’ve met so many other talented artists who I’m very thankful to call my friends who continue to inspire me, and I look forward to my future years at MIAD with them.”

Faculty who taught the Digital 4D courses were proud and supportive of the hard work all of their students put into their projects. “This is a wonderful professional development opportunity for [Digital 4D] students to prepare their time-based media work for public presentation and to have their works reviewed by jurors who are time-based media professionals,” says Assistant Professor Janelle VanderKelen, who organized the festival. The festival was made possible by multiple members of the Digital 4D faculty and the MIAD community: Kate Schaffer, Zina Mussmann, Morgan Bouldes, James Barany, Jamál Currie, Jeremy McDonnell and Janelle VanderKelen, and the rest of the First Year Experience faculty.

Learn more about MIAD’s First Year Experience!

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