Month: April 2021

(via UConn Today) MFA Exhibits at Benton Showcase Work by DMD, Studio Art Students

MFA Exhibits at Benton Showcase Work by DMD, Studio Art Students

Work that celebrates the collaboration that can take place in the arts

April 21, 2021 | Kenneth Best – UConn Communications
MFA Exhibits at Benton Showcase Work by DMD, Studio Art Students
Work that celebrates the collaboration that can take place in the arts

One of the attractions for enrolling in the Master of Fine Arts in Digital Media & Design (DMD) is the opportunity to work on collaborative projects within the community of creative artists in the School of Fine Arts and beyond.

As a senior in film studies at Chung-Ang University, one of South Korea’s leading private comprehensive research universities, Hongju (Hannah) Lim was becoming interested in exploring 3D animation, and also wanted to work more collaboratively with other visual media. One of her professors told her about UConn’s MFA in DMD.

“DMD brings together multiple disciplines. I thought, if I go there I will have the opportunity to really collaborate with others, and I really did,” says Lim, who is completing the DMD MFA program this spring. “During my graduate study, I’ve worked on developing animations for projection mapping in the lobby of The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford and I’ve also created scientific visualizations in collaboration with researchers in the Department of Marine Sciences and with other DMD students.”

Lim’s MFA thesis project, the 3D animated short film “Ensemble,” is part of the annual Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition at The William Benton Museum of Art, which continues online at The Benton website. The exhibition includes works by graduating Studio Art and DMD MFA students. The Studio Art exhibition, titled “Sour Milk,” features works in photography, mixed media, video, animation, book arts, drawing, printmaking, and painting. The DMD exhibition, titled “Turning Point,” features 2D and 3D animations, UI/UX interactions and designs, digital games, and virtual reality.

Lim’s work “Ensemble” tells the story of a young composer who ignores his outgoing neighbors as he struggles to write music. Ultimately, he learns that the answer to making powerful music is not in his isolation, but in his interactions with neighbors. In the film, the composer leads his neighbors as they play their own instruments, which allows him to complete his new composition. Lim says the film reflects her own experiences.

“In my undergraduate years, people would ask me to spend some time with them, such as traveling to other cities together or going over to their houses to talk and play. However, I said ‘No, I need to study, I need to write my script because I need to concentrate on my school work,’” she says. “After I came here to the USA, I have noticed that for all those years I have missed my chance to learn from people around me. This new environment has helped me to learn by looking around at the people, places, and cultures that surround me. ‘Ensemble’ shows that the more you disconnect from reality, the more likely you will be to miss out on valuable interactions.”

Lim focused on character animation during her MFA work and telling stories about young adults and children. She originally wrote the script for “Ensemble” using only young adult characters but thought the storyline was too serious. She added children and music to the script to make it both lighter and more meaningful.

“Adding characters who are children to my film really conveyed what I want to say through the animation. Children are genuine and innocent, so their silly actions are more easily accepted. I believe the protagonist decided to spend time with the children because instinctively he doesn’t want to hurt their feelings. I decided to make the protagonist a composer, because music is something that can be very personal, but it is also something that you could collaborate on together,” she says. Lim has collaborated with a Korean music producer Ju Won Lee in making music for “Ensemble.”

In addition to Lim, the 2021 DMD MFA Exhibition “Turning Point” features the work of: Emma Atkinson, “when we were,” virtual reality video game; Yucheng Hang, “Cybertown,” interactive educational platform; Wenchao Lou, “Memory-Home-Food,” 2D cooking game; Claudia Nunez, “As You Wish,” 2D animation and pitch bible; and Renoj Varghese, “Microinteractions in Chatbots,” interaction design.

The 2021 MFA Studio Art exhibition “Sour Milk” considers what has soured, creating potential for positive change or harmful destruction. Judith Thorpe, professor of photography and MFA Program director, and Janet Pritchard, professor of photography and MFA Project Seminar coordinator, noted the challenges faced by this year’s MFA class: “Graduating during the time of COVID-19, the class of 2021 has encountered challenges never before imagined. Last year’s class bravely pivoted mid-spring while this year’s class continued facing a year of uncertainty. Blocked from their studios for months, they encountered and mastered alternate means of instruction, conception, production, and fabrication, always adjusting on the fly, driven by their will to create. We celebrate their accomplishments. They challenged themselves, creating new work in unexpected ways that reflect their insights and development over the past three years. Their creative work asks questions and then asks more questions. Their art is visual poetry that will continue to grow and develop after graduate school.”

“Sour Milk” features works by Joseph Caster, photography; Shelby Charlesworth, mixed media installation; Rachel Dickson, photography and video; Paul Michael, books arts and video; and Magdalena Pawlowski, painting and etchings.

An Emerging Artist Talk with the Studio Art MFA candidates will take place on Wednesday April 21 from 3 to 5 p.m. EDT via Zoom. Visit the online exhibition to register.


See original story via UConn Today:

(Via UConn Today) ‘Along the Waves’ Puts Music in Motion Through Animation

‘Along the Waves’ premieres April 21 at 6 p.m. online

A dancer’s image from the animation of “Prélude en Berceuse,” the first movement of “Au Gré Des Ondes (Along the Waves) “ composed by Henri Dutilleux. The music in the first movement was performed by Morgan Lee ’22 SFA, a doctoral candidate in piano, and animated by Jonathan Goodrich ’21 SFA.
A dancer’s image from the animation of “Prélude en Berceuse,” the first movement of “Au Gré Des Ondes (Along the Waves) “ composed by Henri Dutilleux. The music in the first movement was performed by Morgan Lee ’22 SFA, a doctoral candidate in piano, and animated by Jonathan Goodrich ’21 SFA. (Contributed photo)

When the coronavirus pandemic paused in-person events and online streaming became the main venue for arts performances, two professors in the UConn School of Fine Arts started thinking about a project that would showcase their students’ creative talents.

Anna Lindemann, assistant professor of motion design and animation in the Department of Digital Media & Design (DMD), and Angelina Gadeliya, assistant professor-in-residence of piano and coordinator of keyboard studies in the Department of Music, developed a semester-long collaboration for their piano and animation students.

“We wanted to bring together talents within the School of Fine Arts to create an exciting online program,” Lindemann says. “We asked ourselves how animation can bring music to life during a time when live performance isn’t possible, and how music can inspire new ways of developing and structuring animation.”

The result is a short, animated music program called “Along the Waves,” which will premiere online on Wednesday, April 21 at 6 p.m.The program honors the 75th anniversary of the work “Au Gré Des Ondes (Along the Waves),” composed by Henri Dutilleux. Comprised of six short character pieces for solo piano, the title of the work suggests both “ocean” and “radio” waves. The animated music program also features “Prelude No. 10 in E minor (WTC I)” by Johann Sebastian Bach, a work that Dutilleux pays homage to in the fifth movement of his own composition.

Dutilleux’s small body of published compositions won international praise and follows in the tradition of Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy. Those who commissioned works from him include Mstislav Rostropovich, Isaac Stern, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Renée Fleming and Seiji Ozawa. He served as the head of music production for Radio France for nearly two decades, was a faculty member of leading music conservatories in Paris, and was twice composer in residence at the Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox, Massachusetts.

“I think of music as very visual already,” says Gadeliya. “We’re trying to decode what the composer is trying to say; what is the mood and the character of each piece of the six short pieces? All of these sounds can inspire colors from each musician. The closer you get to the spirit of the composition as the interpreter, the easier it is for the visual artist to bring life to that music through animation.”

Seven pianists and seven animators collaborated in pairings to develop a music animation during the spring semester. Gadeliya worked individually with each musician as they learned and then recorded a movement from the program, and Lindemann guided animators in her Advanced Motion Media class.

“One of the things we prioritized was empowering each collaborative pair to develop their own visual interpretations of the music,” Lindemann says. “Each pair met independently to develop concepts for the animation before receiving guidance from Professor Gadeliya and me. We used the class as a way to workshop and critique the animations as they developed.”

Morgan Lee ’22 (SFA), a doctoral candidate in piano, collaborated with Jonathan Goodrich ’21 (SFA), a senior in the Motion Design and Animation concentration in DMD, to develop the animated music for the first movement of program, “I. Prélude en Berceuse.”

“We had conversations leading up to the animation as I was learning the music,” Lee says. “We had discussions talking about imagery and structure. I mapped out the major shifts in the music measure-by-measure as a way to guide the visual development. We also had to take into consideration that it’s more time intensive to develop a three-minute animation than it is for a trained musician to learn and record a three-minute musical piece. As Jonathan was finishing drafts and doing storyboard ideas I was giving my feedback as a musician.”

Goodrich says his early suggestion of using a ballet dancer as the core image in the animation changed as they continued their discussions and they began to consider a mirage-like quality for the animation.

“I made rough drafts of how those visuals would look,” he says. “We built on that with a surreal ballet-inspired sequence where the figure dances through changing shapes to match the color tones as the music changes from light and innocent to a more sinister feeling. We wanted to reflect that in the movement and the colors of the project. I decided to go in the direction of a more simplified visual style for the figure, like Matisse’s cut-paper figures.”

During the animation, the ballet figure transforms from a person to an angel to a centipede-like creature and then back to a dancer. Goodrich created the animation using Cinema 4D, a 3D animation software, along with Adobe Illustrator for illustration and Adobe After Effects, a motion graphics software.

In addition to “I. Prélude en Berceuse,” the music animations for “Along the Waves” include:

• “II. Claquettes (Tap-dancing),” Tristan Wong ’23 (SFA), piano; Quinn Erno ’22 (SFA), animation
• “III. Improvisation,” Emma Bocciarelli ’23 (SFA), piano; Mitchell Lisowski ’21 (SFA), animation
• “IV. Movement perpétual,” Oswald Tang ’24 (SFA), piano; Cassidy Keller ’21 (SFA), animation
• “V. Hommage à Bach,” Sofia DiNatale ’23 (SFA), piano; Gillian Partyka ’21 (SFA), animation
• “VI. Etude,” Niccolo Meniconi ’21 (SFA), piano; Davis Peng ’22 (SFA), animation
• Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Prelude No. 10 in E minor BWV 85” from The Well Tempered Clavier, Ilinka Manova ’22 (SFA), piano; Antonio Ariola ’21 (SFA), animation

The animated music program “Along the Waves,” featuring music by Dutilleux and Bach, can be seen online via Zoom on Wednesday, April 21 at 6 p.m. A discussion with the pianists and animators follows the program, which is free and open to the public. Advanced registration required.

Article From UConn Today

Unraveled: 2021 UConn DMD BFA Senior Exhibition

Graduating BFA seniors from the University of Connecticut Department of Digital Media & Design are excited to showcase their senior project work in the virtual exhibition Unraveled. The online exhibition launches Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at In addition, an online screening featuring film and animation premieres will take place via YouTube on Friday May 7, 2021 at 7pm EDT at Unraveled is presented by UConn Digital Media & Design (DMD) and the Virtual Jorgensen Gallery at the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts. All events are free and open to the public.

Unraveled features the work of 22 senior UConn DMD Bachelor of Fine Arts students from both Storrs and Stamford campuses. Exhibited artworks range from 2D and 3D animations to narrative and documentary films, digital publications, interactive websites, and games. The title Unraveled reflects the feelings and reimagined workflows of the exhibiting artists’ senior year. Everything they may have planned – or thought would be – became “unraveled.” For many of them, this tumultuous year not only influenced the trajectory of their projects, but also the subject of their work. 


The exhibition includes work by the following students:

Simone Alston (Greenwich, Conn.), Glittergirl Online, 2D animation

Andrea Blanco (Stamford, Conn.), Amor, Sabor, Esfuerzo, short documentary film

Destin Brown (New Haven, Conn.), An Artist’s Struggle, 3D animation

Meaghan Doherty (Enfield, Conn.), Viscid Xenogenics, 2D video game

Isaiah Edwards (New Haven, Conn.), BLACK SATURATION, short film

Nicole Ellis (Vernon, Conn.), I Try to MAGIC a Plant!!!, 2D animation

Mackenzie Fox (Stony Point, N.Y.), Through a Glass, 2D video game

Sophia Galante (New Haven, Conn.), Sleight of Hand, 2D animation

Alisia Gruendel (Branford, Conn.), Balter, 2D animatic

Katelyn Jepsen (Norwell, Mass.), Flecks, 3D modeling/2D animation

Cassidy Keller (Sandy Hook, Conn.), Where I Call Home, 2D animation and video

Jake Limone (Norwalk, Conn.), Abductee, narrative short film

Lynette Muse (Oklahoma City, Okla.), Oh,Chickens!, 3D animation

Akari Ohashi (Lexington, Mass.), out/o, 2D animation

Gillian Partyka (Summerville, S.C.), The Eastern Tower, 2D animation

Jakub Pirog (Stratford, Conn.), JR SPECS: The Come Up, short documentary film

Carlos Rivera (New London, Conn.), Mount Tolkien: “Out of Time,” 2D animation 

Michael Russell (Madison, Conn.), My 2020 Process Book, multimedia book

Dana Santillana (Waterford, Conn.), Spiraling, 3D animation

Josh Stanavage (Colchester, Conn.), Take a Walk, mobile website

Marcella Vertefeuille (Ashford, Conn.), Personality, 2D animation

Anthony Zor (Bethel, Conn.), Lost Souls, narrative short film


The University of Connecticut’s Department of Digital Media & Design creates future leaders in entertainment, design, business, and communications. Students can study animation, film/video production, game design, web/interactive media design, digital media business strategies, and digital humanities. Our commitment to experiential learning prepares our students to respond to real-world challenges, and we encourage students to find and express their voice, building from their unique background and perspective. We acknowledge that a diversity of thought and expression is needed in today’s society and see great promise in our DMD students’ abilities to make a difference in the world as future digital media content creators, distributors, and analyzers.


The University of Connecticut’s School of Fine Arts balances artistic and cultural legacies with the innovative approaches and techniques of contemporary art. In doing so, the School of Fine Arts serves students at UConn in both their educational and their professional development. The outstanding faculty from the four academic departments (Art & Art History, Digital Media & Design, Dramatic Arts, and Music) are committed to providing rigorous professional education and all offer undergraduate and graduate degrees. The academic programs are supported by specialized and uniquely focused showcases, stages, exhibition spaces and forums which include the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts, The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, The William Benton Museum of Art, Contemporary Art Galleries, Connecticut Repertory Theatre, and von der Mehden Recital Hall.




If you would like more information about the 2021 BFA Exhibition, email Stacy Webb at


Download a .pdf of this press release.