Vancouver – This past Thursday evening we ventured into the big city to take in the latest presentations from the Art Institute’s graduating class. This was also our first visit to the school’s new campus on Renfrew Street, and it’s an incredible building. As always, we were impressed with the level of talent possessed by this new generation of artists, programmers and designers – and they are all deserving of recognition. However, the work of two students really stood out to me.
First is the work of matte painter Rebecca Williams. Rebecca’s work is highly detailed, and she works hard to make sure that all of the pieces fit – mood, lighting, depth and as mentioned, details. Rebecca was able to talk confidently about her work, passion and reasons for choosing to become a matte painter – just some of the qualities I look for when I question the grad students about their projects.
Also deserving of recognition is Modeler and Texture artist Susan Gao. Although not featured here, her model of a Caterpillar 797 Dump Truck is what caught my eye. You can see the model on her web site, though. Again, Susan shows attention to detail, mood and has a very high quality to her work, and spoke confidently about her abilities as well as about what she would like see herself doing in the future.
Overall, the AI students put on some very good displays, and for the most part were able to conduct good interviews. However, I found that the layout of the grad presentation rooms was not welcoming, and it was at times very hot and stuffy in the classrooms where they were set up, and overcrowding was a problem, which made it difficult to view some of the work on display. Hopefully future presentations will correct this problem and make it easier to visit with each student. We here at Village Gamer wish all of the graduating students the best of luck with their future endeavours.
Friday was National Digital Media Day, and we spent the evening at Appy Hour, presented by The Social Agency at The Diamond in Gastown. There was some excellent networking happening, and the presentations from the CBC’s digital guru Jonathan Carrigan and Michael Fergusson, CEO of Ayogo were both informative and at times amusing. Event sponsor Rogers Communications also made a very brief presentation to kick things off, and I actually would have liked to have heard more on what the company had to say about the future of wireless communications and innovation in Canada. Congratulations to Kirstin, Kelly and Monica for a well-done event.
Appy Hour was followed by Vancouver’s first NDMD flash mob dance, led by Lynda Brown and friends at the intersection of Powell, Alexander and Carrall Streets. The dancers entertained passing traffic, and got more than a few honks of support and even more than just a quick glance from motorists. A few people walking down the street joined in, and I’m sure the patio crowd over at Chill Winston’s enjoyed the entertainment. Lynda enjoyed the experiment, and rumour is that she’s pondering future flash mob dance events in support of the digital media industry. It will be great to see more people join in with future street dances, and it was also nice to see that not one motorist got upset about traffic interruptions. You can take a look at some of our video below, shot by Scott with his iPhone, because for some reason my Canon does not wish to part with the movie files on its card. Next time, we bring the DVD recorder.