WCC Visual Arts Students Showcase Job Skills
Mark Dull’s stop-action photographs could easily grace the pages of Sports Illustrated. And Cindy Borsvold’s kaleidoscopes might be the next bestselling toy at any Target store.
They were two of approximately 40 students displaying their work at the WCC Visual Arts Technology portfolio exhibition April 27. This year’s showcase emphasized marketability, from entrepreneurial endeavors such as portrait photography and special-product design to skills in the high-demand fields of animation and digital video.
“There is always a lot of work out there, although sometimes you have to work harder to find it,” said Bill Burgard, a successful freelance illustrator and part-time college instructor who was one of several professionals to provide feedback on the students’ work.
Although many graduates of WCC’s School of Visual Arts are preparing to step into a job, others like Stacy Diehl are looking forward to continuing their studies.
“I’m transferring to the Savannah College of Art and Design this fall for a BFA in photography,” Diehl said. “I hope to continue on for my master’s because I want to teach and present in galleries. I’ve learned so much here at Washtenaw, I’d love to share the knowledge.”
WCC 3D animation instructor Randy Van Wagnen shared his enthusiasm for teaching and his students as he demonstrated their work on a special flat-screen monitor.
“The first time we offered this capstone class our students were hired before they finished, and they worked very hard for it,” said Van Wagnen. “Many of them are working today in commercial art making training videos.”
In an adjacent auditorium, students were being judged on their skills and savvy in areas such as editing, camera work and lighting, spot/PSA production, and documentary filmmaking.
“The work was excellent across the board,” said judge Cathy Smillie, who was impressed by the sophistication of the 46 videos presented this year. “It’s always difficult choosing the best production because each one is unique and features special skills and talents.” Students who won video awards include:
- Stephen Good: Best in Show
- Vince Kasaba: Editing
- Dennis Pearlman: Camera work and lighting
- Brian Barr: Spot/PSA
- Kyle Thomas: Documentary