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CMC department showcases animation video in UICA's ArtPrize exhibit

The Grand Rapids chapter of the Animation Workshop Group, made up of Grand Valley professors and Community Media Center education staff, will be showcasing youth animation workshops for the international art competition.

More information on Animation Collaboration

To learn more about Animation Collaboration, visit their Facebook page.

For more information on Animation Collaboration's ArtPrize entry check out their ArtPrize page.

Students working on animation for the video.

Students working on animation for the video. /Animation Collaboration

Leaders of the project from left to right are: Deanna Morse, Maggie Annerino, Lynn McKeown, Suzanne Zack and Gretchen Vinnedge.

Leaders of the project from left to right are: Deanna Morse, Maggie Annerino, Lynn McKeown, Suzanne Zack and Gretchen Vinnedge. /Animation Collaboration

/Animation Collaboration

The Grand Rapids Animation Collaboration group will show their animation video before, during and after ArtPrize 2014. The video will play nonstop on a large screen in the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts from September 13 to October 26. The animation video is part of the international Animation Workshop Group that connects children in 23 different countries and four continents to create animation videos on a common theme. The theme this year was color. Each group chose one color to use in their project. The Grand Rapids Animation Collaboration group chose yellow. The video is described as a, "colorful, playful, animated mosaic of youthful storytelling.

The animation video is comprised of artwork from youth animation workshops. The video that viewers will see during ArtPrize is a combination of animation from what this Grand Rapids project has made along with segments from other countries. Clips include animation from countries such as France, Croatia, Japan, the Ukraine, China and England.

“It’s the idea that on each of these continents people are doing the same exercise. It’s a cool project because the countries are really diverse,” says Deanna Morse, emerita Professor of Film and Video Production at Grand Valley State University (GVSU).

Along with Morse, two other Grand Valley professors, Maggie Annerino, Media Studies Professor and Suzanne Zack, Film and Video Professor, are involved within the project. Gretchen Vinnedge, Education Director at the Community Media Center and Lynn McKeown, Education Project Coordinator at the CMC and the GVSU professors have all been working together for the past six years on the Animation Workshop Group. The Group is part of the International Animated Film Association. Each animation project works with children to foster their creativity skills for the animated video.

“We thought 'let’s make a video with children’s animations but within a framework that visually represents some of things we do in workshops,'” says Morse. Through the Community Media Center, they offer animation workshops and classes. The workshops focus on concepts such as creative play, color and international themes. It is an inter-generational collaboration between artists, educators, students and local and international organizations.

"Animation Collaboration is a celebration of play. Adults work with and pass the tools to children, who explore their creativity through animation art," says Morse. She explains that the project expands problem solving skills and  teaches ways for youth to think visually.

“That’s one of the cool things about animation...,” says Morse. "We’re all working nonverbally so it has a universal language."

Morse says the UICA was a perfect fit for their animation video because UICA’s exhibit is Collaboration and everyone involved within the project collaborated with kids from North Park Montessori Academy, the Boys and Girls Club, Jubilee Jobs and Community Media Center Interns.

“It was like fate that the UICA’s theme was collaboration,” says Vinnedge.

“The cool part of this collaboration is that we have all of these professionals who are coming in with different skill sets. Everybody has got their own strengths but we’re connected by our love of animation and the fact that we like to work with children,” says Morse. “We also believe that by teaching production techniques and animation to kids then they become more critical viewers.”

The animation process, explain Morse and Vinnedge, includes filming an object or art piece and then moving it and film again, repeating this process over and over again for the project.

It took about six days of filming for the video. The majority of the kids who helped with the project were grade school age. Vinnedge says that she was happy to find that the children were quite patient during the filming process.

“When we showed them the video, you should have seen the look on their faces,” says Morse. "The children were amazed with the finished product."

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