Foreign troops have invaded America. It seems as though the world is coming to an end. Esther has to choose between panicking, committing suicide or doing what needs to be done.
So begins Esther at the End of the World, a three-minute video by media arts student Katrina Vollbracht. Determined not to be a victim of circumstances, Esther takes the Wonder Woman costume from her kids’ old toy box, gets a handgun and goes out to fight.
The video is displayed in the annual Media Arts Student Exhibition in the Building 11 Main Gallery. In the adjacent gallery is the annual Graphic Design Student Exhibition.
The pieces on display are the creations of media arts and graphic design students who have reached the level of professionalism in their work that qualifies for public showcases. These gallery pieces represent important inclusions for student résumés and become part of larger portfolios.
More than 60 pieces by individuals and groups are on display in the two student exhibitions.
“There are some really talented students,” Art and Applied Design instructor Jan Halvorsen said. “I think it’s a really strong show.”
“Queens of the Stone Age,” by graphic design student Tracy Klocko, is among the works on display.
“The whole look of it just drew me to it,” Lane student Jake Dolores said.
The boldly colored piece depicts a woman with 10 human skulls hanging from flowers in her hair. Her facial expression and makeup, in particular, are eliciting comments from viewers about history, status and human attitudes and emotions.
“The skulls could represent the slaves of the age she lived in,” Dolores said. “I don’t think I would like her. I think she would be really stuck-up, like royalty.”
Even though the woman looked unfriendly and even arrogant to Dolores, he said she looked sad as well.
Lane student Claudia Mojarro, also commenting on the piece, said she thought the woman looked amazing.
“I’m wondering what the skulls are for,” Mojarro said. “And the way her makeup is done makes her look sad.”
Presenting their work in shows is an important way for media arts and graphic design students and professionals to gain exposure.
“Presenting and exhibiting is a never ending part of being a media arts maker,” Art and Applied Design instructor Jefferson Goolsby said. “So at some point, you have to hit that level. So this (exhibit) is saying, ‘You are starting to hit that level.’ People can come and see some of the cool work that’s being done by students. It’s much more diverse than people realize.”
The exhibitions are a way for students to demonstrate their skills and the levels of diversity and complexity they have reached. Vollbracht worked a full term on her project from concept to finished product. She wrote the script, created the storyboard, cast the actors, arranged the lighting and sound, and did the camera work and the editing.
“It was a really important piece for me that’s been brewing for a long time,” Vollbracht said. “I wanted to do it right.”