A project that started at Lane Community College led one alumnus across the country to continue his education, find his passion and start working with some of the most advanced technology of the modern world.
From 2006-2008, Jackson Snellings was attending LCC working on a transfer degree in Visual Arts. Getting his start at Lane, Snellings went on to study at the University of Oregon and New York University, finishing with a Bachelor’s in Visual Arts and a Master of Professional Studies in Interactive Telecommunications.
“Before LCC, I had been fired from over 20 jobs and never had a clear passion. Exploring the arts at LCC let me try my hand at all sorts of different types of disciplines,” Snellings said. While at LCC, Snellings got very involved in sculpture classes and was offered a job as the sculpture studio technician. He held the same position for his time at UO. His work involved maintaining the studios and developing pieces for an art show. The work he produced for this show later helped Snellings get accepted into NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications graduate program. “Lane gave me a safe harbor to become an artist and a professional,” Snellings said. “It is the greatest return on investment I have ever experienced. The faculty and students at Lane are still some of my closest friends.”
While at Lane, Snellings was featured in many art shows, published in an art quarterly, selected for the national art show, the League for Innovation in the Community College, awarded merit-based scholarships and won the Jurors Alternate Award at a student art show.
“I’m most proud of a project that I started at Lane that became my graduating thesis at NYU: The TimeSeed Project. I made ceramic coins with information about DNA, Mathematics, Space, and other discoveries and then distributed them to people around the world and into the wilds of America,” Snellings said. Snellings personally hands these coins to people he meets and asks them to deposit them somewhere meaningful to them and send him a picture. The TimeSeed Project has become Snellings’ mark as an artist that has spread around the world to places like Fiji, Iraq, Kenya, Iceland and Japan. “With any luck, they should last thousands of years,” he said.
Snellings still maintains some of his LCC contacts. “Moving to N.Y.C. after a lifetime in Eugene is a life-altering event, the continuing advice of my unofficial life coach and friend, LCC Professor Jennifer Salzman, was a big help. I still call her for advice,” Snellings said. Like most college students, Snellings went through tedious core classes, racked up a lot of student debt and had to overcome his own self-doubt and personal fears to get along his educational path.
In addition to working on his personal projects, Snellings has been an instructional designer at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York since 2012. “I love working in education, but innovating and art is my driving passion. So, I will probably keep working as adjunct professor teaching Photoshop as an instructional designer while burning through the weekend nights 3D-printing sculptures in my Makerspace: Brooklyn Research, (a collective fabrication lab headquartered in the original Pfizer Pharmaceuticals factory in Williamsburg Brooklyn),” Snellings said.
More information about The TimeSeed Project, Snellings’ work with 3D printers and his other projects can be found at jacksonsnellings.com.