Category Archives: Synopsis

Project Identity: A mighty fine ending

RotoscopingPI 2008This entry is long overdue, but much has been in transition. Project Identity’s last working group called it a wrap during the midst of summer as they completed some of the finest entries seen thus far for the project. You might call it the PI ‘Dream Team’ as the class was a beautiful microcosm of the entire experience. During MIAD’s pre-college programming PI had participants from numerous states that spanned from eastern shores of Virginia to the plains of Kansas. Florida splendidly represented the south and Minnesota & Wisconsin stood proud for the north. These young people, under the guidance of David Martin (Creative Writing), Brandon Bauer (Video) & James Barany (Animation) did a superb job of examining the notion of self and continuing the collaborative experience.

Project Identity will be on exhibition at MIAD from October 4th – October 25th. MIAD will celebrate with a closing reception after the conclusion of National Portfolio Day on October 25th at MIAD. The closing reception will run from 2pm-4pm immediately following the end of Portfolio Day. Mark it down and make it a day to celebrate both your accomplishments and your potential. Come get your artwork reviewed and celebrate all at the same place, on the same day! Shortly after the closing Professor Barany will begin submitting PI to film festivals across the USA in ‘teacher led’ & ‘student’ categories for animated work. More details regarding the festivals to follow in the near future!

Ideation during PIShooting animation at MIAD

Project Identity @ Chilton High School, Chilton, WI

Loyal to you Chilton High…
Back in the 80’s this is the place where it all began for Professor Barany, down in the bellows of Chilton High Schools visual art department. The old CHS campus and many of Barany’s exceptional faculty are now retired, but CHS is thriving with remarkable new faculty and a fantastic modern facility.
Professor Barany promised his old art instructor, Mr. Randy Sarasin, that someday he would bring the knowledge and technology needed for animation back to CHS. It took Barany 20 years to keep his promise, but the debt was payed-off this week with the presentation of PI to the creative workaholics at CHS. Mrs. Jane Schmitz now heads the visual component at Barany’s alma mater, and she wonderfully offers a diversified curriculum to her motivated students. Traditional through technological media offerings challenge her students as they work through 2D, 3D and even 4D principles at CHS.

Chilton should be proud that the strength of the Sarasin legacy is now in continuum through the commitment and diversity that Mrs. Schmitz now brings to the CHS community. PI would also like to acknowledge the passion of Barany’s primary art instructor, Mrs. Judy Sarasin at the Chilton Elementary & Middle School. Mrs. Sarasin’s devoted a great deal of her life’s work to the Chilton community by sharing her passion for the arts with the children of the area since 1972 – thank you for everything!

Vielen dank for the sentimental journey!

James Barany
Associate Professor of Foundation

Project Identity @ Neenah High School, Neenah, WI

Power in numbers….
Just off the northern shores of mighty lake Winnebago lies Neenah High School, with its massive population of 2,500 students. Project Identity was warmly hosted by faculty member Jody Harrell. With the assistance of her cohorts, Mrs. Harrell and NHS was able to deliver the largest population of participants thus far for the collaboration. It was a mad, crazy, focused frenzy of productivity for an entire two days as the students at NHS produced more animation than any other program to date.
The dynamic art program at NHS delivers both quantity and quality to nearly 1,000 students enrolled in their visual programming. MIAD’s relationship with this blooming program continues to strengthen and grow, just as their impressive student artwork does that was visible in all of the visual art studios. It was easy to observe that creativity blooms throughout this phenomenal program. Both the visual art and drama students at NHS worked together helping to plow through nearly 500 drawings producing nearly a full minute of animation during PI’s residency.

A sincere thank you to Mrs. Harrell, her fellow faculty, and all of the students who gave it their ‘all’ for two intense days of controlled chaos!

In continuum,

James Barany
Associate Professor of Foundations

Project Identity @ Ethan Allen School, Type 1 Secured Juvenile Corrections Facility, Wales, WI

Sobering reality…
Project Identity was designed to reach as many youth as possible – regardless of class, race or societal borders. This week the gates were opened and all borders breached as PI made its way into the Ethan Allen School for Boys. In short, it is ‘prison’ for delinquent youth aged 12 years or older to the Department of Corrections (DOC) in a Type 1 secured juvenile correctional facility (JCI). Getting into this facility meant that Professor Barany had to surrender a great deal of his equipment just to get inside. The strict security at EAS easily surpassed the minor hurdles that PI has experienced with airport security throughout the project.
Generally at EAS, a juvenile court order is for one year with the possibility of extensions up to the age of 18 years. Youth who committed especially serious crimes may be committed for 5 years or until the age of 25 years depending on the crime. In some cases, a criminal court places a convicted youth in a JCI when the youth is under 16 years old. The Federal Bureau of Prisons also places a few juveniles in Wisconsin JCI’s.

Ethan Allen School provides individualized culturally sensitive programming based upon the uniqueness of each youth, utilizes the concepts of restorative justice, affirms that staff are key to successful programming and positive treatment outcomes, provides a safe environment for staff and youth, and maintains partnerships with families, counties and community agencies.

Personal identity is stripped away from these young people as the program is designed to re-build them for transition back into society. Some of the most powerful writings and spoken word excerpts for PI have come from the young men being rehabilitated at Ethan Allen. It was clear to observe from their work that many of them, have already lived an entire lifetime. A sincere thank you to the administration and faculty members involved with getting PI inside the secured perimeter at Ethan Allen.

Forever changed,

James Barany
Associate Professor of Foundations

Project Identity @ The Carver Center for Arts and Technology, Towson, MD

Priming the creative spirit…
Project Identity was hosted by a dynamic program during its last stop on the East Coast this week. The Carver Center for Arts and Technology provides a supportive Community for students with talent and interest in arts and technology. The school prepares students for college and career choices by immersing them in rigorous programs which are implemented through the interrelationship of arts, technology, academics, and field experiences.
Students at Carver audition for select ‘Primes’ that include Business, Carpentry, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, Dance, Literary Arts, Acting, Design & Production, Visual Arts (General Fine Arts, Digital Filmmaking, Multimedia) and Vocal Performance. This place is a visual powerhouse, and was recently awarded by the College Board as having the best studio arts program in the world among similar-sized high schools. A special thanks to Digital Filmmaking faculty Ms. Nino Leselidze, for quickly organizing and hosting PI on its whirlwind tour through the area.

Amazed in Maryland,

James Barany
Associate Professor of Founations

Project Identity @ The Governor’s School for the Arts, Norfolk, VA

Anchors aweigh…
Project Identity made its way up the Chesapeake Bay docking just a furlong down the road from the Norfolk Naval Base. Nestled within the Old Dominion University campus, PI discovered the dynamic programming of The Governor’s School for the Arts. GSA offers a wide range of artistic disciplines including, Dance, Musical Theatre, Theatre, Instrumental Music, Vocal Music and the Visual Arts.
The GSA Visual Arts programming provides a wide range of artistic experiences in order to allow students to explore their interests and potential in varied media/styles and techniques. This spirited program helps students develop a strong conceptual basis as well as the technical skills necessary for creating and evaluating sophisticated works of art. This was evident in the strength of work found throughout the GSA facility and was deeply imbedded within their students portfolios.
A special thanks to Vic Frailing for helping to organize a last-minute MIAD presentation and for allowing the GSA animation students to fully participate in PI’s collaborative programming.

In Continuum,

James Barany
Associate Professor of Foundations

Project Identity @ The Visual & Performing Arts Academy, Salem High School, Virginia Beach, VA

The mighty ocean deep…
The Visual & Performing Arts Academy at Salem High School is designed for talented high school students who have the dedication and enthusiasm to pursue an intense and structured study in the visual arts. This dynamic program offers a curriculum that guides student development with skills, concepts, and imaginative exploration in a wide variety of media and techniques.

Students experience courses in drawing, painting, digital graphic design, photographic multi-media imaging, ceramics, sculpture, digital imaging, metalsmithing, architecture, product design, production and animation. This young academy is starting to show its mighty strength in both breadth and depth, as was clearly evident through the supremacy of the student portfolios that Professor Barany had the pleasure to review.
Project Identity was warmly embraced by the talented VPAA participants and was greeted with zest by faculty members Philip Holman and Christopher Buhner. It should be clearly noted that this program successfully participated in all aspects of PI from the early writing and ideation prompts through all of the video and rotoscoping requirements. PI extends a sincere thank you to all of the students and faculty that made this possible at VPAA in Virginia Beach.

From the Atlantic Seaboard,

James Barany
Associate Professor of Foundations

Project Identity @ The Arts High School (AHS) at The Perpich Center for Arts Education (PCAE), Golden Valley, MN

The creative jewel of Minnesota…
Media faculty chair Nancy Norwood wonderfully integrated her eager participants from The Perpich Center for Arts Education (PCAE) into the dynamic fabric of Project Identity as PI visited the Twin Cities for this weeks residency. A mixture of both Media and Visual Art students continued the collaboration and effortlessly commanded the technology and drawing process that PI is utilizing for the animation component. These PCAE students submitted some of the most conceptual and visually dynamic videos for the collaboration. They brought the same focus to the drawing table too, commanding the rotoscoping process and producing hundreds of images.

PCAE is a dynamic agency of the State of Minnesota, and a unique state-of-the-art organization of national stature representing Minnesota’s dedication to excellent education. Perpich’s mission is to improve K–12 education for all Minnesota students and educators through innovative programs and partnerships centered in the arts.
The Arts High School (AHS) is an innovative, tuition-free public high school delivering a comprehensive education centered in the arts. Students can focus in either Dance, Literary Arts, Media Arts, Music, Theater and Visual Arts.  Students also study English, Math, Science, Social Studies and World Languages. AHS integrates arts and academics to provide unique and powerful learning opportunities that stay with students throughout their lives. A special thanks to Nancy Norwood, Colleen Brennan and Karen Monson for their asssitance during PI’s visit to PCAE.

Northward bound,

James Barany
Associate Professor of Foundations

Project Identity @ Nicolet High School, Glendale, WI

Transforming knowledge into wisdom…
This week Project Identity permeated into Nicolet High’s co-curricular structure as the animation collaboration was shared property between the departments of Technology/Engineering and the Visual Arts. Faculty members Aleta Gretenhardt and Patricia Leeson worked together in perfect harmony as students, equipment and facilities from these departments merged into one combined effort.
The Nicolet participants worked voraciously on the collaboration, drawing hundreds of images as they worked through the entire duration of the residency. Nicolet’s presence of technology was equally matched by the creative passion of this fierce group of twelve. PI congratulates Nicolet’s innovative curriculum as the concerns of intellectual discovery, creativity and diversity grow and flourish there – in abundance.

In continuum,

James Barany
Associate Professor of Foundations

Project Identity @ Ames High School, Ames, IA

Professor James in wonderful Ames…
Visual faculty Shelli Hassebrock and her fine group of motivated students helped PI to continue forward this week as the collaboration made its way to this gem located in the breadbasket of Iowa. Home of the little cyclones, Ames High School can boast a student population of 1,500 with a fine visual component that investigates several 2-D, 3-D and 4-Dimensional principles.
AHS is just down the road from Iowa State University, and these little cyclones successfully attacked some of the most complex scenes that PI has yet to offer. Through these drawings the students from Ames learned that PI is about the larger aspect of working together, sharing the burden – and the glory of the process. This was clearly demonstrated as AHS had students working together on PI from the areas of 4-D Art, Graphic Design, Drawing and even Photography.

A sincere thank you to the administration of AHS, Mrs. Hassebrock, Coach Norris and Ms. Quintero for their support during PI’s vist to the heartland. Good things are happening in the AHS visual arts program, and PI was glad to partake in their intensive programming.

From the heart of the cyclone,

James Barany
Associate Professor of Foundations