Artists Who Animate
January 8 to February 18
Humboldt County does not have a rich tradition as an animation hotbed. But one of its best-known resources are its artists, and it is in from a background of exploring other art mediums that the AWA come. Each of the five artists has worked in other mediums, and animation becomes a logical progression in their own personal art forms. The diverse forms and styles that are included in this exhibit speak to their unique backgrounds in the creative arena.
Expect the unexpected. The AwA members are continually surprised at the direction that their exhibit has taken. Animation will be explored in many forms, from historical "pre-film" techniques of moving form --- zoetropes and mutoscopes that require hands-on manipulation by viewers to create the moving image while also offering the viewer an understanding of the basic process of animation – to techniques using digital processes to create moving art. Much of the original artwork used in creating the animations will be exhibited.
AWA is likely the only artist collective of its kind in the region. Animation artists, studios, and schools are typically located in urban centers, such as San Francisco or Los Angeles. AwA is a grass-roots collective with a specific interest in artist-driven (rather than commercially-driven) experimental animation. The exhibition ‘Artists who Animate’ may be the first of its kind in Humboldt County, as participants are not students but emerging and mid-career artists with years of professional experience in various art forms.
Each artist, coming from different backgrounds, ages, and art expression takes animation through his or her own unique exploration:
Kyle Couture has studied animation formally at the Kansas City Art Institute, and his exhibit at the Morris Graves brings together his knowledge of early animation techniques (mutoscopes, a form of hand-crank flipcards that create animations of a few seconds each through changing images on multiple cards) combined with the latest digital approaches through Adobe Flash. Used together, the animation vignettes become wry comments on popular culture.
Brent Noel Eviston is an artist, a passionate drawing instructor, and a draftsman who is rooted in the drawing process, both traditional and experimental. His exhibition titled “The Forbidden Chamber” is a multi-media installation that that brings together text, images, motion and sound to explore how we consume and process information. Using the traditional drawing and animation materials like paper, ink, water, tape, etc, he creates movement through a wide range of experimental and traditional animation techniques.
Julie McNiel is a painter and teaching artist with the Prison Arts Project. Her short animation, “Fogline” is a meditation on the rhythmic passage of time and movement of bodies through space, involving a stop-motion process that uses a whiteboard with black marker, photographing, and then erasing each drawing. Hundreds of individual drawings, shown at 12 frames per second, are accompanied by a sound track of slow yet repetitive beats that calls forth the heavy, sometimes surreal, atmosphere out on the prison yard.
Amy Uyeki chooses art forms that take a narrative path, and animation is a natural succession in her storytelling. “From Somewhere” uses pastel images drawn on wood and photographed, then animated digitally as her basis for a narrative that follows 5 individuals and their families’ arrival in America, sometimes over years. Holly Mead, a San Francisco musician and composer has created the original score for this 10-12 minute animatio
Steven Vander Meer makes films that are all hand drawn on 3x5 inch index cards, what has been called "flip book style" animation. His timing and movements are quite precise, but the limitations of the medium -- mainly rough registration and small size -- cause the images to vibrate in a way that seems almost out of control. His choice of exploration is the dichotomy between complete order and utter chaos. "Random Thoughts" will exhibit upstairs in the Tom Knight Gallery. It will be a hands-on multimedia, individual film festival of his many years of animation and most current work.