Students in ART300: Advanced Art at California Baptist University have been working with stop-motion animation, zoetrope projection, lantern design and shadow puppets to create the imagery and set design for the next theater production, “Life is a Dream.”
The class consists of seven students and each student has a specific assignment to help the audience understand the theater production through visuals.
Kristi Lippire, assistant professor of visual arts, teaches the advanced art class and helps guide the students with their creations.
“We tried some different things out like the stop animation (that) takes hours and hours,” Lippire said. “They have done a really good job figuring it all out.”
During the first week of the course, Lippire said students started by reading the play. In the second week, the class discussed the imagery and how they could use it in different ways to implement it as set design. The students began creating their designs in week three.
“Collaborating, in general, is really great. A lot of students take art (classes) and don’t know what to do with the degree or understand how they can get a job,” Lippire said. “In the advanced art class, I have tried to give them as many real experiences with taking their creativity and applying it in ways that maybe they did not know they could.”
Julianna Anderson, senior visual arts major, is helping create Middle Eastern-inspired design inserts that will be placed into lanterns on the set of the play. An external light will be cast onto the lanterns to project the design of the inserts.
“There is not a lot of props in this play so all the imagery in the background will help the viewer visualize the time period and the placement of everything,” Anderson said. “You can’t really have props in this play because it’s very dreamy and kind of dark, so we’re using a lot of shadow elements.”
The production will feature a horse shadow puppet created by Nicole Statham, junior visual arts major, and an eagle shadow puppet created by Chris Tolliver, senior visual arts major.
“The eagle and horse are referred to in several spots throughout the play,” Lippire said. “To create these two animals as puppets means they can be used whenever they come up in dialogue and be moved around the set.”
Lippire said the shadow puppets are constructed out of a thick black paper and will be lit from behind as their silhouette is displayed through a surface.
Jenna Mohn, sophomore graphic design and photography double major, uses her talent to create a stop motion animation for one of the descriptions of the background. She said it took her six to seven hours to create.
Stop-motion animation is animation that is captured one frame at time with physical objects that are moved between each frame. When the images are played quickly, an illusion of movement is created.