In the second installment of the Visions and Voices Program “Get Your Hands Dirty with the Arts,” the USC School of Cinematic Arts joined the four other USC arts schools for the first time to offer workshops and competitions to students.
The daylong festival on Sunday featured workshops taught by faculty from five schools: the Roski School of Fine Arts, Thornton School of Music, School of Theatre, School of Architecture and School of Cinematic Arts — the newcomer to the interactive festival.
Holly Willis, the director of academic programs at the Institute for Multimedia Literacy and a workshop coordinator, said the cinema school’s workshops added more options to the festival and gave students a chance to work with multimedia. Teaching students how to work with multimedia outlets is especially useful today, Willis said, because multimedia has become so commonplace.
“When you think about how pervasive video is becoming with cell phones and cameras, in five or 10 years, it will be expected that people know how to use it — it is part of everyday culture,” Willis said. “A lot of students come in knowing how to use YouTube and other forms of media, but [the interactive video design workshop] shows them the skills to do it professionally.”
The festival covered an array of topics, from salsa dancing to writing a TV show script. Courses titled “Playing Pop Piano,” “3-D Graphics and Prototyping” and “Interactive Video Design” were among the new workshops at this year’s event.
The “Get Your Hands Dirty” event is unique among Visions and Voices events because of its interactive nature.
“There are all types of ways to experience arts and humanities. With this event, students get the chance to experience the arts themselves and see how it impacts the world,” said Daria Yudacufski, managing director of Visions and Voices.
Sunday’s festival featured not only instructional sessions, but also games and contests. A paper tower contest, for example, required participants to construct a tower using only recycled 8.5 by 11-inch paper and no glue or tape, while an improvisation game tested students’ abilities to come up with an entertaining skit on the spot.
Yung-Ching Liang, a physics doctorate student, attended the 3-D design and prototyping workshop where students created a 3-D prototype of a shoe using software called Rhinoceros. He said the workshop had real-world applications, such as work in animation.
“I want to learn 3-D models properly because it is fun and interesting and I like animation and cartoons,” Liang said. “This workshop is useful to [do] that.”
Ryan Logan, a part-time lecturer at Roski, led the “Altered Plates” workshop, where participants used decals to create abstract images or scenes on a glazed plate. He said students should focus on their own interpretation of art.
“Everybody has the ability to be creative,” Logan said. “They don’t necessarily have to think they are not an artist.”
Stephanie Spindler, an undeclared freshman, said she chose to take the altered plates workshop because she is currently not taking any art classes and found the description different from her previous art experience.
“You can discover that you have amazing art skills,” Spindler said. “It is a good way to get involved with the school and start trying little things that might lead to greater things.”