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Media Arts Students Showcase Seabury Fellowship Work


Media Arts Students Analicia Casaus, left, Craig Cassidy and Gabriela Hernández

Media Arts Students Analicia Casaus, left, Craig Cassidy and Gabriela Hernández received $2,500 fellowships from the Seabury Foundation.

Las Vegas, N.M. – Three New Mexico Highlands University media arts students received $2,500 fellowships this academic year thanks to the Seabury Foundation and a full match from the university’s foundation.

Gabriela Hernández, Craig Cassidy, and Analicia Casaus were tapped for the honor. They showcased their completed Seabury projects at an awards presentation and reception May 2.

The day also marked the five-year anniversary of the Seabury Foundation awarding the fellowships to outstanding media arts students at Highlands – 19 to date. Santa Fe resident Deborah Holloway’s grandfather established the Seabury Foundation in 1947.

“The quality of these three students’ work today is highly professional, and I’m excited about how they are using their exceptional design skills to help their communities,” said Mimi Roberts, the media projects director for the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. “I think these students work has impact on creating Northern New Mexico as a center for design excellence.”

Media arts and DCA have an ongoing partnership.

“Gabriela, Craig and Analicia are stellar students with an impressive commitment to the craft of their design work and the good it can do,” said Megan Jacobs, media arts professor and scholarship coordinator. “They are all very passionate about their dedication to the unique communities they served for their Seabury projects.”

Hernández, 21, graduates May 10 with a BFA in media arts, with an emphasis in visual communication, and a double major in Spanish. She came undocumented from Mexico at age 7 with her family.

Hernández, a passionate human rights activist, designed a series of banners that illustrate traditional Mexican culture and religion and feature LGBQT individuals – lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and transgender.

Hernández, a lesbian, also developed a workshop, Jotería: Undocumented, that she has presented in Las Vegas, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Salt Lake City, and other locations. Jotería means gay.

“The vision for the banners and the workshop is to educate our audience about the existing intersection among the undocumented and LGBQT communities,” Hernández said. “I want to encourage more artistic expression in the two movements, and taking positive action.”

Cassidy, 26, is a Las Vegas native and media arts BFA junior with an emphasis in visual communication. He designed a logo, posters, mugs and coasters for the grassroots Save Fort Union Drive-In effort in Las Vegas. Cassidy also produced a promotional video that is being used for a Kickstarter campaign – the world’s largest web-based crowd funding platform for creative projects.   

Built in 1958 and now one of only two remaining drive-ins in New Mexico, Fort Union needs to raise $80,000 to convert to a digital projector system and booth or close this summer.

“I wanted to give back to the community that gave me so much in my first 18 years,” Cassidy said. “The Fort Union Drive-In is enjoyed by all generations, and saving it helps preserve our past. I wanted to help keep it alive for Las Vegas and the surrounding communities.”

Donations may be made at www.savelasvegasdrivein.com

Casaus graduates May 10 with a BFA in media arts, with an emphasis in visual communications. The 27-year-old Albuquerque native designed a branding and identity project for the locally owned business Direct Health Care, including a logo, a full line of stationery, and more. She also designed a website and mobile app for the home healthcare company.

“Direct Health Care is a very successful business, but needed a stronger visual image to present to the community to help expand further,” Casaus said. “Seeing a company so satisfied with my design work was very rewarding. It’s also satisfying to know that people who need home health care can find the company more easily through my branding and website work.”

Jacobs said it’s rewarding to reflect upon how the Seabury Fellowship has impacted the lives of so many media arts students – both before and after graduation when they enter the professional world.

“The Seabury helped chart the students’ trajectory, and their creative and powerful work as cultural change makers. It’s proof positive that the fellowship is effective,” Jacobs said.

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