Media Arts Students Gain Recognition for Professional Quality, Cutting-Edge Work

New Mexico Highlands University media arts students gained recognition this semester in New Mexico, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. for the professional quality of their cutting-edge multimedia art projects.
“We’re getting excellent, broad-based feedback about the professional quality of our students’ work from professionals working in museums, other cultural institutions, and fine arts settings,” said Megan Jacobs, media arts professor and scholarship coordinator. “It’s exciting to see our students becoming part of a new generation of multimedia artists who are starting to demonstrate the creative uses of these emerging technologies.”
Some fall semester highlights for the Media Arts Program include:
The New Mexico Technology Council awarded $500 Women in Technology scholarships to Virginia Marrujo and Jennifer Alexander. Both media arts students are participating in the university’s innovative Program for Interactive Cultural Technology, a partnership between the Media Arts Program and the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. 
This immersion program is the only one of its kind in the state and prepares students for careers as multimedia professionals in museums, other cultural institutions, and exhibit design businesses. As part of PICT, Marrujo created a project during spring semester 2009 for Fashioning New Mexico, an inaugural exhibit for the New Mexico History Museum. The university’s students created key multimedia elements for Fashioning New Mexico.
“Commitment to culture and community are core values of our Media Arts Program,” Jacobs said. “The partnership with the Department of Cultural Affairs gives our students opportunities to apply their technological skills and creative talents in real-world professional settings.”
The Wonderland Public Art Exhibit in San Francisco Oct. 17- Nov. 15 featured the work of media arts graduates Kara Pajweski, Leif Percifield, and Lauren Addario, who is now a media arts instructor. The graduates exhibited “Paint Out,” a virtual graffiti project they developed under the direction of media arts professor Miriam Langer, who chairs the university’s Department of Visual and Performing Arts.
Media arts students also designed and produced the full-color exhibit catalogue for Wonderland. Media arts professor Andrew Wollner was their adviser for the catalogue project, and the student design team included Jason Valdez, Kirpal Khalsa, Joe Weber, Melissa Marquez and Devyn Dennison. Carlos Mendivil provided graphics and photo manipulation.
The Marian Koshland Science Museum in Washington, D.C., selected a group of media arts students to help rebrand the museum’s identity this fall. The design team included Katie DeLion, Brandie Carlson, Veronica Black and Melissa Marquez.
The students created their design project in Andrew Wollner’s Advanced Design Practice II class. The design team traveled to Washington, D.C. Nov. 13-16 to consult with the museum’s director to finalize their designs for two Web pages, an animated Web banner ad, and a brochure. They also filmed a virtual tour onsite. The students’ design work will be used within the museum’s existing Web site.
The New Mexico Association of Museums annual conference Nov. 4 — 7 included a technology showcase that featured multimedia cultural projects media arts students prepared during internships throughout the state. Cabrini Martinez, Adrienne Booth, Stacy Romero, Daniel Atencio, Leif Percifield and Kara Pajweski displayed their design projects at the conference.  
In addition, Veronica Black and Virginia Marrujo participated in panel discussions at this conference. Black spoke about her video that explains the state’s Van of Enchantment program. Marrujo talked about videos media arts students created for the Fashioning New Mexico exhibit.
Thaw Foundation Internships were awarded to Stewart Farley and Jean Francis to create videos of two curators from the New Mexico Museum of Indian Arts & Culture discussing the museum’s collection. Farley and Francis will each receive $1,500 for their internships, which span fall and spring semester. Media arts professor Kerry Loewen is the student’s adviser for the projects.