Las Vegas, N.M. – Students from the New Mexico Highlands University Media Arts Department will present a high-tech multimedia extravaganza for the April 21 President’s Gala: Dollars for Scholars.
The gala is a scholarshipfund/raiser that will also celebrate Highlands University President Jim Fries’ 5-year anniversary.
Students in Media Arts Professor Kerry Loewen’s Surround Sound and Installation class worked in teams to create the projects for the gala.
“The transformation of Wilson Complex for the gala is so dramatic, you’ll have to see it to believe it,” Loewen said. “The overall effect should be visually stunning, and every seat in the house will have a good view.”
The students produced a video that features interviews with current scholarship recipients and university donors, as well as scenes of campus life.
The high-definition video employs cutting-edge multichannel synchronization technology and will be projected onto several 9-foot-high screens. Loewen describes it as a choreographed video and audio experience that immerses the viewer.
“The multichannel technology we’re using for the video make it more interactive and dynamic for the viewers – it will keep them engaged, ” said Arianna Adreatta, 21, a video team member who is a junior pursuing her media arts BFA in film. “The media arts professors give us amazing learning opportunities and this President’s Gala project is just one example.”
The students also designed 100-feet long, 42-inch-high banners featuring colorful photos and graphics. These will festoon two sides of the gala perimeter.
One banner illustrates a timeline of President Fries’ tenure and the second highlights academic disciplines across campus.
A third 12 by 9-foot banner celebrating Highlands University will greet gala goers at the entrance to the festive event.
“Working with all the great designers and filmmakers in our class was exciting and it’s very rewarding to see such a big, worthwhile project come together for Highlands,” said Leonard Lucero, a 32-year-old Las Vegas native who was the lead photographer for the banner team.
Lucero, who is a senior earning his media arts degree in design, added, “We’re a team in media arts and someone is always willing to lend a hand whether it’s another student or a professor.”
“I’m very proud of the outstanding, professional-quality work these students created for the gala. They’re so talented and hard working,” Loewen said.
Other media arts students in the Surround Sound and Installation class include undergraduates Faith Toledo, Tara Trudell, John Aragon, and Eli Menchaca. Graduate students include Justine Chavez-Crespin, Daniela De Angeli, Denette Martinez, and Joey Montoya.
Individual tickets for the gala are $100, with options to reserve tables for eight. April 16 is the last day to purchase tickets.