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Students Showcase Diverse Seabury Fellowship Projects in Media Arts

Margaret McKinney/Highlands University Media arts student Andrew LaPointe, center, talks about his Seabury Fellowship project, a book titled How to Cook an Octopus, April 29. From the left are media arts graduate students Behshad Yekkeh and Rahul Patle.

Margaret McKinney/Highlands University
Media arts student Andrew LaPointe, center, talks about his Seabury Fellowship project, a book titled How to Cook an Octopus, April 29. From the left are media arts graduate students Behshad Yekkeh and Rahul Patle.

Las Vegas, N.M. – Three New Mexico Highlands University media arts students each received $2,500 fellowships to develop independent multimedia projects, thanks to the Seabury Foundation and a full match from the Highlands Foundation.

Patricia Chavez, Shane Flores and Andrew LaPointe were tapped for the 2015 – 2016 Seabury Fellowships. They showcased their diverse projects at an awards presentation and reception April 29.

“Hats off to these students for the extraordinary talent and vision they demonstrated in their projects,” said Deborah Holloway, whose grandfather established the Seabury Foundation in 1947. “These students are confident, professional and creative artists who are the future of media arts in New Mexico. Their work also demonstrates gloriously how rewarding the philanthropy process is.”

Media arts professor David Sanchez Burr was the adviser for the Seabury fellows this year.

“Patricia produced a powerful professional film, Andrew designed, illustrated and published a book that could be sold in any bookstore and Shane developed a museum installation that could be displayed in any museum in the country,” Sanchez Burr said. “Their work demonstrates how we can merge ideas of creativity, history and our own passion with technology to develop multimedia projects that have profound meaning for all of us.”

Chavez is a media arts Bachelor of Fine Arts junior, with an emphasis in visual communication. She is the president of the Media Arts Club at Highlands. Her Seabury project is a film about domestic violence titled Forgiveness.

“My goal when writing and filming Forgiveness was to bring awareness to domestic violence and its effects on families,” Chavez said. “I also wanted to convey the message that through hardship, forgiveness can help when rising above domestic violence adversity – to forgive what has been done, to forgive those around you and to forgive yourself for holding onto anger.”

Chavez is a domestic violence survivor.

Flores is a media arts Bachelor of Fine Arts senior with an emphasis in filmmaking. His project, Phantoms of a Rail Town, explores the late 19th century Chinese immigrant experience in Las Vegas, New Mexico. It is a museum installation with audio visual components, a film and a website that documents historical excerpts from the Las Vegas Optic newspaper.
“Despite occupying a small but crucial niche in the civic fabric, Chinese immigrants to Las Vegas are practically nonexistent in the official and social record,” Flores said. “This project addresses the reasons for that exclusion, and attempts to paint a portrait of these pioneers through their absence.”
LaPointe is a media arts Bachelor of Fine Arts junior with an emphasis in visual communication. For his Seabury project, he designed and illustrated a Japanese cookbook titled, How to Cook an Octopus. His late brother, Rick – a chef for the White House, Ritz Carlton and other clients – wrote the book before his death in 2015.
“My brother Rick was an accomplished chef for 15 years and was also an avid writer for many publications,” LaPointe said. “At his funeral I began thinking about the book he never finished. As I researched the Seabury award I realized that publishing Rick’s book could be a suitable project.. It was beautiful to have the opportunity to design his book and create the woodblock print illustrations.”