Photo of two students

Photo: Margaret McKinney/Highlands University
Media Arts Seabury fellow Patricia Chavez, right, explains her Doyenne Brewing Company logo stamp design, part of her marketing project, to Jamie García, media arts and music student.

Las Vegas, N.M. – Three 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, Mackenzie Gruenig, and Andrew LaPointe received the 2016 – 2017 Seabury Fellowships, showcasing their projects April 27 at an awards presentation.

Media arts professor David Sanchez Burr is the adviser for the Seabury fellows for the second year.

“Patricia’s design and marketing plan for a hand-crafted beer explores women’s role in the workforce and society,” Sanchez Burr said. “Mackenzie’s film They Call Me Mom portrays the life of a family with 10 children, six of whom are adopted. Andrew’s design project involves creating fabric prints inspired by storytelling with his three daughters and trips to the desert.”

Sanchez Burr said the Seabury fellows’ work demonstrates the versatility and variety of design and filmmaking challenges that are part of the media arts and technology curriculum.

“I’m very proud of these students’ compelling and professional-quality projects,” Sanchez Burr said.

Chavez and La Pointe both graduate in May with Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in media arts with an emphasis in visual communication. Gruenig also completes her BFA in May with an emphasis in filmmaking.

The students describe their projects:

Patricia Chavez: “My branding project takes a unique approach to craft beer marketing by conveying a message of equality. Doyenne Brewing Company celebrates women in history who have changed the workforce of today’s society by advocating for other women. Doyenne is a French word that means an independent woman who is the most respected or prominent person in a particular field. By creating the doyenne concept, I seek to inspire new social viewpoints, create a great craft beer design, and show a new perspective.”

Makenzie Gruenig: “My adoption documentary, They Call Me Mom, has given me the opportunity to spend day after day with an extraordinary family that has more love for one another than anything I’ve ever seen in my life. But that didn’t just include the fun things. I watched kids fight, messes being made, and children with special needs struggle. My initial inspired feelings toward this courageous family just seemed to grow the more I filmed. It was a privilege to create this film.”

Andrew LaPointe: My project is an exercise in fabric design, but the motivation and concept behind the work are layered in my personal life. It is based upon a children’s book called Where We Live that I began working on nearly 10 years ago. The book’s narrative looks at families who live apart from one another. I use desert animals, native to the area I was living at the time, to tell the story of parents and children who live under the same desert skies yet don’t always sleep in the same home.”