Highlands media arts grads to showcase work

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By Margaret McKinney
Highlands University

A record number of 15 New Mexico Highlands University graduating media arts BFA students will present their work in a show, with the opening reception from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 22 at the media arts building on the NMHU campus at 901 University Ave.

The exhibition is from Tuesday, April 22 to Friday, April 25 in both wings of the Media Arts Building.

Media arts professor Miriam Langer’s advanced media projectclass planned the BFA show.

"The BFA students in this show are very talented, ambitious and work incredibly hard,” Langer said. “The viewer will see very creative approaches to photography, graphic design, film, and audio, with the students experimenting with different kinds of installations that reflect their identity as media artists.

“These are students to watch as they enter the professional world. This group is also remarkable in their commitment to their work and supporting their peers,” Langer said.

She added that sometimes the state-of-the-art technology used in the students’ work is obvious — like 3-D printing – and sometimes it’s more subtle — like proficiency in cutting-edge software.

“All the students created their work in media arts’ industry-standard labs,” Langer said.

Media arts seniors featured in the BFA show are:
 • Tara Trudell, filmmaking and audio emphasis
• Derek Gold, visual communication emphasis
• Alexandria Burnquist, visual communication emphasis
• Airi Natsumishi, visual communication emphasis
• Analicia Casaus, visual communication emphasis
• Andrea Gallegos, visual communication emphasis
• Brandie López, visual communication emphasis
• Xena Montoya, visual communication emphasis
• Jacob Erickson, filmmaking and audio emphasis
• Mark Turner, multimedia interactivity emphasis
• Greg Vigil, multi-media interactivity emphasis
• Tammy Shutter, multimedia interactivity emphasis
• Maya Marshall, filmmaking and audio emphasis
• Shanea Strachan, filmmaking and audio emphasis; and,
• Brianna Alderete, photographic imaging emphasis

Tara Trudell, a 45-year-old award-winning filmmaker, poet and mother of four, is just one of the media arts seniors earning BFAs.

Trudell’s poetry and filmmaking are deeply personal, with soul-searing intensity that often evokes the transformative power of love. Human rights activism is another common theme, reflecting her rich heritage as Santee Sioux and Mexican and Spanish.

Her senior project, Far Away, is based on a poem Trudell wrote about immigration. An excerpt reads: “Crossing/ the Mojave desert/ I dreamed/my people/moving through/heat waves/and hunger pains/mothers and fathers/ children/willing life/dying to cross/a line/drawn in the sand….”

“My show is not about politics, Trudell said.  “What I’m trying to do is to get people to cultivate their humanity and compassion for people who merely want to survive. My goal is to spark dialogue and participation.”