Published: October 31, 2008
University of Tampa senior Aaron David Cook knows the importance of
diversifying. That’s why the artist, musician, animator and storyteller
uses everything in his toolbox when creating Flash animations.
Saturday, Nov. 1, Cook will be among seven UT students and alumni whose
work will be featured in a digital art showcase dubbed “The Connext
Project,” in Clearwater’s Coachman Park. The outdoor exhibit, which runs
from 5-10 p.m., will feature technologically driven art created by
students from several Tampa Bay area colleges. The pieces incorporate
elements of animation, motion graphics, experimental film and
international electronic music.
“The inspiration behind it is
that there’s just so much commercial art out there that gets taken for
granted,” said Christian Leon, coordinator of the event.
multicultural affairs specialist with Bright House Networks, Leon became
acquainted with UT art professors Santiago Echeverry and Douglas
Southerland through the Scarfone/Hartley Gallery’s annual Electronics
Among the 14 UT pieces included in the project is
Cook’s Flash animation titled “Circus.” The piece, which Cook says
represents a storyboard for a larger project, tells a story of a
nameless character who becomes mesmerized by a circus trapeze artist.
Having first sketched the story on paper, Cook scanned the images into a
computer and used Flash to animate the story.
senior Drake Arnold uses Flash animations in each of his three pieces
being featured in the Connext Project. Telling darkly humorous stories
in each of his animations, Arnold incorporates a diverse cast of
characters into his works, including space aliens, a minimum wage worker
and TV’s the Crocodile Hunter.
Other UT students showcasing
work in the Connext Project are Sebastian Ballester, Palmer Holmes, and
Mike Seitzler, as well as alumni Katie Rice and Sarah Kelly.
of the UT participants are majoring in one of UT’s multiple digital
arts-related programs. The electronic media arts and technology major
caters specifically to the type of artwork showcased at the Connext
Project, incorporating elements of traditional art forms with computer
graphics, web design and digital imaging.
Each of the pieces
featured in the event will be shown simultaneously on five separate
video screens in the park. Selected pieces created by professional
Hollywood animators and artists will also be shown.
organized and sponsored by Bright House Networks and MTV Tr3s, will
also feature samples of international food, beer and wine.
is $5, and proceeds will be divided evenly between the participating
schools for use in improvements to their respective art programs, Leon
Coachman Park is located at 301 Drew St. in Clearwater. For more information, see the
Connext Project’s Web site