Millikin event features the latest in digital performance
Millikin University's annual Arts Technology Expo is not only a platform for creativity and innovation, but a time to bring together a variety of projects and student-run ventures under one roof.
This year's expo, hosted on Dec. 4 in the University Commons, featured student work in design, photography, videography, animation, audio production, marketing and interactive media. Guests were given an opportunity to engage with technology such as virtual reality tools and robotics.
Student-run ventures on hand included Millikin University Performance Consulting (MUPC), a company that helps local businesses with any technical needs they might have; Millikin's retail art gallery Blue Connection; Ignite Studios and Millikin Audio Recording Services (MARs); MIST, an entrepreneurial collective of singers, songwriters, musicians, arrangers, beat makers, rappers, technologists and music business personnel; and Millikin Creates, which announced its official launch for this spring semester.
Millikin Creates plans to take on client work in all areas of arts technology such as design, photography, video, animation, web and audio.
"This is an event where students show off their pieces in design, audio production, interactive media and animation," said Jessa Wilcoxen, associate professor and chair of the Arts Technology Department at Millikin. "The Arts Tech Expo was born through the need to showcase our students' work and bring together students from across campus in disciplines that connect to arts technology. With our major, we want students to be working in teams through cross-disciplinary work and this event helps them use all their media skills for future projects."
Guests also had the opportunity to vote for their favorite media piece during the expo. International student David Rojo, a senior communication major from Seville, Spain, won Best of Show for a self-portrait project while Phoebe Booher, a first-year arts technology visual media major from Wood River, Ill., won the People's Choice award for a band poster she designed. Danielle Minnis, a sophomore from Decatur, Ill., also won Best Napkin Sketch.
"Performance Learning is a big deal for arts technology and that usually means working with clients not only through our student-run ventures but in the classroom," said Wilcoxen. "We have students setting up shows, hosting live events and showing their work at exhibits both at Millikin and off campus."
Six student groups from Wilcoxen's Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) Campaigns course presented their marketing projects as potential business ideas. Each of the presentations integrated all areas of arts technology.
Among the marketing projects was a company called BreakThrough Fitness which won People's Choice awards for Most Professional Display and Most Creative Display. Students involved with BreakThrough Fitness were Kalli Farmer, a junior from Columbia, Ill. Nicole Larkin, a junior from Evergreen Park, Ill.; Rose Syversen, a junior from Pewaukee, Wis.; and Josh Belcher, a junior from Goreville, Ill.
A company called Lighthouse Café also received the Mystery Judge's Choice award. Lighthouse Café was created by students Faith Smith, a junior from Lincoln, Ill.; Cassie Somers, a junior from Forrest, Ill.; Fred Bartuch, a senior from Frankfort, Ill.; and Tyler Pygon, a senior from Orland Park, Ill.
Elsa Rotramel, a sophomore arts technology major from Arthur, Ill., showcased three illustration pieces at the expo including a logo she designed for a client. "It's a nice opportunity, especially for a lot of the students who are getting ready to leave Millikin because it puts their name out there – it allows anyone to come see their work and see everything they are involved with. I've learned more this past semester than any other time combined," she said.
Millikin University's Arts Technology Department prepares students to work in a variety of arts, business and entertainment industries. Students can earn a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in the areas of audio engineering and production, interactive media, live event technology, video production and visual media.
"I think this type of event solidifies the quality of work that our students put out. This event is not only a chance for the community to celebrate their work but it's an opportunity for students to celebrate among their peers," said Wilcoxen.