Monday, January 5, 2009

ACCAD Brings Thurber Dogs to Life

Students at Ohio State’s Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design (ACCAD) have been busy bringing the beloved drawings of dogs by humorist James Thurber to life via animation. The animated illustrations will be projected during a concert performed by Columbus’s ProMusica Chamber Orchestra on Jan 10—11, and will accompany Peter Schickele’s Thurber’s Dogs – Suite for Orchestra, a piece originally commissioned by ProMusica in 1994. The musical composition is based on six of Thurber’s short stories that incorporate his much-loved line drawings of dogs. The project is a collaboration with ACCAD, ProMusica and Thurber House.

Nine Ohio State graduate students worked as a team to animate six sequences involving the dogs. The students built the animations around the music, tightly timing them to the piece. Using research, storyboards, 3D modeling and animation, the group spent months creating character movement that simulated hand-drawn animation and remained true to Thurber’s unique style. The project was directed by Vita Berezina-Blackburn, animation specialist. For an overview of the project, visit the website.

Notable News

Ohio State folks can see the preview of the Evolution Theatre Company production of Frozen -- Bryony Lavery's award-winning British drama -- on Jan 14 at 8 pm. Anyone with a BuckID (students, faculty, staff) can get tickets for that show for $2.50. The production features OSU's Mandy Fox and is directed by Jimmy Bohr (Theatre), and is presented at the Columbus Performing Arts Center downtown. Artistic director of the new theatre company is Theatre PhD student and Music staffer Paul Lockwood. Tickets can be purchased (cash only) at the door, or email For more details, go to Evolution's website.

Cinema Latino kicks off at the Wexner Center for the Arts. For the third year, the Wexner Center is presenting Cinema Latino, with the best in new film from Latin America. The acclaimed Pope’s Toilet kicks it off, a Uruguayan film about a poor town preparing for the Pope’s visit, called “alternately heartbreaking and hilarious” by the Village Voice. It’s showing Friday night (Jan 9) at 7 pm, with a free public reception prior to the screening. Another featured film is Silent Light on Feb 15, about German-speaking Mennonite farmers in Mexico, called dazzling by the New York Times. “To miss this film would be a sin,” wrote critic AO Scott. For the full schedule, click here.

OSU alumnus Tom Harbrecht has an exhibit -- Landscapes and Seascapes -- opening Jan 8 and continuing until Feb 20 at the OSU Faculty Club. A reception is planned Jan 16, 6:30-8:30 pm. The paintings include scenes from central and southeastern Ohio, and rural Florida.

Michael Layne, a Jamaican student in Art Education's "mostly online MA" program sends photos of a community mural his high school students completed in Port Antonio, Jamaica (above). The mural, which garnered the attention of Jamaica's minister of education, is one of several the group is creating. The MA program is a partnership with the Edna Manley College of the Arts in Kingston.

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