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May 31, 2013

Starlight Spotlight – State Grant Advances “Artists Animated” with Squeaky Wheel

Starlight Artist Jessica Geryak filming her stop animation

By Parrish Gibbons, Starlight Studio and Art Gallery

This past week, Starlight Studio, a project of the Learning Disabilities Association of WNY, was awarded a Community Arts and Arts Education Grant, funded by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. NYSCA has recently placed Arts Services of Western New York in charge of the grant process and distribution, and Starlight was more than happy to walk away with funding for a future project.

Colin Dabkowski of The Buffalo News said it best when he wrote, “Small grants make a big impact for local communities” – we couldn’t agree more. What will Starlight be doing with this money? Let’s break it down for you.

Carrie Marcotte, Director of Starlight Studio, accepting the Community Arts and Arts Education Grant flanked by Jen Swan (Arts Services Initiative) and Hal Payne (V.P. of Student Affairs at Buffalo State College) Photo Credit: Stephanie Jane Portraits

Carrie Marcotte, Director of Starlight Studio, accepting the Community Arts and Arts Education Grant flanked by Jen Swan (Arts Services Initiative) and Hal Payne (V.P. of Student Affairs at Buffalo State College) Photo Credit: Stephanie Jane Portraits

Last year, Starlight Studio teamed up with Squeaky Wheel’s resident artist Laura Deutch to create mini-documentaries on 5 of our Starlight artists. This experience was so powerful for the artists involved, and for those viewing the finished work, that we knew we wanted to take a bigger step into video animations.

Using the awarded funds, 12 of our Starlight Artists have been selected to create stop-animation videos with the guidance and help of Squeaky Wheel instructors. The project Artists Animated will introduce the visual artists at Starlight to a new art form that will transform their 2-D artwork into short animated videos.

Starlight Artist Jessica Geryak filming her stop animation

Starlight Artist Jessica Geryak filming her stop animation

The Starlight Artists will learn the history of stop-motion animation and view examples of the genre. Using their own artwork, the artists will create their own storyboard and script; shoot the animated sequences with a digital camera; edit the footage and record audio tracks to add to their animation.

“What is really exciting about working with Starlight Studio artists is that they are very prolific and have already cultivated a distinct body of work,” says Jax Deluca, Executive Director of Squeaky Wheel. “You can expect to see a wild array of moving illustrations, ceramic sculptures, or even fabric puppets come to life on the big screen.”

Starlight Artists Jeremy Pratt and Anthony Lehsten in the Squeaky Studio

Starlight Artists Jeremy Pratt and Anthony Lehsten in the Squeaky Studio

Both Starlight and Squeaky Wheel are excited to share the completed works with our community. The animations will be featured at Squeaky Wheels 10th Annual Outdoor Animation Festival on Saturday, July 27th, in Days Park at 8:30PM. The works will also be shown in Squeaky Wheel’s micro-cinema at a free public screening and on their public access media art TV show Artgrease, dates and times TBA. Starlight will be featuring the animations during their First Friday’s events this summer. An encore presentation of the Animation Festival will be held at Canalside on Wednesday, August 21st at 8:30PM.

With so many opportunities to view the animations, we hope you get a chance to enjoy what we’ve been working on!

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