Over the years I've volunteered in many different capacities. I've served on boards, cleaned kitty litter, restored bee boxes, taught children English, pulled weeds, and brought juice boxes and goldfish fo snacking toddlers. In all of those endeavors, I've become a better person because of my efforts. But, even to make this statement seems selfish. Mostly, it's just a nice thing to know that in some small way, that I've made the world a better place. Other things that are an extra-added benefit are that I gain experience, leadership skills, empathy and compassion for others, as well as meeting some really amazing people who I would not have ordinarily met. Being in service is a powerful thing, and I hope to do much more of that in the future.
Last year, we teamed up with the Napa Parks and Recreation Department to create Countdown Clocks for the first ever Napa Lighted Art Festival. The Game Design class experimented with the idea of what a clock is and is not and how to incorporate ideas of time in different ways using Illustrator and After Effects. The video below is a sped up version of each clock. They were supposed to be projected on several buildings downtown in between the light shows in 20-minute increments. The finished work never got used and the students were disappointed. But that's not the end of the story.
There were many contributing factors to the failure. This was the first year of the festival and we didn't know what we didn't know. We also encountered pretty devastating fires in the Napa Valley and sponsors were not able to recover from the financial loss from lost tourism and pulled out of their sponsorships. Time was not on our side either, as we were working under very short deadlines.
Regardless of whether our work was shown, the students made some really cool artwork and learned some great technical skills along the way, so it was not a complete failure, but we were a bit disappointed. Luckily, we were willing to try again.
I decided to reach out to the Parks and Rec department to see if we could try our collaboration again. Yes! They were interested and big changes were already in the works to hire a community liaison for schools in the district, to hire consultants from the UK, Ross Ashton and Karin Monid from The Projection Studio, and we had a lot more time to plan properly and find new sponsors for the students to have their own building. We decided to give it another go.
I'm so glad we stuck with the project and tried again because the extent of learning and the scope of what we accomplished this year really blew me and the students away!
See the New Tech Lighted Art Project below!
This year the project entailed students creating their own six-minute show by working in 4 teams to create a cohesive, yet varied art exhibit. The work was then projected on a 70 ft wall on the Native Sons Hall during the Napa Lighted Art Festival, January 12-20, 2019. Our show has gotten nothing by praise from audience goers and there is just nothing like seeing student work projected on a building of that magnitude to a live audience of thousands. The stakes were high and the students came through. There were many sleepless nights when I wondered if they were going to make it, but they did and did so in an incredibly professional manner. I am so proud!
Community Discussion Panel:
Lisa Gottfried is a CTE teacher with 20 years experience as CEO of her own Video and Motion Graphics Production house. She currently teaches Intro to Digital Media, Video Production and Game/3D Design. She loves her job and her students!