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GV film professor shows off animation skills at ArtPrize

This year’s ArtPrize features several Grand Valley State University students, faculty and staff – amongst them is film professor Deanna Morse. “ArtPrize offers a chance for me to screen work in our local community,” Morse said.

Morse said she started “SKIN” last spring when she was an artist in residence in the Everglades. After many months of hard work, she decided to enter the piece into ArtPrize. “After I put the concept on the ArtPrize site, I was approached by the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park,” Morse said.

The piece description reads, “Thick skinned, thin skinned. The first line of defense. What is most visible. Covering. Enclosing. Protecting. Shedding.” Her inspiration came from comparing textures and relating them to life’s experiences.

“I see these tree textures as a metaphor for the human experience … the cracks, wrinkles, knots, scars are an archive of their history,” Morse said. “Like trees, in times of stress, we are resilient – shedding the wounds, staying upright.”She had help on this piece from fellow artists Edie Herrold, Gretchen Vinnedge, Eric Oehrl, Ginger Cline, Nancy Roberts and Kim Roberts.

This is Morse’s third time entering ArtPrize, and even as a professor, she doesn’t stop making artwork.“I am an animation artist, and I regularly create work,” she said.

Her 2011 entry, “Wish you were here…” was 22-minutes long and showed various locations around the world on post cards, including Spain, Hot Springs National Park, Porcupine Mountains State Park, Ukraine, and Grand Rapids, Mich.

Although she’s a local Grand Rapids artist, her work is known internationally. She’s been in one-person shows in the U.S., Croatia, Hungary, Indonesia, Greece, Ukraine, China, Japan, France, and Portugal.

She has a permanent collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and has had her work featured on the children’s show “Sesame Street.” She doesn’t limit her work to one area of expertise – she’s animated 40 short award-winning film poems, while also creating and being featured in many films.

She’s worked as a film and video artist creating animations, films, videos and multimedia pieces for 35 years and has more information about some of her work on her website, deannamorse.com.

“As an artist/animator, I find something magical in that space between frames,” Morse said on her website. “My technique of creating films a frame at a time, by analyzing the underlying visual structure, is a methodical manner of generating imagery.” She strives to be a unique artist and admits that “many artists have used nature as their inspiration. What makes my work unique is my form – creating videos for large scale projection.”

Morse wants to continue coming up with new concepts and loves being an animator. “This animation concept continues to enchant me. It drives my current film work,” she said.

“SKIN” will remain on display after ArtPrize at the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park until January 2013.
spendowski@lanthorn.com



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