By Ian Beabout, Online Editor
The Media Arts and Design Festival (MADfest) will take place Friday, April 8th. This year marks the 16th edition of the arts festival and will showcase student work in a variety of mediums including graphic design, photography, film, drawing, and music. Since we last reported, students from West Liberty, as well as high schools in the tristate area, have submitted work to be presented and viewed by professional guest jurors.
“We are completely booked with 350 registered high schoolers attending from high schools throughout West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio,” said Professor Jim Haizlett, founder and director of MADfest. “The popularity of the festival increases every year and registrations filled within two weeks this year – a record.”
“This year, the competition received 500 entries,” said Haizlett. “Winners will be announced and prizes will be awarded at our live event in College Hall. The prizes for this year are iPads for the Best of Show for college and for high school. Faculty Choice awards include WLU scholarships for WLU students and high school students.”
In addition to the main competition in College Hall, the MADfest will also host department wide presentations to be given by West Liberty professors and jurors. This year’s jurors include musician Will Kuhn, Pittsburgh Penguin’s motion designer Padraic Driscoll, multimedia artist Tom Estlack, and designer Marshall Lambert, a West Liberty graduate.
“Our design juror is Marshall Lambert, a WLU grad who has worked for design agencies, received her MFA from Boston University, and is currently working at Harvard University’s media lab,” said Haizlett. “She will be presenting a workshop exclusively for West Liberty college students on Thursday April 7th at 7:00 PM in room 209 of the Fine Arts building.”
With the festival only a few weeks away, students weigh in on the benefits of submitting their work.
“I submit work because the festival is a great way to share our work with the design community,” said graphic design major Maggie Dehart. “Students who place in the competition receive valuable critiques from a panel of established judges.”
“This sort of opportunity is valuable to students who wish to receive some further insight into their creative work and even a chance to see what competition they have within their respected fields,” said Dehart. “This is a truly unique opportunity that West Liberty provides us.”
“I think it’s worth noting how unique the event is and what an important recruiting tool the event is,” said Professor of Art, Brian Fencl. “I would also like to give a shout out to Lou Karas in the WLU Center for Arts and Education. She doesn’t receive enough praise for what she does and how helpful she is.”
For more information on MADfest, you can visit the festival’s webpage here.