Display highlights ‘Wonderland’ Xtravaganza

The community is invited to a “Wonderland” of the arts at Bowling Green State University on Dec. 6 during the ninth annual ArtsX event, from 6-10 p.m. in The Wolfe Center for the Arts, Kobacker Hall and the Fine Arts Center.

The immersive arts experience will begin even before visitors enter a building, with “Cinema Optique!” Nowhere else in northwest Ohio can visitors enjoy a cinematic experience on a surface nearly as long as a football field.

The 250-foot-wide “screen” is the Wolfe Center’s sloping south wall facing the Fine Arts Center. Throughout the evening 3-D art projections of custom-made films and 3D animations will make the wall appear to come alive in a constantly changing display. Four large projectors producing 14,000 lumens of light will beam live-action and animated films to create a visual spectacle.

“The clean lines and smooth surface of this new building inspired us to develop content custom made for the architecture — over seven million pixels per frame,” said Heather Elliott-Famularo, chair of the digital arts department.

Students of Elliott-Famularo and film instructor Thomas Castillo created the projection-mapped art works in a collaborative class between the School of Art and the Department of Theatre and Film. Their students will also have an exhibition of video installations, “The Wunderkammer,” in the Willard Wankelman Gallery

Corporations such as LG, Nike and Audi have used the projection mapping technique to advertise their products; global cities like Moscow, Quebec, Dubai and Shanghai have lit up the night, transforming their buildings into 3-D works of art. But never before has it been done on such a large scale in this region.

Indoors throughout the evening, the arts and talents of faculty and students will be showcased in performances, exhibits, hands-on activities, a film premiere and a Festival Series concert. Holiday shoppers can find handmade gifts crafted by BGSU art students while being entertained by performers of all types.

Events include the 63rd annual Faculty and Staff Exhibition of mixed media, print, paint, glass and graphics in the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery; dramatic readings, aluminum pours, glass blowing, aerial acts and improvised comedy. Children will enjoy the costumed characters, jugglers and archaeological “digs.”

The 7 p.m. Festival Series concert in Kobacker will feature soprano Kisma Jordan, a BGSU alumna, as soloist, plus 200 students, faculty and community members along with some of BGSU’s top ensembles, including the BG Philharmonia, University Choral Society, BGSU Wind Symphony Brass and BGSU’s Heart and Music musical theater students.

Filled with classics like “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” traditional carols and some special holiday medleys, “the concert has evolved into a holiday performance of epic proportions,” said Susan Hoekstra, director of public events for the College of Musical Arts. Hoekstra hinted there would be some surprise soloists in the Haydn “Toy Symphony,” where toys take center stage.

Tickets can be purchased at BGSU.edu/FestivalSeries or by calling the box office at 419-372-8171.

ArtsX visitors can also see the premiere of film faculty member Daniel Eric Williams’ movie “Hacked,” a story set in a world where technology rules, privacy is suspect, and everyone is potentially a terrorist — and where one keystroke will destroy your life. Williams will follow the film with remarks about the process and film. The screening begins at 9 p.m. in the Donnell Theatre at the Wolfe Center.

BGSU will also welcome back Jonathan Van Dyke, an expert in interactive photography experiences. This spring he left an impression with his gallery ARTalk. For a preview, visit his website: http://jonathanvandyke.com.

“It’s hard to believe ArtsX is nine years old,” said Abigail Cloud, ArtsX board member and a graduate student in the Creative Writing program. “ArtsX was created to give students a chance to show and sell their work to the community. It’s been growing treelike; the branches keep growing out and incorporating more arts areas.”

ArtsX comprises contributions from the students and faculty of the College of Musical Arts, School of Art, the Department of Theatre and Film, Creative Writing, Interior Design and Architecture and Environmental Design, as well as numerous student groups and clubs.

Visit the Arts website for more details.