Selkirk College Digital Arts New Media Program first-year students Bo Faraguna (left) and Dorothy Standidge (right) will join their classmates at the Year End Show where the best work in an eclectic mix of disciplines will be on display at Nelson’s Mary Hall on the Tenth Street Campus. The Year End Show opens at 6 p.m. on April 13 and goes all day on April 14. (Selkirk College)

Selkirk College Digital Arts & New Media program students set to dazzle

It’s an annual springtime visual feast that showcases the best output by students.

NELSON — It’s an annual springtime visual feast that showcases the best creative output by students in Selkirk College’s Digital Arts & New Media (DANM) Program.

The program’s Year End Show will once again take over Nelson’s Mary Hall on the Tenth Street Campus on April 13 and 14 where the extraordinary talent and diverse creativity of both first and second year students will be on display featuring projects in graphic design, illustration, animation, film, photography, web development, motion graphics and 3D modeling.

“There is so much awesome work to see,” says first-year DANM student Bo Faraguna. “Our class is very talented, every day I see something that makes my jaw hit the floor. This is a chance for the public to come see the best we have to offer, it’s well worth checking it out.”

Faraguna enroled in the DANM Program at the start of the 2017-2018 academic year after spending 15 years in the construction industry. The physical demands of being a drywaller took its toll and when he popped a disc in his back last year, Faraguna decided to return to school.

“I knew at that point a change was needed,” says Faraguna, who was born-and-raised in Nelson. “I had always been into art and the way it’s all going digital now, I figured now was the time to bite the bullet and try it. Am I ever glad I did, I feel so at home at this program. It’s where I’m meant to be.”

In a class where many of his peers were not even born by the time he graduated high school, the 40-year-old Faraguna admits some aspects of returning to school have been challenging. But with the added motivation of finding a career less physically demanding so he can enjoy more time with his five and ten-year-old children, Faraguna has completed the first half of the two-year program buoyed by his success in the classroom.

“Doing something I love doing every day, my whole outlook on life changed when I made that decision,” says Faraguna, who will have several of his projects on display including his photography work. “It’s a struggle at times, but it’s completely worth it. Nothing worth doing is easy and that is certainly the case when it comes to how I see this program for me.”

Like Faraguna, classmate Dorothy Standidge entered the DANM Program determined to pursue a passion that had been burning for a long time.

“In high school I was definitely the kid in the art room all the time,” says the 22-year-old who graduated from Mount Sentinel Secondary in 2013. “It was drawing and painting, but I had never really done any of it using digital tools. This program has given me the footing to go in that direction and I love it.”

The DANM Program provides an array of skills that equip students with the ability to take their work from the creative design process and conception to the presentation of a finished product. The program addresses the rapid technological changes in the new media industry, preparing students for careers in interactive education, advertising, marketing and the entertainment industry.

“The best part of the program is the diversity of options,” says Standidge. “Coming into the program I had a traditional art background, but I didn’t know where I could take that. Getting a taste of web design and 3D modeling and animation, you get to do a little bit of everything and then really put the passion into the areas that you are good at. Where else can you just play with all these things and explore what you like best?”

As the students put the finishing touches on their projects and start to transform Mary Hall into a venue that is both eye-popping and interactive, Standidge says those who take in the Year End Show will not be disappointed.

“There is so much variety with this class, people who come to the show will definitely find something that connects,” says Standidge, who will be featuring some of her best computer illustration work. “We all have distinct styles and creative minds, if you want to support local art come out and see it.”

The DANM Program’s Year End Show opens Friday, April 13 at 6 p.m. with the first night running until 9 p.m. Students will return on Saturday, April 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. where they will be on hand to answer questions and interact with guests.

Find out more about the Selkirk College Digital Arts & New Media Program at selkirk.ca/danm.

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