3rd Annual Conference and Retreat

by Deanna Morse

Twenty four animators from five states gathered at Starved Rock Conference Center for the 3rd Annual ASIFA/Central Animator's Conference on April 21-23, 1995.

The conference featured screenings of professional, independent and student works, presentations on animation history, and leisurely activities which included hiking, swimming and late night conversation.

There were many highlights of the weekend. These included: screenings of the ASIFA/East Animation Reels and the "Best of Sesame Street Animation". Adwua X. Muwzea read a paper on the involvement of African-Americans in the animation industry, and George Hagenauer showed the original paper cels and comic panels of Andy Hettinger, a Chicago animator who worked between 1913-1915. Iowan animator David Thraser screened his work. His recent reanimation of a series of Red Raven picture records from 1956-58 were complex and entertaining. Byron Grush, Adwua X. Muwzea, and Deanna Morse showed reels of their independent animation. University student reels from Northern Illinois University and Rochester Institute of Technology were screened. Five students from Grand Valley State University made individual presentations of their work: Rich Sharp, Melodee Luyk, Jennifer Eldred, Fred Bresky, and James Schaub. Corporate and industrial reels were presented by Alex George of Chicago and Animasaur (Marie Cenkner and Paul Jessel.) Deanna Morse presented highlights from the SIGGRAPH 1994 Art and Design Show, which she organized for the conference in Orlando last August.

Here are some things participants said about the conference:

"Seeing the different variety of work was inspirational for me. I also enjoyed the hikes and the casual atmosphere of the conference." -Fred Bresky

"It was useful for me to see the Sesame Street reel. I am interested in education and I find my stories often get quite long. It was beneficial to see how they could get so much content across in such a short time." - Jennifer Eldred

"I enjoyed the weekend and the chance to meet with other animators. It was interesting to see the innovations of others. I respect their animation because I know it is hard to do!" - Tarena Ruff

"I liked Adwua Muzeas' use of rhythm and mixed graphic styles. And her commitment to education in that she is reaching out to include young animators in her work. -Rich Sharp

"I finally got out of the state of Michigan. This was only my second time to travel out of that state. They had a lot of mayapples, but I have to say that the cliffs were too steep for me. It was fun" -Venia Coleman (a former biology major who recently became an animation student)

"It was interesting to see how different University programs run, to compare their approaches, equipment and resources." Jim Schaub

"I am eagerly awaiting retreat number four next spring. Thanks to Marla Schweppe for all of her work in organizing this retreat." -Deanna Morse


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