This is my stop, got to get off

Laura Lucas

Laura Lucas

“I think his work is tremendously exciting,” said Randy Clark, assistant professor of visual arts.

Clark’s comment is about the award-winning animator Patrick Smith. Smith will be on campus March 12.

“He will be giving a presentation, showing his short films and talking about his processes,” said Cable Hardin, assistant professor of visual arts.

Smith has worked on many projects, including movies, art, T.V. shows and commercials. According to his Web site, Smith made his directorial debut for the Emmy-nominated MTV series Down-Town. One of his more known works is also with MTV on the series Daria.

“I knew of his work years ago with the short film Drink. It is a film about people who transform after taking a drink of something,” said Hardin.

According to his Web site, Smith’s bizarre, morphing style tells symbolic stories of identity and emotion. He currently has five short animated films that range from three to eight minutes. His newest film, Puppet, has received many awards, including Best Animation at the Wild Rose Independent Film Festival.

“His work is simple, yet movement and line quality is fascinating to watch,” said Hardin. “It’s very visual and abstract with interesting color movement. There is no dialogue with his films.”

Smith has also directed and animated commercials for companies including Burger King, Visa and Zoloft. The most recognizable are the rock-looking figures in the Zoloft commercials.

His work also appears in galleries. Patrick Smith said on his Web site, “Using the figure as a building block, intertwining with other figures, is a powerful method of constructing a broader configuration. The concept of people supporting others to achieve something larger than themselves can have a sublime result, and it’s something that I enjoy illustrating ? The entire project is meant to be a passive, simple addition to the everyday city street.”

Clark said, “In communication we seek three things: 1. We are trying to take people to an unexpected expectation; 2. In visual education, you should make people have an emotional or gut reaction to your work; 3. Visual education should also make you think or simulate thought. Smith is new and relevant to what we are doing; it’s relevant for students to see what’s going on now.”

According to Hardin, Smith will also be visiting with students in animation and art history classes. His work translates well in the classroom because it is fun, unique and a contemporary style.

Clark said, “Smith will visit with students about animation techniques and show different ways of doing certain things and thought processes.”

Hardin also hopes Smith is the first of many animators that will come to campus. He also said Smith is really looking forward to his first time in South Dakota.

Smith will give a presentation in Peterson Recital Hall in Lincoln Music Hall on March 12 from 5 to 7 p.m.