Farnsworth premieres teen-made stop-motion animation film ‘ArtWORKS’

Posted June 14, 2011, at 5:18 p.m.

ROCKLAND — The Farnsworth Art Museum will premiere “ArtWORKS,” a stop-motion animation film created by local middle and high school students, at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 19, at the Strand Theatre. The program is free to the public, and no reservations are necessary.

“ArtWORKS” is the second film created by the Farnsworth’s Julia’s Gallery teens. With lively colors and inventive techniques, the students took real-life issues, such as homelessness and school dropout, and imaginatively recast them in miniature with hand-crafted sets, including a Lego village, shadow puppets and claymation figures. In a layered and poignant narrative, teens anonymously recount how art — dance, music, theater, the written word or the visual arts — helped them through particularly challenging times in their lives. Students in the Julia’s Gallery for Young Artists program creatively visualized these narratives in ways that are both sensitive and magical, demonstrating how “art works” as a form of solace and inspiration.

In addition to claymation, the teens also act out scenes in a form of stop-motion animation called pixilation, where live actors are captured in a frame-by-frame sequence, becoming living, stop-motion puppets. Using a digital, single-lens reflex camera and advanced animation software, each second of animation was made from a sequence of 12 still shots. Over a six-month period, this short film was produced with the assistance of film director Nicole Marie Fuller; animation consultant Daniel Quintinella; character and set consultant Annie Bailey; and with consultation from Pinny Beebe-Center, the regional manager of Penquis, an organization that addresses economic and social needs. An original score, “Where Do I Go Now?,” was composed by local singer-songwriter Mehuman Johnson.

The Julia’s Gallery teens who worked on the film were key animators Declan Carlson, Leif Flynn and Patrick Beacham; assistant animators Hannah Lacasse, Jack Marin, Hannah Wills and Elena Lausten; actors Gracie Carias, Nick Greer and Chase Matteo; art director Hannah Wells; assistant art director Clio Berta; character designers Elena Lausten, Leif Flynn and Charlie Baker; cinematographer Jack Marin; and photographers Elena Lausten and Patrick Beacham.

The premiere will be accompanied by a short documentary by Daniel Quintinella giving a behind-the-scenes look at how the film was created. All are invited to see how in tough times “art works” to be deeply personal and psychologically uplifting for young people.

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