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studio Inspiring Results, Together

A publication of CU Denver’s College of Arts and Media (CAM)

02 04 06 10

I Need My Monster CAM 3D Movie Catches the Eye of Animation Professionals

On the Move Behind the scenes at CAM’s New On-campus Digs

Top Notes Billboard Magazine names CU Denver as Top 10 School

Creative Fluency Meet the New Dean at CAM

CU Denver Photographer Chosen to Exhibit at Smithsonian PG.7


We are extending our responsibility beyond higher education, to provide access to students in 9th through 12th grades by hosting LYNX: National Arts and Media Summer Camp. This two-week program will kick off in the summer of 2015. It will extend and broaden the work of two faculty members, Peter Stoltzman and Owen Kortz, who co-founded a camp in 2014 that provided opportunities for high school students to enroll in broad-based studies of the music industry. The 2015 camps will offer the Summer Music Industry Program, once again, along with camps in photography, movie production, digital design and 3D & digital animation.

A Letter from the Dean Welcome to the intersection of art, technology and commerce. This marks a publication that will be published, broadcast and distributed two times per year. The next issue will be our annual report. Our intended readership is anyone who cares about creativity and changing the world. That’s all. Others may check in too, and perhaps become part of the transformation that is taking place by way of our alumni, faculty, students and community partners. Our peer and aspirant institutions are almost entirely private, non-profit and for-profit institutions. We believe that we are uniquely situated with the designation and responsibility to be America’s leading public college of arts and media. The word public reveals a mission to provide access to a broader population.

Since accepting the position as Dean of the College of Arts & Media in May 2014 and starting this exciting work in August, my expectations for student and faculty success, alumni attainment, and community support have all been surpassed. My successful experience as a dean at two other institutions (Shenandoah Conservatory and LSU) has provided a framework to carry out the important work assigned by Provost Nairn and (then) Chancellor Elliman. Throughout the interview process the passion for excellence exhibited by these two leaders was inspirational and compelling.

2 Collaborative Studio Catches the Eye of Animation Professionals 4 CAM is on the Move 5 MIX Gains Performing Opportunities 6 Top Notes 7 Taking Flight 8 LYNX: National Arts and Media Camp 9 Building a Strong Foundation with the Dean’s Advisory Board 10 Creative Fluency 11 Hans Rosenwinkel: Adventurer, Explorer, Filmmaker, CAM Professor 12 Notable: 13 Going On...

Publisher CU Denver College of Arts & Media (CAM) Managing Editor Cindy Barringer

The following pages indicate some of the exciting creative flow that is emanating from our campus. Thank you for exploring with us.

Laurence Kaptain, DMA and FRSA Dean of the College of Arts & Media University of Colorado Denver

studio is published biannually Copyright ©2015 CAM - All rights reserved. To contribute: Contact Cindy Barringer at

Cover Photo ©2015 Joann Brennan

Collaborative Studio Catches the Eye of Animation Professionals “I Need My Monster” Huge Success for 2014 DAC Seniors

Great things are happening here at CU Denver’s College of Arts and Media (CAM), and there might be monsters in the Digital Animation Center (DAC). The award-winning short film, I Need My Monster, is the capstone project of CU Denver’s 2014 Digital Animation Senior Lab. The film is an adaptation of Flashlight Press author Amanda Noll’s children’s book of the same name, which was illustrated by Howard McWilliam. For three semesters, students collaborated tirelessly to ensure that every monster tail slithered appropriately and every shadow was cast correctly, while instructors worked doggedly to make sure every element was created with cohesive style. Creating a first-rate student film takes hard work, a dedicated faculty, and an advanced studio setting. “We’re one of the only schools in the world that does projects in a large scale, collaborative environment. Professional studios like Pixar are impressed with the processes that we put our students through because it mirrors a professional studio setting,” said Howard Cook, Director of CU Denver’s Digital Animation Center.


Award-winning student films require highcaliber faculty. Stephen Baker, instructor and the film’s production director, Paul Conner, instructor and industry relations, Howard Cook, executive producer, and Tripp Vroman, instructor and technical director, comprise the faculty team of CU Denver’s digital animation program. These faculty members are no strangers to how real studios are run. When school isn’t in session, they’re often working with some of the industry’s top animation studios, such as Sony, Disney and Pixar.

Not only does their process draw the eyes of professionals, but I Need My Monster is also receiving accolades from across the globe. So far it is an official selection to 64 national and international film festivals, including festivals in Indonesia, Pakistan, Spain, England, Brazil, Ukraine, Mexico, Canada, Portugal, Chile, Peru, and India. The film has won numerous awards, including Best Animation at the Indie Spirit Film Festival in Colorado Springs, and Best Animation at the International Family Hollywood Film Festival. A professional-grade studio with ties to the animation industry leads to highly employable graduates. Farooq Qureshi, one of the members of the 2014 senior design lab, is a prime example. After graduating in May 2014, he accepted a position as a storyboard artist for a studio in Singapore. Fellow graduate Mike Launderer, who also worked on I Need My Monster, landed a position in studio lighting with Luma Pictures. I Need My Monster was a great success for the 2014 Digital Animation Senior Lab, and everyone in CAM is excited to see what the students come up with in 2015. View the film here: DigitalAnimationCenter


CAM is on the Move Behind the scenes at CAM’s brand new on-campus digs

and a member of the expansion committee. The new spaces will expand CAM’s reach across the entire campus with offices and classroom space extending to the King Center and the Dravo Building on 14th Street as well as a complete renovation of the Tivoli Lower Level Starz Theater space.

Exciting changes are happening at CAM. The school is currently underway with its most historic expansion project to date, developing completely new spaces and significantly broadening the school’s reach across campus. An ambitious plan to expand CAM’s physical presence, the project began with the help of a professional space study firm. “The analysis we received helped guide our vision for the type of physical environment we needed to reach our full potential and provide the best possible educational environment for our students,” noted Dan Koetting, Chair of the Department of Theatre, Film & Video Production


The Tivoli renovation may be the most exciting and ambitious component of CAM’s planned expansion as it will reach across the entire lower level of what once was home to the Denver Film Society, spanning the space of 6 movie theaters in total. The vision is to provide a completely innovative new space for CAM students and faculty to interact with different focused groups within the department. The renovation will be complete with a professional production company space, dubbing stage, TV studio, editing labs, screening rooms, concept spaces, community areas, meeting rooms and even a stage. “It’s an exciting time,” noted Koetting. “This will be one of the most important periods of growth in CAM’s history and we can’t wait to see the final results.” Expansion will begin in early 2015 with final Tivoli renovation projected to be completed in the fall.

Tivoli Ranks #9 on the 25 Most Amazing Campus Student Unions List

MIX Gains Performing Opportunities An international performance has opened many doors for CAM a cappella group 2013 was a great year for the a cappella group MIX, with three competition wins and multiple awards as the “most original” group among contestants, but 2014 has proven to be even better. Kicking the year off to a good start, the group traveled to London to open for the Grammy award-winning Swingle Singers at the prestigious London A Cappella Festival. MIX received a personal invitation from the worldrenowned singers, and ever since then opportunities have grown like crazy.

“Our previous album was Breaking Ground, so we really liked the name Edifice,” explained Daniels. “An edifice is a building… we broke ground and now we’re trying to build things up for the group.” Their new album Edifice is available on iTunes and has received many positive reviews from the a cappella community. For information on upcoming performances visit the group’s website:

“We’ve been asked to showcase at the National A Cappella Convention in Memphis and to do a couple corporate gigs, like one for Visit Denver in February,” said Aaron Daniels, MIX member and third year student here at CU Denver. MIX has also scheduled a trip to Denmark, where they will perform at the Aarhus Vocal Festival. Known as “Europe’s biggest festival of rhythmic vocal music,” Aarhus Vocal Festival looks for acts that challenge traditional vocal music, something the members of MIX strive to do during every performance. Founded in 2005 by the group’s director, Assistant Professor Dr. Erin Hackel, MIX has seen much success in the last two years. With the help of money gained from performing, MIX recently released their first full album, Edifice.

Photo by Enrique



Top Notes CU Denver named one of Billboard Magazine’s Top Schools for 2014

The CU Denver College of Arts and Media’s Department of Music & Entertainment Industry Studies certainly has a lot to celebrate. The school boasts a host of world renowned alumni, prominent industry professors, and even a student run record label, CAM Records, that has put out multiple award-winning releases and worked with high profile artists such as The Fray. Now add in the fact that the school has recently been named one of Billboard Magazine’s “Top Schools to Learn about the Music Industry in 2014” and it’s obvious to see why there has been such buzz around campus these days. The school has become unique in the innovative ways it is teaching students to be successful in the music industry. “Sometimes you find schools that, not necessarily by plan, tend to focus more on one or two parts of the music industry,” noted Assistant Professor and Head of CAM Records, Storm Gloor. “We’re very balanced and strong in all areas, including the technology side, the publishing side, the live music side, the legal side, the marketing side, and all other aspects.”


This diverse offering and a vibrant faculty with deep industry experience provide a fresh, innovative environment where students can not only learn about the music industry, but also get a first-hand look at how the business actually operates through internships and other experimental learning opportunities, including CAM Records. “It’s one thing to tell the students what the industry is like,” remarked Gloor, “but it’s another for them to actually experience it firsthand.” And experience it they do. In everything from classroom work with local and national music companies, to the student run record label, students are able to get a true taste of the music industry. “Students collaborate across all programs, creating a real-world experience of the music industry while in school, and building a supportive community of musicians, managers, and engineers,” notes Cathy Applefeld Olson of Billboard Magazine. This significant focus on real world experience is preparing more and more students for life after CU Denver. “The more successful we can make the program the better we can serve everyone in it and the community as a whole,” concluded Gloor. “At CU Denver we’re not just teaching students, we’re building leaders who will impact our communities for years to come.”

Taking Flight CAM Professor Joann Brennan Chosen to Exhibit in the Smithsonian The power and beauty of the photographic image lies in its ability to convey a story, to incite inspiration or impact understanding all captured in the moment that the artist chooses to release the shutter. Nowhere is that story more compelling or relevant to our modern lives than in the work of Joann Brennan. Brennan has been recently selected as one of only 12 artists to share her story in the Smithsonian’s newest exhibit, The Singing and the Silence: Birds in Contemporary Art where her work

stands out in its ability to convey the fragile relationship that exists between humans and nature. Far from a black and white criticism of human interference, Brennan’s photography focuses on the intimate codependence between people and nature. “In the beginning, I had no idea about the extent to which we manipulate wildness. People think we should step back and let wildness be, holding on to a romantic view of what

wildness is… but through making this work, I know that our impact on the environment is so significant that if we step back we’ll lose it,” says Brennan. “We have the power to completely eliminate a species, and we have the power to bring a species back from the edge of extinction. We are constantly testing, learning, and adapting in an effort to create a balance between human concerns and wildness. And the reality of it is that the balance is humanmade and precarious.” Learning is a key component of Brennan’s work throughout the six photographs featured at the Smithsonian and through her work on the “Managing Eden” series, which Brennan has put together over the past 24 years. Brennan’s work as a photographer has had far-reaching impact and she has earned numerous accolades along the way, including prestigious fellowships with both the Smithsonian and the Guggenheim, but even more impressive has been the impact she has had across her many years as a CAM Professor and Administrator. In her 16 years as a faculty member and her current role as Associate Dean, she has certainly Continued on page 12


LYNX: National Arts and Media Camp Lynx: National Arts and Media Camp is launching June 14-26, 2015, with programs in music, film, digital design, digital animation, and photography. For two weeks, 14-18 year-olds are immersed in a dynamic college environment, guided deep into the creative process by worldclass faculty. Last summer, CU Denver piloted the Summer Music Industry Program (SMIP), in which students composed, recorded and performed contemporary, commercial music and learned about the music


business. SMIP offered students unforgettable first-hand interactions with the professional music world, field trips to Red Rocks, Coupe Studios, The Walnut Room, Dazzle Jazz Club, and presentations by a radio DJ, a Hip-Hop innovator, an international pop star, a publishing company entrepreneur, awardwinning songwriters, and more.

master the business aspects of the industry and gave him a new depth of understanding about what it takes to succeed. The culture of creativity, encouragement, experimentation, inspiration, fun and business savvy gave him a new, broader opening with which to view his future career and the abundant opportunities available.”

One parent said, “SMIP took [my son] out of his comfort zone and stretched his abilities as a young musician… The program provided him with the fresh tools necessary to

It is with this spirit that the LYNX: National Arts and Media Camp seeks to offer transformative experiences in the various arts disciplines to students from diverse backgrounds.

Building a Strong Foundation with the Dean’s Advisory Board CU Denver’s College of Arts and Media (CAM) is preparing for exciting changes in 2015. With a new Dean at the helm, and backed by an astute Advisory Board, the college is firing up to become America’s leading public college of arts and media. Many of the Dean’s Advisory Board members have been involved with the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts in addition to having influential involvement throughout Denver’s art community. The Advisory Board

is eager to build and strengthen connections between CAM and the community as well as raise funds for students, programs and events. Some of the upcoming changes include the LYNX: National Arts and Media Camp along with a new space for programs and state of the art equipment in the Tivoli. Even with these many changes ahead, CAM continues to produce talented students with a contemporary, competitive edge in the fields of Music, Visual Arts and Film.

Members Include: Scott Aller - 5280 Live Susan Beyda - Colorado Symphony Capucine Chapman - Denver Public Schools Meredith Hutson - Executive Director; Presenting Denver Gwen Laine - CAM Alumna and Professional Fine Art Photographer Robert Leighton - Liberty Global, Inc. Gaye Leonard - Director of Development and Philanthropic Planning; Rose Community Foundation Randy Nogel - Executive and Lawyer; Hutchins & Associates

Linda Overholser, MD - Anschutz Medical Center Doug Scheetz - Partner; Ernst & Young Aaron Templer - Strategic Marketing Dierdre Wilson - Community Volunteer Chris Wineman - Principal; Semple Brown Design Michele Wysocki - CAM Alumna Donald Zuckerman - Commissioner; Colorado Office of Film, Television and Media

Back Row (left to right): Donald Zuckerman, Chris Wineman, Gwen Laine, Randy Nogel, Dierdre Wilson, Noelle DeLage, Laurence Kaptain, Shannon Squires, Elizabeth Herman Front Row: Joann Brennan, Meredith Hutson, and Lindsey Bieging


Creative Fluency Meet Dean Laurence Kaptain

Q. A.

The new Dean of CU Denver’s College of Arts and Media arrives from Louisiana State University where he served as Dean of the College of Music & Dramatic Arts.

Q. A.

Laurence Kaptain, born in Elgin, Illinois, to a father of Hungarian ancestry, was exposed at an early age to the cimbalom, a rectangular string instrument resembling a hammered dulcimer. As a symphonic cimbalom artist, Dean Kaptain has appeared with cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pop artist Elvis Costello. He has performed in Carnegie Hall with the New York Philharmonic, in the Kennedy Center with the National Symphony and several city symphonies across the U.S. In 1987, Kaptain was the first individual to receive the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in percussion instruments from the University of Michigan. His studio work includes 7 symphonic CDs and in 1992 he authored the book The Wood that Sings: The Marimba in Chiapas, Mexico. Kaptain’s experience as a working artist has authentically informed his career mission of preparing and supporting students with “creative fluency” as they enter the world of commerce and technology. While at LSU he was appointed the first Director of Creative Initiatives at the Office of Research and Economic Development (ORED) launching the highly successful Creative Initiatives Task Force. He is known as an innovative leader, persistent fund-raiser and a champion of creative, cross-disciplinary thinking.


Q. A.

Q. A.

Why did you take the Dean’s position here at CU Denver CAM? It was an exact fit. My perspective on how to capitalize upon the major opportunities facing arts and media students coincides precisely with the college’s evocative position that CAM has a significant focus on the arts at the intersection of art, technology and commerce. Where do you envision CU Denver CAM heading in the future? There has never, perhaps, been a time or place so conducive to the realization of CAM’s inherent mission. What interests me most about CAM is how, in its 15 year history, the college has exemplified “creative fluency” by its inclusion of enterprise and entrepreneurship in all arts and entertainment instruction. CAM is now in a position to be America’s leading public college in arts and media. It is an exceptional opportunity but a brief opportunity – CAM needs to seize it. That is a worthy mission for CAM but how does this relate to students? What will advancing “creative fluency” mean for the graduates of our arts and media programs here at CAM? When the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP) surveyed over 32,000 arts alumni, analysts were surprised to find that 87% of arts graduates are satisfied with their jobs. 82% were satisfied with their ability to be creative in their current work. The fastest growing organizations in the world are fueled by creative possibility and cross-disciplinary thinking. Our students as “citizen artists” or agents of creativity, will leverage their talents to advance the economic and cultural welfare of their communities. As Dean what will be your initial areas of concern? I intend to increase the visibility of our creative actions and accomplishments and place more emphasis upon unique, interdisciplinary collaborations that provide wider access to education, culture and the arts. I believe that as individual learners we leave but a footprint…together, we create monuments.

Hans Rosenwinkel: Adventurer, Explorer, Filmmaker, CAM Professor Last year Hans Rosenwinkel, CU Denver’s College of Arts and Media Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre, Film and Video Production, co-produced, filmed and edited Xpedition China: Search for Shangri La in association with the production company, Breakwater Entertainment. The new television series gave insight to China’s untouched beauty, from the Terracotta Warriors to Pandas in the wild. The series was aired worldwide with three major global networks including Discovery Velocity network in the USA, CCTV-China, and National Geographic International.


Rosenwinkel was allowed unprecedented access in China and is thinking bigger for the continuation of the series to be shot in other exotic locations across the globe. Rosenwinkel is no stranger to world travel. Prior to his project in China, Rosenwinkel has traveled

everywhere from the Siberian border to film the Ice Festival down to the tropics to film indigenous people. It’s a challenging kind of filmmaking, but he wouldn’t have it any other way. Back at CU Denver’s College of Arts & Media, you can find Rosenwinkel in the classroom teaching a variety of courses from introductory film to advanced editing. His experience as a writer, producer and editor keeps him fresh in the industry, which he then brings to his students. “I know how stuff works, what the business expects, and what [students] need to know to progress in the industry,” stated Rosenwinkel. Rosenwinkel’s most recently finished work is a documentary called The Current which is airing nationwide on EPIX. He co-directed, wrote, filmed, and edited the story which is based on the healing powers of the ocean. The Current has been selected for multiple film festivals including the Boulder International Film Festival. Rosenwinkel is just one of the many highlyaccredited faculty members teaching here at CAM.


Taking Flight Continued from page 7

played a major role in taking CAM to the next level. Brennan has been selected to lead academic program development and support the building of mutually beneficial relationships between educational programs, from all four CU campuses, and South Denver’s business communities in her new role as Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at CU’s South Denver location. But even with her new responsibilities and the national spotlight on her creative work, Brennan continues to remain focused on CAM and excited about the prospects ahead. “With the addition of our terrific new Dean and new initiatives underway, it is a great time to be a part of CAM,” she concludes. “I am very excited about the future of CAM, as our talented and experienced faculty, staff and administrators are focused on building innovative educational programs and creative opportunities from which our entrepreneurial students can launch exciting careers. I am grateful to have the opportunity to help the college grow.”



Student, Digital Design

Mario “DJ Chonz” Rodriguez

“What drives me to be successful is the impact that my work will have on the world.”

“My roots are in hip-hop – that’s what I’m known for.”

Ruben Fernandez

DJ and Radio Personality on 107.5

Andrea Lynn Parés

Student, Vocal Performance and Music Business “My main goal is to make a living recording and performing my own music!”

Jeremy Kuehn

Student, 3D Graphics and Animation “The internship at PIXAR is amazing but actually it’s just the first step.”

Going On...

Support CAM Students

From the Top: With Host Christopher O’Riley February 2015 | King Center Concert Hall In a live radio taping event, Christopher O’Riley speaks with special guest and film composer Danny Elfman. Learn more at

Performance by Todd Rundgren April 2015 | King Center Concert Hall Pop music visionary and founder of the Spirit of Harmony Foundation, musician Todd Rundgren will perform at CU Denver this coming spring. Visit for more information

Annual BFA Exhibition May 2015 | Redline Gallery The College of Arts & Media at the University of Colorado Denver proudly presents the Spring 2015 BFA Thesis Exhibition at Redline. This exhibition will represent the graduating seniors in the emphasis areas of Painting/Drawing, Illustration, Transmedia Sculpture, Photography, Digital Design, and Digital Animation. For more information, visit

LYNX: National Arts and Media Camp June 2015 | Auraria Campus Creating life-changing experiences for high school students, LYNX is a two week intensive immersion program that gives students hands-on learning and creative experiences in music, design, film, photography, animation, graphics, and more. For more information visit

Creating access to arts education with

1000 MORE Scholarships At the University of Colorado Denver, more than 14,000 students pursue their passions through education – and you can help “1000 MORE” students follow their dreams in the Mile High City. Join in CU Denver’s largest scholarship initiative ever, as we work together to provide financial support for 1,000 more CU Denver students every year and triple private support for scholarships by 2020. Join us in creating access to arts education by selecting College of Arts and Media when you visit


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Studio | Winter 2014  

University of Colorado Denver College of Arts & Media's first publication that captures the exciting creative flow that is emanating from ou...

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