arts Enter Weston Bell-Geddes’ Virtual Reality By Monica Case ’90, Associate Director of Communications
into your favorite piece of art. Enter the artist’s mind. Or change their mind. And modify the painting. Hike around in a VR world of brush strokes and unseen light, mixed with Mondrian’s cubes of color and Magritte’s apple-tinged surrealism. Have a cup of coffee with the Nighthawks. Or tell time with softly melting clocks. Become an artist yourself by smashing the idealist images and do what every artist does — reinvent the painting to reﬂect yourself.” — Weston Bell-Geddes, the explanatory text for Artiﬁce at viveport.com
PUT ON THE VIRTUAL REALITY (VR) HEADSET, grab the motion controllers, and enter the playful and exciting interactive gallery space of Weston Bell-Geddes ’19. Starting with paintings by two of his favorite modern masters, Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) and René Magritte (1898-1967), Weston created several games that invite the user to interact with works of art in a physical way. These games include playing golf with Magritte’s green apples, “Golf de Pomme,” and moving Mondrian’s blocks of color to create a new work of art, “Make Your Own Mondrian.” Games based upon Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks” and Jackson Pollack’s drip painting are currently in development.
working on a variety of projects. Weston has taken Mr. Martin’s courses in Computer Generated Imagery (CGI), Expressions in Digital Design, and 3D Design and Modeling. Mr. Martin teaches his students to look at shape, color, and form through the paintings of Josef Albers (1888-1976) and others. His students also learn about CGI imagery; 2D design; 3D modelling with sound using Blender software; animation; and architectural, graphic, and product design. For Weston, this broad design knowledge, added to his years of computer programming and photography, as well as his love of art history, gave him the tools and drive to commit hundreds of hours to the development of his games.
This past June, as Weston was completing Tenth Grade, he was also preparing to publish Artiface, his suite of interactive VR games. Artiface is the result of months of work, and years of study and practice, and is great example of what is possible when skills, imagination, and encouragement all come together.
Weston credits Mr. Martin for providing him with a creative environment in which to explore his interests and as a mentor who allows his students that freedom to be curious. According to Weston, “Mr. Martin likes to say that he knows a little about a lot of things, but he inspires kids to do what they want to do as long as they are productive. He is what every teacher ought to be.”
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Weston is a dedicated student of photography, completing four years of courses with teacher Charlie Sitzer, and will continue with Advanced Photography in Eleventh Grade. He began working on computer programming outside of school several years ago, and as he explained, his programming ability has allowed him to really “take advantage of the cool classes at Viewpoint.”
Mr. Martin is also full of praise for Weston. He explained, “Some students are self-motivated, some are very creative, some have strong technology skills – Weston has all three. He is a ‘creative technologist.’ He is also fast, curious, and driven. He learned how to do visual design, he knows how to code. This gives him a broader range of what is possible. I encourage my students to Many of those “cool classes” take place in David Martin’s have a creative outlet and practice – whatever it may be – and classroom/computer lab, where Weston can often be found Weston has found that.” ■ Weston Bell-Geddes ’19
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