On Thursday, March 15, the Seattle Marriott Redmond hotel officially opened its new M Space studio suites and meeting room venue, decorated throughout with over 20 pieces of DigiPen student artwork.
Ranging from digital paintings to animation, game stills, and beyond, the exhibition marks the beginning of a new partnership between DigiPen and the Seattle Marriott Redmond, which will continue to feature new student work in M Space on a rotating annual basis.
“It is an absolute honor and a real coup for our students to have their work up in this space,” Jazno Francoeur, a former Disney animator and the director of the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Art and Animation program, said at the ceremony. “The thing about doing animation or digital art of any type — for games or a movie — is its maximal effort for minimal returns. It takes a lot of effort to get what you see on these walls and these screens. Like we used to say at Disney, it’s ‘Olympic Sitting.’ … It’s how hard you’re willing to get lost in the work and sit down and do it. I think the work here speaks for itself, and I’m very proud of all these students.”
The ceremony was a lively one, as representatives from Microsoft and community programs like OneRedmond, Redmond Kiwanis Club, Eastside Pathways, and Hopelink packed the M Space after a champagne toast. Many wandered the exhibition taking part in a scavenger hunt, looking for the answers to very DigiPen-appropriate questions about the artwork like “How many swords are there in all?” and “What are all the colors of Adija’s beads?”
One of the night’s guests of honor was Redmond Mayor John Marchione, who accompanied DigiPen staff, faculty, and student artists in ceremonially opening the new M Space with a ribbon cutting, complete with oversized scissors. When asked whether or not he’s an avid gamer, Marchione admitted his experience is limited to the original Donkey Kong and Pong. Regardless, Marchione said, “My degree is in humanities and art history, so I get how art and technology go together. What everyone is doing at DigiPen is so cool. Redmond likes its art, and it likes it a little offbeat. DigiPen is a huge part of that.”
Students and recent graduates whose work is featured at M Space include:
The Adija Team (Apollonia Thomaier, Tai Gordon, Conlawat Thammawan, Joe Vick, Austic Becker, Garrett Cavanaugh, Evan Alderete, Grey Davenport, Morgan Rowe, Evan Pitkin)
Fei Mi Quek
The Guardian of the Gears Team (Kaden Nugent, Cameron Craig, Roland Ocampo, Jed Cho, Madeline Rabbitt, John Lim, Juli Gregg, Eduardo Gorinstein, Samuel Valdez, Spencer Mauro, Derhui Tai)