Two digital art students and two recent digital art alumni of Southeast Missouri State University were part of a creative arts team directed by KevinHand that recently won an Award of Excellence in animation and special effects at the IndieFest Film Awards.
Those honored were current students Michelle Pennington of Caruthersville, Missouri, and Ashley Tong of St. Charles, Missouri, and recent alumni Kari Arnold of Mt. Vernon, Illinois, and Zach Jones of Festus, Missouri. Their winning entry was titled “I’am Just A $100 Bill.”
Overseeing their work was creative resource and digital artist Kevin Hand, who has enhanced opportunities for Southeast’s Bachelor of Fine Arts digital art students and has encouraged them to work on projects with him. Also assisting was Vulcan Productions (USA).
Currently in its seventh year, the IndieFEST Film Awards is an avant-garde worldwide competition that strives to give talented directors, producers, actors, creative teams and new media creators the positive exposure they deserve. It discovers and honors the achievements of filmmakers who produce high quality films and new media.
Hand is married to Dr. Joni Hand, assistant professor of art at Southeast. They came to Cape Girardeau from New York City, where Kevin was involved in magazine publishing design and illustration. In 2009, after losing a magazine job at Newsweek magazine in New York, he landed a position at Titmouse Studios in Hollywood, California, as an assistant animator on a cartoon for MTV called “DJ and the Fro.” He currently works at home with graphics for magazines and animation for web and TV, and has used his experience at Titmouse Studios in Hollywood to help the talented art students at Southeast.
This is the third animation project in which Kevin has invested his time energy and money to enhance the opportunities for Emily Denlinger’s current digital art students and recent digital art alums.
“He has provided an entrepreneurial atmosphere for our students to bridge the gap between the professional world and the academic learning environment,” said Caroline Kahler, chair of Southeast’s Department of Art.