First year students get their GIF on
Freshmen and first-year transfer students were invited to submit their art to emulate what they have learned so far at Columbia at the First Year Exhibition Feb 13. The 3rd annual display was held in the Project Room and projects displayed in the 916 S. Wabash Ave. Building.
First Year Exhibits have always been available to students from all departments and majors. However this year, a new theme was present as the artwork was strictly animated GIF files. GIF is the name of a file extension which contains repeat images continuously and have become popularized through Internet culture through sites like Tumblr and Reddit. According to an exhibit poster, the Oxford American Dictionary named “GIF” word of the year.
Alex Vanderaa, a freshman Interactive Arts & Media major, used Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to create his GIF that was a parody on the wild west.
“The GIF features Clint Eastwood and John Wayne in a showdown,” Vanderaa said. “I love western movies, but the showdowns are taken way too seriously. In my GIF, a tumbleweed goes by and a bird comes along to pick one of them up.”
Niki Nolin, associate professor in the Interactive Arts & Media department, said the department decided to strictly digital, because past First Year Exhibitions were a “hodgepodge” of sound pieces, films, photography and even designed games.
“I think GIF animations are really simple and a lot of fun,” she said. “Everybody should know how to [make] them. We had about 31 entries and accepted almost everyone.”
Currently, visitors can observe the animations and vote for the winner on a computer located in the middle of the exhibit. The winner at the end will receive an Amazon gift card.
First Year Exhibition is available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday until March 22nd.