Oswego reels in Summer School of Media Arts

SUNY Oswego expects to draw up to 60 creative, high-achieving high school students each of the next five years as the college begins hosting the annual New York State Summer School of Media Arts.

The four-week residential program coordinated by the New York State Education Department also will bring around six figures in revenue to campus every year for use of facilities and residence halls plus work for faculty, staff and students, said Fritz Messere, interim dean of Oswego’s School of Communication, Media and the Arts.

The intensive summer school, which usually begins in late June, is highly competitive. Applicants from across the state submit portfolios for video, filmmaking, graphic arts or photography tracks.

Top-notch faculty and artists-in-residence from across the Northeast cultivate creativity in participating students. Nationally known media artist Robert Harris serves as artistic director.

Students should bring “intense focus, motivation and commitment” to “exciting and challenging classes, work sessions, critiques, lectures, field trips and presentations by visiting artists,” according to the program’s Web site.

“These are talented, highly motivated students that will come to Oswego during the summer, and we hope they apply to our school later,” Messere said. “We hope that they tell their friends too, and that this becomes an excellent way of recruiting student talent from across New York.”

The program, according to its Web site, “is not exclusively goal-oriented” but stresses “exploration, experimentation and discovery.” A final show and screening culminates the program.

While the State Education Department organizes the Summer School of Media Arts (and seven other arts-oriented summer schools), members of the Oswego campus community will play key roles in the event. Messere expects at least one full-time faculty member to work as a liaison and others potentially to teach. The summer school will provide jobs for Oswego students as teaching assistants or to assist in facilities and residence halls.

Ithaca College previously hosted the program. During the bidding and site-selection process for 2009-2013, coordinators reacted favorably to Oswego’s programs and facilities for video, film studies, graphic design and photography, Messere noted.

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CONTACT: Fritz Messere, messere@oswego.edu

(Posted: Oct 29, 2008)