mari jaye blanchard
As an artist and film maker, I employ technologies both from the distant past and the still-in-development-present to create visual experiences inviting shifts of perspective and empathetic engagement. Through this exploration of high and low-tech processes, I have contributed to the field of animation films and artworks that recognize the value of diverse voices and emotional vulnerability. Disseminated nationally and internationally, these works have promoted within my own practice a dedication to learning that has greatly influenced my scholarly and pedagogical approach.
After receiving my MFA in Painting from the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design, and working for over a decade as a commercial muralist, I traded my brushes for a digital drawing tablet. Along with several of my own shorts, which have screened worldwide including festivals in Annecy, Melbourne, Paris, and Berlin, I have produced animations for Sesame Workshop, MTV, Comedy Central and the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA).
I am a NYFA Fellow, an Asian American Arts Alliance Urban Artist Initiative (UAI) Fellow, and a co-founder of the NYC animation collective Family Camp.
While I continue my own independent work, I get daily inspiration from my students and colleagues at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) where I am an Assistant Professor in the College of Art and Design’s School of Film and Animation. My latest film, Swing, a VR experience utilizing 2D and 3D animation, was completed at the start of the pandemic in the spring of 2020, and has screened around the world in a distancing-friendly 360 format.