Behind the Frames: Student Works from the UCF School of Visual Arts and Design

Behind the Frames presents artwork from students in the Character Animation Track BFA and Animation and Visual Effects Track MFA

The works presented are seldom exhibited preproduction and production images created for the development of graduate and undergraduate animated films produced at the University of Central Florida’s School of Visual Arts and Design. Displayed here are character design sheets, production stills, background paintings and concept sketches from recently released and current projects.

Behind the Frames will be on display in Orlando Science Center's Fusion: A STEAM Gallery on Level 3 from August 28 through November 14, 2021.

Behind the Frames Exhibit Q&A Completed By UCF Lecturer of Animation Jo Anne Adams

What inspired you to curate the pieces in this exhibition?

As a faculty member, I am deeply inspired by the talent our students display and their passion for their medium. Few people understand the scope of artistic development necessary for creation of an animated production. This exhibit offers an opportunity for appreciation of the artistic and technical layers involved in the production process.

What do you hope guests will take away from this exhibition?

I hope to inspire young artists to pursue a discipline that satisfies both the creative and technical problem-solving passions found in the animation field.

How is STEAM (Science, Technology, Art, Engineering, and Math) relevant to this exhibition?

Animation utilizes a broad array of artistic and technical skills. Storytelling requires deep research into literature, history, environments and culture. In development of imagery design theory, film theory and editing theory are all utilized. In order to execute their films, advanced imaging software packages such as Maya, Houdini, Renderman, and Nuke are mastered.

The production process requires not only designers and colorists but coders and rigging artists. Effects artists must study and reinterpret the physics of our world into the worlds they create. Integration with ambient sound, foley and musical scores is achieved through coordination with composers and sound artists. This discipline is attractive to a very particular kind of artist who enjoys being a part of a studio collective.

Behind The Frames artwork by UCF Student , Christina Christie
Hannah Huffman student artwork for Behind the Frames exhibition

Featured Artists: Indianna Alvarez- Sanchez, Erin Bergin, Clinnie Brinson, Isobel Cassidy, James Chambless, Christina Christie, Jamie Dean, Kirstin Hardin, Hannah Huffman, Hannah Jurgens, Clara Kopitnik, Jamie Lachnicht, Nathaniel Shrage,  and Damian Thorn-Hauswirth


The University of Central Florida (UCF) is quickly becoming a prominent institution in the animation field. Both the Character Animation BFA and Animation and Visual Effects MFA tracks allow students to integrate multiple domains of art, storytelling and technology into their body of work. The faculty strives to provide a solid foundation in techniques and theory; a broad understanding of related disciplines including arts, humanities, and technology, and extended experience in working in multidisciplinary teams on realistic problems.

UCF is currently ranked second in the nation on the 2021 list of Top Forty Public Animation Schools and Colleges in the U.S. by Animation Career Review. Their undergraduate program has a strong history of producing award-winning productions and MFA students have presented their research at the annual Society of Animation Studies conference since the MFA’s foundation. Graduates have moved on to work for prestigious film, television, simulation and gaming companies. Alumni have successfully pursued careers such as animators, story artists, visual development artists, lighting artists, technical artists, effects artists, modelers, riggers, or texture artists. The college's faculty and students are dedicated to furthering the art of visual storytelling and further pushing the quality and skill associated with the UCF School of Visual Arts and Design.

Environmental Art Exhibit Earth’s Voice Opens at Orlando Science Center

Earth's Voice: An Environmental Art Exhibit shows our planet through artists' eyes

Climate scientists and environmental experts show that when we focus on restoring our Earth, we can solve multiple issues at once.  This multi-media environmental art exhibit addresses the manifold environmental crises humans and non-humans face while we envision new futures.

Artists are the ultimate translators of the human condition and can hold deep empathy for the natural systems around us that support our survival. It is through this deep empathy that we endeavor to connect art and science while waking up humanity to the severity of our current situation and inspire people to act. 

Earth's Voice: An Environmental Art Exhibit will be on display in Fusion: A STEAM Gallery on Level 3 through August 22.

A Q&A with artists Katie De Bari & Michelle Irizarry

What inspired you to create/curate the pieces in this exhibition?

2021’s Earth Day theme is “Restore the Earth.” We all have worries, dreams, ideas, and objections when it comes to reckoning with the damage we humans have inflicted upon our shared environment. Throughout COVID-19, we have all been forced to step back and reflect more than perhaps we normally would. We curated this exhibition in order to share our very human artifacts of our reflections on the non-human, consider both the resilience and fragility of our planet, call out injustice, and imagine a way forward.

What do you hope guests will take away from this exhibition?

This gallery is meant to highlight a diversity of voices concerned for the degradation of our planet. With our sponsor, CLEO Institute, we also want this gallery to be a testament of faith in science and of hope for a new way forward. This gallery is curated to encourage both reflection and action. We hope this will be just one of many art installations through which communities can explore how the personal and the environment meet and inform each other in the Anthropocene.

How is STEAM (Science, Technology, Art, Engineering, and Math) relevant to this exhibition?

The science of climate change is unequivocal. It is based on analyses of the long-term observational record as well as climate modeling where scenarios of increasing greenhouse gas emissions show widespread global warming and long-term changes in many aspects of our climate. These climate models are run on super-computers and use numerical tools to solve approximate versions of advanced mathematical equations based on the fundamentals laws of physics, fluid motion, and chemistry. They also allow us to assess how technological innovations that reduce emissions could alter our future path.

However, climate action requires both an activist community pushing our government to address the climate emergency and changes in our own lifestyle. Art has historically served a purpose in communicating difficult subjects to a diverse audience and has been behind many prominent activism movements. We hope this art show will present a variety of perspectives on how humans are dealing with the climate crisis, their thoughts and emotions on the subject, and how they perceive the problem and its solutions.

a painting of a woman holding the earth in her hands with a galaxy background

Featured Artists: YES Theatre, Brooklyn. Veronica Garcia-Bernal. Michelle Irizarry. Prague-ject Theater. Bryan Carson. Captain A. Emotions Dance Company. Dark Skies Productions.