The ARTree Community Arts Center

Developing the Roots of Creativity

Spotlight Saturdays – Animation before Film

Saturday, August 10, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Class Size: 4-12 Students

Class Age Level(s): 12 and up

Cost: $50.00 register here

Class Description: It’s alive! Learn how animation “works,” create updated versions of historical techniques, and bring your art to life! Students will make original animated gadgets such as zoetropes, flipbooks, and phenakistocopes (ya… it’s a thing!) and capture their creations digitally to share and showcase. No artistic skills necessary and mad scientists are always welcome!

Course Objectives/ Outcomes:

  • Introduction to early optical devices which incorporate or utilize animation.
  • Students will learn a basic understanding of how animation works and the elements needed to create the illusion of movement.
  • Historical artists, animators, and filmmakers will be covered related to the content.
  • Students will create zoetrope strips, thaumatropes, flipbooks and phenakistiscopes, if time allows, in this workshop.
  • Students will also learn a selection of the animation principles developed by Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas from Disney Animation Studios.

Instructor: Erica Larsen-Dockray

Erica Larsen-Dockray is an Animation and Media Artist, Entrepreneur, Educator, and Activist. She is an occasional adjunct faculty at her alma mater, California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), in the Film/Video School’s Experimental Animation program. Erica’s class, The Animated Woman, was covered by the Associated Press and Agencia EFE, and featured in over 1,000 news outlets including the LA Times and the New York Times. Since 2011, Erica has been a teaching artist at Inner-City Arts in downtown Los Angeles where she currently runs the Saturday middle school / high school animation courses.

In 2013 she founded the Calibraska Arts Initiative, a cross-cultural summer program bringing artists from California to her hometown in Nebraska to teach multi-generational workshops in their métier. In 2017 the initiative received a $25,000 grant from the Johnny Carson Foundation. Erica also is Co-Founding Director of SCV Adventure Play Foundation with her husband Jeremiah, creating play spaces for children and adults which facilitate and support self-directed and unstructured play. Erica has spoken at conferences, conventions and participated in panels across the nation including Equestria LA, The Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts Discussions, The Association of Children’s Museums – Interactivity Conference, and the Foundations of Art, Theory, and Education Conference.

Her art practice includes hybrid installations consisting of varying elements such as painting, moving image, dance, theater, interactivity, and experimental projection. Her work has been shown domestically and internationally in cultural institutions such as the Los Angeles Municipal Gallery, Thymele Arts, Future Studio Gallery, and at the Art Festival Kesenian Indonesia.

Her latest projects include collaborations with costume designer and textile artist Cybele Moon, creating performance pieces where textiles and projected animation and moving image become one. Spring 2018 marked their third collaboration creating an interactive installation at Wesleyan University’s Davison Art Center, which will run its second phase at the Great Plains Art Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska in 2020-2021. In May 2019 she will be exhibiting work in the CalArts Media Arts Expo and in fall 2019, she is slated to create an installation at The New Children’s Museum in San Diego, CA.

You can see her work and more information here:

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