EMCon Opens Doors for Students

Erika Soderstrom, Staff Writer

The Emerging Media and Digital arts department hosted its fourth annual Emerging Media Convention known as EMCon, in collaboration with SOAR at Southern Oregon University Friday, May 19. The event was open to all SOU students interested in sharing their artwork with the community, fellow students, and potential employers.

Students whose EMCon applications were accepted were given a space at “Creator Alley” in the Rouge River Room and the Stevenson Union where they could share and even sell their work. “I’ve met some pretty interesting people, some filmmakers as well, and I’ve given them my business card and I’m excited,” said Christian Nava, SOU student and filmmaker.

The event was put together, in large part by SOU senior Joe Tucker and SOU graduate Jimmy Leavens, with assistance from EMDA professors. “What a joy for the faculty to say the students kept true to the original mission of ‘by students for students,’” said Bobby Arellano, EMDA professor at SOU.

“I’m seeing a lot of business cards getting exchanged. Both from our students who designed them themselves and from business owners and leaders in nonprofit organizations who are thinking about hiring an SOU student or recent grad instead of just looking in the yellow pages,” said Arellano.

“EMDA throws its doors open to the community and basically encourages anyone who is an innovator to present their work,” said Arellano. EMCon hosted various artistic platforms including photographers, video game designers, graphic designers, animators, filmmakers, and product designers.   

Across the course of the event, artists involved collaborated with students, SOU professors, and potential employers. “A lot of different people are here which is exciting, you can do traditional art, digital art, video, gaming, all sorts of stuff. So that’s a really great community for all these new technologies and arts,” said Paris Hall who had a table on her work with character concept artwork.

“I hope to gain some connections and feedback on my art and good criticism,” said Hall. EMCon represented a chance for students to learn and grow as creative professionals. “There is a lot of professional people, as well as students so it’s a way for me to learn as a person and for students to learn as well,” said Hall.

EMCon first started in the spring of 2014, created by Amanda Denbeck in the first EMDA graduating class. “She said ‘I want to make my capstone a Con.’ In the sense of comic con or game design conference. ‘And I want it to feature the innovative work of our students’” said Arellano.

Since 2014 the event has been hosted at SOU to share the creative work of its students with the larger SOU and Southern Oregon community. “The best talent in terms of design and creativity in Southern Oregon is here today and people can get a really good deal in giving someone their first career opportunity by hiring a presenter from creators alley,” said Arellano.

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