Studio 304 Creator Showcase celebrates local artists

By: Marenda Escobar

6:00 – 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, August 30
Main Library, Leighton Auditorium

Studio 304’s Creator Showcase caps off a summer of creativity by celebrating local artists who participated in the Library’s Creator Meet-Ups. Come experience a culmination of creative summer projects, meet the artists, and learn about their processes. 

This summer’s Showcase will feature a wide range of projects spanning from photography and videography, game design, digital illustration, music production, and an interactive art installation. Studio 304 is the St. Joe County Public Library’s digital media lab, where patrons can book recording studios, use advanced editing software, borrow equipment, and learn from library staff and fellow patrons. This is the Library’s second summer of connecting local creatives through its Creator Meet-Ups and Showcase. 

Taylor Wiley, multimedia artist and illustrator, is participating in the Studio 304 Creator Meet-Ups and Showcase for a second summer. Last summer, she learned how to use Blender, and this year, she’s expanding her skills by creating a digital interactive installation. In a short interview, Wiley recalled, “How I find value from going to various events is being able to meet other creative people, being able to bounce ideas off, and finding my people.

The Library’s Creator Showcase and Meet-Ups have been led by the Library’s Digital Lab Associate Librarians Chad Rajski and Jennifer Strombeck. When asked to reflect on the summer program series, Chad responded, “It has been so gratifying seeing our space utilized to bring creative people together. These gatherings have really been everything that we had hoped they would be.”

Come meet this innovative, friendly, creative community and learn how you can become involved by attending this summer’s Creator Showcase on August 30 in Leighton Auditorium.

Creators try a telephone-style drawing challenge on the iPads using Procreate.

Creators show off their work versus Chad’s original.

Creator Meet-Ups have created community among local artists.

Chad and local creatives Ronny and Taylor in conversation.

Notre Dame professor records podcast in Studio 304

By: Marenda Escobar

“People have learned and do learn without grades, so they may not be necessary. So then the question is, are they harmful?” – Dr. Susan Blum on The Higher Ed Spotlight Podcast

Dr. Susan Blum is a professor of Anthropology at Notre Dame who has, in the last 15-20 years, shifted her research to focus on education, higher education, and a movement called ungrading. She describes ungrading as a practice that shifts the focus from grading, evaluation, and metrics, to learning. Blum edited Ungrading: Why Rating Students Undermines Learning (and What to Do Instead), which covers the experiences of fifteen educators who practice this new pedagogy. She believes the movement has taken off partly due to the book Ungrading, and the pandemic, which caused people to reevaluate whether conventional pedagogical practices help or hurt learning.

Blum’s work has led her to record several podcasts. When asked to record an episode for The Higher Ed Spotlight in April, Blum was in search of a studio that would provide high production value. Blum’s friend suggested checking out Studio 304 at the St. Joe County Public Library. Once she reached out, staff promptly helped her reserve a studio full of state-of-the-art equipment for free. Blum is a big advocate for public libraries, and calls the St. Joe County Public Library one of her favorite places. Reflecting on Main Library’s renovation, Blum recalls, “the new library is really magnificent. When I came to the opening, I was so excited, but I had no idea that there was also all of this really great stuff.”

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