Creative haven: The Digital Media Arts Center

  From the pieces of student artwork and animated movie posters adorning the walls, to the scribbles and doodles drawn on the glass windows of classrooms and offices, the Digital Media Arts Center at Chapman (DMAC) has become a haven for digital arts students.

  “It’s just built more for us,” said junior digital arts major Rachel Beltran.

Photo by Mai Gattenyo. Students spending time at the Harrelson Family Student Creative Commons in the Digital Media Arts Center.
Photo by Mai Gattenyo.
Students spending time at the Harrelson Family Student Creative Commons in the Digital Media Arts Center.

  The DMAC, which opened its doors in February of last year, sits on Cypress across the street from Dodge. The building was designed to encourage creativity and collaboration amongst the students who would be mastering their craft there, and digital arts students have embraced it.  

  According to Beltran, many students spend a lot of time together, both helping out on work and just hanging out. “We stay up until 3 a.m. some nights, eating snacks and working on homework, watching movies and joking with one another. We help the seniors on their theses, and sometimes, we even all end up sleeping on the couches,” said Beltran.

  It’s not only digital arts students that appreciate the building and its many features.

  “I thought the building was really pretty when I first saw it,” said Kate Carlisi, senior public relations and advertising major. “Being in a classroom in DMAC was better than in Dodge.”

  For Beltran, “the space itself just exudes creativity and thought.” This even comes down to little touches throughout the building, like multi-colored seating, colored doors and the glass walls. Some of the glass walls, like the ones for the conference room in DMAC, specifically say no drawing allowed on them. This warning is important, because drawing on the walls is allowed in almost every other part of DMAC, where different characters and animals brighten up the offices of professors.

  There are traditional classrooms, but there are also computer lab spaces, a community table right by a place for food and coffee, a screening room with couch seating and a wide-open outdoor patio area with tables and benches to relax or work at.

   “It’s high tech and I like the smaller rooms with the blackout shades,” said Carlisi.

  Before the DMAC was built, digital arts students would have to work in Dodge along with all of the film students who were also vying for computers and lab space. “At Dodge, there was always, always a fight for space and resources for the digital arts students,” said Beltran. Now that the DMAC is there, digital arts students get access to all the equipment they need without having to fight film students for space.

   The Digital Media Arts Center isn’t just impressing current students. It’s also helping the digital arts major at Chapman to grow. Beltran, who has given tours around both Dodge and DMAC, has overheard people discussing the building with delight.

  “When I tour people around DMAC, they are consistently amazed by our facilities,” said Beltran. “People in the industry say the same thing. This major is going to grow exponentially because of this building.”

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