November 14, 2022

Whether you’re a UCF student, alumnus, art lover, or someone considering applying to one of SVAD’s programs, Art Knight! is an opportunity to connect with current SVAD students, artists and faculty. On Friday, Nov. 18, the Visual Arts Building (VAB) will open its studios and classrooms to the public for the inaugural open house event, showcasing student work alongside the festive reception for Mimesis: Fall 2022 BFA Exhibition in the UCF Art Gallery.

Opening at 6 p.m., Mimesis will showcase the work of senior undergraduate students specializing in book arts, ceramics, drawing, experimental animation, illustration, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture while detailing their research and artistic processes. The Art Knight! Kickoff Event will take place at 6:30 p.m. in VAB room 132 where opening remarks and scholarship awards will be announced. At 7 p.m., VAB room 132 will host animation screenings from BFA character animation, BFA experimental animation and MFA animation students.

Throughout the night, the VAB’s lobby, gallery and classrooms will be abuzz with live music, free refreshments, giveaways and an appearance by Knightro. Students, alumni and community members will hear performances by Rust Bucket Band (featuring Professor Robert Reedy!) and Knights of the Turntable, enjoy drinks by Gatlin Hall Brewing as well as free refreshments and other surprises in store for attendees.

The walls will be lined with student work as guests tour open classrooms and studios, viewing live screen-printing and laser wood cutting demonstrations, as well as a ceramics sale in room 164 by the UCF Potters Guild. Meanwhile, the UCF Art Club, Graphic Design Student Association, UCF SIGGRAPH, Art History Club and UCF Women in Animation will represent the student visual arts community throughout the building.

Rudy McDaniel, director of SVAD, hopes Art Knight! evolves into a regular, yearly fall event – a natural companion to UCF Celebrates the Arts! each spring.

“Students create wonderful things on a routine basis during their coursework and we wanted to give the community a chance to experience them,” says McDaniel. “To me, nothing is more powerful than hearing about the visions and motivations that drive students’ creative processes.”

For people considering majoring in one or more of SVAD’s programs, Art Knight! creates an opportunity to connect with current students and faculty to learn more about coursework and portfolio application processes.

“Prospective students will get a taste of what our school has to offer and hopefully will be encouraged to learn more,” McDaniel says. “We also hope to engage alumni and others who may wish to support our school and contribute to scholarships and other vehicles to reduce costs for students studying the arts.”

Isabella Moreno, a third-year character animation student, hopes the event will inspire more people to get involved in UCF’s arts community.

Art Knight! gives meaningful insight to current and prospective students seeking to pursue the arts and immerse themselves in one of UCF’s best communities,” Moreno says. “Having those one-on-one connections allows for one to understand and appreciate the craft from unique perspectives.”

McDaniel is most excited to see the future opportunities Art Knight! will inspire.

“Seeing the work on display will be wonderful, and hearing from the students even more so,” McDaniel says. “However, seeing how hallway and studio conversations develop into long term collaborations, or how a glimpse of someone’s art leads to a future exhibition, or how an inspirational moment leads to an application to become an art or design major at UCF – those are powerful and transformative moments that I am looking forward to witnessing.”