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Jody Kielbasa
Vice Provost for the Arts
Director, Virginia Film Festival

Sponsored by
the office of the Provost &
the Vice Provost for the Arts


Residencies & Events
The Stan Winston Arts Festival of the Moving Creature
The Creatures are coming…April 20, 2013
Creature's Poster

A Project by the Fabrication Facilities of the Departments of Drama, Studio Art, and the School of Architecture


Like us on facebook to keep updated about events & pictures of progress throughout the semester!!!

Amazing blog post & video from the Stan Winston School of Character Arts!!

Read & watch here >

Volunteers Needed for April 20th!!
Details >
About the Stan Winston Arts Festival of the Moving Creature

Creature I

From giant urban mechanical puppets to wind-driven, beachcombing beasts to animatronic state-of-the-art movie monsters, moving creatures are a mix of joyful spectacle, precise engineering, fearless experimentation, and resourceful fabrication techniques. This interdisciplinary project will engage students from Architecture, Studio Art, and Drama in a yearlong collaborative workshop to research, to design, and to construct creatures that will come to life for The Stan Winston Arts Festival of the Moving Creature on April 20, 2013.

This Festival is directed by Steven Warner, Lecturer and Technical Director of the Department of Drama, Eric Schmidt, Studio and Gallery Technician of the McIntire Department of Art, and Melissa Goldman, the Fabrication Facilities Manager of the School of Architecture.

Upcoming Events

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Creature Parade and Arts Festival

Creature Parade: 2pm | UVa Arts Grounds & Culbreth Garage
Creature Festival: 3 pm | Nameless Field

Moving Creatures
Moving Creatures
Moving Creatures
Moving Creatures
Moving Creatures
Moving Creatures
Moving Creatures
Moving Creatures
Moving Creatures

Past Events

Visiting Artist Workshop
February 5–7, 2013

Presentation by Hollywood Artists
Thursday, February 7th
5–6:15 pm | Architecture School, Campbell Hall, Room 153

Creature Reveal / Creature Walk
Thursday, February 7th
6:30–8 pm | Architecture School North Terrace, Arts Grounds, Central Grounds

Please join us Thursday night to see Matt Winston, Richard Landon, and Billy Bryan present samples of their award winning work and be one of the first to meet our newest creature, Nessy!
Thursday, November 8, 2012

Public Film Shoot of the Final Creature
Come be on set as Hollywood artists film the Creature!
6:30 pm | Architecture School North Terrace
Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Workshop Open House
Come see the students and artists in action while they construct
their moving creature!
7:30–8:30 pm | Drama Studio
Friday, November 2, 2012

Creature Appearance at the screening of the Oscar winning film Aliens
8 pm at the U.Va. Amphitheater | Virginia Film Festival
Friday, September 28, 2012

Creatures at the TomTom Founders Festival
Appearance by students and inflatable creatures from Creatures I class
5–8 pm | McGuffey Block Party
Thursday, September 13, 2012

Lecture on the Concept of the Moving Creature
by Matt Winston, Shane Mahan & Peter Clarke
6:30 – 7:30 pm | Campbell 153, School of Architecture
Creature Bash
Presentation of 6 new & original Creatures created by students & the visiting artists
7:30 – 9:30 pm | North Terrace

Visiting Artists:

Matt Winston, son of Stan Winston, is the Co-Founder/Owner of Stan Winston School of Character Arts (SWSCA) and also a well-known Hollywood actor.

Shane Mahan is an Academy Award nominated Animatronic and Special Effects Makeup Character Creator. He has been a Supervisor at Stan Winston Studios for 25 years and he is a Co-Founder of Legacy Effects.

Peter Weir Clarke is a Creature Effects Mechanic, Sculptor and teacher at The Art Institute of California.

Shannon Shea is a Special Effects Character Creator & Monster Maker and a Character Creation supervisor at Stan Winston Studio, KNB EFX Group & Cinovation Studios.

Ted Haines is a Special Effects and Makeup artists at Legacy Effects.

John Ales is a Creative Producer/Director of Photography at Stan Winston School of Character Arts.

Drawing Creatures
Drawing Creatures
Preparing Creatures for the Creature Bash
Preparing Creatures for the Creature Bash


Funded by an Arts in Action Grant, the Festival will focus on the work of two classes: The Art of the Moving Creature I in the fall and Creature II in the Spring. Creature I will focus on research, design, and engineering of the creatures through material studies, fabrication tests, and full-scale prototypes. Creature II will further the design and realize the final creatures in full scale, and students will design and develop the live spectacle that will bring the creatures to life in the Festival Parade.

The class will work in collaboration with visiting artists from The Stan Winston School of Character Arts in Los Angeles. The SWSCA is an educational media company that partners with many of Hollywood's top effects and creature artists and studios to develop, produce, and distribute ultra-high quality online Creature FX video tutorials teaching the innovative techniques and processes used to create cinema's most memorable characters. Some of these artists will visit U.Va. and provide hands on workshops for the class.

Biomedical engineers and scenic designers, composers and architects, dancers and mechanical engineers, and all sculptors of clay, bone, metal, the written word, and the natural landscape: each student, faculty, and visiting artist will bring a unique voice and set of skills to the table to foster a collaborative environment for the research and development of “the creature. The Arts Grounds Fabrication Facilities will provide direct mentorship of the teams in the fabrication of the creatures, and our Shops will work together to provide the space, access to tools, and training needed for building the prototypes.


Call for Entries

Download application details >

Important Dates:
Final Deadline for Entry Proposals: January 20, 2013

We will have a rolling admission for proposals so that Spring class or group projects can be considered ahead of the beginning of the semester.

Festival Dates: Saturday, April 20, 2013
April 18 + 19 can be made available based on the project

Please provide the following information:

  1. Project Title
  2. Brief biography of the Collaborators (indicate student/faculty/staff)
  3. Briefly describe the project you envision. How does it fit into the discussion of creature and spectacle? Who will be involved? What would a “performance” be like? Who is your audience?
  4. What kinds of needs would you have for your “performance”? (Please include space needs, practice needs, storage needs, technical requirements, performance time, etc.)

Submit Proposals or Questions to Melissa Goldman

The University of Virginia proudly presents The Stan Winston Arts Festival of the Moving Creature on Arts Grounds on April 20, 2013! The Festival is calling for entries that will showcase student, faculty, and staff work from across Grounds that foster a discussion about creatures, spectacle, the built and natural environments, and creative material and building processes at all scales. This is a family friendly event which will draw audiences and participants from across the University, the Charlottesville/Albemarle community, and the United States.

We are looking for projects that address the creation, home, life cycle, or movement of creatures, and we encourage projects to have an interactive component and are open to interdisciplinary discussion. The format of the project could be a performance, a concert, an exhibit, a lecture, a screening, a reading, or an installation. While we are not providing funding, each project selected will be given space and time on Arts Grounds to perform, exhibit, lecture, or screen during the Festival. We will assist with technical needs of a project’s set up and clean up and do promotion for all events, though all participants are encouraged to invite their fans of all sorts. We have a variety of spaces, and some will be available April 18 and 19 for performances as well.

At the heart of the Festival is The Parade of the Moving Creatures which will showcase the work of a full year interdisciplinary class hosted by the Fabrication Facilities of the UVa Departments of Drama and Studio Art and the UVa School of Architecture and partnering with the Stan Winston School of Character Arts in LA. Funded by an Arts in Action Grant from the Vice Provost of the Arts Office, the UVa Parents Committee, the Stan Winston Fund for Studio Art, and the Winston family, the class has researched and designed moving creatures that have already begun to feature on Grounds this Fall, and will be built in full scale in the Spring. The Parade will kick off the day’s activities, and bring audiences to the other projects hosted on Arts Grounds.

The proposals for this Call for Entries will be selected by a committee of the Festival directors and artists from the Stan Winston School of Character Arts. We encourage any member of the UVa community to apply with new work, works in progress, or past research.

If you would like to volunteer for the Festival, please contact Molly Joyce.


Arts in Action Grant

Arts in Action on Grounds, a new public arts initiative at the University of Virginia, will bring artists who have achieved excellence in their fields and modern master works to Grounds to engage students and faculty in academic, arts-based research and to support the development of an arts-informed curriculum.


In the News

February 2013, "Creature Walk" at UVA Showcases Student Artwork; Video (at 32 secs) >

November 2012

C-Ville, UVA students team up with Hollywood designers for first ever ‘creature’ course September 18, 2012, by Lisa Kessler

While most UVA students were finishing up homework at 8:30 last Wednesday night, 25 architecture, art, and drama majors were covered head to toe in sawdust and coming up on their 13th consecutive hour in the drama studio on Culbreth Road. Last week, as part of a new course offering called Art of the Moving Creature, students and teachers spent three straight days in an intensive workshop, sawing, sculpting, welding, gluing, and painting with the team that made Jurassic Park come to life. Hollywood crew Matt Winston, Shannon Shea, Ted Haines, and John Ales flew out from Los Angeles to help the class build a 12′ tall, 25′ long creature that made its debut on Grounds last Thursday.

The year-long course is funded by a University grant called Arts in Action, and focuses on the design and creation of large moving creatures through lectures, material studies, and hands-on projects. The class also includes workshops with visiting artists from L.A., and the final products will be on display at the Stan Winston Arts Festival of the Moving Creature April 20 on Grounds.

Read more >, UVa Students Create and Parade Creature Around Grounds November 8, 2012

A creature paraded around the Lawn, invaded marching band practice, and posed at Poe's room, all in order to teach UVa students.

A group of UVa students spent three days designing and building the creature. Thursday night, they marched it around grounds and the surrounding streets. They were part of a hands-on workshop put on by the Stan Winston School of Character Arts, based in Hollywood.

Read more >

September 2012

UVA Today, U.Va Students and Hollywood Artists Bring Creatures To Life September 18, 2012, by Lisa Kessler

Last week, monsters were born at the University of Virginia.

Over the course of three days, 26 graduate and undergraduate students constructed six life-sized moving creatures with the help of Hollywood artists from the Stan Winston School of Character Arts. The creature workshop was the first of four that will be held throughout the academic year as part of the yearlong interdisciplinary course, “The Art of the Moving Creature I and II.”

The course grew from an “Arts in Action“ grant proposal last spring and is cross-listed in the School of Architecture and the College of Arts & Sciences’ Drama and Studio Art departments.

Read more >
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