Artist: Enterprise helps capture vision

A world-renowned lighting artist working to promote technical and artistic innovation spoke to students and faculty Monday about how to capture a vision.

Leni Schwendinger’s lecture at the Tempe campus’ Lyceum Theatre was part of a series of events provided by the Herberger Institute School of Theatre and Film titled PAVE or the performing arts venture experience, which aims to stimulate creativity while encouraging entrepreneurship.

As an artist at Light Projects Ltd., which utilizes light and technology to develop advanced structures, Schwendinger has designed some of the country’s most profound architectural infrastructure, landscapes and buildings, said Laurie Trotta Valenti, event coordinator at the School of Theatre and Film.

Valenti said entrepreneurship skills are important in any study of concentration.

“Artists are in essence entrepreneurs. You kind of are your own business and thus must understand all aspects of the business,” Valenti said.

The PAVE lectures bring together a wide range of people from all facets of academia, as well as innovators from around the area, she said.

“The PAVE lectures draw students from all across the campus, including students from theater, film, business, and architecture, and we have reached out to architectural firms across the area trying to promote a diverse crowd,” Valenti said.

Joya Scott, a second-year graduate student in theatre and design, said Schwendinger’s innovative ideas are geared toward what she is trying to accomplish through her work.

“I am a theater director working on the final show of a collective creation. We are creating ideas from scratch, and Leni’s ideas about narrowing down an idea and focusing gears to what I am doing,” Scott said. “Developing a vision and learning how to develop that into something within the real world is crucial to artists. It’s about building an idea you can actually create.”

Daniel Roth, a second year graduate student in the theater and design program, said Schwendinger’s methods of creating a vision help influence his work as an artist.

“In my program, we work a lot on projections for theater and that leads to the idea of architectural projections, which creates images with light,” Roth said. “My idea focuses on changing the way people see their own neighborhood and everyday life. Leni represents someone who can take a small team and influence a wide-range of people, and that is my vision.”

Schwendinger spoke about the ways in which artists and innovators immerse viewers through means of technology and art, and she said the most important part of developing a vision is discovering what intrigues your mind.

“If you know what it is you are looking to create and why you think it’s interesting, then you will develop your vision. Then, you got to keep going,” Schwendinger said. “Explore your vision. Take risks to discover, and set the standard so high that it seems risky. Focus your efforts and your skills. Expand your medium, and most importantly ask for support from those willing to help develop the vision.”

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