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Transylvania to provide front-row seat to national digital arts, music scene

person in front of colorful display

Cutting-edge musicians and artists from across the nation will converge on Transylvania University next month for the Studio 300 Digital Art and Music Festival.

The public is invited to this biennial event from Oct. 3-4 in the Mitchell Fine Arts Center. The festival will feature interactive installations, artist talks and concerts.

Get the details, including event times and days.

Named after the university’s “300” N. Broadway address, the festival will give the Lexington community and Transylvania students a front-row seat to the national digital music and arts scene. It ties in to the university’s Digital Liberal Arts initiative, which teaches students to use technology across a wide range of disciplines — including art and music — and provides them with the spaces and latest equipment to do so.

During the festival, students will meet the artists and musicians and experience their works and performances up close. “It makes it real for them,” said Timothy Polashek, music professor and co-director of the festival.

Transylvania senior Emily Nance will be more than just an observer during the event when she presents video game design work she created through a summer internship. She worked for Super Soul, a Lexington company associated with the nonprofit RunJumpDev. John Meister, co-founder of both Super Soul and RunJumpDev, will set up computer hardware at Studio 300 for visitors to play games they’ve produced.

Installed throughout Mitchell Fine Arts, the festival’s art exhibits will incorporate the latest technology. “The installations are primarily interactive and fun,” Polashek said. For instance, at the multimedia installation “I, You, We,” artist Cecilia Suhr will invite visitors to stand in front of a camera projecting their faces onto an animated display, which she will manipulate electronically through notes she plays on her cello and violin.

Lauren Sarah Hayes, a Scottish musician and sound artist, will perform in the Club Electromusic concert at Al’s Bar as part of Transylvania’s Studio 300 festival.

Other events will include an interactive, surround sound concert with electro-acoustic instruments in Haggin Auditorium — and there’ll be Club Electromusic performances at nearby Al’s Bar.

Polashek said he expects 20-30 artists and musicians from New York to California to participate in the festival. A work by Polashek will be performed, and art professor Zoé Strecker’s exhibition “Forest Portals” will be on display in Morlan Gallery. Other participants with Transy ties include music professor Larry Barnes and music technology major Adam Dees ’21.

Studio 300 is part of the university’s New Frontiers feature event series, which, along with some of the festival’s works, focuses on this year’s campus theme of resilience.

The event also celebrates the liberal arts values of creativity, open-mindedness and making surprising connections.

“What’s special about the Studio 300 Digital Art and Music festival is that it is an intense and interdisciplinary examination of how rapidly evolving technology is constantly supplying new opportunities for creative expression,” Polashek said.

The Mitchell Fine Arts Center is off West Fourth Street on Transylvania’s campus. Plenty of free, nearby parking is available.

Joo Won Park, will perform “Cobalt Vase,” a solo piece for drum machine.