WZZM-TV, Kendall College of Art and Design collaborate for ArtPrize Entry

TEGNA’s WZZM-TV (Grand Rapids) has teamed up with the talented students at the Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) to create a news set to be entered into the annual ArtPrize compeition that takes place in the city every year.

“Working with the students has been an exciting experience,” said Jon Flis, director of marketing at WZZM 13. “It was so rewarding to collaborate with Taylor and Skylar and watch them take these concepts and use their skills to make this set a reality.”

Months ago, teams from both organizations began work on their common vision. Students presented design proposals and one was selected by WZZM 13.

Students Taylor Axdorff and Skylar Sparks not only designed the set, but built it on their own. They used their design and machining skills to create the set while working full time jobs.

“We saw the opportunity and jumped on it right away,” Sparks said.

According to the artists’ statement, the piece, Shift, is:

“A functional art piece representing a breaking free of confines into new realms. Shifting the status quo and moving into a new space much like artists courageously do when they create.

“Also, the break in the desk shows a shift from transitioning old, restrictive ways of the media into a more creative and free manner. Breaking from tradition to be more expressive and part of the audience. The anchors are able to sit at the desk and deliver the news in the traditional way, but that tradition has been broken through the fractured desk, freeing the anchors to move and engage with the audience seating.

“Looking at Deconstructionalism for inspiration, we dissected tradition and the restrictive nature of the media on artists and journalists and broke it apart to show a need for change.”

The desk is installed on the second floor of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum and will serve as the ArtPrize studio for WZZM 13’s newscasts throughout the event. Visitors are encouraged to come out and visit with talent and staff and watch the news in action.

This year, the set is an official entry in the ArtPrize competition: ArtPrize.org/65198

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