Academy of Art University Showcases Interactive VR Exhibit to Members of Congress

March 1, 2019 – At the request of the US Office of Cultural Affairs, students and faculty from the Academy of Art University presented last month an interactive virtual reality project to members of Congress and their guests in the House of Representatives Ways and Means Hearing Room in Washington D.C.

Created over a total of four semesters, Academy of Art University students from various disciplines collaborated with the Norman Rockwell Museum for its newest touring VR experience, “Enduring Ideals: Rockwell, Roosevelt and the Four Freedoms.”

Rich Bradway, from the Norman Rockwell Museum, wanted to create a VR experience that immersed people in an interactive art experience.

Lead by a core team from the School of Game Development, the collaboration included students and staff from the departments of Illustration, Web Design & New Media, Animation & Visual Effects, Music Production & Sound Design for Visual Media, and Motion Pictures & Television, who all contributed assets and resources to the final project.

“It’s an amazing experience to get this type of high profile exposure for a project that our students and faculty have worked so hard on,” said David Goodwine, Executive Director of the School of Game Development.

To produce the project the Academy created a new, collaborative lab format class where students facilitated different production roles under the direction of faculty and staff.

“I learned the technical side of how you put a game together and how to collaborate amongst the different disciplines; also, working with the museum, it’s learning how to work with a client,” said Illustration student Abigail Lashbrook.

Under the direction of Phil Kauffold, Technical Lead with the School of Game Development, the exhibit has been touring publicly since May 2018. For the past 3 months, over 35,000 people have put on an Oculus VR device at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. From there, the touring exhibit will move on to France, and then Texas, before finally residing at the Rockwell Museum in Fall 2020.

Image credit: Academy of Art University

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Sam Sprigg

Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.