The Immersive’s is a team of innovators, futurists, dreamers, doers, makers, creatives, and community builders, ready to see Maine into the future of Immersive Arts and Technologies. With our combined experiences, this is the A-Team of dreams. Interested in getting involved? Email us at Nexus.Portl@gmail.com
Faye Warner – Owner & Founder ProjectEmmersive
Faye is a Mainer, dreamer, and a doer. A year and a half ago, three weeks before the pandemic shut down the world, she opened an immersive incubator, dubbed “The Magical Mystery Box” where ProjectEmmersive hosted new installations each month, collaborating with some of Maine’s top creative talent, and non-traditional artists to push the fold of what is possible in a non=traditional creative setting. Nothing can stop the unwavering dedication to making her dreams of this happen for Maine. Faye knew the incredible economic impact a venue like this could have for the state and has stopped at nothing to pursue this dream.
More than anything, she hopes to create a workforce for creatives in the state, where individuals interested in pursuing a creative career can do so, while not feeling the need to leave the state. Because we all know Maine is pretty magical.
Zack Bowen – Owner Zack Bown LLC and Maine Studio Works
Zack is a mover and a shaker. His exceptional production experience, creative concepting, and branding visual creation have helped major brands be the best they can be. From his impeccable eye behind the camera, to his exceptional skills behind the scenes editing video, his high quality work can’t be missed.
His location Maine Studio Works, located on Anderson street in Portland’s East Bayside neighborhood, has hosted The Immersives in what has been lovingly named “The Sandbox” an incredible location for immersive exploration.
Joseph Goodwin – Owner, Engineer, and Artist @ Bellwether Mastering, RUSH design and Joseph Goodwin Art
As The Immersive’s resident Tech Consultant, Artist, Maker and fuel for the fire, Joe has been able to share his wealth of experience, from the 1000’s of projects he’s collaborated and worked on in his audio studio, to his extensive background in interactive animation, woodworking, electronics programming, lighting and visual arts. His calm and fair demeanor, no doubt from his years of working as a grocery manager helps keep the glue together. He is an absolute integral individual to this team.
Also, why move to Santa Fe, when you can make your dreams come true in the magical land where the forest meets the sea?
Cindy Thompson – Owner Transformit, MFA
At every stage of her career, Cindy has worked to provoke public engagement with art. That is her passion.
After graduating from Colorado State University with a BFA in sculpture and a BA in education, Cindy taught art in a large Boston area high school for seven years. Early on, She learned to teach by example, making large pots in the middle of the studio, next to the students. Cindy insisted on showing their work twice yearly, and helped many students get into art school. Students appreciated a teacher with muddy hands.
Cindy entered the MFA program at the Museum School as a clay sculptor and metalsmith, but soon changed direction: She took her work off the pedestal and out into the public. In fact, she climbed inside it, doing art performances in Boston, and in New York at the Kitchen and Franklin Furnace. Cindy’s installation was the first MFA thesis performance by a sculptor at the Museum School. Big kinetic sculpture, made from lightweight materials, was her trademark.
As a visiting artist at ASU, teaching performance art and installation art, she realized that she needed more than just herself to do large-scale public art. So, returning to Maine, Cindy started Transformit, her art-based company, in 1987.
To create large-scale work, a bronze sculptor needs a foundry. Transformit acts as my “fabric foundry”. She relies on the makers and designers there to execute her ideas, faithfully and expertly. But she’s not the only customer of this foundry. The company has developed a clientele of architects, event producers, and museum designers who have asked for solutions to a wide range of technical problems (lighting, acoustics, graphics, motion, interactivity). These capabilities have expanded the range of artistic expression possible with fabric. The company provides full service and takes full responsibility for the work.
From her time as a performance artist to the beginning at Transformit, when most of her work came from temporary special events that the company has decorated using her many large fabric sculptures, she’s maintained a passion for the now of things. “Something you’ve made is much more memorable than something you’ve read about or watched.”
Transformit and Cindy design and produce collaborative sculpture textile installations that engage people through the medium of textiles, using technology and science. “It is not enough just for art to just sit there.” Innovations over the past thirty years, especially those using light and motion, have expanded the medium into public art and engagement.
Sam Mateosian – Owner and Chief Innovation Officer of Big Room Studios, Yarn Corporation and Drift Space
Sam is a pioneer, innovator, and futurist. Mateosian is co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer for Big Room Studios, a creative technology company that designs and builds software for internet-powered companies. More recently Sam co-founded the Yarn Corporation – bringing the power of Virtual Reality storytelling to more people and organizations. Sam is also the founder of Hack Portland, a meetup group of hackers, makers, artists, programmers, and inventors working to change the world one roll of duct-tape at a time. Sam likes good books, neon, human beings, and short walks around the neighborhood.
Sam Conlogue – Co-Founder and Director of Visualization of Infusion Studios and Czarnowski
Sam has a love for AR and CG development and creation. His team creates compelling immersive experiences through CG graphics and real time technologies. His creative specialities include 3D modeling, Rendering, Real-Time graphics, photogrammetry and AR/VR experiences.
Sam blew us away with his Looking Glass. If you haven’t experienced it, it’s definitely worth it.
James LaPlante – Founder and Producer / 3D animator / Creative Director at Sputnik Animation.
James graduated from the University of Maine with a BS in broadcast production. He has over 25 years of experience in media production working as a writer, producer, director, editor, animator and interactive designer. He has produced animation for broadcast television series as well as award winning documentaries for clients such as WGBH NOVA, National Geographic and the Discovery Channel. He has also worked on the development of interactive exhibits for museum venues, including the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum, The Children’s Museum of Maine, the Smithsonian Museum of natural History and the Boston Science Museum. Through his studio, Sputnik Animation, James continues to explore new technologies and creative approaches to communication through immersive media and Virtual and Augmented Reality. James’ personal mission is to pull together a community of artists, makers, hackers and creators to bring immersive experiences to Maine.
Eric Mofford has always been interested in new approaches to storytelling. He directed a long run of immersive theater including a multi-media version of Thorton Wilder’s SKIN OF OUR TEETH; among many others. During that time, he also curated numerous multi-media music events and mixed media art exhibits. He has been involved with more than 150 film, television, commercial, music videos and on-line productions, big budgets to zero budgets, many award winning. For six years, he had his own production company, Unconventional Media, producing the EMMY nominated documentary, HOUSTON WE HAVE A PROBLEM and the live action portions for the EA video game, NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER.
Returning home to Maine as Head of Production at Lone Wolf Media for three years, overseeing budgets and projects for Animal Planet, Smithsonian Channel and PBS. He also continued his interest in New Media storytelling, producing two VR/360 projects for NOVA/WGBH.
A true organizer of varied creative personalities, he has served on many media boards and panels and been a judge for independent art funding cycles. He was President of the Board of Directors for over four years at IMAGE Film and Video Center, an Atlanta multi-media support organization including recreating and funding the Atlanta Film and Video Festival. He has always enjoyed the mentoring process, teaching semesters at the Art Institute in North Hollywood, Columbia College – Hollywood, UCLA, USC, New York Film Academy and Film Connection in Los Angeles; MECA, Boston University, Emerson College in New England. He’s taught creative workshops at the Maine Media Workshops for the last 15 years (formerly the International Film and Television Workshops), not only here in the USA, but Internationally. He continues to mentor emerging directors, writers, producers and cinematographers through masterclasses at www.OneonOneFilmTraining.com . He has worked directly with large executive/senior level management on projects from both the business sector, networks, studios and non-profit. He has taken all kinds of projects from development to finish, budgeting and cost reporting, final deliverables. In June, 2010 he received the RAWARTISTS Award.
Reed Berkowitz – Developer, ARG Creator, Game Designer
As a media professional with 25+ years of experience designing, writing, and researching award-winning interactive experiences for some of the best entertainment companies and brands in the world including Universal Studios, Paramount, Cartoon Network, Peanuts, Sanrio (Hello Kitty), and many more. He has helped create AR apps, ARGs, immersive theater experiences, websites, movies, educational video games, and more. His recent analysis of QAnon and related conspiracy theories has been featured on NPR, New Yorker Radio Hour, Al Jazeera and many other media outlets.
Darrel Grosvalet – Owner – ETCUmbrella , UX/Designer Developer @ Yarn Corp.
Darrel is a master at developing and designing websites, applications, creating augmented and vr experiences. He has a vast skillset from illustrations, graphic design, video production, editing and motion graphics design to idea generation and sprint/agile creative problem solving. He’s also built sets, while designing physical systems and structures. Arduino and hardware programming and design.
We asked Darrel, why Maine?
Maine is a special place like no other; there hasn’t been another city I’ve visited or lived in where everyone and everything is so accessible. Would you like to be in the arts? You can! Would you like to meet people for technology and start projects? You can! It’s such a creative and vibrant city that has almost limitless potential for growth. I just feel energized and in awe of the strong creative and technical communities that exist in Portland; and am so grateful to live in such an amazing city. Portland is also eco and naturally minded, which I found to be rare in urban areas. In short, Portland is an amazing mixture of people, nature, technology, arts and culture that is like nothing else, and I can only see it growing from here.
When Darrel isn’t creating the next MADE award winning website, he’s exploring creative projects, from making music and working on an augmented reality board game that will be launching on Kickstarter in the near future. He also always loves meeting new people and exploring/collaborating on ideas and projects.