Dennis believes that all students should be encouraged to develop and support their own ideas based on their personal experiences and viewpoint, while maintaining an open and fresh approach to what exists around them. Visual art in narrative form gives them that platform to explore and express themselves. Dennis provides that platform through the art of Manga.
This course will introduce students to the creation of Manga comics as a vehicle for generating stories out of, or in relation to, what they are studying in school. Students will learn how to see and apply narrative structure through the combination of images and words, and develop skills in cartooning and character development. Dennis has been a teacher for 15 years at the college level and has worked for numerous institutions in after-school programs as well. Dennis’ program will include a variety of exercises to engage participants to think about their school curriculum, personal stories and interests, and develop characters in the narrative form of manga.
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Dennis received his BFA in Studio Art at Concordia University in Montreal. He then went on to Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia where he completed his MFA in Printmaking. He has participated in several community art projects such as the Minneapolis Institute of Arts: “Identity Ink”, teaching summer drawing classes at Thomas Edison High School and worked on the design team for Philadelphia University’s Cross Departmental Project. He has been published in Headwaters Relief Organization Children’s Book Project Haiti: “When the Earth Shakes” and Philippines: “When Strong Wind Blows”.
Manga takes students beyond cartooning and illustration into the world of visual storytelling. Participants will explore the Manga genre and how it has developed. Students learn about narrative structure and the various approaches, such as the story being either plot or character driven. Other storytellling elements are covered too, such as conflict in a story and a conclusion. Lastly, student discuss the use of symbolism and will compare Western and Eastern style traditions.
In this residency or workshop series, participants will:
Define Manga and explain its cultural motivations and variations
Analyze the basics of story-telling and explain difference in approach/tone
Make connections between comic books, literature and personal narrative
Imagine possible story lines that would be personally relevant and reflective of what they are studying in class
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