Student Success

For Marta Blicharz, photographs are anything but black and white

It was in the recommendation of her college instructor that Marta Blicharz (MFA '12) started thinking about graduate studies at the University of Lethbridge.

"The Master of Fine Arts in New Media was just being developed as I was finishing a multimedia production diploma at Lethbridge College," explains Marta, who also has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from the University of Calgary.

Looking for a new challenge, Marta applied and became the first student enrolled in the U of L's new program.

Marta Blicharz found the challenge she was seeking in the Master of Fine Arts New Media program.

"I had the freedom to follow my own interests but still felt very supported," says Marta, who was grateful for the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of such an innovative program. "The faculty members I worked with were flexible and understanding but always made sure I was on the right track."

Marta worked closely with acclaimed visual artist Emily Luce from the Department of New Media on a project that incorporated photography, design, glitch techniques and some interactive programming.

"My graduate work focused on disruption, explains Marta, who investigated how incidental or intentional changes to digital coding affects the message, image or visual impact of photos. "The result of purposely corrupting a file is never predictable. Everyone who engages in this technique knows that this process is finicky, time-consuming, unconventional and exciting."

Marta's final project, an exhibition entitled Designing the Corrosive Moment, was well-received but she maintains that the process was just as rewarding as the final product.

"I truly value the input and advice I received from my supervisor, my committee and the entire new media department," says Marta, who plans to eventually become and educator in the field of new media and design. "My work is stronger as a result."