Animation Celebration will bring former Hanna-Barbera president to New Paltz

Fred Seibert, illustrated by Craig Kellman

The Department of Digital Media & Journalism will host a two-day “Animation and Design Celebration” on April 13 and 14, giving SUNY New Paltz students and community members a rare chance to speak with working professionals in all areas of this discipline, from designers to executives.

The Celebration launches with a conversation with Fred Seibert, the former president of Hanna-Barbera Studios, who oversaw development of such beloved shows as “The Powerpuff Girls” and “Dexter’s Laboratory.”

He later founded Frederator Studios (best known for shows like “Adventure Time” and “The Fairly OddParents”), and provided capital funding for numerous tech start-ups, most notably as an early investor in Tumblr.

Seibert is no stranger to the College’s Department of Digital Media & Journalism – he recently helped a team of New Paltz student filmmakers develop “Hanna Barbera at the Norman Rockwell Museum,” a documentary short which will receive a Broadcast Education Association Award of Excellence in April.

Seibert will share insights from throughout his career in animation and entrepreneurship on Friday, April 13, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the College Terrace on the New Paltz campus. This event is developed in coordination with Bill Sobel of Sobel Media, and is free and open to the public.

The Celebration will continue on Saturday, April 14, with presentations by animation historians and working professionals running from 3:30 – 7:30 p.m. in the Coykendall Science Building Auditorium.

Among the presenters will be another contributor to the “Hanna Barbera” short film, Jesse Kowalski, curator of exhibitions at the Norman Rockwell Museum, who organized the exhibition that serves as the backdrop of that story.

Kowalski has organized several popular exhibitions on the art of Andy Warhol and the work of comic book artist Alex Ross, and is currently curating the first ever exhibition of the work of comic book artist Frank Miller.

Other guest presenters on Saturday include:

  • JOY + NOELLE, the New York-based animation and design partnership of twins Joy Buran and Noelle Melody. They specialize in commercial video, independent short film and book illustration, and have also curated animated features for the Woodstock Film Festival;
  • Mike Saz, designer and special effects artist who has worked on major motion pictures including “Charlie Wilson’s War,” “Marley & Me,” and “Final Destination;”
  • Pete Sussi, a veteran creative director and 3D animator who has led major NYC design studios for more than two decades, helping serve clients including the National Football League, Coca-Cola and The History Channel.

The Animation and Design Celebration is presented by the Department of Digital Media & Journalism, Sobel Media, the Animation Appreciation Society and the Media & Journalism Society.