CUH Introduces First Video Art Class in Spring 2023


Sydney Hone

Chaminade University will be offering its first Video Art class in Spring 2023 taught by Professor Brianna Ortega. (Photo courtesy of Brianna Ortega)

Video Art (AR 450) is a new course that will be offered in the spring semester of 2023 taught by Brianna Ortega. The new Chaminade professor has demonstrated her work at multiple film festivals such as Single Fin Mingle in New Zealand, Portland State Film Festival, and San Diego Art Institute, and photography shows in Italy. 

What’s cool about video art is that it defies normal filmmaking conventions so you can use or make up new conventions in the way you edit or tell stories or visually put things together,” said Ortega. “There’s no Art major here yet [at Chaminade], there is only an Art minor, so I think people are kind of unaware of all of the different forms of art.”

From receiving her bachelor’s degree in Art and Psychology in 2016 (with a focus in drawing, video, performance) and master’s degree in Social Engagement in 2021 at Portland State University, she is hoping to share her video skills and creativity with students at Chaminade and inspire them to get out of their comfort zone.

Ortega said that all of her work that was submitted into film festivals are private links and unable for the public to view because film festivals keep your work only for them to view when deciding the winners of the program. She plans to make some of her work more public next year when she begins teaching the class.

She also received awards from the Hydro Flask Film Award at Single Fin Mingle Surf and Film Festival in 2022 and had a video selected for the Portland State University Film Festival in 2016.

She has been teaching video art remotely for the past three years at Portland State. She said she shares a deep interest for video art because of how it moves people emotionally and is a creative way of communicating with people in this generation.

Ortega has been teaching Video Art for the past three years online at Portland State University. (Photo courtesy of Brianna Ortega)

Although Ortega has been teaching video art for the last three years, this fall semester was her first year teaching at Chaminade where she taught Art and Culture (AR 201) and Drawing (AR 111). She introduced the Video Art class to the university because the CUH has never offered a course like this. She said that no matter what your major, video art skills can be applied to any career you enter.

Whatever job you’re going into, it can always be a bonus skill on your resume to say I have experience with video editing and creative video experience,” she said. “One thing that is just great about art, in general, is that it teaches you critical thinking and problem-solving in a way that a lot of other majors don’t get that opportunity.”

Students will learn skills such as utilizing projectors, green screens, and chroma key (the technique of compositing two images or videos together based on color hues) to explore different concepts of the class to enhance students’ creative skills.

Ortega, who founded the surf magazine “Sea Together” in 2017, said that video art skills are especially beneficial with the generation we live in now because everyone is on social media and it can be used as a tool to engage with the younger generation to catch their attention.

“In this day and age, with our attention span getting shorter and shorter, what’s cool about video art is that it’s been shown in galleries so that whenever people walk into one, they can have their attention kept for a short period of time,” Ortega said. “I like to think of art as a tool to engage with other people who you might not engage with.”

The Video Art class is an introductory course. There are no prerequisites for taking it. In addition, students who have little to no experience will also be in the same class as those who consider themselves more advanced than others.

The class is open-ended in terms of what students want to create and share with their creative skills whether it’s a short film, travel videos, emotional movies, and so much more. Ortega said that the class will allow students to create whatever they want to visually produce in the class and free of their choosing as opposed to being expected to create specific video themes.

“Art is so psychological and a lot of times art making is therapy for some people, they can get their emotions out,” Ortega said. “Whatever job you’re going into, it can always be a bonus skill on your resume to say I have experience with video editing and creative video experience.”

One of Ortega’s concerns is that not enough students will sign up for the course.

Ortega said the class will allow 12 students to sign up for the course, but she is expecting at least 10 to enroll for next semester.

Video Art will count toward the Art minor at Chaminade and also toward an elective worth three credits. It will be held on Mondays from 1:30 p.m. to 3:20 p.m. in Eiben Hall 104.

Ortega will also be teaching Drawing (AR 111) and Women and Surfing (SURF 480) in Spring 2023.