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."
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Marta Blicharz is a Polish-Canadian, traditionally trained visual artist, currently exploring computer graphics and photography in the context of the digital glitch and its postmodern identity. Growing up in the small town Sulecin, Poland, Marta participated in many local art contests and international artist visits which were hosted by the town’s Centre for Culture, Sport and Recreation. (SOKSiR).
In the summer of 2000, Marta moved to Lethbridge, AB, Canada with her family, where she completed the International Baccalaureate Art courses and obtained her high school diploma in 2002. She then went on to pursue an arts degree at the University of Calgary and in 2006 she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Photography) and a Minor in Psychology. In the meantime Marta engaged in some freelance photography work and had her photos published in several magazines. Two years later, Marta enrolled in the Multimedia Production Diploma Program at Lethbridge College and graduated in 2010 with honours.
Marta exhibited at the Pixel gallery in Toronto, as well as at the Computational Aesthetics in Vancouver in 2011. Her work has been shown both in a group and solo context. She has also presented at the 2011 Glitch Festival in Chicago. In August 2012, Marta completed her Master of Fine Arts in New Media degree at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta. Her aspirations for the future involve becoming a writer, a film director and maintaining her digital art practice while teaching art and design at established educational institutions in Canada.