Every year more than 2,500 high school students from all over the world make their way to the 1,200-acre Interlochen Centre for the Arts campus in northwestern Michigan where they immerse themselves in the Summer Arts Camp program of General, Visual and Motion Picture Arts, Creative Writing, Dance, Music, and Theatre.

This year saw an exciting initiative developed by two Theatre Arts Design & Technology instructors at the Interlochen Arts Camp. Rich Mason, scenic designer, and Gina Patterson, lighting designer, added a component to their six-week program. With the help of Scott Church, US sales manager at Selecon Performance Lighting they came up with an interactive, experimental Lighting Lab.

Mason comments, “Here was an opportunity to introduce cutting-edge technology from companies and professionals within our industry in a hands-on environment to our students where they were able to experiment with color, programming, arc lighting, intelligent lighting, and much more.”

Emalyn Feitshans, a student who studied Theatre Design & Production at Interlochen Arts Camp, this summer, says, “As a visual artist, light and shadow was only something I observed and I used other media to represent it. Now I understand that light is its own medium, and it can be used just as beautifully as any other, and can be just as expressive.”

Selecon’s contributed all conventional lighting fixtures and sponsored guest speakers Nicholas Phillips, lighting, scenic, and projection designer; Jeremy Kumin, freelance lighting designer; K.C. Hooper, lighting designer and product specialist with Apollo Design Technology, and Leonard Miller from Vari-Lite. Students were allowed to investigate and explore the theories and practices of lighting design in an environment that few, summer arts camps provide.

“I saw a lot of technology I wasn’t aware of. There were LED tiles, color mixing scrollers, base down ellipsoidals, and dichroic filters. All the companies brought in thousands of dollars worth of equipment. It was a lot of fun,” recalls Hart “Ari” Shaw-faber, another student who studied Theatre Design & Production at Interlochen Arts Camp this summer.

“With the continued support of Selecon, along with Apollo Design Technology, and Vari-Lite, we are looking forward to continuing our Interactive Lighting Lab at Interlochen in the summer of 2008,” notes Mason.