Chatham News

Chatham University’s Woodland Gallery to feature interactive 3-D modeling film installation titled “The Painted Lady”

The installation by Andres Tapia-Urzua and Jon Amakawa will be on view March 16-30, with closing reception at 5:30 p.m. March 30

By: Amanda Leff Ritchie, Senior Public Relations Specialist
March 13, 2012

PITTSBURGH (March 13, 2012)… The Chatham University Art Gallery will have the interactive 3-D modeling film installation “The Painted Lady” on display March 16 through March 30. The art gallery is located in Woodland Hall on Chatham’s Shadyside Campus; it is free and open to the public Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment.

Created by Andres Tapia-Urzua and Jon Amakawa the experience involves a 3-dimensional representation of a 1900s Victorian house, with different short films being displayed in each of its thirty windows. Every window space is an adventure leading to a secret scene inside. The spectator can choose and play any window in order to trigger a video sequence. After a sequence is played, the spectator is free to continue exploring other scenes embedded in the rooms of the Painted Lady – becoming an active participant in this interactive cinema experience.

Tapia-Urzua is an artist practicing in digital communication, video, music, performance, and installation. His work fuses aesthetic, theoretical, and political issues. He is the chair of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh’s digital filmmaking & video production program, as well as the visual effects & motion graphics program. He is also the founder of Plan Z Media a video, sound, and multimedia production company specializing in the arts. He is both a Mid-Atlantic Media Arts and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellow. He has received the Cine Latino Award in San Francisco, California, and the Experimental Award at the FICS in Santiago de Chile. Twice nominated for a Rockefeller Fellowship; his work has been published and exhibited in such venues across the globe.

Amakawa is a 3D artist who specializes in creating interactive museum exhibits and educational media. His work integrates sculpture, drawing, architecture, and animation in a virtual environment. He is currently developing a virtual reality-based exhibit on the Underground Railroad for the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh. The exhibit has received support from the U.S. Department of Education.

As an undergraduate, Amakawa studied history and fine arts at Vassar College. He later completed a graduate degree in interactive design at Carnegie Mellon University. Amakawa has a particular interest in exploring the artistic possibilities for video game media, especially in presenting historical subject matter. In addition to creating virtual reality art pieces, he teaches Game Art and Design at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh.

For more information, contact Prajna Parasher, director of Chatham’s Film and Digital Technology program, at 412-365-1182 or, or Corey Escoto, assistant professor of sculpture at Chatham, at 314-920-8461 or Artist Andres Tapia-Urzua can be reached directly at 412-952-2460.
About Chatham University
Chatham University prepares students from around the world to help develop solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges. Consistently ranked among the top master’s level institutions in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review, Chatham University is also ranked in the top five percent of graduate-intensive institutions nationally and experienced the fastest-growing enrollment in the Pittsburgh region over the past decade. Founded in 1869, Chatham University includes the Shadyside Campus, with the historic 39-acre Woodland Road arboretum and Chatham Eastside facility; and the 388-acre Eden Hall Campus north of Pittsburgh. For more information, call 800-837-1290 or visit

 # # #