WPI's Britton Snyder will make his Arcadia Contemporary debut with a showing at the prestigious LA Art Show 2015, which runs from January 14 to18 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
A professor of practice in the university's Interactive Media and Game Development Program—one of the earliest and top-ranked academic programs of its kind in the country—Snyder will have four pieces on display, including Gears (2014, oil on panel, 48 x 34 in.), seen at right.
"I am honored—and grateful—that Arcadia Contemporary has included my work in this year's showing," Snyder said. "This is an amazing opportunity for high-profile exposure to the international art world."
Arcadia Contemporary was founded in 1998 with the goal of creating a showcase for contemporary, representational artwork. Arcadia currently has two New York City locations, Arcadia SoHo and Arcadia at the Four Seasons.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, the LA Art Show show has grown from a small regional event featuring 14 galleries to become the largest and longest running platform for fine art, bringing in more than 120 galleries representing 22 countries. The LA Art Show was the first and only event to strategically incorporate galleries representing diverse art genres, broadening its audiences to include enthusiasts of modern, contemporary, historic, and traditional works, as well as works on paper, sculpture, and installations, in one art fair. Last year’s show attracted more than 50,000 art enthusiasts.
In addition to his academic role at WPI, Snyder has worked as an artist in the field of video game development for the past 14 years, contributing to a number of titles with concept art, illustrations, 3-D models, storyboards, and cinematics. He has worked as a commercial artist at SONY, Blizzard Entertainment, Liquid Entertainment, Rockstar, THQ, Demiurge, and 745 Studios. Freelance clients include Higgins Armory Museum, Mapleloft, Subatomic Studios, Hitpoint Studios, Converse, and others.
At WPI, students receive a base education in both the artistic and technical aspects of interactive media, underscoring the importance of blending art with technology, and the close working relationships required between artists and programmers. But, Snyder notes, there are significant differences between the approach to conceptual art for gaming and his goals for his personal paintings.
"Creating art for video games is a very different process than painting for myself," Snyder said. "In game design, the vision is someone else's and the finished piece is the result of a very collaborative process. The images also must be immediately identifiable to the audiences that you are trying to attract. In my personal art, I do not want to dictate the painting's meaning to the viewer. I am most interested in people and depicting actions that are unresolved in order to evoke emotion."
Snyder has previously exhibited his paintings in Sloane Merrill Gallery, Principle Gallery, Fitchburg State University, the Allentown Art Museum, and Fountain Street Gallery. He has been featured in Spectrum 21: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art, and ImagineFX Magazine, and he was awarded the 2014 Rising Stars Award through Muddy Colors illustration blog for his oil paintings. Snyder earned his MFA in painting through Lesley College of Art and Design in Cambridge, Mass., in June 2014.