CU film studies faculty member Philip Solomon was presented the 2007 Thatcher Hoffman Smith Creativity in Motion Award on September 5. The award is given out by the University of Oklahoma’s College of Arts and Sciences every two years since 2002.
According to the Creativity in Motion Web site, the prize “celebrates a visionary creative work in process, open to all fields of creativity, including the arts, cultural affairs, education and science.”
Solomon received a trophy and a check for $40,000.
“I plan to travel to Italy, buy a high-definition movie setup and then spend the rest on my films,” Solomon said.
Professor Solomon has taught at CU since 1991 and is currently the only film studies professor teaching both critical studies and production classes. He is currently teaching a critical studies class entitled “Sound and Vision” as well as a production class in experimental film making.
Solomon graduated with honors from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 1975, and then received his Master’s degree from the Massachusetts College of Art in 1980. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1993.
His films are appearing in the New York Festival at the Lincoln Center in October. His work is very avant-garde, something Solomon has no problem admitting.
“I want work that’s over my head. I want it to be symphonic,” Solomon said.
Indeed, Solomon describes films as, “much more like a painting” than movies in the conventional sense. His winning project for creativity in motion is an installation art piece entitled “American Falls.” It consists of multiple video images being projected onto six screens simultaneously along with various sound mixes.
Solomon brings his energy, passion and enthusiasm for the arts into the classroom. He makes a point to engage his students in the learning process by involving them in discussion.
“I love it when the class and I come together,” Solomon said.
He encourages his students to think independently and creatively when talking about film.
“In the age of Google and Wikipedia, we need to encourage active viewing and active listening,” Solomon said.
Professor Solomon is held in esteem by his students.
“I think it’s great an experimental artist could get an award such as this. It’s a very rare honor,” Rett Rogers, a senior film study major said.
Similar reviews are common throughout his classes. His students pay attention to him when he lectures and frequently speak up in class, which is both unusual and compliments the overall learning experience.
“He’s a scholar and an artist,” said Jessica Betz, a senior film studies major. “It’s an honor just to be here to sit and listen to him.”
Contact Staff Writer Robert Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org.