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Sneak Preview at Madison Campus

By Ann K. Williams
Staff Writer

December 9 -- The public is getting a sneak preview of the new Madison theater, well before its completion, thanks to a visionary Photoshop design by award winning Santa Monica College art student Vanessa Dollie.

Her portrayal was chosen by the Madison Project for use in their promotional materials for an event early next year called “First Look,” which will give the public a chance to see what the new theater will look like when it’s completed.

Dollie’s superimposition of the completed steel skeleton of the new performing arts center and the architect’s rendering of the interior, chosen from a dozen student images, “hit the nail on the head,” said graphic arts professor Bill Lancaster.

“I visited the site and after learning more about the Madison project, the concept was clear, this was a celebration honoring the half-way point of construction,” Dollie explained.

“As an international student, coming to Los Angeles and attending Santa Monica College has been a wonderful educational experience,” said Dollie, who comes from Putney, England.

“I am incredibly proud to have won and to have contributed something to the community,” she added.

The $31 million state-of-the-art facility at SMC's Madison campus on 11th Street and Arizona Avenue will house the college's music department and give the Westside a much needed cultural arts venue when it opens in 2007.

Programs in the new theater will include “everything from jazz to chamber music to dance, film, vocal music, lectures and educational activities,” said the college’s director of performing arts Dale Franzen at the Madison Project beam raising ceremony in October. (See article)

Students will get to share the space with big name stars, including Santa Monica College alum Dustin Hoffman who spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony, and whose company, 3 Coasts, will be in residence at Madison. (See article)

Dollie won $100 for her photo, thanks to a donation from Martin Sosin, a Santa Monica tax attorney and benefactor of the college.

But she’s more excited about what an award like this will mean for her future.

After working for nine years as a make-up artist, Dollie’s “most definitely” embarked on a new career as a graphic designer.

She hopes to get into the competitive School of Visual Arts in New York City after she finishes her Associate in Arts this year.

“Winning a competition like this is a real plus,” Dollie said.

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