GIT team creates unique downtown installation 

Yet another new creative work was installed recently on a building in Pittsburg, thanks to a team that included a student, associate professor, and alumnus — all from the Department of Graphics & Imaging Technologies — and a recent graduate from the College of Education.

And this one comes with a twist. 

Called “The Altruist,” it’s not a mural done in paint as several others by PSU students have been — it’s a photographic installation. When complete, it will be included with an augmented reality (AR) experience. 

The goal? 

“To focus on encouraging the public to revisit their feelings and possible biases through the sensation of walking in another’s path,” said Associate Professor Rion Huffman, an award-winning photographer who teaches in the GIT Department. 

In 2021, Huffman's student, Abigail Mitchell, who has since graduated, wanted to address the issue of racial diversity in a small Midwestern community as a senior project, and settled on this project as a vehicle. 

A team approach made it happen: Mitchell helped with planning. GIT graduate Sam Clausen (‘14), who now works as the university photographer, captured an image of education graduate D’André Phillips (‘21). It was then printed on a large metal sheet. Mitchell began doing all of the AR work, while Huffman handled administrative tasks.  

Last week, the image was adhered to the west exterior brick wall of TOAST, part of PSU’s Block22 project, under lighting. It will be complete when the AR component is finished. 

“We used the audio booth at the Kansas Technology Center to record D’André’s story,” Huffman said. “His audio is being used as an AR effect and as a narration for a future video covering the final project.” 

Illustrations and animations were completed with Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Fresco, and After Effects.

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Graphics & Imaging Technologies