Home Technology Bowie State Names New Animation Studio after First Black Female Animator

Bowie State Names New Animation Studio after First Black Female Animator

Bowie State University recently named its new stop-motion animation space in honor of Ayoka Chenzira, Ph.D., division chair for the arts, chair of the Department of Art & Visual Culture, and professor at Spelman College.

An award-winning artist and recognized pioneer in Black independent cinema, Dr. Chezira is a graduate of New York University, Columbia University/Teachers College and is the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in digital media from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Chenzira is also the first African American female animator and one of a handful of Black experimental filmmakers.

Ayoka Chenzira

BSU proudly honored Chenzira last month, naming the stop-motion animation space “Studio Ayoka Chenzira.”

According to a news release, BSU’s new studio will allow students to develop, animate and produce stop-motion and experimental animated productions, short films, and unique digital storytelling experiences. The space is a green screen studio outfitted with digital, stop-motion animation equipment and cameras. 

While working in the studio, students will also have the opportunity to combine stop-motion with other genres of animation and filmmaking including 2D, 3D, pixilation animation, motion graphics, sci-fi, and virtual productions in the future.

“With an increased adoption of animation in the film and advertising industries, there will be a growing need for skilled professionals to work in the field,” said Professor Williams, chair of Bowie State’s Department of Fine and Performing Arts and host of the all-day stop motion animation event where Dr. Chezira was honored.

Bowie State is the only HBCU in the nation with a stop-motion animation studio.