Arts grad sculpts successful transition to career
KENNESAW, Ga. (May 12, 2020) — For thousands of Kennesaw State students each semester, graduation represents a defining moment. It is an opportunity to reflect on their entire educational journey – the mentors they found, the friendships they made and the opportunities they seized. In recognition of that, we are spotlighting students who are completing their final semesters at KSU. Hanson Bassey, who is earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture, shares his journey at KSU.
Sculpture student and 3D artist Hanson Bassey has been molding and shaping his career direction since he was a teenager in Lagos State, Nigeria. Through Kennesaw State’s 3D Lab in the College of the Arts, he has discovered the perfect way to fuse his twin passions of technology and art.
“The 3D Lab opened in the fall semester of 2019, and I have been involved in it as a student assistant since its inception,” said Bassey, who earned a college degree in computer technology in his native Nigeria before immigrating to America.
An amazing place to visit, the 3D Lab is located in the School of Art and Design’s Visual Arts Building. Managed by Makerspace Collective, a student-run club, it provides opportunities for students to utilize existing KSU technology and facilities for their creative endeavors.
“As president of the Makerspace Collective, I try my best to help students from all disciplines with their individual needs and utilize the technical knowledge, skill and experience gained in school to make a positive contribution,” Bassey said.
Geo Sipp, director of the School of Art and Design, is one of Bassey’s biggest fans. He credits him with launching KSU’s nascent lab and inspiring his fellow students to learn more about 3D design.
“Hanson runs our 3D Maker Space; he is entirely self-taught, and we are learning from him!” said Sipp. “Such is the way with advanced technology.”
The affable Bassey loves teaching others and especially enjoys assisting students who might not be familiar with the College of the Arts’ new high-tech learning environment.
“Sculpture student Dylan Doyle came in with a maquette (scale model) about one foot in height,” said Bassey. “He had sculpted this by hand in clay, wanting to produce a seven-foot replica in foam.”
The transformation required many steps, but Bassey walked Doyle through the process to a successful conclusion.
“With our existing technology we were able to 3D scan his clay model, import it to a VR sculpting program (Oculus Medium) for final refinements, slice it in a CAD software (Autodesk 3DS Max) into 3D planes that would eventually be CNC routed in foam for assembly,” he said.
Another example of the 3D Lab’s technological range was the creation of a 3D chess set.
“Painting and Drawing student Wesley Sanders brought in some sketches, and with some consultation and planning, VR sculpting and 3D printing was used to take his 2D ideas from virtual to reality,” Bassey said. “Many other projects of many varieties have been achieved using the 3D Tech Labs resources. If I were to list them all, we may end up with a book.”
A Personal Transformation
Just as he helps students transform their projects into reality, Bassey’s personal transformation through higher education has been no less exciting.
“I got my first degree in computer technology at a private university in Nigeria,” said Bassey. “During those four years, I was exposed to computer-aided design and modeling software by a good friend of mine. The first time I saw him creating basic three-dimensional shapes on computer software, I was blown away. It was a great awakening for me to finally realize the merging of art and technology in the world around us.”
Bassey found himself pulled in several directions.
“In my teenage years, I knew I was going to become an architect or an artist because of my love for drawing, or a computer tech guy because of my love for technology,” Bassey said.” Growing up, I always had a strong desire for making and fixing things. I enjoyed lots of animated movies, built a lot of sandcastles and played with tons of Legos. Exploring different technological advancements was also a joy to me.”
Eventually, art won out.
Building on Success
Associate Professor of Art Keith Smith, who teaches sculpture, said Bassey excelled inside and outside of the studio.
“He has collaborated with and helped both faculty and students that are using the three-dimensional printing and scanning technology that is so new to all of us,” Smith said.
Last semester, Bassey created a giant pencil sculpture for the KSU Writing Center and was awarded an Outstanding Sculpture Student Scholarship to attend the Mid-South Atlantic Sculpture Confab in Chattanooga to exhibit and present his work.
“His work for the senior exhibition this semester was to be a pair of VR goggles in the Arts Gallery that you could put on and virtually walk around the gallery,” said Smith. “He completely recreated the gallery as a virtual environment filled with his work.”
While attending KSU, Bassey has been working for Atlanta-based Imagination Fabrication LLC, a sculpture firm that designs and fabricates installations for trade shows, theme parks and museums.
“I am fortunate to have my dream job,” Bassey said. “I love it there and hope to continue after I graduate.”
– Robert S. Godlewski
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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.