After earning her BFA in Film/Video/Animation from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 2019, Dairys Escoto De León, who hails from Santiago, Dominican Republic by way of Georgia, was looking to build on her strong foundation as a visual artist.
“RISD for me was a great way to understand what kind of artist I wanted to be,” Escoto De León says. “I learned that I have a passion for animation and moving imagery. It was an amazing experience to delve into the multiple facets of my artistry, such as illustration, painting, and video art.”
But to grow as an artist, Escato De León was looking for something different, and that’s where CalArts comes in.
“I was really inspired by CalArts alumni and the amazing projects that came out of the Experimental Animation program,” she says. “It really changed my perspective about what can be done with animation.”
A Rudyard Smith Family Foundation Scholarship recipient, the 2022 MFA in Experimental Animation was able to pack a lot into her experience at the Institute.
“My installation show, which was really spontaneous, was a phenomenal experience and I am really glad I was able to do that at CalArts. I was also able to do a mentorship with one of the best commercial animation agencies in California, State Design, and I was able to receive an AICAD Teaching Fellowship.”
That Fellowship means that Escato De León is on her way to Philadelphia to teach at the University of the Arts beginning in fall 2022.
“I am looking forward to this experience and hoping to see how my future opens up because of it. Ideally, I would love to continue to teach at the college level and pursue my own artistry, continuing as a filmmaker.”
In her continuous effort to push herself as an artist, Escato De León has many goals that she’d like to continue to achieve, even beyond her work as an educator.
“Of course, I have many passions that lie in bigger work and productions and I hope one day to achieve them all,” she says. “At CalArts I forged my skills and made the best work I could make. And without the help of this scholarship, I would not have had the opportunity to see myself grow at CalArts.”