'Avatar' designer to speak

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Photo of TyRuben Ellingson '81 '82

TyRuben Ellingson '81 '82 returns March 2 to give a presentation about his career as a leading Hollywood conceptual designer.

Photo of TyRuben Ellingson '81 '82 A TyRuben Ellingson design for a robot killer 

Leading Hollywood conceptual designer TyRuben Ellingson '81 '82 returns to his alma mater to present "Art School to Avatar" 7 p.m. March 2, in Atwood Memorial Ballroom.

Parking for the public event is free on streets adjacent to campus. Parking in the 4th Avenue Parking Ramp is $1 per hour.

One of the earliest conceptual designers handpicked for creator/director James Cameron's elite art department, Ellingson helped create the human presence on the alien world of Pandora in the 2009 film blockbuster "Avatar."

As a lead vehicle designer, Ellingson was a major player in helping Cameron carry out his legendary vision for the interstellar 3-D adventure, designing all but two of the vehicles that were so prevalent in the film.

Two upcoming movies featuring Ellingson’s designs are "Battle: Los Angeles," set for March 11 release and "Priest," due out in May. He designed the alien space craft and weaponry for "Battle: Los Angeles" and a number of elements of transportation and weaponry for "Priest."

View the event poster (PDF).

Ellingson will speak to graphic design and creative writing classes during his return to campus.

He received from St. Cloud State a bachelor of elective studies degree in 1981 and a master of arts degree in 1982.

Ellingson earned a master of fine arts degree in 1987 from Southern Methodist University, Dallas.

He joined George Lucas’ Industrial, Light and Magic in 1989, and his first major contribution to a blockbuster movie was visual effects art director on Steven Spielberg’s "Jurassic Park" in 1993.

His father, the late Bill Ellingson, was a prolific and well-known artist, printmaker and longtime professor of art at St. Cloud State.

This event is made possible through a grant from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and is presented by KVSC 88.1FM, St. Cloud State’s educational radio station.

For more information, contact Jo McMullen-Boyer,; 320-308-3053.


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