Roberta Bernabei is a jewellery maker and historian whose work has been exhibited at various national and international venues, including Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery; Victoria & Albert Museum; National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo and the Museums of Decorative Arts in Berlin and Turin. In addition to institutional hosts, her jewellery has been featured in various private and commercial galleries, as well as entering both private and public collections; the latter including Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery; Bilston Craft Gallery; Museo del Gioiello, Padua, Italy and Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, Oregon, USA.

Since 1989, she has shown her jewellery throughout Europe; largely exploring body decoration issues through a wide range of media. Her recent studio practice has shifted emphasis to explore digital technologies and how they may be seamlessly united with traditional goldsmith techniques, including the manipulation of CAD/CAM, rapid prototyping, precision photo etching and digital embroidery. Attempts are currently being made to humanise the ‘perfection’ of digital manufacture through hand finishing, subverting intended materials and incorporating visual and tactile illusions.

Roberta has chaired several exhibition panels and conferences including the annual Conference of the Italian Association for Contemporary Jewellery in Trieste; Juror of “Eine Handvoll Glasperlen” jewellery competition organised by Museum fuer Weltkulturen, Frankfurt; and most recently, as a member of the selection panel for LUSTRE, the Contemporary Applied Art fair held at Lakeside Arts Centre in Nottingham.

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Melanie Hani founded Heart™ Healing Education Animation Research Therapy. Her lifelong work in this field was celebrated by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh at a reception at Buckingham Palace to mark those have made a significant contribution to local or national life. She has won the NHS innovation award, being commended by the Duke of Gloucester for her work using animation with the bereaved and also been commended by Baroness Morris of Yardley for using animation to help children who are excluded from mainstream education. She has been awarded a community fellowship and after returning from working in an Eastern European orphanage and with children living in squalor, she found she had been named as one of the worlds most influential educators and included in the 2009 Marcus Who's Who in the world.  Melanie is included as a distinguished scholar, recognising the global impact of her work.

Melanie has applied her innovative teaching techniques to tackle children and adults with varying emotional, psychological and physical disabilities. Some areas she has worked in are with drug rehabilitation, sexually abused children, children and adults with special needs, children in care, self harmers, the homeless, the bereaved.

She believes that animation in a therapeutic and educational context can stimulate positive responses regarding learning, general attitude, behaviour, encourages physical and mental social interaction and improves physical and mental skills overall.  This coupled with her belief of combining this with a person centered approach leads to a successful working model.  She believes in striving for unconditional positive regard and providing an inclusive, caring and safe environment for people to reach a state of self actualization.

Currently, Melanie is working for Homefield College.


Dr. Jorgelina Orfila is Associate professor in 20th and 21st century Art History and Critical Theory at Texas Tech University. She earned undergraduate degrees in art history in Argentina. From 1997 to 1999, she was a Lampadia Fellow in the Department of French Paintings at the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. In 2007, she earned a Ph.D. in art history from the University of Maryland. Her research interests include: Historiography of Art History, History of Museology, Art of the 1930s, Animation and Modern and Contemporary Art, Photography/ Photojournalism in the Interwar Period, Media Archeology, Cognitive Theory. Together with Dr. Francisco Ortega, she is working on a publication that will examine the intersections of animation and the fine arts in 20th and 21st centuries. Among her latest publications are “De Top Cat a Don Gato: Acerca del Doblaje en Animación,”(co-authored with Dr. Francisco Ortega) Con A de Animación 8, (Spring 2018): 150-163; “John Rewald's transatlantic scholarship: A forgotten chapter in the art history of modern art,” (11,500 words). Geraldine Johnson’ (Ed), Exile and Expatriate Histories of Art, Routledge, Forthcoming 2018; “On Art History and Meta-Images: Art Reproductions, Site Photographs, and Cézanne’s Art,” in Claus Clüver, Matthijs Engelberts, and Véronique Plesch (Eds.), L’Imaginaire: texte et image / The Imaginary: Word and Image. Word and Image Interactions 8. Amsterdam and New York: Brill/Rodopi, 2015, 303-316. 


Dr. Francisco is Associate Professor in Graphic Design and Coordinator of the PhD Fine Arts program at the School of Art, Texas Tech University (TTU). He earned his undergraduate degrees and MA at the University of Texas, El Paso, and his PhD in Critical Studies and Artistic Practice at TTU (2008). A practicing artist and scholar, his interests include: Historical and Critical Perspectives in Animation, Game Design Theory and History, Graphic Design, and Interdisciplinarity in the Arts. He collaborates with Dr. Jorgelina Orfila in a research project that explores the interactions between animation and contemporary art, and with Dr. SueAnne Lee in a project that uses animation for teaching new words to children with language disabilities. He is author of “De Top Cat a Don Gato: Acerca del Doblaje en Animación,”(co-authored with Dr. Jorgelina Orfila) Con A de Animación 8 (Spring 2018): 150-163; and “Board(er) Games: A Case Study on the Creation of Socially-Based Board Games,” in Jason C. Thompson, Marc A. Ouellette (Eds.), The Game Culture Reader, Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013, 210-229. Among his animations are: “The Revenge of a Finger,” Toilets’ chronicles, (2016), “Titans: Analogies on a City,” (2012). 

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