sand animation

Lutheran Celtic music at Art A Whirl!

My weekend is booked.  I'll be at St. John in Northeast Minneapolis participating in the "Art-A-Whirl festivities.  I'll have original Christian artwork for sale and perform some sand animation with Joey Shumann of the Lutheran Ceili Orchestra.  

What's Art-A-Whirl?
Presented by the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (NEMAA), Art-A-Whirl is the largest open studio tour in the country. It’s a great opportunity to tour private artist studios and galleries, connect with the artists, and purchase original artwork.

 Art-A-Whirl takes place annually in Northeast Minneapolis, the third weekend of May. This event is free and open to the public.

2014 Dates and Hours:
Friday, May 16th -  5:00-10:00 p.m.
Saturday,  May 17th -  Noon-8:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 18th -   Noon-5:00 p.m.

Where is St. John's?

St. John's is dedicated to hosting Christian Artists for Art-A-Whirl!

Lutheran Celtic?
I'm excited to perform with the multi-talented Joey Shumann at St. John's this weekend.  Learn more about Joey and the Lutheran Ceili Orchestra at  An excerpt: 

The Lutheran Ceili Orchestra is a group of accomplished Celtic Christian musicians from Wisconsin that have travelled the country playing their unique blend of hymns and traditional Irish music. Their "Celtic Service" series combines the verses, prayers, and legends of the ancient Celtic Christians with traditional music and hymns from Ireland and the British Isles played on authentic instruments including the Uilleann bagpipes, tinwhistle, fiddle, harp, bodhran, and more. The group is led by Joey Schumann, who is an annual featured Celtic musician at Carnegie Hall in New York City and has recorded and toured with American composer Tim Janis.

A bit about Joey:

"Joseph (Joey) grew up in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, and is excited to return to the area. His family has roots in Appleton and grandmother had a long and happy nursing career at one of the Appleton hospitals where he will be doing some of his residency training. The idea of “family” is very important to him, which is one of the many reasons he chose the field of “family” medicine. He began college with an interest in becoming a children’s book illustrator and was awarded various art scholarships. Along the way he was surprised by how much he loved science courses and switched to medicine. He graduated from Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina having achieved honors in science, fine art and athletics and was also the starting fullback on a Division 2 football team. Joey’s illustrations have appeared in an orthopedics textbook, as well as public exhibitions. He plays a number of ethnic instruments including the Irish bagpipes, tin whistle, and duduk; has toured with American composer Tim Janis; has been a featured performer twice at Carnegie Hall in New York City; and has recorded on various albums, including a project by Janis which was dedicated to people suffering with ALS. He attended medical school at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee where he was recognized by his class for being a standout in ethics. In the future, he hopes to have a sports medicine focused practice in Wisconsin. Joey is an avid backpacker, values a well-rounded life and spending time with his wife and son."

See more artwork from Jason Jaspersen at, and on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Easter weekend sand animations with Koine

It was an honor to be invited to participate in the Tenebrae and Easter morning services with Koine at St. Marcus Lutheran in Milwaukee.  I prepared a few sand animation sequences, packed the sand table and brought a bunch of family along with.

Collapsed sand animation table in the trunk...

Some of the Koine t-shirts I designed hanging next to Stephanie Barenz' brilliant painting in St. Marcus.

Setting up the sand table Good Friday morning.  Lots of technical issues to figure out.  We tried three cameras, two mounts, and a few methods of communicating with the projector.  Of course there are easy ways to do these things, but they aren't all sufficiently graceful.  So much goes into eliminating distractions.
I practiced sand as Brian and the band give me a live run through of "Mary Did You Know?"

This is the full Tenebrae service from Friday at 5:00 pm.  The events of Good Friday are relayed here in unyielding truth, rare grace, and confrontational power.  It was humbling to participate in this ministry with dedicated servants, such as Pastor Mark Jeske and the members of Koine, who have been vigilant in seeking ways to connect people with the Gospel.  The service will break you down and build you up in ways you need.  It's structure and artistry unfold and entwine Law and Gospel, Sin and Grace, Death and Life like any good Lutheran sermon.  I'm grateful that God has blessed us with such a ministry.

If you want to skip to my 4:00-4:50 you can see a crucifixion sequence in which my illustrations are set into motion by Koine guitarist Benj Lawrenz.  28:20-32:05 will get you to the sand animation of "Mary Did You Know?"  At 1:14:18 you can see some of my sumie ink paintings begin melting in and out of view in the environmental projections as "O Darkest Woe" is played.

The 7:30 Tenebrae Service goes almost the same as the 5:00.  The video editing is a bit different.  Also, it's significant to note that pianist, Seth Bauer, was absent from this service because his wife went into labor in the earlier service.  However he was back in action Sunday morning after the birth of their healthy baby girl.  Not being a musician, I was amazed at the way the band adapted with only minutes to spare.  Matt Scott, the bassist, assured me that they've been playing music together long enough that they could kind of sense what each other was going to do.  There was no choice but to make it work.

You do get a glimpse of one of my pre-service sand drawings in the first few minutes.  At about 8:10 the motion graphic crucifixion sequence.  I feel that the sand animation for "Mary Did You Know" (at 32:35-36:20) was stronger in this service.  Pastor Jeske had some nice compliments for me about the 7:30 version.  The soaking ink wash drawings begin appearing around 1:18:20, though the camera is not quite wide enough to see them clearly.

7 am Easter Sunday  service!  A fantastic hymn by Martin Luther, "Christ Jesus Lay in Death's Strong Bands".   The imagery here deals with the spiritual battle of Easter.  Freedom isn't free...The sand begins at 1:53.

This song, "Wake Up Sleeper" is a Koine original.  It came at the end of the service and speaks to a sanctified life as it slowly picks up momentum and brightens like a sunny morning.  I began with a sunrise image and moved through the representations of the Means of Grace (Word and Sacraments) to remind us of the ways God comes to us.   Sand at 2:20.

God's timing conveniently had my brother's family move to Milwaukee mere weeks before.  He is the new Director of Marketing for Kingdom Workers.  We spared them the hassle of hosting us with so little time to prepare.  Still, their house looked all unpacked and settled in such a short time!  Very fun to spend some time with family in a different setting.

See more artwork from Jason Jaspersen at, and on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Mary Did You Know teasers

I'm working out a new sand piece for Koine's Tenebrae service.  The song is "Mary Did You Know?"  It clocks in at 2:36 minutes.  My high school students think 5 minutes is a short time to draw their hands!
While thinking about this, Kathe Kollwitz came to mind.  After paging through my book on her prints I'm realizing more and more that I could treat the sand table like a relief print.

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Sand frames for Koine projection

   I developed these frames for Koine's environmental projection during their big Emmanuel Lux Christmas concert at St. Marcus in Milwaukee.  These were to surround and complement the playing of the sand animation for "A Son Emmanuel".  Though they were unused for the performance, I think they are worth posting.  The projection for the performance used a stained glass window theme and these frames were just not working with that template.  
   The scale change is tricky as well.  The original sand images are about 8" tall.  Their projected size is the full height of a gymnasium wall.  

See the enveloping imagery for yourself...Watch the concert!

See more artwork from Jason Jaspersen at, and on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Augmented Reality!

I've recently discovered Augmented Reality (AR) and the possibilities are making my head spin.   I first saw an article on the AR app called Aurasma in a yearbook advisor magazine.  This yearbook advisor had used the app to load a video into the printed yearbook!  I was blown away when I aimed my phone's camera at the photo in the article and their school-wide lipsync video started playing as if it were in the photo frame.  The device becomes a lens through which new content can be revealed in real objects.

So I started to play.  After downloading Aurasma (free app) I started unlocking content by aiming it at their website.  I love the cereal box printed as if its the cockpit of an X-wing fighter.  A star wars space battle jolts to life and the controls start to whirr and calculate.  Then I discovered I can participate in the battle and fire my blasters...ON A CEREAL BOX.

I soon realized I could make my own content.  The app enables you to set a trigger image and associate an overlay with it. kids' old minion costumes come to life and start chattering to each other, Elvis dances on the classroom pencil sharpener, my school photo transforms into Gru, photos in the school newspaper come to life, and a graphing calculator reveals that Gangham style guy dancing in the screen.

Turning to more relevant applications I love the idea of a school yearbook with photos that "come to life".  Trust me, the MVL Desktop Publishing students are all about this.  We're shifting some of our talents toward video production and integrating augmented reality into our student print publications.

Then I realized the potential as an art teacher.  I built my Master's level semester presentation around augmented reality.  Imagine a trip to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in which the museum map reveals particular works to find and draw.  When you get to the Rembrandt's "Lucretia" and view it through your tablet or phone you see the darks and lights broken down into simplified blocks.  I set up 5 different paintings with different drawing aids to help interpret the artwork and provide an entry point for beginning artists.  Click this link to view the prezi.  You'll have to subscribe to "JJJaspersen Studio Education" for the Aurasma aspect to work.

I'm strongly considering using augmented reality in my February gallery exhibit at Bethany Lutheran College...

And I just finished activating the cover art for Koine's Emmanuel Lux album.  Scan the cover, the interior, or the disc for connections to contemplate from the corresponding sand animation.

Here's how to make it work:

  1.  Download the Aurasma app.
  2. Create an account (or skip this step)
  3. Tap the A symbol at the bottom of the viewfinder...
  4. Tap the magnifying glass to search Aurasma
  5. Enter "JJJaspersen Studio" in the search bar, tap on my channel and tap "follow"
  6. Tap the open square icon next to the magnifying glass and aim at your Emmanuel Lux album art!

The following video will help to explain what this all means and how it works...

See more artwork from Jason Jaspersen at, and on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Final frames

The sand animation for Koine's "A Son Emmanuel" is finished.  Here's another batch of stills from  over 4000 frames in the 5-minute video.  Look for the video release soon!  

See more artwork from Jason Jaspersen at, and on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.