Digital Media Studies Director

About Stephanie Ashenfelder

Ashenfelder headshot.

Director, Digital Media Studies
Academic Director, Studio Arts

MFA California College of Art, San Francisco, CA

206 Morey Hall



Stephanie’s digital and artistic scholarship take form in a variety of socially conscious interdisciplinary projects. Through multiple modes of production, Stephanie’s artistic practice investigates the intersection where progress meets failure. Her work originates from a place where glitches, malfunction and happenstance instigate profound consequence.

Courses Offered

  • Introduction to Studio Art
    • This course provides a broad framework for contemporary art practice through studio production, discussion, presentation, and critique. While many courses, including photography, 3-D, painting, and digital art, often start with the medium and work toward the concept, the projects in this class will immediately integrate conceptual challenges with material and technique.
  • Design Fundamentals
    • This foundational course introduces students to visual communication and design theory through a user-centered design approach. Design principles, user research, and problem definition will guide and inspire the work we create in this course. Students will identify opportunities for design and prototype solutions in this hands-on visually based course.
  • Digital Media Studies Senior Capstone
    • In this yearlong capstone experience students plan, design, construct, and deliver a digital media object of significant scope. Working as a team, they deploy their collective knowledge, skills, and expertise to undertake a community engaged project and/or devise a project of their own design.

Community Outreach and Partnerships

Adirondack Council Partnership: Partnership focuses on climate change in the Adirondack Park and how art and design can educate park users to understand the impact of climate change on the park. (2021-present)

SPIRIT Nys: Faculty mentor for capstone seniors working to promote SPIRIT Nys, an organization that supports homeless youth in Rochester, NY. (2021-2022)

Cracker Box Palace: Faculty mentor for capstone seniors working with Cracker Box Palace farm sanctuary at historic Atlasa farms. (2020-2021)

Wynn Farms Educational Program: Instructor for at-risk high school students. Course: Equine Studies and Art. Alternative High School Program, Honeoye Falls-Lima, NY. Director: Heather Bell. (2018-2020)

Current Projects

Hatch+Eat: Examines desire though a broody chicken asking whether her intense desire to hatch an egg is a glitch in the system. Installation/Video Commissioned by HyperKulture Media.

Community Partner: Alternative High School Program, Honeoye Falls-Lima, NY. Director: Heather Bell.

Instructor at Wynn Farms Educational Program for at-risk high school students. Course: Equine Studies and Art. (2018-present)

A Boy in Relation: A photogrammetry project where scanning her son produced the color pallet of their relationship. 4’x6’ digital print.

A Series of Drownings: Looking for the intersection where floating becomes drowning, where pretending becomes real. Four 2’x3’ photos on acrylic.

Designing Inclusive Learning Environments: A conversation with digital learning designers. Warner School of Education, University of Rochester, 2019.

Screw Up Night: Embracing failures to move forward to better ideas and projects. iZone, University of Rochester, 2019.

Selected Collaborations and Exhibitions

Sage Conversations, Hartnett Gallery, University of Rochester, NY, 2021

Frontispace Residency, Frontispace University of Rochester, NY 2019

Solo Exhibition, A Sudden Malfunction, Frontispace Gallery, University of Rochester, NY, 2019

Faculty Show, Hartnett Gallery, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY* 2019

Hatch. Eat. Hyper Kultuermia Gallery, Online Exhibition

Uncommon Denominator, Phillips Museum, Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA, 2012

Downstairs and To the Left, Faculty Show, Hartnett Gallery, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, 2012

Responding, Big on Bloor Festival, Toronto, Ontario* Dyan Marie, curator 2011

Stone Canoe, XL Projects Gallery, Syracuse, NY*, Lynette Stephenson, curator 2011

Big on Bloor Festival, Kent School playground, Toronto, ON. *Dyan Marie, curator 2010

Stations, String Gallery, Wells College Aurora, NY, 2009

Returned Books, Olean Public Library, Olean, NY, 2009

Stations, Community School of Music and Arts, Ithaca, NY, 2009

Edges ‘o8, Artpark, Lewiston, NY, 2008

Collectives and Collaborations, Gallery RFD Swainsboro, GA, 2008

Shelter, Sculpture Now, Stockbridge, MA, 2007

Eight-Hour Projects, Bowman Penelec Galleries, Allegheny College, Meadville, PA, 2007

Home Improvements, Tower Fine Arts Gallery, State University of New York Brockport, NY*, 2006

Gender: Identity, Arts and Literature Laboratory, New Haven, CT, 2006

Beyond/In Western New York, curatorial collaboration of twelve regional museums and galleries, Buffalo Arts Studio, Buffalo, NY, invitational 2005

Play Off, Rochester Contemporary Arts Center, Rochester, NY, 2005