Film / Animation / Video


Lorelei Pepi

Lorelei Pepi holds a BFA in Illustration from RISD and an MFA in Experimental Animation from California Institute of the Arts. Prior to pursuing the fine arts, she was heavily involved in theater performance. Pepi co-created and ran the art studio, Rocket Dog, which from 1990–1994 created sculptural reproductions of gargoyles, which sold work internationally. Pepi worked in commercial animation in 1989-90 with Olive jar Studio in Boston, MA, and from 1996-2000 with a variety of studios in Los Angeles. Ranging from small feature film, commercial and web media development, her various roles included animator, designer, commercial director and creative director.

While living in Los Angeles, from 1995-97, Pepi served as a founding faculty member of the Animation Dept. for the ongoing California Arts Partnership and Inner City Arts, which brought animation to underserved inner-city Los Angeles children. In 1998–2001, she participated as Faculty and then Dept. Chair for the Animation Dept. with the California State Summer School for the Arts, a program for artistic high school students. Since 2000, Pepi has held long-term visiting college faculty positions at Harvard University, School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Rochester Institute of the Arts and RISD, all of which have involved teaching animation arts.

Pepi’s approach to animation is to see it as a growing, shifting conceptual and methodological puzzle that correlates the fine arts with time, duration, space, light, color, composition, sound, shadow and gesture. Her film work encompasses a range of the highly experimental and personal (Grace) to the socio-politically motivated cartoon (Happy & Gay.) Her additional research is exploring the use of animation in interactive theatrical space, dimensional form, performance, site-specificity and responsive technologies. One of her courses at RISD has been specific to pursuing these ideas, resulting in students using animation in sculpture, performance, projection environments and interactive  installations.

Pepi’s animation work has been supported by various international animation festival awards, a MacDowell Fellowship, Harvard Film Study Fellowship, LEF Moving Image Grant, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Fellowship Grant, RISD Faculty Grant, as well as various exhibitions and Visiting Lecture invitations.

Academic research/ areas of interest

Animation Filmmaking    
Animation History and Critical Study    
Cultivation of Deep Process    
Interdisciplinary Practices    
Responsive and Interactive Media    
Dimensional Kinetic Arts