OHIO graduate’s capstone project about Cincinnati artist airs on TV
Ohio University graduate Madeleine Hordinski, BA ’20, BSVC ’20, recently had her senior capstone project air on PBS stations in Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio.
In the summer of 2020, Hordinski began talking to a friend and her grandmother, Tilly Berghege. When Berghege detailed going to fashion and art shows in Cincinnati in the 1980s, Hordinski had to ask, “Do you have pictures?”
The answer to that question – a resounding yes – led to Hordinski creating a short film to detail the life of Berghege. The film was part of her capstone seminar as she wrapped up her visual communication degree through Scripps College of Communication in the fall of 2020. Hordinski had previously graduated in spring 2020 with an anthropology degree from the Honors Tutorial College.
Tilly details Berghege’s life as a Dutch American avant-garde artist and fashion designer at the height of Cincinnati’s 1980s art scene.
“She really embraces life,” Hordinski said. “She’s a wonderful person to be around and has all these incredible stories from owning a store in Cincinnati, creating clothes for other people and participating in shows all around town.”
Stan Alost, professor, and Josh Birnbaum, associate professor of instruction, in the School of Visual Communication answered any and all questions Hordinski had as she worked on the project.
“I really appreciated Stan’s thoughtful feedback. I asked a lot of questions … and I’m grateful he was so patient with me,” Hordinski said. “I also ask Josh a ton of questions all the time – even now that I’ve graduated. The kind of mentorship you get from VisCom is amazing. I feel very lucky to have gone through the program and to have met such wonderful people.”
After completing the film, Berghege and Hordinski wanted to submit it locally to The Art Show, a segment that airs on CET in Cincinnati and ThinkTV in Dayton. The film aired on season 11, episode 14, along with two stories about other artists during the month of May. Tilly is also available to watch on YouTube.
“I am thrilled that Maddie found an outlet for her project and the regional PBS airing is perfect for her story,” Alost said. “Maddie worked hard on the story during the pandemic limitations and made a project that was more than the moment. It also goes to prove that students are working at a very high level when they get to their capstone classes in VisCom. Others have had their projects produced in capstone published as well.”
Although the film has already aired, Hordinski hopes to continue to document Berghege’s life.
“I would love to continue filming her because she’s just a really fascinating and lovely person to be around. She always has these really cool and innovative ideas,” Hordinski said. “This is a story that I’ll continue to work on for a while.”
Since graduating, Hordinski has had an internship and several freelancing projects, including working for the BBC. In a couple weeks, she will move to Los Angeles, California, to intern at the Los Angeles Times for the summer.
While Hordinski was applying for the Los Angeles Times internship, she turned to her friend and OHIO alumna Liz Moughon, BSVC ‘19, who helped her with the interview process, because she interned there two years ago.
“I know Maddie will go on to have a good career in the field. She is a very bright, talented and personable individual,” Alost said.
Throughout her experiences photographing and filming, Hordinski said that the relationship a storyteller develops with the person they are documenting is the most important.
“You don’t have to know someone really well, but if you build rapport with them and show that you really care, people will open up to you in a deeper way,” she said.