Lynn Tomlinson

Associate Professor

Lynn Tomlinson

Contact Info

Media Center 201B


Towson University (MFA)
University of Pennsylvania,
Annenberg School for Communication (M.A.C.)
The University of the Arts (MA)
Cornell University (BA)

Areas of Expertise

Animation, visual effects, film and media history and theory, production and post-production


Lynn Tomlinson is best known for her clay on glass animation: working under the camera, she spreads a thin layer of colorful oil-based modeling clay like thick finger paint, changing the image frame by frame in a stop-motion process. The resulting animation looks like a living painting. Her current creative work explores environmental themes, imagining how non-humans might view humanity’s social and environmental impact. Her work is in the collection of the education department at the Museum of Modern Art. Recent festivals include the Annecy International Animation Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Hiroshima Animation Festival, Ajyal Film Festival in Qatar, Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, and TIFF Kids. Recent gallery exhibitions include a one-person show at the University of Delaware, and group shows at Delaware Contemporary, the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Park School of Baltimore. Curatorial projects include Sister Cities Animated (2019) and Cross-Pollinated: Hybrid Art Abuzz (2015).

The Elephant’s Song (2018), the true story of Old Bet, the first circus elephant in America, has screened in over thirty festivals around the globe, from Hollywood to Hiroshima, Ann Arbor to Athens, receiving 18 awards. The Ballad of Holland Island House (2014), the story of the last house on a sinking island in the Chesapeake Bay, received a prize from Greenpeace, screened in three dozen festivals, and received a nomination for the Student Academy Award. She animated a segment in Fired Up! based on a speech by Barak Obama, a viral video called the Best Artists Collaboration of 2017. Recent emerging media projects include Kendra’s Bay (2016), an animated digital puppetry performance at Light City Baltimore, that received the UFVA New Media Award.

In the 1990s, Tomlinson’s animated spots appeared on PBS Kids, Sesame Street, and MTV. In the early 2000s Tomlinson was a director of video for, an influential Digital Humanities project. She has received state Independent Artist Fellowships in Media Arts from Maryland, Florida, and Pennsylvania. Her writing on animation is published in Animation Journal; Animation Practice, Process, and Production; Con a De Animación and HyperRhiz: New Media Cultures.

Before coming to Towson, Tomlinson taught at Cornell, MICA, University of the Arts, and Delaware College of Art and Design. She has led workshops and lectured at many universities including University of Michigan, Bennington College, Tainan National University of the Arts, Pratt, Bowling Green State University, Cornell, James Madison, Sarah Lawrence, Northern Vermont University, and the University of the Arts.

Tomlinson joined the faculty at Towson University's Electronic Media and Film Department in 2014. She received two Innovation in Teaching Awards from Towson University's Office of Academic Innovation and the inaugural COFAC CoLab grant for AquaDome (2018), a collaborative planetarium dome film created by over 100 students and faculty participants. Her current creative research project is an animated full-dome film inspired by Monet’s water lilies, supported by a Towson University Faculty Development and Research Committee Grant.