Assistant Professor of Art and Design

Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery Director

Human Sciences Building 220A
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Lincoln, NE 68588-4100
Burton CV

2007 M.F.A., University of Nebraska-Lincoln
2000 B.F.A., Green Mountain College

My creative work in film-making and animation focuses on stories from the 19th and early 20th centuries. I am interested in people with extraordinary pasts who have mostly been left out of the cultural and historical record. I work closely with historical and literary scholars, costume designers, and production professionals to make Historical Animated Films. I use a hybrid form of live-action film on green screen and animation to create looks that resemble prints and illustrations of the period.

My creative team, The Animating History Lab, seeks to push the boundaries of story-telling by developing new advances in the field of animation.

Service-learning is central to my teaching philosophy. Undergraduate through Ph.D. students work in paid roles on my productions too.

Selected Exhibitions:

  • Bronze Lens Film Festival, Atlanta, GA
  • New Media Film Festival (Best Animation) L.A., CA
  • Virginia Film Festival, Charlottesville, VA
  • Hip Hop Film Festival, Bronx, NY
  • Utopia Film Festival, Greenbelt, MD
  • Atlantic Selects, The Atlantic magazine
  • Anchorage International Film Festival
  • Museum of Nebraska Art, Kearney, NE
  • “Art Seen" Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, NE

Notable Funding:

  • National Endowment for the Humanities $200,000
  • Maryland Humanities Council $8,300
  • Cather Project $8,000
  • UNL Arts and Humanities Research Fellowship $10,000

Professional Highlights:

Honors and Recognition

  • Best in Animation Category - New Media Film Festival
  • Dudziak Prize for Legal History - Anna film


  • FATE; Foundation Art theory and Education
Brett Barney