WAYS is the theme of this year’s visual communications grad show at Medicine Hat College (MHC). Chosen by the students, it represents all the different ways that they connect, create and depart as they finish their fourth year and conclude the program.
The show is a combination of two courses taken in the last semester in which they create their portfolios and do marketing and promotions for the exhibition.
“Our students create a body of work, and the medium varies – it could be in photography, painting, drawing, sculpture - it’s pretty broad. In past years they have been given the theme, however this year they wanted to choose their own,” says Craig Cote, instructor in the Division of Arts, Education & Business.
Cote explains that the overall reaction to the show has been positive, attracting over 250 people to the opening reception. A number that Braden Spence, fourth year student, is not surprised about.
“There is a huge art community here. We had a lot of people come to the show that were from outside of the program and were from the local area and shops. Their reaction was good, and they loved looking at all the diverse work.”
For Spence and his peers, the show is a bit bittersweet as they know it symbolizes the end of their program.
“It’s a small group, we spend a lot of time together and we learn a lot from each other. We also spend a lot of time working side-by-side with our instructors late at night. Even for this project, Ian [Richmond, instructor) would often stay until 10 p.m. working with us because he knew we needed help and he just cared for this project and us.”
The exhibition will be at the One on One Gallery until April 23, 2018. Hours of the gallery are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday.
(Image Above) Spence poses with his collection of work.
Braden Spence had an aura of confidence as he explained his collection for the 2018 visual communications grad show. He mentioned that it spoke clearly of his goals, passion and love for coffee.
“I’m into graphic design and branding. So I put the two together to create a collection of work that represents the local area. Cypress Cold Brew is focused on the region’s natural habitat – be it the animals or plants found in the area.”
(Image Above) Cypress Cold Brew
Spence mentions that his confidence wasn’t always there, but through the program he developed both personally and professionally.
“When I came here I was quiet and didn’t know anyone. I definitely blossomed into a much more spirited and outgoing person. I’ve learned not to care what other people think and just create for myself and create things that I think are beautiful.”
Through his four years, Spence worked hard, spent countless days and nights in the studio and drew inspiration from his peers.
“I’m inspired by all the people around me. I’ve learned something from every single one of them, whether it’s to be more detail oriented and patient or to look at things in a different way. Looking back I couldn’t’ do anything that I can do now.”
Although his future goals are to move to a bigger centre, Spence has been appreciative of his time at MHC.
“I would recommend this program to anyone. The opportunities are endless. I mean you could go into painting, tattoos, branding or drawing. The variety of jobs you can get out of this program is huge.”
If you are interested in learning more about the visual communications program, visit www.mhc.ab.ca. To get a behind-the-scenes of the grad show visit, www.waysmhc.ca.
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