Vancouver Island University’s graphic design graduating students are showing off the best work of their academic careers.
On April 28, VIU’s 2021 graphic design grad show, Far Out, goes live online at http://viugraphicdesign.show. The 16 students completed all their work from home during their graduating year due to COVID-19.
Patrick Foster, graphic design professor and a grad show faculty coordinator, said he’s impressed by the students’ work, noting that while online schooling is “feasible,” it’s “not easy.”
“Even in a regular year we have pretty great students, but to have generated the calibre of work that they made from home in a pandemic is remarkable,” Foster said. “I mean it really has gone much better than we could have hoped for.”
This is the second consecutive year the exhibition is taking place online because of the pandemic. Foster said organizing this year’s show went “a little bit” smoother because there was more of a framework in place.
“Last year we shut down mid-term so it was vastly more complicated because we were in planning for a live show in a physical space and everything had to pivot at the last minute,” he said. “So this year we had a lot more time to work with.”
Foster said the show will include information about each of the students, samples of their schoolwork as well as any freelance commercial work they made have done and links to their own personal pages. He said the website will remain up “largely in perpetuity.”
“We have finally established a mechanism that when next year’s show comes around, whether it’s live or whether it’s another virtual one like this, it will have its own website. So the 2021 show will be relegated to a sub-directory there…” Foster explained. “We want to try and sustain it as an archive going forward.”
After teaching these students for the past four years, Foster said “it’s bittersweet, which is a terrible, clichéd way to put it” to see them graduate. He said they have “tremendous futures” ahead of them.
“These kids have really worked exceptionally hard, especially the last couple of years, last spring and into this school year, because of the working from home and all this miserableness out in the world,” he said. “They’ve done such a tremendous job. It’s insufferable to say, but I’m really proud of them.”
WHAT’S ON … Far Out, VIU’s graphic design grad show, opens on April 28 at http://viugraphicdesign.show.