VIU’s graphic design graduating students have launched their online grad show, Vision 2020. (Image courtesy Sebastian Abboud)

VIU graphic design grads hold end-of-year show online due to COVID-19

‘Vision 2020’ features the work of 19 graduating students

Vancouver Island University’s graphic design program graduates have unveiled their end-of-year show in the form of a website in order to adhere to social distancing measures.

The 19 students had been working on their grad show since September. When VIU started cancelling events and in-person classes due to COVID-19 last month, graphic design professor Sebastian Abboud said they “very quickly” shifted their planning towards an online exhibition. He said it was important for the show to proceed.

“It’s kind of our sendoff,” Abboud said. “It’s our celebration of everything that they’ve worked on over the past four years. So they were discouraged and I think we bounced back and we rebounded with the idea that we’re going to build this website.”

On April 21 the graduating students launched the site Vision 2020. The website displays the students’ work and includes links to their portfolios. Since speeches could not be spoken at a reception, written remarks are provided by Abboud, acting dean of arts and humanities Marni Stanley and keynote speaker Erin Gibbs, a Vancouver-based designer. Gibbs did have the opportunity to address the students over a Zoom call.

“It was a really collaborative effort by all our students,” Abboud said. “They were all involved in the creation and design of the website … it is very much a reflection of the class in the way that it came together.”

As grad supervisor, Abboud said he’s been working closely with the students for the past eight months. He said he is “super proud” of his pupils, their work and the website they’ve put together.

“I wouldn’t change a thing,” Abboud said. “They’re graduating into such a difficult climate that I think we’re trying to make the best of it with this website. We’re all proud of them for following through with this and persevering when the outlook is less than ideal.”

Vision 2020 can be viewed here.

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