Work from more than 50 students in Conestoga’s Design Foundations program is on display through an online gallery created to celebrate accomplishments over the last academic year. The annual Skillz Manifesto year-end design show went live in late April.
Traditionally celebrated in-person, the annual event was adapted into a virtual format as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The online showcase provides students an opportunity to still share their work with the community and features student galleries which include life drawings, illustrations, prints and abstracts.
“While any year in Design Foundations is challenging, this particular year was met with challenges none of us could have anticipated when the school year began,” said Jessica Massard, program coordinator. “We had to quickly move online instead of collaborating together in the studio. Students’ professionalism, adaptability and resilience through the transition was astounding, and although it wasn’t always easy, the added skills they have developed will make them an even more adaptable designer.”
Massard said the gallery came together much like the typical event, with students collaborating to put on the exhibition while maintaining traditional aspects through branding, presentation of work and a continued sense of community.
With the move to online, faculty member Rachel MacKenzie built a website and had students submit text and digital versions of their work as well as other adapted elements. Special attention was paid to providing a consistent feel from past events that would typically include MCs, speeches and the sale of hand-made prints. Elected class section leaders Rachael Primeau, Amanda Vasquez and Chloe Wilhem volunteered their time to edit content before the launch.
Each year, Skillz Manifesto features a winning visual design campaign that sees a student’s work on promotional posters and tickets. This year’s winner, Ben Wildfong, shifted materials to create an online brand for the showcase.
“Even though it was a big change this year, we are really pleased with the online showcase and that students were still able to share with their family and friends,” Massard continued. “We have all been enjoying that we can revisit the site and take our time with individual galleries to really see their work.”