ACAD’s upcoming Show + Sale is sure to knock your stockings off

The Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD) is buzzing with activity leading up to the institution’s popular Show + Sale.

While the sale includes all its great aspects from previous years, such as work from student programs like painting, jewelery, fibers, ceramics and more, some exciting changes are coming this year that are expected to breathe new life into the annual event.

“Generally in a group exhibition you wouldn’t have more than a handful of artists, so to have 300 artists in one space in one weekend is an explosion of energy,” said Jenn Jackson, program manager for ACADSA, ACAD’s student association.

The biggest evolution at this year’s Show + Sale will be new models of display. Space is a challenge with so many artists submitting so many works (up to 200 works for each of the 300 artists), so something had to change in order to increase the sale’s efficiency.

Prints will now be displayed wrapped in plastic, backed with cardboard, and put into large boxes for customers to flip through easily, instead of them having to sort through large stacks of paper.

“It’ll be like flipping records at your favourite record store,” said Jackson.

Also, a whole new section is being introduced at this year’s sale. Students are now able to submit “zines.” which are self-published works that range anywhere from comic strips to colouring books.

Five point of sale stations, including three mobile ones, will also be functioning at the sale, which is two more than last year. Representatives will also be floating through the sale to help with customer service.

“It was extreme [last year,]” said Jackson. “Lots of people came through. We wanted to mitigate lineups this year.”

The 2012/2013 Winter Show + Sale raised $110,000, 85 per cent of which was distributed directly back to the student body. The remaining 15 per cent stays to assist with the operations of the next year’s sale.

Approximately 80 per cent of works in the sale are sold each year.

“I started working at this school in July, and all summer we had calls from people asking what the dates would be because they come from all over Alberta,” said Jackson.

Jackson also said that patrons get so excited about the sale that they ask if they can pay extra to view the show early, because they want the best.

To capitalize on that enthusiasm, ACAD will be hosting a VIP night on Nov. 21, from 1 to 8 p.m., where the public can attend the sale early with a $5 donation. The donations will also support the operation of the sale.

“There’s a bit of a cult following with the sale,” said Jackson.

“There’s a very dedicated group of collectors that come to the sale, purchase from the sale and know about all the materials. They’re very specific about what they’re invested in.”

Another new initiative called the Art For You campaign surfaced this year as a way to market the sale to individuals. By visiting, you can create a graphic that expresses what art means to you to print or share through social media.

“The slogan is essentially that with over 300 participants in Show + Sale, there’s certainly something for you,” said Jackson.

For the students, the sale means a little more than just making money. Leading up to the sale, they undergo workshops concentrating on skills such as branding, pricing and website building.

“It’s exciting to have a moment to showcase student art in a way that is also harnessing entrepreneurial spirit,” said Jackson.

Students can submit as many works as they like, so long as their pieces follow set guidelines, such as being hazard-free, and being work created either on campus or during the school year, among others.

Everything from tapestries, dresses and brooches to vases, paintings and bronze pinecones will be on display at this year’s Winter Show + Sale.

Calgarians should be sure to hold off on their Christmas shopping and stop by ACAD to pick up something unique and close to home. The event runs from Nov. 22 to 24.

From Necklaces to Pine Cones: Anna Burger-Martindale, a final-year Jewellery and Metals major at Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD), poses with some of the jewellery she will be selling at the Show + Sale on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013. One of her pieces is a collection of beautiful pine cones fabricated from bronze. (Photo by Monica Henderson/The Press)
Not Just Necklaces: Anna Burger-Martindale, a final-year jewellery and metals major at ACAD, poses with some of the items she will be selling at the Show + Sale. One of her offerings is a collection of pine cones fabricated from bronze. (Photo by Monica Henderson/The Press)
About Monica Henderson 5 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Monica Henderson worked as a reporter for The Press during the 2013-2014 academic year.