ACAD’s winter open house attracts 150 high school students

More than 150 high school students attended the Alberta College of Art and Design’s (ACAD’s) winter open house and portfolio day on Saturday, Jan. 17.

The open house and portfolio day was held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at various locations at the college, which is adjacent to SAIT.

Among the crowd of attendees, 17-year-old Megan Hay was poised and calm, gripping her portfolio confidently.

The Sir Winston Churchill High School senior has been drawing since the age of 6, taking various art classes and seminars.

Hay’s decision to apply at ACAD comes from a sense of staying close to home.

“I felt like enrolling at ACAD is the best possible decision, at the moment, for me,” said Hay.

“The thought of leaving home at a young age to pursue my art career wouldn’t feel right.”

Hay’s charm and fascination with art make it easy for her to be attached the world of art and design.

“My work is very conceptual and I believe ACAD will see that, hopefully offering me a spot,” said Hay.

ACAD accepts up to 300 first year students per year, and also allows up to 30-40 transfer students.

The well-known art college also offers two degrees in the form of a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Design.

Each degree takes four years to complete and pushes students to be as creative and innovative as they can be.

Marianne Elder, associate vice-president and registrar of student affairs, is responsible for ACAD’s open house and is extremely excited for the new batch of prospective students.

“I believe ACAD has something that every applicant is looking for in an art college,” said Elder.

“There are 11 unique majors to choose from like painting, drawing, photography, just to name a few.”

Elder was quick to point out what future students can do to make their experience at ACAD a great one.

“A lot of passion is required for each assignment and the determination to work under pressure will help them succeed,” said Elder.

“Art should never be forced, but it should never be taken lightly.”

Although ACAD is renowned for its drawing and painting, the visual communications design major is one of the more popular majors.

Bill Hornecker, a woodshop technician at ACAD, says the visual communications design major plays a huge role in art and design.

“When you see sculptures of famous people or landmarks, the first thought that comes to your head is iconic,” said Hornecker.

“It’s not easy to create something from scratch, but if you’re a hard worker and are honest about your work everything else comes naturally.”

First-year students are automatically enrolled into the First Year Studies program.

A lot of passion is required for each assignment and the determination to work under pressure will help them succeed. – Marianne Elder

Students are required to take drawing and choose four introductory studio courses tied to the 11 majors offered at ACAD.

The decision to choose a specific major will depend on the student’s interests and aspirations.

Arkatyiis Miller, a 4th year drawing major, understands the stress and planning that goes into pursuing a career in art.

“I don’t think students realize how much work is involved in art,” said Miller.

“The misconception that most people have about it is that it’s easy, but it really isn’t.

“You have to put in the hours in order to truly be satisfied with the piece you are creating,” Miller said.

“Art, like any other profession, requires you to steadily work on your craft.”

For more information about ACAD, visit their website.

About Colin Piedad 3 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Colin Piedad is working as a reporter for The Press during the 2014-2015 academic year.