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AUArts creates full virtual experience for 2021 grad show

Building on last year’s virtual format, the Alberta University of the Art will be creating a virtual tour of graduates’ artwork for the 2021 convocation and grad show.

In a statement released by Dr. Daniel Doz, the president and CEO of AUArts, the school will be building upon the virtual grad show implemented last year.

The annual grad show is to showcase and help propel the art careers of program graduates.

Graduating students will have their artwork on display in the Illingworth Kerr Gallery, AUArts’ in-house gallery. It has been captured in a full 360-degree image of the space to create virtual tour.

Scott Cressman, the chair of the School of Communication Design, is at the helm of this project.

“We wanted to provide an extra level of support for students so they could have another vehicle that would really showcase their work,” said Cressman.

A successful trial was done, capturing a 360-degree view of the gallery from nine different spots. That resulted in a complete virtual space.

Cressman plans on hiring a handful of students to assist in documenting graduates’ artwork and creating the virtual tour.


“Every college or university has a story,” said Cressman.

“And I think that in this day and age we need to get more creative and understand the audience who we’re communicating with.”

For Cressman, he sees this project as a way of advancing that story and developing the school’s reputation.

While these measures were a response to the ongoing global pandemic, he recognizes an inherent value in developing innovative experiences.

“I think that the potential for this goes far beyond just art and design and graduation,” said Cressman.

“We are seeing more and more universities put effort into creating virtual experiences to give prospective students an idea of what the college or university campus experience is.”

This, in theory, would allow greater accessibility and showcasing what AUArts has to offer to a wider audience.

Grad 2021

This year’s convocation will be held as a virtual ceremony on May 27, with a recording posted for later viewing.

The classes of 2020 and 2021 will be invited to walk the stage in 2022, “assuming the state of the pandemic allows for this,” said the announcement.

The school had been elevated to university status in early 2019. It changed its name from the previous Alberta College of Art and Design, or ACAD.