When the COVID-19 pandemic forced Alberta University of the Arts to rethink its convocation and Grad Show, we stepped in to help move these highlights of the academic calendar online.https://auartsgrad.ca/
Perfecting the socially distant graduation
AUArts needed a video to replace the convocation ceremony and a website to replicate the Grad Show. We wanted to acknowledge the hard work of graduates by creating a site that had some panache. At the same time, it had to be simple for students to create profiles and upload their work. Proud parents and other users needed to be able to find exactly what they were looking for.
“A participation rate of 50% would’ve been a success. I was very excited when we got 68%.”
–Cassandra Paul, Exhibitions and Programs Co-ordinator, AUArts
Taking a stripped-down approach
Time and money were tight, so we got to work with a focus on keeping things simple, straightforward and stylish. We pulled together rough concepts in a day and a half and then presented them to the board of governors. With their enthusiastic approval we created a dynamic site that offers filters to search by artist and by discipline. Users can also browse as they would in a gallery and find eye-catching works around every corner.
The virtual gallery is packed
In a typical year, 70% to 80% of graduating students participate in the show. In this atypical pandemic year, the school was hoping to hit 50%. In the end, 124 students uploaded 481 pieces of work for a participation rate of 68%. The vibrant site saw some 8,500 sessions in its first month, with students helping to get the word out; one-third of sessions originated from social posts.