Creating art on a limited budget is a struggle many new artists face.

Alisha Weng, a media arts and digital technology student from the Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD), originally intended to pursue a photography diploma. However, the high cost of camera equipment meant she would be unable to.

“So I switched to fine arts instead,” said Weng. “I could still use my hands.”


While working towards her media arts and digital technology degree, she picked up shifts at a local café. Saving her tips meant she could finally purchase the Nikon camera she used to capture the images for her ACAD graduate exhibition.

The support of ACAD’s instructors helped Weng develop her skills as an artist, she said. Those skills have translated into her photography, which shows attention to detail and good use of light and colour.

“It’s about the culture of Calgary, the people, things that happen,” said Weng, of her exhibition piece.

The ACAD Graduating Student Exhibition highlights grads like Weng annually. More than 200 students from 11 different programs will show their work this year in the exhibition curated by Wayne Baerwaldt (Illingworth Kerr Gallery). This unique show will be installed throughout the hallways, classrooms and spaces of ACAD.

“This is a great opportunity to see not only the graduate’s work, but the college as well, which is usually closed to the public,” said Anne Marie Dorland, Director of Communication, ACAD.

“Furthermore, the exhibition is a chance for the public to support emerging artists before they hit the international scene,” she said.

ACAD alumni are recognized globally as innovative artists, she said.

Although the pieces shown are not for sale, Dorland said ACAD is always happy to foster connections between artists and buyers.

The public is invited to attend the grand opening of the exhibition tomorrow at 5 p.m. This is a chance to meet the students behind the work and to catch a glimpse of life at ACAD, said Dorland.

The ACAD Graduating Student exhibition runs until May 22.

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