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CapU students explore 'danger' in Ferry Building Gallery poster show

The IDEA Interprets show marks the gallery debut for Capilano University design students
The IDEA Interprets exhibition showcases the work of Capilano University’s IDEA School of Design students, focusing on a theme of "danger." | Ferry Building Gallery

As technology continues to permeate storytelling and creative expression, it can feel as though exploring art in a way that is tangible is slowly becoming a thing of the past. Galleries, however, even in the digital age, will always have their place. What’s more, it’s the new wave of artists that are championing them the most.

After a five-year hiatus, Capilano University’s IDEA School of Design graduates will once again showcase their talents at the IDEA Interprets exhibition at West Vancouver’s Ferry Building Gallery.

The annual poster show, running for a month from March 7, features the poster designs of second-year students studying visual communications degrees. While most of the students are familiar with the online world – and the artworks, which combine branding, illustration, and interactive design, lend themselves well to being viewed via screen – nothing compares to being able to showcase their works in the flesh, the students say.

“Even in our modern world, where social media has made it easier than ever to showcase art, galleries still play an important role in the creative community,” stated student Maren Brophy in an email to the North Shore News. “Galleries are places where artists and audiences can connect face-to-face, an experience one is unable to get online. While for students, being able to connect with an audience in person is crucial when learning to rationalize and talk about their work.”

When galleries show a mix of both professional and student work, it helps to bridge the gap between the skill levels, and creates an environment where artists of all levels of expertise feel like they can connect, said Brophy.

Alongside her classmates, Brophy will be debuting a poster created with this year’s theme of "danger" in mind. Her piece, inspired by the instinctive intuition of sensing danger rather than a physical threat itself, centres around Ouija boards and the unknown threat of the paranormal.

“The first thing that comes to mind when I think of danger is less about the dangerous action itself but rather the feeling when you can sense danger is present but can’t identify it,” she said.

For student Siobhan Barry, the theme of danger means many different things. “This is what makes the show interesting,” she said.

Barry, wanting to convey a sense of fear or anxiety without any of the dread, found herself inspired by the works of American poet and novelist Sylvia Plath. Using pastel on paper, she hopes the written words of Plath’s poetry convey “the sense of desperation" so often found in the author's texts. 

Barry said for herself and many of the other students, the exhibition will mark the first time their work has been showcased in a public gallery.

“I think it’s important to give students a chance to share their work, and to normalize process over perfection,” said Barry.

“Everyone starts somewhere, and all artists appreciate an opportunity to have exposure and connect with a community of other artists.”

Mina Kerr-Lazenby is the North Shore News’ Indigenous and civic affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.

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