Alberta College of Art + Design Student Art Installed in Ralph Klein Park

April 29, 2015 (Calgary, AB) – Alberta College of Art + Design (ACAD) students and City of Calgary staff gathered today to unveil interpretive art, created by ACAD students, that has been installed in Ralph Klein Park.

“Visitors to Ralph Klein Park will now learn some of the diverse wildlife and habitat aspects of Ralph Klein Park and the Shepard Wetland,” says Julie Guimond, Leader Environmental & Education Initiatives, City of Calgary Parks.

Guimond explains that the artwork serves as an important element in helping to combine aesthetics with educational experiences in Calgary’s parks.

"It's been a great privilege to be able to collaborate with the City of Calgary's Ralph Klein Park. My piece visually communicates the different types of birds and plants that grow within the wetland. It showcases the entire cycle of the migration of birds; ranging from winter birds like the Snowy Owl, Raven, Black-billed Magpie, to birds that are active during the spring, summer, and then fall," said Gladzy Kei an ACAD student majoring in illustration, in the School of Design program. "Illustrating this piece was such an incredible journey for me. I learned so much, and I feel honoured to have been able to work together with the beautiful city of Calgary."

The series of illustrations create an interesting visual reference and information piece that will educate visitors on the different living things in Ralph Klein Park. Highlighting the variety of wildlife found within the wetland, the art also is designed to beautify the security barriers that protect the classroom and washroom area.

"Why we stand here today looking at these information illustrations comes down to one word, legacy; a legacy of an institution a legacy of a professional program/ school, a legacy of committed instructors, a legacy of partnership, and a legacy of outstanding students," said Karl Geist, Full Time Faculty in the School of Communication Design.

Since 2011, The City of Calgary Parks, City of Calgary Creative Services and Alberta College of Art + Design have partnered together to offer students the opportunity to gain real world design experience. 

“The majority of my design/creative staff here in Creative Services at The City of Calgary are ACAD alumni,” says Ken Richardson, Creative Services Manager, The City of Calgary. “We are now into our fifth year of partnership and it has been a triple win for ACAD, the students and The City.”

The partnership is a part of ACAD’s School of Communication Design Illustration and Design course. In the course, students are taught visual problem solving and critical thinking skills, which they then take and apply to a real-world design project.

“This was really our first real life experience that gave us a taste as to what our future careers were going to be like, and it was really refreshing knowing that ACAD prepared us more than we even knew and we could handle it! I think the whole experience is a necessary path for illustration students to take that I would highly recommend," said Taylor Odynski an ACAD student majoring in illustration, in the School of Design program. "The City of Calgary were also great first clients and treated us like professionals in our field. They gave me confidence in myself that I can actually do this once I've graduated!"

Sarah Gonzales, another ACAD student majoring in illustration, in the School of Design program said “The City of Calgary was great to work with and the entire creative process was quite enjoyable, especially drawing all the animals! The concept was to depict the whimsical nature of summer and all the charming animals composed within it. I really enjoyed bringing the whole piece to life through the warm use of colour and simple composition.”

Learn more about City of Calgary Parks, or view more public art in Calgary. 

For more information, media can contact:
City of Calgary media line at 403-828-2954 or email.
Karl Geist, Alberta College of Art + Design at 403.288.1508.