The month of May was a whirlwind of activities and celebrations—a time filled with emotion for the NSCAD community.
The sudden deaths of two long-serving staff members and a student in one week was devastating news. We came together for a reception and remembrance on Friday May 8 at a Fountain Campus drawing studio, attended by more than 200 of our extended family, friends and supporters. Sensitive and fond stories of remembrance were shared, bringing tears and joy to all.
Acknowledging we are in the midst of challenging times, an interactive workshop “Having Difficult Conversations” was held on May 6; the afternoon session was attended by the Chair of the Board, board members, president, faculty, staff and students. We worked together learning and practising communication techniques and, at the end of the session, we each discovered personal takeaways for authentic communication delivered with confidence.
Following right along we delivered three highly successful events, one after the other:
Starfish Student Art Awards, Artist for a Day, and the 2015 Graduation ceremony which also included the President’s Installation and the presentation of Honorary Degrees to distinguished recipients Tanya Taqag Gillis, Robert Frank, Gerhard Steidl, Carole Conde and Karl Beveridge.
A note about the banner image above: Professor Gary Markle and I worked on my academic robes for the Installation ceremony together and had some fun at our photo shoot, with Eliot Wright behind the lens. The hood and scarf features the vibrant kaleidoscope pattern created by NSCAD student Ksenia Azanova for the 2015 Graduation Catalogue. Also created specially for the Installation ceremony was a wooden box to hold NSCAD’s Presidential seal. It is exquisite, built of cherry wood with trimmed with wenge, a dark African wood, on the outside, and lacewood on the inside.Thank you to Ken Lamb, the technician in the wood shop, for this beautiful box, which now resides in my office. (If you missed the Graduation ceremony, you can read my Installation address on the NSCAD website.)
In my first year at NSCAD University I would like to recognize the wide and deep connections and overwhelming support of each of these events. NSCAD’s local and global reach is clearly evident in everything we do; we thank the world-class Honorary Doctorate recipients, our 2015 graduating class, their families and supporters, alumni and the many donors, sponsors and community members that joined us at one or more of our celebrations. Thank you also to our small and mighty team that organized and delivered these top-notch events and set some new traditions along the way.
As June arrived we paused for a second as a team of 15 NSCAD volunteers joined in Downtown Halifax’s “Clean Sweep” event. Together they enthusiastically designed and made T-shirts with the NSCAD Van Go Go theme — then off they went in true NSCAD style! NSCAD Van Go Go! Kudos!