For Immediate Release

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

ACADSA art residency sparks conversation around student mental health

Calgary, AB – Reflecting personal stories of resilience, the Hear/d Residency exhibition, presented by the Alberta College of Art + Design Students’ Association (ACADSA), opens on Wednesday, November 28. The student art exhibition runs until Wednesday, December 12 at the Alberta College of Art + Design (ACAD), with the reception taking place on Thursday, December 6 at 6 p.m.

The goal of the Hear/d Residency program is to provide a safe space for students from different disciplines to create their own community of support while simultaneously de-stigmatizing mental illness within the extended ACAD community. In line with the residency’s theme of resilience, this semester’s exhibition is titled and as it continues. The title itself is representative of the group’s collective experience with navigating mental health in the post-secondary context. Alumni and Hear/d Mentor Rocio Graham outlines, “This residency encourages students to take risks by allowing their vulnerable yet resilient voices to be heard to inform and de-stigmatize mental health within their community.”

The three-month artist residency functions as a peer support program, while also providing professional development opportunities for student mentors who facilitate the program. Over the course of the residency, student mentors facilitate weekly meetings, studio visits and a group critique which supports the participants and the projects being made. The residency concludes with a two-week long exhibition where members of the community can observe the collection of unique works crafted, helping the mission and message resonate.

This innovative approach to mental health support is a one of a kind program which empowers students to form valuable peer to peer relationships. Fourth year photography student and Hear/d Mentor Keiran Foster explains her own experience as a participant, “I think the most impactful part of this program was getting to be a part of a group of creatives and artists who are collectively exploring mental health in a positive and encouraging environment through our own unique practices and art forms.”

ACADSA is a visible and vocal student-run organization that represents a creative community of students. We promote health and well-being, provide professional growth opportunities and champion students’ interests.

For more information regarding the Hear/d Residency program, please visit www.acadsa.ca.


ACADSA Supports the Growth of an Empowered and Creative Community

For more information and to arrange interviews contact:
Jeannie Gorrie, Health + Wellness Program Manager
Alberta College of Art + Design Students’ Association
403 284 7625 wellness.acadsa@acad.ca