Saturday, March 03, 2007

Now THAT is how you promote an Art School

It's that time of year when all the post-secondary institutions are pimping themselves at high schools. Many universities are still sending out wrinkly administrators to hand out flyers to leery grade 12 students, flyers with sexy titles like "no pure math? no problem" which inevitably find their way to the hallway floors to be swept up at the end of the day.

I was really happy to see at least one institution use a fresh and imaginative approach, which just might do the job it is intended to do, capture the attention and imagination of potential students. The Alberta College of Art and Design recently sent student representatives to high schools armed with promotional cds. Who doesn't love free music?

The cd, entitled Mix: Soundtrack for the Studio, features 10 tracks by local musicians, some of whom are also members or alumni of the college, and each track was selected by a different member of the ACAD student body. Player cards tucked into the cover sleeve profile these students and their academic interest, alongside the music they have selected and recommendations for further listening. A few additional cards snapshot some of the specific courses offered at ACAD, using eye-catching photography and a minimalist approach to the text.

This really is a perfect marriage of art, music, and education (okay, I guess that would actually be a menage a trois). Art and music are two forms of creativity that have always enjoyed a strong interconnection, and it only makes sense for an institution that fosters creativity to use that interconnectedness to promote itself. Well done, Alberta College of Art and Design!

I assume that neither the College nor the musicians featured on the college's promotional cd would object to you folks listening to their songs, as they are already being distributed gratis. Please enjoy a little taste of some Calgary musicians, to whom some ACAD students are currently grooving.

the General [mp3]- Vailhalen
Art is a Dying Art [mp3] - the Rocky Fortune
Mosquitos and Cars [mp3] - Kris Demeanor
A Sad Country Ballad for a Tired Superhero [mp3] - Woodpigeon
Olympia [mp3] - Falconhawk
Ninja Pt 1 and 2 [mp3] - Seven Story Redhead
Don't Mind Us [mp3] - Jane Vain and the Beautiful Creep Cabaret
Geographic Centre of Canada [mp3] - the Collapse
Down With Safe [mp3] - Hot Little Rocket
Oh Sorrow [mp3] - the Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir


She's Crafty said...

I have friends that went to ACAD, I have high regard for their program. ( I went to the Kootenay School of Art and Design). We occassionally had guest instructors from there. Nice to know that they are keeping up with the times, refreshing recruitment ideas.
Thanks so much for sharing the list. I lost a couple of fellow students to their program.

Toccata said...

That is such a cool promotional tool. I love the intertwining of music and art.

I'm listening to the first song now. I'm very excited about the last song. I think you have seen the Agnostic Gospel Choir, have you seen others on the list?

Bubs said...

Thanks for the taste of Canada! I think "Seven Story Redhead" is an awesome band name.

John Mutford said...

Wow, me thinks they were trying to seduce you.

John Mutford said...

I like the Brett Anderson quote of the day. But wasn't it stolen from Al Jolson?

Evelyne said...

People at ACAD are smart! I remember when universities came to my cégep, it was so boring, the usual little table with the name of the university on it and the ton of paper that you get... that's such a great way to promote a school!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I'm becoming more and more impressed with ACAD, the more I hear about it, Serah. And since there is a possibility that my offspring will end up pursuing an art degree, I am keeping it in my radar. Good to hear the feedback from an art and design grad.

Isn't that a great approach, Toccata?
I have indeed seen Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir (you have a great memory) when they opened for Chad VanGaalen's cd release. They are awesome.
I've seen a couple of the others live - Kris Demeanor and Hot Little Rocket, and I've seen Falconhawk and Vailhalen on tv a couple of times. I have been hearing snippets of Woodpigeon lately and really like them - I need to find more of their music.

I love that name too, Bubs, but I know nothing about them. I am a bad Calgarian. The music scene changes pretty rapidly here.

They completely seduced me, John - even bought me chocolates and flowers the next morning. I'm hooked.
Al Jolson said that about Brett Anderson? Wow he must have been a futurist.

It's true, isn't it, Evelyne? Most universities still do the little table with the stacks of paper business. Boring! Maybe they'll learn a little something from ACAD's approach.

She's Crafty said...

KSA has a great program too, it's a little more specified to design. ACAD might have more courses available. I was won over by 24 hour access to our studio spaces, I don't know if it's still in place.

Toccata said...

I have finally made it through the entire list and I am even more impressed with their promotional tool which I would have not thought possible.

668 aka neighbour of the beast said...

that's so cool.

i keep meaning to check out more of hot little rocket, and falconhawk..and vailhalen... and :)

Deb said...

I'm watching curling so will have to listen later ;)

Very innovative...I love when people use their heads.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

24 hour studio access is pretty sweet, Serah. I know design students often pull all-nighters. I lived in residence my first year of university and the design students would routinely work through the night on projects.

I keep going back to listen as well, Toccata. It's a really good cd, actually - certainly not a throwaway.

Me too, 668, and I definitely want to hear more Woodpigeon (I've been looking for their album) and now am very curious about Seven Story Redhead.

I was just watching curling too, Deb. MY HEART IS BROKEN! The MB/ON game was such a nail-biter and I was sure Stoughton would pull it off, but alas, not to be.